Get Back To Being YOU!

Get Back To Being YOU!

 

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This morning I waved my eldest daughter off on her first ever residential school trip.  Her whole class is off the Lake District for five days of canoeing, caving, high ropes, barrel rafting and jetty jumping.  It sounds amazing!! Did I feel emotional when I kissed her goodbye at the coach this morning? yes, but I surprisingly didn’t even cry.  Her excitement for the week ahead was just so contagious I felt more excited than emotional! The whole class was just a bundle of bubbling excitement as they lined up to get on the coach, and I am so excited for her, yes of course I will miss her but she will be  having the time of her life!

I have mentioned in previous posts that since I have stopped drinking I feel as though I am on the same level as my children when it comes to being excited about events and occasions, it’s almost as though I have gone back to being a child again! (hence the picture!)

Jason Vale has a fab section about this in his book ‘Kick The Drink’ , he states:-

“When you stop drinking, you actually return to normal.  We never needed alcohol before we started drinking: the need arose afterwards.  I remember going to parties as a child and I didn’t need alcohol to enjoy myself.  I never feared Christmas or birthdays would be a disaster without alcohol…………. I never thought I would become so lethargic and tired that my main source of pleasure would come from a bottle……. When I was a child I never thought I would end up like the adults I saw.”

When I read his book, this really struck a chord with me, when did we start needing alcohol to have fun?

In the picture above the 7-year-old me is ready for a party, we only took pictures on special occasions like parties or holidays!  Can you remember just being totally excited for what lies ahead, seeing your friends, the games, the food, the party bag, you didn’t need to have a drink to enjoy a party!  Fast forward to my twenties and I wouldn’t have gone to a party if I wasnt drinking, gosh it would have been my idea of total hell, what socialize sober???

Jason Vale believes that alcohol creates the fears that that makes us drink in the first place.  So if you have low confidence, you drink to make you more chatty and relaxed, but it’s not you it’s the alcohol and if anything the next day you feel more withdrawn and anxious than ever.  But once you get into the habit of drinking, you feel as though you need it to have fun and enjoy yourself! I know for a fact that I drank more when I was unhappy with my body and poor fitness level. Drinking made me forget that I wasn’t feeling confident in how I looked, which is crazy because the calories from the drink and food binges that followed the day after, were doing nothing to help my body confidence and in fact making it worse.  It has taken me a long time to break away from this vicious cycle.

When you remove the alcohol you find yourself doing things that you really want to do, just like children do. What do you really enjoy doing? what makes you smile? As a child I was never still, I was always out on my bike, in the garden or on a friends farm and when I stopped drinking I wanted to go on this health kick and try to get in my best possible shape, have more energy so I could be an active mum and have an active life, like I used to have. I feel like I have found my lust for life again.  My next move is a career change and I am hopefully looking  at moving into the fitness industry, its very early stages yet but watch this space!

If you’re looking at stopping drinking or cutting down, firstly think what is making you pick up the glass in the first place?  If it’s to make you feel more confident, then work out why you lack confidence and work on that without the booze because it makes things worse in the long run.  Do you drink to de-stress? What’s making you stressed? Try treating yourself to a massage, reading a book, having a long soak in the bath with your favourite music.  Do you drink to just have fun? then seriously question what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with!! And when it comes to special occasions or holidays, these are fab, happy times anyway, do you really need to drink to enjoy them? If you haven’t tried these events sober, you will never know.  Dig deep and ask yourself, “Why do I need to drink?” “What made me start drinking?”

If you haven’t already read Jason Vales’s book I highly recommend it, it was definitely a game changer for me*, and it makes you see why you actually drink, in a totally different light! (*Along with Clare Pooleys Sober Diaries)

Now the house is very quiet, whilst my eldest is off spreading her wings and loving and living life, truly enjoying the moment! I’m already counting down the days until she returns and to hear about all of the things she got up to!! ( previously I would have used her being away as an excuse to have a drink every night this week, to take my mind off it! But not now, I am going to get through a list of jobs I have been putting off for months  then lose myself in Love Island every night this week!)

Credit to Jason Vale & Kiona LLanos for the quote.

Angie xx

 

A Sliding Doors Weekend…..

A Sliding Doors Weekend…..

