Starting week 4 sober

My self portrait I’ve been working on

So, I’m feeling pretty good so far. Honestly I feel like a different person for the most part. I haven’t been bothered at all so far by the wine o clock time frame that was haunting me for so long. It is like the switch is just off and I don’t care about it anymore. Even when I cook! And that, I thought, would be hard.

I’m not sure why, but it’s not bothering me in my daily routines. Once in a while I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I think about my old love, wine, and all the dates we had; it comes over me and I pine for that release and relaxation that comes with the first two glasses. And then I think about how it wouldn’t stop there. It would be 6 wines or 8 wines and a half of a pack of cigarettes! Yuck! And then I would cough all night and wake up with bags under my eyes and parched and just feeling shitty! No! I don’t want that.

During this process you’re mind definitely tries to trick you and tell you that you can be like all those great moderators and once you get through this abstinence you can become a moderated drinker! I know that is my mind playing tricks on me because I really seriously don’t think it’s possible.

Today I fly out to California for a big real estate convention. This will be a big new adventure without the crutch of alcohol! Meeting 100’s of agents from across the country and just having my own personality to stand on, no wine! I’m excited to see what it’s like. Wish me luck!

The big gala Monday night will be the biggest test. It is definitely a drinking event! So I will have to be prepared and just leave if it’s too much!

So, off to the airport I go. No mimosas on the plane this time. No Bloody Mary because I feel like shit today because I drank last night while I packed – nope! I packed totally sober and I feel great! Even got my workout in this morning already.

It will be different- this new adventure. But I think it will be different in a good way!

Healthy broccoli soup

I thought I’d share a family favorite for some healthy broccoli soup! if you like broccoli you’ll love this. My son loves it and he isn’t too fond of steamed broccoli.

The ingredients are simple:

The finished product!

Ingredients: broccoli, potato, broth, onion, salt and pepper. Serve with some cheese. We added turkey bacon on top. I cooked a huge pot. You can make it thicker with more potato or more brothy with more broth! It’s so yummy! just sauté the onion first then add the rest and boil for 30 minutes then purée!

Simple whole ingredients!

Enjoy! It’s cold here in Florida so it was so nice to have some hot soup!

Skin improvement

It’s the dawn of day 17 and I noticed this morning how much my skin has improved already. I was finding myself with sore blemishes on my chest area and also was picking several spots on my legs due to anxiety (created by my drinking) and I was really a mess by the end of 2019. I was happy it was cold here in Florida where we normally wear small amounts of covering clothing year round because I could hide the blemishes under long pants and tops.

Since the anxiety is gone and the self care is way up, the blemishes are cleared up! Some is probably due to toxins of alcohol and nicotine leaving my system.

My face is less puffy, eyes not so dark under, fine lines are improving and the texture and color of my skin is improving. Most of all, those terrible bumps on the upper chest are gone. Those were itchy and ugly!

I’m excited to see what the skin will look like in a few months and in a year. Not consuming toxins certainly is helping! My skin is dry anyway so dehydrating it with copious amounts of wine was certainly not helping!

It’s the little things that make it all worth it. Like when my 16 year old said to me on Saturday night “hey mom you’re not drinking anymore and you look amazing.” The struggles and the challenges all pay off. Small steps and small victories lead to big gains over time!

Day 14 down 10 pounds

My best therapy is fur therapy.

I’m very excited to see some of the weight I quickly acquired in December gone. Now I’m back to my normal overweight weight! Haha! But at least now I have about 40 pounds to lose instead of 50.

Not drinking gives me the ability to focus on my health. I am able to prepare and eat healthy Whole Foods, including lots of greens. I’m able to harvest my own greens that I’m growing (collard greens) and cook them. I am able to have groceries in the house I need for the week of meals. All of this is easy stuff, but only when it’s a priority and you make time for it.

Collard greens from my garden. Yummy!

The best thing I’m able to do when I’m sober and focused on my health is intermittent fasting. I just love the way it makes me feel and the results I see from it. If you’re not familiar with it I highly suggest learning about it. I will break down the basics here of what I’m doing.

The idea is to limit your “eating window” to a shorter amount of time. I am currently fasting approximately 16 hours per day with a 8 hour eating window. I do have coffee in the morning with a tiny amount of almond milk (30 calories per cup and I only use about 1/8 cup) so that burns off very quickly. I prefer my eating window from about noon until about 8pm. I eat lunch and dinner and sometimes a healthy snack like Greek yogurt with almond slivers.

