3 Years Sober – what I have learnt and what happens next!?!

3 Years Sober – what I have learnt and what happens next!?!

The 21st November 2016 was the first day of my new sober life!

That was THREE years ago – three years of sobriety – three years of finding the sober me – the real me – three years of transforming myself and my life!  My day one seems a long, long time ago now, so much has happened in that time and its been a crazy whirlwind of ups and downs but these are some of the reasons why its the best thing I have EVER done!

  1. No Hangovers – not one single hangover – 3 years of waking up hangover free! AMEN to that!!
  2. Being present and totally there for my two girls Jess and Sally – my world
  3. No memory loss or blackouts at the end of the night.
  4. No planning my weekends and social life around alcohol.
  5. Going out and remembering the whole night, the food, the chats and most importantly the laughs.
  6. Realising that I am actually a really loud, clumsy person who probably looks drunk most of the time when I am out.
  7. Discovering that hot chocolate is up there with expensive therapy sessions – it actually makes you feel better and certainly got me through the early days.
  8. Going out when I want to go out with whom I want to go out with.  Not saying no to nights out because the people may not be boozy enough and NOT spending nights out with people just because they are boozy.
  9. Looking at my circle of friends now and realising that yes it has gone smaller but  stronger and my friends love me for me, drinking or not.
  10. Realising that I can actually be the sort of person that does crazy challenges like Tough Mudder !
  11. Sticking to a real exercise regime, being consistent.  Feeling proud watching my body grow strong, changing shape and my muscles getting bigger (this is a very slow process but I am not giving up!)
  12. To know my body, to be able to listen to what it needs – food, rest, fresh air, self care – not just drowning it out with wine.
  13. The money!! Just think how much money I have saved – seriously!
  14. To buy myself nice things and not feel guilty,  “well I’m not drinking!”
  15. Not having to get a taxi – anywhere!
  16. Being a taxi for friends and family and making sure they get home safe.
  17. No more thinking up excuses to go to the shop  for more wine.
  18. Not having to spend time devising a drinking plan that you know you will not stick to anyway.
  19. No more anxiety – or hanxiety – the dreaded feeling you get with a hangover where you worry about everything and your stress levels go through the roof.  (I used to always think I was going to pass out in the car or in the street and the kids would get kidnapped- yes it was that irrational!)
  20. Being able to drive anywhere and take the kids to anything they want to go to and not being annoyed that its an alcohol free event or that I cant drink because I am driving.
  21. No fixing my Drinkaware app figures and googling – am I an alcoholic or drink related illnesses.
  22. STILL loving the look on someone’s face when I say I don’t drink
  23. To accept and feel every part of the high’s and the low’s.  Everything I feel is real and true emotion, when it’s good its good and yes when its bad its bad –  but its all real.
  24. To get really excited,  like a child’s level of excitement for holidays and Christmas!
  25. To experience a totally sober holiday – these really are the best! (plus drunk people watching never gets old!)
  26. No waking up to a hazy memory of arguing or angry texting and you cant remember why?
  27. No beer belly or beer bloat!
  28. No missing the end of movies because you’ve crashed on the couch.
  29. No long deep meaningful conversations that you cant remember anything about.
  30. No awkwardness when you know you are repeating yourself again for the third time – that look on peoples face – awkward!?
  31. Having the energy to want to exercise everyday because you know it will give you a natural high.
  32. Knowing that not only your mind but your body is strong because of the healthy decisions you are making every day
  33. To sadly realise that you are a rubbish dancer dance drunk or sober but you don’t actually care because you just love dancing!
  34. No more morning after red wine breath, or the kids pointing it out to you.
  35. Realising that I LOVE meeting and speaking to new people.
  36. Learning to walk away from negativity and toxic people and situations.
  37. Finding my voice and being strong enough to say no.
  38. Having an inner confidence to stand my ground and not let people walk all over me.
  39. Washing my make up off EVERY night and enjoying self care and pamper time – (Tropic Skincare plays a huge part in this too!)
  40. Realising that there is such a thing as the sober glow, your skin, your eyes, everything – sober people just have it!
  41. Early morning runs.
  42. No starving myself all day to drink wine at night and then having a total pig out by 9pm.
  43. Being real – no falseness just 100% me!
  44. No stuffing myself with unhealthy food and carbs all weekend to try and feel half human.
  45. No mood swings (well I am 44 they may be creeping back slowly – ask my hubbie!)
  46. Having more patience.  As a mum, we need bucket loads and although I’m no saint I am 100% better than before.
  47. Realising that although I have never been a dog mum when I was drinking I know for a fact I am a better dog mum sober! I would have hated the walks, the poo, the general mess and stress of a dog. Plus imagine being all snuggled on the settee at night with my Bruno and having to get up every half hour for another drink – he would hate me!
  48. Realising that there is so much more to life than a clean house.  A clean house doesn’t make up for a messed up person or life.  My house is the messiest it has EVER been and I don’t actually care, I’m too busy living to clean up!
  49. Having a job that gets you from Monday to Friday but drains you of life, is not how it should be! Do a job you love and you will never work a day in your life – TRUE STORY!
  50. Coffee and drinking it guilt free! I used to avoid coffee due to its high caffeine but quite happily down two bottles of wine?! Now I admit I am addicted to coffee and enjoy every cup, plus never underestimate the power of a double espresso on a night out – Party time!!
  51. Finally after years of  weighing myself every day that, being fit, healthy and strong isn’t a number on scale its a feeling.
  52. At 44 years of age being able to look in the mirror and feel proud of how I look and who I am – no guilt or regret.
  53. Knowing that I am giving my body a fighting chance as it gets older to combat illness.
  54. Food glorious food! – I am a total foodie now, I love it ALL and its sooooo nice to have a dessert at the end of the night instead of another large glass of red.
  55. I have found my tribe – my sober tribe – through social media and day to day life, I have found people who get it and get me.
  56. Accepting that not everyone has to like you but also accepting that I don’t have to water myself down for those who don’t.
  57. Waking up early – naturally! The minute my eyes open, that’s it I’m wide awake – early Saturday and Sunday mornings whilst the world still sleeps are the best.
  58. Setting up my blog and Instagram page on my own.
  59. Not giving up on things as soon as they become difficult.  Skiing being one, (think of Bridget Jones -that’s me!) My Bodypump and ETM qualifications- all assessments that I have failed initially but got up and tried again and eventually got there.
  60. Realising how strong I am because I don’t give up!
  61. Being brave enough to set challenges and do things that really scare me but doing it anyway.
  62. Safe In the knowledge that I am showing my girls a way of life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol and that you can live a full, sociable, exciting life without it!
  63. Enjoying my own company and not feeling like I have to go to everything I am invited to, I actually enjoy being in on my own.
  64. Thinking I can do anything I put my mind to and not doubting myself.
  65. Feeling proud of not drinking and no longer feeling like I have to explain why. THIS IS ME!