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This weekend is what I call a ‘Sliding Doors’ weekend!  Does anyone remember the Gwyneth Paltrow, Sliding Doors film from 1998 (yes 1998! couldn’t believe it was that long ago when I googled it, OMG twenty years ago!!!!!)  Anyway the film is a story of the two lives of a girl, one if she missed a train and one if she caught the train.  Just that one small second of the doors closing on the train changed her whole life and you see how her life is so different, its worth a watch if you haven’t seen it!

Ok so your thinking “how is this linked to stopping drinking?” well I use the ‘sliding doors’ phrase a lot since I stopped drinking.  For me its a way of thinking how certain events, weekends, occasions, would pan out differently if I was drinking.  So for example if I have been  on a girls night out, had a fab time, a real laugh, good food, picked everyone up and dropped everyone off, got home safe,  updated my husband on the night, washed my makeup off (I love this part of being sober instead of waking up with it glued on me and my pillow!) I then settle into bed and think how different my night would have been if I had been drinking, that’s my sliding doors moment.

So this weekend is a pretty busy one, the sun is shining and it’s definitely a sliding doors weekend for me!

To start with we are out tonight with the kids, to celebrate my eldest daughter getting through her Year 6 exams this week, she’s been very calm through it all and quietly confident that she’s done well. What more could I ask for! We are planning to go for a nice meal, I will drive so no taxis to pay for or arguing over who’s driving and I’m looking forward to some lovely food and a good catch up with my hubbie and the kids after a hectic week.  Then not too late home because I want to be up early for a run tomorrow.  So if I had been drinking, it would be wine before going out, wine with my meal, I would probably have a huge pig out because my head would be saying – diet starts Monday! Then once the kids are in bed I would stay up later drinking and although I wouldn’t be falling over drunk I would definitely be feeling the effects and also tired, uncomfortably full in a carb coma and annoyed with myself for having no self control!

Saturday we are having people round to watch the Royal Wedding then planning on going to watch the football at the local pub (hubbies suggestion!)  So previously that would be a full day of drinking and “celebrating” into the early evening, with no other option to do anything else once you’ve been drinking most of the day!  But instead I’m still looking forward to a lovely weekend doing those things but I just feel like I can enjoy doing other things too.  So because my day isn’t focused on drinking I can also fit in my exercise, baking with the girls then we are planning a family DVD night later on and a takeaway.

Sunday I’m taking the dog to puppy training class early morning then a family day out somewhere for a walk, weather depending!  I mean can you imagine puppy training with a raging hangover,  no thanks!!  Mixed in with all of this is cooking, homework, feeding and watering people and keeping up with my 100 day challenge. So it’s easy to see how I don’t have time for wine and hangovers!

If I was still drinking I would still do the main things we have planed this weekend but I know I would be feeling rubbish, tired, waiting to have a glass of wine to make me feel better.  When I think of it now it seems crazy but I was stuck in that pattern for a long, long time.  Stopping drinking has made me get so much more out of life, I’ve just got this energy that makes me want to get up every morning and make the most of it – especially at the weekend,  enjoying precious family time that I want to treasure and remember!

So its only Friday afternoon………. if you know you will be spending the majority of this weekend  feeling rubbish after too much alcohol,  or you just know that you wont have the energy to do what you really want to do, just take a minute to think, have a sliding doors moment!  If you don’t drink, how much better will your weekend be? How much more energy will you have? What can you do with that time and energy? How do you really want to spend your weekend? Just think, you can maximise your weekend and better still waking up feeling amazing on Monday morning!

Have a lovely weekend and I hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are 🙂

Angie xx

credit to powerofpositivity.com for the pic x

 

Alcohol Free Drinks, Yes Or No?

Alcohol Free Drinks, Yes Or No?

At the start of my sober journey, my go-to drink was Becks Blue, I had to have a good stock in the fridge for the weekend ahead knowing it would stop any cravings or I would feel anxious and stressed if I didn’t have any in. The strange thing is I didn’t really drink a lot of lager when I was drinking alcohol, it was mainly wine or gin & tonic.

When I read Jason Vales book – Kick The Drink, he advises not to drink alcohol free drinks as they may trigger you to want the real thing. It’s probably the only piece of his advice that I don’t agree with, because for me the Becks Blue definitely helped, but I suppose different things work for different people.

As the months have passed, I haven’t needed the Becks Blue as much and I’m quite happy with a Diet Coke of sparkling water, but it always has to be in a wine glass though! I think a wine glass gives me the feeling of it being the weekend or a special occasion.

