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

27 Months Today!

27 Months Today!

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Today marks 27 months of my sobriety.  Not sure what that is in days so I just keep ticking the months off!!

I’m not really celebrating as such but as its half term I am going to the cinema with my girls to watch a film, with a Macdonald’s for lunch as an extra treat!

Recently I have been talking about the big changes that have been happening in my life since I stopped drinking  including moving into a different career.  And without a doubt my biggest change in my life is in my fitness and health, both of which have improved dramatically.  These are the BIG things, but the little things are just as important to!

I have mentioned previously about the guilt I used to have in the past and the increasing levels of guilt that I had as my children got older and would start to notice my drinking and hangovers.  These times made me want to change, made me want to stop so much but I just couldn’t.

A couple of these times that have really stuck with me when I felt particularly bad are linked to the cinema.  Once when I was so hung over after a night out that I had to leave the film after twenty minutes of it starting, much to my eldest daughters disappointment.  I had horrendous anxiety, felt sick and was convinced I was going to pass out it wasnt good.  I went home and went to bed, I felt so crap, I just felt like I had let her down so badly,  but that wasn’t enough for me to stop.

The second time was also a cinema trip.  We had booked to see Finding Dory later in the day after sunday lunch, I had a hangover from hell and found myself drinking the dregs of wine from one of the  bottles from the night before just to make me feel better and more “normal” to go and sit in the cinema.  Obviously after an hour in I  felt even worse and spent the whole film in a world of self-hatred and thinking how fast could I get to the loo to be sick.

It was about two weeks after this that I quit.  But from there was about 12 months in between these two events.  That’s a long time to feel crap about yourself and wanting to change but not having the strength to do so.

Because a lot of my posts are about positivity, change and living a life you love,  it makes me feel pretty sad when I write about the shitty times.  But it’s these times that got me to where I am today.  If by sharing this I can show one person that it’s possible then it is so worth it!

So today, I am up and on it, workout done and off to the cinema. Feeling fresh, strong and healthy knowing that I am giving my girl the best version of me.  It certainly is a million miles from how the drinking me felt.

If your reading this, how are you feeling about yourself right now?

  • Do you hate yourself or love yourself or at least are you on the journey of loving yourself?
  • Are you giving your children and your family and friends the best version of you or are you functioning at 50% suffering from hangovers and feeling drained most of the time?
  • Are you spending your time wishing you were someone else (I used to do this all the time) Why can’t I be the woman who has their life together? Whose mind isn’t obsessed with trying to control their drinking?
  • Are you proud of who you are?  I was ashamed and disappointed in myself every monday morning, EVERY SINGLE MONDAY!  I was constantly letting myself down – that’s a really horrible feeling.

 

Now all of the above are feelings that you don’t actually realise your walking around with most of the time.

Your aim is to get through the week, feed the kids, workout if your lucky, clean up, do your day job, smile at people and just tick off the boxes – day after day after day!  Your head is buried in all of that, you can’t see a way out.  You just don’t have the strength to fight away out of it to make a change.

What makes making the change even more difficult is when your drinking isn’t causing too many problems in your life.  So your drinking way more than you should be but your life looks pretty normal to other people.  So  no one is going to pull you to one side and say – your drinking is out of control you need help.  Because to the outside world you do look in control.

I didn’t tell anyone how much I hated myself at the time that was trying to quit.  To others I was the life and soul of the party and 90% of the time all happy, bubbly and smiling.  I was always the one who would get the most drunk, I would never be out without drinking, I would always want to stay out the latest, always wanted that next drink that other bottle.  But the guilt, regret and the hangover the next day was just soul-destroying.  I couldn’t understand how I seemed to be the only one who was feeling like this, everyone else seemed to just carry on as normal and didn’t have this guilt that I had.

It was only by setting up my blog and Instagram page that I realised there are so many others out there who feel exactly like I did and who are making the change to sobriety.  People sharing their own storied has given me so much support and I know from the comments I have received from followers that my story has done the same for them too.

How I was in the past,on certain days was nothing to be proud and I hated myself at times, but now I’m gradually learing to love myself and feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

How far have you come in your sober journey, in days, months or other achievements?

If you’re looking for daily sober inspo please find me on Instagram Liftingweightsnotwine

Thankyou for following my story – the sober support I have found on my blog and insta has been amazing – lets keep sharing the sober love!

Angie xx

 

 

 

 

You Didnt Come This Far To Only Come This Far!

You Didnt Come This Far To Only Come This Far!

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First of all sorry for the delay in this weeks post – gosh what a week it’s been!  To cut a long story short, my week has been taken up with two very poorly children and now a sick dog thrown into the mix too.  Seriously, dogs can catch human sick bugs, who knew!  I feel like I have been in some sort of sick zombie time warp, living in a world of Calpol, snot and sick!  Anyway the eldest has gone back into school today so I am actually up, dressed and normality seems to be resuming! (fingers crossed!)

