I’m Still Here – Please Don’t Leave Me!

I’m Still Here – Please Don’t Leave Me!

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Hey there – happy warrior Wednesday guys!!!

I am feeling so so so bad! I havent blogged for so long and it makes me feel really guilty.  All of you who have bothered to follow me are so important to me and my sober journey, and hopefully I am important to you on yours?

Life at the moment is pretty much going at a million trillion miles an hour and I am struggling to keep it all together – unfortunately my blogging has taken a back seat and I am sorry.

So a quick update with things – I have finally stopped my ironing business, woo hoo!  My job as a Tropics Skincare Ambassador is just going from strength to strength and I am doing so well I have been given the opportunity to meet Susie Ma and Lord Sugar at the Tropics headquarters – I cant tell you how excited I am about that!  And finally I have passed my theory Exercise To Music course and will be doing the BodyPump course in two weeks – all this plus kids, a crazy labrador puppy and trying to get in my best shape ever – lets just say I have been struggling to fit anything else in!

And you know what, I am not for one second complaining because I would rather have ALL this going on than being stood at my ironing board, Monday to Friday, counting down to wine o’clock day in day out!  Bring on the crazy new me and my sober journey because it really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Is anyone else feeling the same? Does anyone else feel that their life is changing at a crazy rate – in a good way! All because you have stopped drinking and started to chase the things you love to do in life and become the person you want to be.

When it comes to my blog,my baby!  Which is a huge source of sober support for me – please just stick with me.

Everything I am doing now is leading me to give you better posts, I can hopefully look at having my own exercise and sober support programme by the end of the year.   I want to set up a sober on line shop that will include gym t-shirts, sober rewards and all of the lovely Tropics pamper products for you to be able to purchase once you hit your milestones – big and small!

I also want to rewind back to the start of my sober journey for you guys out there in the early days, to help with social outings, friends, weight loss and sober self-care etc

So please stick with me guys!!

In the meantime I am still posting nearly everyday on Insta for sober inspo and motivation so please find me @ lifting weights not wine

Don’t forget you can email or DM me anytime, I love hearing from you and will reply every time!!

Lets carry on  this crazy sober journey of following our hearts and becoming the best version of  us!

Lots Of Love

Angie xx

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

Two Years Of Sparkling Sobriety!!

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Today is the 21st November 2018 and today I am celebrating TWO years of not drinking. Two years since my day one. Two years of NO hangovers. Two years of just being, me alcohol free!

Now I am someone who couldn’t even get through a Friday night never mind a weekend without drinking (unless I was pregnant or ill!) so yes I’m going to celebrate and post about it!!! For me its a pretty big thing!

As all of you lovely followers know, I started my Instagram page @lifitngweightsnotwine and Blog back in March this year and with the support of you guys it really has taken off, so thankyou so much!  Who knew that there are people out there who want to listen to a sober, 43year old Lancashire lass rambling on about her sober journey!  So thankyou for sticking with me,  from the bottom of my heart I appreciate it more than you know!

Up until today my Blog and Instagram page have been sort of anonymous, as in I have only told a few close friends and family about them.  However today to mark my two years soberversary,  I have shared them on my personal Instagram and Facebook page.  And I’m not going to lie, its made me feel really nervous and vulnerable.  I feel like everything surrounding my decision to stop drinking is out there for all to read.   And most worryingly its out there for people to judge!

That’s one of the reasons why I held back sharing Lifting Weights Not Wine, because I know my decision to stop drinking was a personal choice, just like people choose to drink.  That is their choice and for a long time it was mine too and I was happy (or I thought I was)  with that decision.

So here I am two years on from making the decision to quit and what have I learnt from two years of not drinking?

I have covered these points along the way in previous posts on my blog and go into much more detail on there (just click on the link to read them) but the main things that I have learnt on my sober journey are the following:-

  • Stop waiting to make a change, start now, where you are and with what you have got!  I stopped drinking on the 21st November 2016 when I had Christmas coming up, it was the perfect opportunity to say “I will wait until the New Year!”.  But instead I thought if I can do it now,  when there are so many social events and boozy opportunities ahead,  then I can do it no matter what.  So just start NOW, TODAY and STOP WAITING!  (lets share the same sober date!!) read more at Just start……….
  • Please do not worry about losing friends!  True friends will support you and stick by your side no matter what.  My best friends (some who have been my serious drinking partners in the past!) are still my best friends now.  They have supported me 100% and I am so grateful for that.  Yes I have lost a few friends, mainly going out friends but I view that as their problem not mine!  read more on this at Will I lose friends?
  • You can still socialise sober!  I go out more now than I have ever done.  WHY?  …

          I’ve realised I’m still a bit crazy, chatty and sociable without the booze.