Last week I read a brilliant article in my husbands Mens Health Magazine, titled How To Party Like You Were Born In 1999. It’s basically saying how the younger generation drink a lot less now and that a quarter of adults under 25 are now tee total. Which is fab news! It goes on to say how young people are visiting dry bars where no alcohol is served and they are spending sober nights at dance exercise nights such as Ministry Does Fitness. It’s focusing on a healthy lifestyle and alternatives to getting leathered in your local pub, which is all really positive.

It also focuses on alcohol free drinks, and it’s this article that led me to DryDrinker.com. They have 100’s of non-alcoholic beverages on their site and I purchased a few for this Bank Holiday Weekend. We have two parties to go to and it’s just nice to take something along that looks more sophisticated than a bottle of Diet Coke.

I know in a lot of shops you struggle to find an alcohol free section, it’s normally a few bottles crammed on the bottom shelf! (Although I’ve found Booths have started stocking more). So it’s nice to have a wide selection so you can choose something for a special occasion, or just to treat yourself.

The article also stated that – just four cups of coffee a day can offset liver damage from alcohol by 80%, by reducing the build up of scar tissue. Now this is good news for me because I would say coffee is definitely my new drink of choice that I will not be giving up anytime soon!

So basically I would say if alcohol free drinks work for you and stops you picking up the booze then stick with it, and maybe look out for other alcohol free drinks to keep you on track. The link for DryDrinker.com is below.

I hope you all have some sunshine wherever you are, because it’s lovely here and that doesn’t happen very often!

If you have any tips or advice on alcohol free drinks or what’s helped you then please comment below!

Angie xx

https://drydrinker.com

Eat like you love yourself…..

Eat like you love yourself…..

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I’m guessing that if your reading my blog that you are looking at ways to be healthier, either by exercising more, stopping or cutting down on drinking, improving your diet or just looking for a little positivity and motivation!

If you are anything like me,  you will have tried a million different diets to lose weight, and probably you’ve also realised that diets don’t work! (its taken me until my 40’s to accept this!)  I have tried the Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, Carbs Only Diet, No sugar Diet, and then the crazy starvation diets.  In the past I would just eat very little before a holiday or special event and then just binge, gaining what I had lost and more. Constantly yo-yo ing up and down, and repeating that pattern year after year, from seventeen to my early forties, how crazy is that!

Its only up until recently that I have got off the crazy diet rollercoaster and It definitely ties in with me stopping drinking.  Initially when you stop you do get sugar cravings and to be honest it was Christmas time when I gave up and  I just let myself  have all the sweet treats out there, and lots of luxury hot chocolates too (you know with a Cadbury’s flake and sprinkles!) Then after a few weeks the sugar cravings died down, I still have a sweet tooth whereas I never had before, I would much rather squeeze in another glass of wine than a pudding.  But now I’m a coffee and cake girl all the way!

So I have  had a few emails asking about what I eat and if I follow any particular diet.  i don’t follow any eating plan, I try to eat healthy, fresh food most of the time, all my meals I cook from scratch and I just try to eat whats good for me but also what I enjoy too.  There is a saying I have seen on Pinterest “When you start eating food without labels, you no longer count calories” and that is so true. So try thinking “Is this good for me?  How will I feel after eating it? Will it bloat me? Will it help my skin glow? Will I regret it or will I feel good afterwards? It’s amazing how just that small change will make a big difference!  I try to listen to my body too, so some days I will crave something sweet or a slice of pizza and i will have it, why shouldnt I?? But once you take away the restrictions of a diet or strict  eating regime you can really start listening to your body.

The main thing I found once I gave up the booze and got through the initial sugar cravings is that you no longer have the Saturday and Sunday all day binges, where you eat anything and everything to get through your hangover. I don’t think anyone wants fresh healthy food when they are feeling rubbish after drinking too much wine, I personally used to get really low blood sugar even after a few drinks and would feel faint and spaced out all day.  I would eat high fat and high carb foods- (crap basically!) to try to give me the energy boost I needed to get me through the day, once I was on that path any idea of eating healthy that weekend was just not happening! And then you start the whole “diet starts Monday” scenario, which I have done a million times.  I still believe in weekend treats and being flexible with your diet but once you’ve had the chocolate or a takeaway, make the next meal a healthy one, don’t blow it all and carry on for the weekend. It’s all about balance.