So I actually need this post more than anyone, you guys are helping ME get some positivity flowing again today so THANKYOU!

The title of this post is a quote that I have seen a lot dotted around the soberista social sites and I LOVE IT! And you know what it’s only recently that I have truly ‘got it”, and that I really feel it.

When I first quit drinking, my focus coupled with exercise, was basically just getting through the days, weeks and months without picking up a glass of wine.  It was a year of first times to tick of my sober list – first sober Friday night, first sober weekend, first sober night out, first sober Christmas, first sober holiday, fist sober Birthday – you get the picture!  That was enough to keep me motivated and inspired me to keep going.

Fast forward to the end of the first twelve months and feeling really pleased with myself, I  remember posting my one year success on my personal Facebook page and also the lovely Clare Pooley (sober mummy) mentioning it in one of her blog posts.  Now you can imagine the response from Clares post was a lot more positive than my personal page, although a handful of close friends and family have been behind me all the way which I am SO grateful for (but that’s a whole different blog post for me to discuss at a later date!)  But basically it was Clare and the comments from other members on her blog that inspired me to set up Lifting Weights Not Wine.  So my second sober year has really been spent setting up my blog and Instagram page, but I’ve also had this feeling that I want more.  I want to change what I do on a daily basis.  I have felt restless, unsettled and frustrated – what next?

From being a Mortgage Advisor before children, to setting up my own ironing business to fit around the children when they were babies, my work has never really been something that I loved doing or felt passionate about.  It has just got me from Monday to Friday with the promise of the weekend (normally unless pregnant a boozy weekend!) getting me through the week.  But all of a sudden the sober me wasn’t happy with that, I didn’t want to just get by, waking up every morning and only really looking forward to the workout or run I could squeeze in but feeling bored and tired of my actual job.

It’s then that it CLICKED – I didn’t come this far to only come this far!

So I have slowly been putting changes in place and it feels like this year, so far that its actually happening!  I know I have mentioned my goal to be a Bodypump instructor before, that’s now all booked in to start at the end of March, but I have also now become a Tropics Skincare Ambassador.  Now both of these changes excite me, I have a passion (as you all know ) for exercise especially weights and to be able to actually teach that to people is just AMAZING for me.   The move to Tropics has come from a love of their products, which I have been using for about 8 months now.  Clean, natural skincare and cosmetics that totally fit in with the new me and my sober lifestyle, trying to be as healthy and toxic free as I can possibly be.  Both of these career changes together will eventually replace my current ironing business, which worked for me and served a purpose when the girls were babies.  But now I want to do something that I love and feel passionate about, something to wake up excited about!

Now I know these career changes are small and some people are going to work and making multi million pound business deals or managing hundreds of staff, to them this will probably look like nothing.  But these changes are HUGE to me!  They are EVERYTHING! These changes would have scared the drinking me to death and I would not have had the courage to make the change.  And lets me just point out the majority of my business will be done at pamper party’s on Friday evenings, imagine the thought of the old me leaving my wine and the settee on a Friday night! I thought  I was happy plodding through the week, living for the weekend and then spending most of it drinking and feeling hung over – dreading Monday morning.  Now I have got this new-found confidence to change ,to look for new goals, trying to be the happiest and best version of me that I can be.

So to those of you who are smashing their way through Dry January and starting to think “yes – I am actually feeling good!”  Why stop?  Why start drinking in February? Why not carry on?  Why would you want to go back? Why not see where this sober journey is going to take you? How exciting is that!!

Look if I had given up I would still be exactly where I was, I wouldn’t be making the positive changes that I am making now.  The only initial change i made was that I stopped picking up the wine glass and look how many positive things have happened as a result.  So just ask yourself, do your REALLY want to stop now?

How about any of you guys who have more than a few weeks of not drinking behind you, are there any big changes that you have made or are in the process of making? What are your plans for the sober you?

Quickly getting back to the Tropics Skincare, I’m not sure if you have heard of it but it really is a beautiful skin care and cosmetic range that I have totally fallen in love with – they promote a positive, healthy and clean image that I am all for!  Have a look and see what you think, and if you’ve a sober milestone coming up why not treat yourself!!  Don’t worry I am aware that you guys are looking for sober inspiration and not necessarily skincare advice so if you would like to  be part of a my own Tropics Facebook group where I will share videos, tips and offers then please find me on facebook @tropicswithangie or click on Tropics Skincare to go straight to my Tropics Online Shop.

 

I hope this post has inspired you to look at the bigger picture of not drinking, because believe me there is a bigger picture and you can make that as vibrant  and colourful as you want it to be!!

Happy sober Friday and let’s have an amazing hangover free weekend sober warriors!

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

Strong Is Definitely My New Skinny!

Strong Is Definitely My New Skinny!

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I just love this caption – “Strong is the new skinny!”