The list goes on and I’m sure it will be even longer in the next three years!  It sounds drastic but stopping drinking has seriously changed my life because it has changed me.  It has made me push myself to change what I was unhappy with instead of drowning out my frustrations and unhappiness with alcohol and pretending to be happy.

I know I have neglected my blog recently and it really is because I have had so much  going on in my life that I just haven’t had the time.  But I promise from now on I will be finding time to post regularly.  You, my readers and followers have got me to where I am today and I am so grateful for that.

What happens next? over the next few weeks I will revisit the early days posts and how to survive a sober Christmas so please watch this space!

With regard to my journey I am now a fully qualified Bodypump Instructor and a Tropic Skincare Ambassador so both jobs are keeping me super busy and I love them both.  When I think that this time last year I was stood ironing peoples clothes for a living and  had been doing it for seven years, it actually makes me feel sad.  My life now is thriving – I am no longer just surviving the days and counting down to wine o’clock.  I am actually living and loving every sober second of my life!

To everyone reading this thankyou for being a part of this amazing journey as I hope I am a part of yours.

Love

Angie xx

 

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

The Best View Comes After The Hardest Climb……..

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Happy Sober Sunday!!

First please let me apologise for there being such a delay in me posting – I am really sorry!!

If you are following me on Instagram you will know the reason why…….. I have been training to qualify as a Bodypump Instructor and I have finally done it, whoo hoo!!

It has taken me a lot longer than I ever thought it would do and I can safely say that Les Mills are asking for a very high standard in there assessments, down to clear instructions and millisecond timings.  The standard was much higher than I realised and it took me three attempts to get there but I finally did it. Here is my little Bodypump journey for any of you out there looking to follow the same path and become an instructor,  or just for anyone struggling right now – I hope this may help.

So my first initial training weekend was on the 30th and 31st of March (mothers day – I know, the guilt!)  This involved around 15-20 people spending two days of learning the tracks and being monitored and assessed.  On the Saturday morning I actually felt physically sick during the one hour drive to get there, I was so nervous but I really had no need to be.  There was a mixture of ages and physical abilities within the class but everyone was super friendly.  So I soon calmed down and felt relaxed with everyone.