        Nights out now mean I can have a good laugh, remember it all and not write off my whole weekend because I have a hangover!

         Plus I can drive, so meet up in different places and go to different things, plus I can taxi everyone along with me! read more at Sober Nights Out!!

  • Stopping drinking has given me a confidence in myself that I have never had, well not for a long time! – This is because I no longer have the anxiety that hangovers and drinking left me with. I now have a new lust for life and constantly looking to try new things and challenge myself.
  • I have discovered a passion for health and fitness, especially lifting weights.  The main thing I have found is that consistency is key – that’s what makes the change both physically and mentally.  I used to exercise for a few days then a hangover from hell and carb coma would send me off track for the next few days and undo all my good efforts.  Now I am ON IT and FOCUSED every single day and it feels AMAZING, I feel stronger and fitter than I have ever been.
  • I have discovered a tribe of sober supporters out there.  My Instagram and online family and followers have been amazing, sometimes just knowing that you are not the only person out there feeling this way,  is all you need to make the change and take that first step.
  • You are never too old to change!  I am 43 and recently signed up to train as a Bodypump Instructor next year, it scares me to death but not doing it scares me even more!  It makes me want to train harder too, because if I’m going to be the oldest one on the course I want to be up there with the fittest! I am also planning on taking a Life Coach course next year too.
  • Most importantly I know that I am giving my two girls the best mum that I can be.  They have been my inspiration from day one, and my cheerleaders.  They now have a mum who is full of energy, full of life, who the majority of the time is calmer and more patient (not all the time, I mean I’ve only stopped drinking and not become a Saint!)  I am 100% present when I am with them, they have got ALL of the sober me.  And that for me is my everything! My Girls – My Wake Up Call!

There are a million and one things I have  discovered in the past two years and the above are just the tip of the iceberg.  But they are the biggies for me!

The reason I have shared Lifting Weights Not Wine is because I feel proud of it!  I am not desperate for people to follow me, and I certainly don’t want people following me just for a nosey or to get a dig in where they can. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing and your probably better off following someone else!

My Blog and Instagram page are for people who feel the same as me about alcohol and who are looking to make a change or have already done so! It’s about grasping life with both hands and changing what you are unhappy about with regards to your drinking habits, health and fitness. The ultimate message is about living your life as the best version of you!

I have had so many messages and emails from people who are looking to change their drinking habits and lifestyle. And I also have a few friends who are on their own sober journey too, wether I have inspired them to do so I don’t know?  All I do know is that there is another world out there full of people wanting to change their self destructive drinking pattern and start living a life they love.  If sharing my story is helping and inspiring people then that’s all I can hope for!

Thankyou so much for all of your likes, comments and follows on Lifting Weights Not Wine – it really does mean so much!

Next week I will be posting about Surviving A Sober Christmas, and it will probably run over a few weeks because I have a lot of tips and survival strategies so watch this space!!

Happy Wednesday Sober Warriors!

Angie xx

Own Your Story And Write A New Chapter……

Own Your Story And Write A New Chapter……

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This week I have had my first ever interview with the lovely Gayle from the sober website and Instagram page SOBER BLISS!  Gayle offers a professional and personal service for people looking to stop drinking and discover the world of Sober Bliss!  You can find her at www.Sober-Bliss.com

So Gayle contacted me to see if I would share my sober story so far, for her to share on her you tube channel and website.  I am not going to lie, at first I was really nervous and hesitant as I still haven’t shared my Lifting Weights Not Wine Blog to ALL of my friends and family.   But I thought hey why not, I need to practice what I preach and step outside of my comfort zone with this!