For me this is so true, after spending a lifetime wanting to be skinny (my role models were Kate Moss & Posh Spice ) and going on crazy diets, I have finally over this last year and a half changed my mindset.  I now want to be healthy and I want to feel strong both inside and out.

There has definitely been a shift in the media and female body images, I mean look at how many strong, healthy, realistic  role models are out there.  There are also a lot of fitness influencers out there too, and to be honest I would rather follow those on instagram than a celebrity anyway!

You only have to look on Instagram or Pinterest and there are so many motivational quotes:  ‘Sore today – strong tomorrow’,  Look like a beauty – lift like a beast’, ‘I’m not just strong for a girl –  Im just strong!’  All promoting strong, healthy women.  I love this and I hope this continues so that my girls grow up with this positive body image around them.  Its something that is realistic and achievable.

I posted recently about milestones and celebrating them in anyway you like, you can read it here at All Milestones Matter, Big Or Small………… So for my eighteen month sober milestone I treated myself to some new gym wear.  I have recently become an ambassador  for Just Strong Clothing, and I have to say I love their range and what their brand stands for.  They have created fabulous workout wear, and have numerous embassadors who are strong women, portraying a healthy lifestyle and image. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram and they have an amazing community of women who are all just trying to be the best version of themselves, regadless of their shape or size they are just focusing on being strong both physically and mentally.  Imagine if all women focused on feeling strong, just think what we could achieve!

I have included the link below to visit their website and if you use my code ANGIEFAIR10 you will get 10% discount too!

So if you’re coming up to a special milestone, or just need an incentive to get back into working out or even just need a little retail therapy (like we need an excuse!), then have a look and treat yourself –  you deserve it!!

just strong clothing

Angie xx

 

All Milestones Matter, Big Or Small……

All Milestones Matter, Big Or Small……

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“REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES AS YOU PREPARE FOR THE ROAD AHEAD” – Nelson Mandela

This is a picture of the inside of my wardrobe!  Each picture, drawn by my girls, marks a milestone of me not drinking.  From my first one hundred days, to the Pizza Express Hat that they gave me when we went out to celebrate a year of me not drinking.  I don’t think I will ever take these down, and I know for certain I will never throw them away, they mean so much to me!

Milestones, targets, goals whatever you want to call them are so important when you first decide you want a break from the booze.  You may just be aiming for a month of not drinking, but make sure you do something to mark that achievement once you’ve got there.

I know a lot of people talk about the first 100 days of not drinking being the hardest time and that at around 100 days the magic happens and it gets easier.  Personally I knew from the outset that I wanted to get to a year so the 100 days mark felt like a huge achievement but I knew I still had a long way to go.  I think it just helps to break it up when you’re aiming for a certain number of days initially, then once you get to that point you feel so good you just want to carry on.  That’s what happened for me anyway!

At first the thought of not drinking “forever” scared me, I just could not think that far ahead.  My main aim was Christmas, then New Year, then 100 days, 200 days and so on.  I’m now counting in months in my head and will probably only celebrate my sober date every year now.  I couldn’t fit any more pictures in my wardrobe anyway if it was every 100 days!

You also need to make sure that you treat yourself when you hit a milestone, whether it’s a shopping trip or a meal out with friends or family, just something to look forward to and just give yourself a minute to say – well done me!.  I bought myself a little somthing every 100 days then my husband bought me a new Pandora Charm when I got to 12 months.  It’s a number one which is a lovely reminder of what I achieved, but the pictures from the girls are just as precious.  Now every month, on the 21st (the date I quit) I try to make sure that I make time to do a little something for me, even if it’s just a coffee in a café before the school pick up, just something a little special for that day.

Other times milestones can be the first time you’ve done something or been somewhere and not had a drink, so a night out, a holiday, a birthday, Christmas or New Years Eve, they are all milestones and once the first one is ticked off you know that you will nail it next time.  There is a lady who follows me on Instagram who has just had her first sober girls night in and loved it!  It can even be something as simple as your first hangover free Saturday or Sunday morning, they always feel amazing but the first ones are the best!

So just take some time to put your goals and milestones in place and stay focused, just take one step at a time to get there, don’t think past that point.  Thinking that you’re not going to have a drink ever again is a scary thought initially and is probably enough to make you pick up a glass of wine straight away!  But just break it down, step by step and day by day.  You will get there and I guarantee  that once you’ve hit that first milestone, you will feel so good you will want to move onto the next.  Once you hit one hundred days you will want to go onto two hundred, once you’ve done a sober Christmas or birthday feeling amazing and enjoying every moment of it, you will know that you can do it and will want to do it again and again!  I promise it just gets better and better!  Just make a start, set that goal,  hit that first milestone and congratulate yourself when you get there!

If your thinking about making a change, set your first goal now, tonight, just do it! Tell me what it is then we can encourage one another! Have you hit any milestones recently?, big or small they are all important and they all make up your journey! You can do this!

Angie xx