Lunch has been a large salad with protein and home made dressing or a green smoothie. If you missed my green smoothie recipe see my blog about it from the other day here: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/ilovemynewlife.wordpress.com/186

Dinner has been healthy but also kid friendly because my 13 year old is still picky and he needs his tacos and pot roast with mashed potatoes! I am just trying to keep it Whole Foods and very little processed/packaged foods for me and hubby.

The idea of intermittent fasting is that the body will rely on your fat and burn it when it’s in a fasted state. Working out while fasting is even better. I’ve been doing walks and yoga in the mornings. I tend to do the weights and biking later in the day while not fasting, but I think whatever you do, just staying in a fasted state for at least 16 hours will help. Some days I go to 20 hours fasting and eat only 4-8pm. Those days are days I feel fine and content and not starving to eat lunch so I take advantage of it and extend the fast. They don’t happen too often, but if you listen to your body you will know when it’s ok to do for you. I am trying to listen to my body for the first time in a long long time and it feels good to be able to do that. Sobriety brings a ton of bonuses.

Even though I don’t consider myself an alcoholic by any means, I let alcohol be my crutch, my excuse, my escape. It robbed me of my fitness, my beautiful body, my passions. But I’m getting back on track and I’m excited to live without the wine. It feels “oh so good!”

Yesterday was a hard day topped with crazy dreams!

My husband and I acting like we didn’t get the call during our video shoot yesterday!

My 16 year old son got into a lot of trouble at the end of 2019. This lead to me increasing my drinking and to me smoking almost a pack a day of cigarettes (I was formerly a “social smoker).” We found him smoking pot and sneaking out at the beginning of his 10th grade school year and it ended with him being caught in the bathroom at his high school accused of attempting to deal drugs. He was kicked out of that school (a great school) and sent to an alternative school for “bad kids” or “kids with bad grades”. We are still awaiting a court date to see what his fate will be with regard to the charges. Needless to say it was and has been very stressful trying to make the right decisions and to get him back on track. It definitely was an excuse for the wine habit to increase from August to December of 2019, ultimately making it clear that I needed to just quit.

Well, yesterday we got a call from the alternative school. They love him there. He’s not the normal bad kid. He’s super smart and he doesn’t belong there (or should I say is different from the rest there). He was searched and they found vapes on him. He was suspended for 5 more days. This is the second suspension this school year. The first one was 10 days. I was so mad. I couldn’t fathom why he would take vapes to school. First of all he’s promised us he’s not vaping and second he knows they search him there and it’s a major offense. Well, apparently the girl he sits next to asked him to hold them because she was called to the office and sure she’d be searched. He’s only known this girl 6 weeks and was dumb enough to say yes. Yep, they called him too because the teacher probably got wind of it and he then was in trouble for having them on his person and she now got in more trouble for distribution instead of her just having them. How dumb can it get? This kid has got to get his head in the right place.

He was caught up in a mess he created for himself and now he’s paying the price at this school. We’ve even considered sending him to a boarding school to get him away from these bad influences he’s gotten to know here. We haven’t decided. We need to wait for his court date. I am certain of one thing. It is a super hard decision. And I love him so much. Parenting is hard.

Yesterday dealing with this stress I thought about how I was drinking to numb it last year and I resolved to take deep breaths and not drink. It worked. I didn’t drink.

However I had such crazy drinking dreams all night! I was surrounded by bottles and boxed wine. Tons of it. Tons of friends drinking it. I could smell it and see it flowing! In my dream I contemplated just drinking it. Just that one time and then starting over. But in my dream I thought about the people who read my blog and how I didn’t want to disappoint them. I thought: I could just keep it a secret and not tell them! They would never know. And then I said to myself, no, this blog is my diary, it’s my place to be totally honest. No bullshit. Just the truth. And I’m not drinking! I actually had this conversation with myself in my dream. And it is vividly memorable. I thought it was interesting.

So thank you all! Thank you for your support, thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your stories. It is important and it is worthwhile! Hope everyone has a great day and enjoys the post.

12 days and 7 pounds – it’s so much easier to lose weight

Raw Ingredients
Other ingredients for green smoothie
Just add water and ice!

For years I tried to diet and lose weight while drinking wine. It was a struggle. A constant battle, to say the least.

Now that I’m not drinking it so mush easier to control my food intake.