So we set a time, and I was surprised at how easy it went.  It really was like just chatting with a friend over a coffee! If you would like to watch the full interview please follow the link below (and you may need to make a cup of tea, its a full 30 minutes, believe me I can talk!)  I feel like I have shared a little more of my story and revealed a little more of myself and the reasons why I have stopped drinking.   Listening back to it I did feel emotional, some parts are hard to hear and they take me back to not a very good place, but I wanted it come from the heart and it did.

I am so glad that I did it because I believe it is so important to share the positive message of sobriety.  There is a stigma attached to sobriety that it’s boring, dull, grey and that your life is over if you stop drinking alcohol!  Believe me this is certainly NOT the case!  I know that stopping drinking has given me a new lease of life, a lust for life a yearning to constantly try new things and push myself outside of my comfort zone.  I am doing things that I had only dreamt of doing before with a new found confidence.  I believe in myself!   That doesn’t sound very grey and boring to me, especially when you compare it to sitting on the settee with a bottle of wine most weekends or nursing a hangover!

If my story can inspire just one person to change their drinking habits and start on a journey to be the best version of themselves, without the booze, then I will feel proud to have shared it.

We all have a story, and if we are unhappy with how it is turning out it’s important to realise that you have the power inside of you to change it.

When we deny the story, it defines us.  When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.”

(BRENE BROWN)

 

So I have made this a short post as I would love you to head over to You Tube by clicking on the link When Sober Bliss Meets Lifting Weights Not Wine

Please let me know what you think and if you like it then please share away, the more positive sober success stories out there the better!

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy those heavenly hangover free mornings!

Angie xx

Focus On Your Weights At The Gym Going Up, Not Your Weight Going Down.

Focus On Your Weights At The Gym Going Up, Not Your Weight Going Down.

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Ok so where do I begin…….. let me try to cut a long story short (well as short as possible!)

So from the age of about fourteen I have weighed myself approximately three times every week (minimum), more often than not on a daily basis.  My weight in that time has fluctuated from 9 stone to 12-13stone,  this isn’t including my weight when I was  pregnant with my girls. I sort of went off the scales then (literally!) but I was busy growing my babies, so nothing else mattered!  I am sure I am not alone in saying that I have had a very unhealthy relationship with weighing scales, they can determine my  whole mood, diet, energy and plans for the day ahead in a heartbeat – yes they really have that power over me or should I say they  HAD that power over me!

When I gave up alcohol, I knew that I could potentially turn to food and that could be my new addiction,  food could fill the gap alcohol had left behind.  This is why I had to consciously focus on exercise and trying to get in my best possible shape, so that if I was indulging in treat foods at least I was burning some of them off too.  In a previous post I explain how exercise is possibly my new addiction but at least its a healthy one. Exercise – A Healthy Addiction!

It’s only recently that I have had to try to get out of the really bad habit of weighing myself regularly, and I have got to be honest I have  struggled.  My main issue has been my weight gain from lifting heavier weights, and even though my clothes size has gone down I just feel frustrated because the number on the scale has gone up.   It’s crazy I know but I am sure that I’m not the only one who feels like this?

So the said scales are currently locked away in the shed and I am trying to stay body positive, which some days is harder than others.  I am just trying to focus on how I feel – I am lifting heavier weights than I have ever done, I have more energy, I am eating good, healthy, regular meals and snacks with not so healthy treats occasionally too.  A healthy,  balanced, realisitc diet.  A tiny little square that I step on every morning cannot measure how I feel, and although it’s work in progress I definitely feel like I am getting there.

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend at the gym and she was telling me that she doesn’t weigh herself and instead uses a pair of jeans as a guide!  It felt like a light bulb moment for me, and I promised myself to do exactly the same.  It feels so liberating and scary!  It’s crazy how I could put own the wine glass pretty easily yet struggle with my battle with the scales.  I suppose somethings are easier to give up than others.

An article from The Insider (March 2018) gives 5 reasons why you should stop weighing yourself NOW!

  • It can distract from body cues – the number becomes so important that you ignore important body signals such as exhaustion and stress.
  • It can create mental obstacles – for example it can determine your mood and diet for the rest of the day even effecting your social life in some cases.
  • It can go hand in hand with or encourage eating disorders as the number on the scale becomes priority over everything else.
  • Standard scales don’t indicate your body composition, so they can’t tell you the distribution of fat and lean mass on your body.  This is why someone with a lot of muscle can look slimmer than someone with a higher fat composition, even if they both weigh the same amount.  If you only focus on the number, you could be stopping yourself from building muscle that will ultimately make you appear leaner.
  • And finally, the number on the scale is a poor indicator of your overall health!