So if you know you want to eat healthier but don’t want to follow a strict eating plan, just listen to your body.  If you’ve cut down or stopped drinking you’ve already done one of the most amazing things you can do for your body and your health, so don’t stop there, look at ways you can improve your diet too.  Remember this is a new way of life, it’s not a diet, its hopefully for forever so do what works for you, make small but realistic changes that become your way of life and not just a temporary short-term fix, because as we know they just don’t work!

I am hoping to post more on food, recipes and healthy eating ideas.  As I’ve said previously I’m not a qualified nutritionist but I know what has worked for me.  By exercising regularly, stopping drinking, listening to my body and stopping the crazy diets, I am now at a weight that I am 100% happy with and I eat more food now than I have ever done. I nourish my body and mind with healthy good food and with treats when I want them.  I know by experience that this works – I just wish I had worked this out at seventeen, all that wasted time on stupid diets and missing out on all that lovely food!  But there’s no point in having regrets, just make a start today, make a change that your future self will thank you for and eat like you love yourself!

If you’ve any healthy eating recipes or tips let me know and I can share them on here or on my Instagram, I will be posting some of  mine on there too @liftingweightsnotwine.

 

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

 

Sober Celebrities ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sober Celebrities ⭐️⭐️⭐️

When people think of a sober person, I’m sure uncool, boring and grey are possible words that would spring into some people’s minds! I’ve got to be honest, for a long time that’s probably what I would have thought of a non-drinker. I mean how on earth could someone be fun on a night out without having a drink?!?!

Obviously now I feel very differently and know for a fact that being sober does not make me boring, I’m nearly 100% sure that my friends and family would back me on that! I’m still up for nights out even more than before and I’ve also got this new found confidence to try things for the first time, push myself out of my comfort zone, grab life with two hands. Thats surely less boring than going home early because I’m too drunk after spilling my wine everywhere and falling over and repeating the same stories again and again!

Now as for sober not being cool, I cant really comment on my level of cool, because that would make me so not cool!!!! But you only have to look at the long list of sober celebs to see that sober doesn’t have to mean uncool or boring.

The latest list I saw was in Harper’s Bazaar and it included over 50 famous faces, detailing why they didn’t drink and what there thoughts on alcohol were. I admit some of them I had never heard of but certain celebs definitely stood out ……..

  • Bradley Cooper
  • Eminem
  • Calvin Harris
  • Lana Del Ray
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Tyra Banks
  • Rob Lowe
  • Eva Mendez
  • J Lo
  • Colin Farrell

Some have never enjoyed drinking and have hardly touched the booze, whilst others have enjoyed it too much and have had to stop. A lot state they have gone sober because alcohol started to make them feel bad both mentally and physically, and I can definitely relate to that!

So being sober doesn’t have to be boring or dull, and if anyone disagrees with you or questions that then just point them in the direction of Samuel L Jackson, Calvin Harris or 50 Cent!

Hope you enjoy reading the list!

Angie xx

The full list can be seen here from Harper’s Bazaar:-

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/g11644970/celebrities-who-dont-drink-alcohol/

 

Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to document how my life has changed by stopping drinking and exercising more – hence the name!! But more importantly I hoped it would help anyone looking at making the same changes in their lives. Since I started blogging I have had a number of emails asking about my exercise programme, or how to get started. (All I can provide is advice based on my experience as I’m not qualified in this area! But hopefully it will help!)

I am certainly not someone who has always exercised, apart from playing netball at school, and having a 6 month period at a gym in my early twenties!  Exercise hasn’t been a big part of my life until recently! I was in my worst physical shape after having my two girls because being a mum was my priority (same as a lot of other mums out there), and it wasn’t until my youngest started preschool that I attempted to get myself back into shape.

To start off with I  began running, well jogging, well hyperventilating……. that just put me off and made me realise how out of shape I actually was, but it gradually got easier. Then a mum from school recommended the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd, which started me off  using small hand weights. I was still drinking and my diet was all over the place but I gradually saw the weight coming off slowly. The problem was I would workout in the week, not drink most nights and not eat a lot most days, then by the time the weekend came around I would feel like I ‘deserved’ to drink and eat whatever I wanted, and not exercise – the weekend was my time off. Now this is fine and I totally agree with giving yourself a break and not being too strict with your diet but the problem was I would just feel so rubbish by Monday that it would take me until mid-week to get exercising and eating healthy again. I can see now that it was a crazy, vicious circle, but of course I couldn’t see that then!