The first thing we did was the masterclass – which was the new body pump release lead by our instructor Daniel and Damien who were the coaches.  They were amazing and easily showed us how it should be done!  After that it was a full day of practicing our tracks that we had been allocated and then teaching them to the rest of the class. So after day one I felt a lot more confident but also so tired and so hungry! (major tip – take lots of food!)

Day two was pretty much the same formation with your official assessment at the end.  Luckily we all passed and that was an amazing feeling!  Unfortunately though this feeling was short lived as you then have two months to submit full recording of you teaching the whole release to a class, scary!!!  Now two months may sound like a long time but when you include a holiday, the two weeks Easter holidays and basically just life in general getting in the way – then it really isn’t all that long.

So I learnt the release the best I could and submitted my first assessment – you then wait up to two weeks for your results (I know – the torture!)  Ten days later my result came back as a pass pending.  I was so upset, everyone else on the group seemed to be passing as we were updating a Facebook group we had set up – but no not me.  I cried for about half an hour and then thought – well I ‘ve just got to do it again!

So it took me another two weeks to keep practicing and aiming for perfection.  This time I thought it had gone better but my recording had cut out half way through so that knocked my confidence and threw me out with the timing.   But I was just at the point of thinking – sod it! I will send it in anyway and hope for the best.  Guess what- Les Mills don’t want that attitude they want confidence from instructors and they want your recording to run smooth and lets be honest almost perfectly.  So once again I got a pass pending.

Now this time my confidence was really knocked.  All of the self doubt started creeping in – I am too old to be doing this – I’m not good enough – its all a big mistake – its not for me – I cant do it????  Honestly I was so close to giving up and ready to wave my dream of being a bodypump instructor goodbye!!  I was 99% sure I would not be going to submit for assessment again.  My email with the result had come on a Friday and that weekend I had to dig so deep to not stay in bed for 48 hours.  I was gutted, that gutted feeling where you want to escape from being you – that gutted feeling where only sleep or alcohol will allow you to escape.

But I kept myself busy, the kids had netball matchers and we had other stuff that needed doing like cleaning the house!  I also had a really good chat with Damien who was one of the instructors on the training weekend – now talking to him was a game changer for me! He was and is so positive and convinced me to go and shadow him at his gym and told me that I HAD to submit for a third time.

So I did – I went to his classes and his enthusiasm sparked the fire back in me – I became so determined – this is what I want to do and I am not going to stop until I am qualified! For the next couple of weeks I had never done so many squats, lunges and deadlifts in my life.  I recorded myself,  recorded all of my practice classes until I knew the routine inside out and most importantly the timing.  For the first time I sent my recording in feeling CONFIDENT – I honestly felt like I couldn’t have done any better – and after another ten days of torturous waiting …………..yes,  you guessed it I PASSED!

When I opened the email confirming that i was now qualified – the feeling was the best!  The fact that it had taken blood sweat and tears to get their (literally) made it all the more amazing when I finally got there!  And you know what I believe its definitely made me a better instructor now.  I worked so so hard to get there I will never just take it for granted. Les Mills you are a hard act to follow but the constructive criticism and rigorous assessment that you gave me has certainly been for the best and I am so proud to be a Les Mills instructor.

I feel like I have got so much more out of this than a qualification.  I have learnt how important it is to not give-up, no matter how difficult things get.  I will be 32 months sober next week and honestly I have found my sober journey easier than my body pump journey!  But I don’t think I could have one without the other – the drinking me could only dream of achieving something like this and would have given up at the very first hurdle.

I have always said that giving up drinking is only the start of your journey and it is so true.  My challenges used to be just getting through a weekend without a drink, or even one night without a drink!  But now it has slowly led to me challenging myself both physically and mentally and although it sounds dramatic saying that getting sober has changed my life – it really has because it has changed how I feel and my mindset.  I want to fight now for the things I really want in life and I know I have the strength to not give up until I get there.

I will apologise in advance because you are now going to be singing this all night but in the words of Miley Cyrus :

“It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – its the climb!”

So to anyone reading this and you are struggling with the early days or million day ones of sobriety – just remember this one thing DO NOT GIVE UP – you will get there.  And if you have a few months of sobriety under your belt and you are starting to want to change certain things about yourself, in your life or challenge yourself in different ways – go for it -you can do it!

I am hopefully going to get back on track with my blogging, although I have just received the Bodypump 110 programme which is now being released, so the learning has started all over again!  Just like my sober journey – things are changing and challenging me all the time!

I hope you’ve had a lovely hangover free weekend and if not and you are looking for help and inspiration then read through my other posts and don’t forget to find me on Instagram  @Liftingweightsnotwine 

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