So now my focus is watching the weights I’m lifting going up instead of obsessing about the number on the scale going down.  Who’s with me??  After all how can we measure our awesomeness on a set of scales!  I am stronger now than I have ever been and although my scales have been saying I am around 10lbs up from what I was at the beginning of the year, I am also fitting into a size 8 pair of jeans (that has NEVER happened) – I just need to get my head around it, and I am……..  slowly…..its work in progress!

I apologise that this post isn’t really about quitting the booze.  However it is something I have wanted to discuss, and I feel I have taken ownership of it now that I have shared it with you all.  And if its helps someone else in the process then that’s even better!

To anyone who is Going Sober for October, you are nearly a week into it and that’s amazing!  Make sure you have lots of alcohol free drinks stocked in the fridge (and chocolate!)  and that you spend the weekend nurturing yourself and taking time to chill – you are SMASHING it!

I will finish with a quote I saw recently (unknown):-

Your best weight is whatever weight you reach, when you’re living the healthiest life you actually enjoy living!

Well,  I will raise a Becks Blue to that!

For further tips and sober support please follow me on Instagram  @liftingweightsnotwine

I hope you have a happy, healthy weekend.

Angie xx

It’s not just about stopping drinking….

It’s not just about stopping drinking….

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I apologise to anyone who follows me on Instagram because it’s the second time I have used this pic since Saturday,  yes its me making star jumps whilst out on a run early Saturday morning!  I’ve used it again because this picture sums up how I feel most of the time now I have  stopped drinking – yes there are off days but ninety percent of the time I am in star jump mode!!!!!!!!!!

” I Didn’t Get Sober To Sit On The Couch”

Now this is a quote (unknown) that I have seen so many times on Instagram and social media and I never really understood it until I was around 10-11 months sober, then suddenly it clicked!  For the first twelve months I was just counting down to the big ‘one year of not drinking’ and yes I was exercising regularly and feeling good in myself, which for the first months was the reward I needed, I felt amazing but this quote still didn’t register with me.

It was only around the ten month mark that I started thinking …………what happens after the first twelve months, what next? Do I carry on my journey? Do I try and moderate? Do I drift back into my old habits and just have this 12 months as proof that I can do it?  (Gosh the thought of going back to that makes me feel physically sick , the wheels would fall off big time!)

NO – I wanted to take my journey further, I needed to take the next step that came naturally ………. so my little blog was born followed by my Instagram page, which this weekend got to over one thousand followers, woo hoo I still can’t quite believe it!  Having a blog and Instagram page is something I could never have imagined the old me doing, I didn’t believe in myself enough to do something like that.  It is what other people do but not me. But here I am 22 months sober and it’s happening.  And that’s the key, stopping drinking alcohol has made this possible for me for a number of reasons:-

  • I have confidence in myself that I have never had before.
  • It has given me so much more free time to do the things I love. I am no longer planning my time around wine time and hangovers.  I’ve got 24 hours a day to spend, fully functional, full of energy on whatever I want!
  • I don’t have the niggling negativity that I would get after a boozy weekend, the self-doubt and anxiety I talked about in my last post (read it hereAlcohol & Anxiety, …….
  • I discovered my love of lifting weights and the amazing feeling of being strong both inside and out.
  • I’ve found that there is a whole new world out there in social media, of people sharing their stories and who are on a similar journey to me. All supporting one another. People who build you up not knock you down.

This week I am taking another step forward in my journey, a big step for me…………….. I am hopefully looking at becoming a fitness instructor in January 2019.  So this week I am mixing my exercise up a little and i’ve got a three-day pass for a local gym to try all of their classes and help me make a decision in what I want to teach.  I never thought I would be looking at this as an option, it’s the sort of job that I would look at and feel envious of people doing it. I could never be that fit, healthy, in shape or confident enough to do that. But that was the old me, and although I do keep having a bit of a wobble about it, I just know that I will give it my all and love every part of the process even if it does scare me to death somedays, deep down I know I can do it- it something that I’m excited about!