So for me it was only when I stopped drinking that I saw a huge change in my energy levels and motivation to exercise.

About two years ago my friends boyfriend started his own personal training business and he introduced me to weight training.  I loved it from the start, lifting weights makes you focus on being strong, not skinny and that was a whole new way of thinking for me. I was still a bit hit and miss with exercising and would be committed for a few weeks then do nothing for a while. It was only when I stopped drinking that I started to exercise regularly. I started doing both weights and running and I began to see the change in my weight and body shape.  The main thing wasn’t what I was doing it was the fact that I was being consistent, there were no weeks off or hangovers that took over the beginning of the week and no weekend binges. Regular, consistent exercise and a healthy, balanced diet with weekend treats (sometimes daily treats!) is what has worked for me.

So am I addicted to exercise……? Erm I’m not sure really!! All I know is that it clears my head, lifts my mood, helps me deal with life better and I feel healthier than I have done in a long, long, long  time! Plus (and probably the most important) I eat more now than I have ever done!! Major bonus!

So if you’re trying to cut down or quit the booze, try to make regular, consistent exercise your focus. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, just a daily walk or exercise dvd, just something to change your mindset and get you on track to being healthy and feeling fab!

And to anyone following me on the 100 day challenge, comment and let me know how its going? I’m going to be honest some days it has been hard for me to fit exercise in but I feel like I can’t give up now, so it’s keeping me on track! Hope its going well for you 100 day challengers – we’ve got this!!

Angie xx

Sober Nights Out!!

Sober Nights Out!!

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So yesterday I hit my 17 month milestone!

I didn’t really do anything major to celebrate but whenever I hit a monthly milestone I will make sure I make time for something nice that day! even if its just grabbing a quiet cappucino somwehere! Yesterday my youngest was at a party all day and my hubbie was building a fence in the garden (because the puppy has decided he wants to eat wood chippings which are making him very poorly – long story!). So I managed to fit in some retail therapy and lunch with my eldest daughter, which was lovely because we very rarely get one on one time together. So that was my mini celebration!

By coincidence I had also arranged a night out with a group of friends from high school. So I wasn’t celebrating 17 months sober but it was perfect that it fell on that date. Now this is one of those lovely get togethers which would never have happened when I was drinking, purely due to logistics! They live a good twenty-minute drive away in all different directions and we  would have struggled to get a taxi there and back. But now I can quite happily pick everyone up, we can have a lovely meal, drinks and a catch up then I can get everyone home safe and sound before heading back myself.

I spoke in a previous post about how much I love my sober nights out (see Will I Lose Friends?) and honestly I never thought I would say those words! But take last night for example, meeting up with friends who I would never normally arrange anything with, chatting away, reminiscing, catching up on their lives and having a really good laugh! And the best bit is you get to remember it all!

In the past the thought of going out and not drinking just wasn’t an option for me, I have said before I was all or nothing when it came to drinking.  And I also started to get paranoid about getting a taxi on my own, so more often than not I would turn down invitations for nights out. How sad is that really? Now I love my nights out, I actually really enjoy the getting ready, feeling good, taking time to laugh, listen and appreciate my friends instead of concentrating on my next drink and chatting crap most of the night. So my nights out have definitely changed, but for the better.

I have always loved going out and I’m a bit of a social butterfly, and this was a huge concern to me that if I stopped drinking that the social side of things would dry up. But they haven’t, if anything I have more dates in my diary now than I ever have, because I have more options to do things with my friends and family, lunch, meals, concerts, musicals. Trying different places you have never been before because you can drive there. I can say “yes” to so much more! So if you like your nights out but want to cut down the drinking or give up altogether then please give it a go, try a sober night out even if it fills you with dread like it did with me. I promise you its a whole new world and you will never look back!

Hope your all feeling fab and fresh this sunday morning? If not, what can you do to change so that next sunday you will be? whats your experience of sober nights out? any tips or advice for others? or please email me for any help or advice at weightsnotwine@gmail.com

Ooooh and I also saw yesterday on the Sober Mummy (Clare Pooley) Facebook page that Eminem had his 10 year soberversary yesterday, so we sort of share the same date (well the 21st part of it anyway!!) how cool is that!!

Happy Sunday!

Angie xx