When you stop drinking or even if you’re trying to cut down its so easy to focus on what you’re giving up, but instead focus on everything you have to gain.  Think of all the things you want to do but haven’t had the confidence or self-worth to do them.  Alcohol feeds all your negative emotions, it enables you to escape your reality. By stopping drinking you create so much space to create a life you love and achieve things that you have only dreamt of in the past.

So now I understand the quote “I didn’t get sober to sit on the couch”  I have spent hours and hours sat on my couch sipping wine, and now I want to make up for that.  You don’t necessarily have to be signing up for mud runs or becoming a fitness instructor, you may want to write a book, learn a language, travel more, make a career move, make a relationship move even or just start your own blog??? The list of possibilities are endless! Write your list down of what you want to achieve and make that your motivation to stop drinking, to start or continue on your sober journey. There’s a whole new world out there for the sober you, stop letting alcohol hold you back!

If your following me on Instagram @lifitingweightsnotwine I will be posting my exercise challenge updates on there daily to keep myself and anyone else motivated and I apologise in advance for any future star jump pics!!!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy week ahead.

 Angie xx

Magic Mondays Not Manic Mondays!

Magic Mondays Not Manic Mondays!

Correct me if I’m wrong but Mondays very rarely get credit for being “good” days! I mean there has even been songs about how rubbish they are!

Mondays for me are one of the days I appreciate the most since I have stopped drinking, now they feel like one of the best days of the week. A fresh start, feeling recharged after the weekend and ready to tackle what lies ahead. They are one of the mornings, apart from Saturday and Sunday that I just really appreciate not having a hangover or feeling blah after a weekend of piggin out and drinking.

Rewind eighteen months ago and I used to dread a Monday morning. That feeling of dread would start on a Sunday night, around tea time, and I would be pouring another glass of wine to drown out that dread. I would start feeling anxious and just unable to cope with the things I had to do in the week ahead.

Now I still have the stress of things to do, but the anxiety has gone (90% of the time anyway!) And instead I spend an hour on a Sunday night preparing for the week ahead, planning my work, getting things in my diary and writing lots of lists! (I am definitely a list girl!). So I have still got the same amount of things to do, probably more now because I am generally doing more with my time now that I don’t drink, but my mind is just in a better place. I’ve not got the anxiety or the feeling of not being able to cope, and that is certainly down to me stopping drinking.

Monday morning was also the day I would start a crash diet, or crazy health kick after knowing I had over indulged all weekend. So I would set myself unrealistic goals including a strict exercise plan or start off the week starving myself. I mean you would have thought a woman in her forties would realise how that was gonna workout??? Yep by Wednesday I would be feeling like a failure and eating whatever, already thinking “I will start next Monday!”

Now my Monday’s are pretty much like every other day. I try to fit in whatever exercise I can, if I’ve a quiet ish day it will be a full weights workout like I did this morning, or if I have a lot on with work it will be a quick dog walk or ab workout. I will be careful with my diet and limit any treats if I’ve had a lot over the weekend but in general I will just be eating the same as I do on most days.

So now for me Monday’s feel good, I feel fresh and armed to face the week ahead. And I think what I could have got done all of those Monday’s I spent waiting for the day to finish because I felt so rubbish! They were just totally wasted days.

When I first stopped drinking I can remember looking forward to Monday mornings and wanting to skip up the school drive with the kids. But I didn’t obviously! Imagine how that would annoy someone who was feeling how I used to feel, not good! But inside I was skipping and loving these new Monday mornings that I had discovered. They were actually a huge motivator for me to not drink over the weekend because I loved the feeling of a hangover free Monday morning, and they still never get old.

It’s never too late to start, use today to chase your dreams and get closer to your goals whatever they may be! Wether it’s drinking less or stopping altogether, exercising more, eating healthy and getting in shape. Just start today!!

Have you any tips on how you prepare for the week ahead? Are your Monday’s totally different after quitting the booze? Any advice for others looking to do the same?

And I apologise in advance if you spend the rest of the day singing “just another manic Monday” because it’s been in my head all morning too!!

Hope you all have a happy, healthy Monday

Angie xx

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