I tried Adkins and I tried low carb and intermittent fasting over the past years but it would always come down to the fact that after a few days without wine I would try to fit wine into the diet plan. We all know that just doesn’t work, at least not at the level I was at. One or two wines was never enough and at this time three or four really wasn’t enough either. So I would fluctuate between attempting to control my diet and alcohol to basically saying “who cares, I’m not that fat, one of these days I’ll get where I wanna be.”

Over the last 11 days I have enjoyed eating healthy whole foods, drinking this wonderful new aloe drink I found (see photo), and fasting most mornings until afternoon. When I was hung over I found it hard to fast and I would crave breads are carbohydrates to neutralize the acid I felt in my stomach. These days, I am finding fasting refreshing and I feel lighter and happier.

For more info on intermittent fasting check out my blog about it here: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/ilovemynewlife.wordpress.com/193

I’ve been able to get in a workout 11 days so far (every day since I quit drinking) and those have included 3 yoga classes, 7 walks, 4 bike rides and 3 weight lifting sessions. If I was drinking none of these would have happened because I’d have been consumed in drinking or hungover in bed.

I hope this inspires someone who is in the same boat I was in. I was trying to control my drinking and it consumed me. I was always athletic and fit as a young person and being out of shape was just against who I am. Being a drunk was against my inner morals. So, if you’re in this boat just give it up. It leaves nothing to think about. I just don’t drink. And it freed my mind to think this way. Yes, there is some self talk going on and I’m certain I will face some difficult times. But for now I’m minimizing my exposure to those situations and I’m filling myself up with all the things I’ve been missing.

This morning, as I do several days a week, I’m preparing a green smoothie for me and hubby which is packed full of great greens and proteins, fiber and good fat. My wonderful health coach last year turned me onto it. I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it even more powerful for me and to help my high blood pressure (I’ve taken meds for 25 years). It’s so yummy and good for me. I just love having it several late mornings a week.

I’ve also been meal planning and shopping on Sundays. This way we have what we need and know what’s being cooked for dinners and lunches are basically salads with home made olive oil and vinegar dressing and lean turkey or boiled eggs and of course for me a bunch of green olives. I love love love olives!

I hope to begin to document some great healthy and fun foods over this coming year as well as some fitness logs. It takes small steps each day to reach the big goal. It’s enjoying the process and not just trying to reach the end goal. The small steps all add up. And as my coach said last year, just start. All you have to do is start!

Not perfectly healthy (has some carbs) but oh so refreshing and yummy!

Day 11 of the new me – feeling STRONG

It’s 5am and I’m up and excited to face the day. I feel wonderfully recharged after a great night sleep and I’m feeling positive because I can feel my life improving every single day.

So far it’s been easy being sober. I haven’t thought much at all about drinking and have had very few cravings. It’s been weird in that way, but I know I will have challenges ahead soon.

The first challenge will come at the end of January when we travel to California for a big real estate event. At the event will be a party on the first night. Last time we were there I managed to get myself so drunk on wine at a party that I fell getting my shoes back on at the front door. It was so humiliating. My dress went up and I basically flashed whoever was still there looking at the time. My husband was mortified. It was awful. This year it’s a much bigger party and everyone is going to be dressed in red and gold for the Chinese New Year celebration. And this year I will be sober! Hubby and I spent time last night ordering a gold glittery skirt and red top for me and some gold shiny shoes for him to complete our outfits and we are ready to go! We are actually excited to go sober and get our workouts in while there because we won’t be hungover. It should be fun.

Immediately following that he got us tickets to go see a favorite oldie band, Styx. This would normally be a drunk event for me for sure, but most anything was! But we will see Styx sober. These are the first two bigger challenges we will face. I feel strong.

Yes, strong. I finally decided. Strong is my word of 2020. I am strong. I feel strong. It’s a weird word. I love it. Lisa Marie is strong.

Drunk vs sober

I was thinking of the many contrasts and thought I’d start a list that we can all add to. This should be fun.

  • Numb vs feeling
  • Embarrassed vs proud
  • Present vs absent
  • Dying vs living
  • Self centered vs loving
  • Head ache vs clear head
  • Red eyes vs clear eyes
  • Sad vs happy
  • Numb vs nervous
  • Buzzed vs natural high
  • Bloated vs slim
  • Way out of control vs very controlled
  • Stumbling vs waking
  • Terrible role model vs great role model
  • Anxious vs calm
  • Worried vs relaxed
  • DUI vs sober driving
  • Lazy vs fit
  • Fast food or no food vs cooking at home
  • Drinking vs painting
  • Hungover vs working out
  • In bed all day vs being an early riser
  • Self loathing vs blogging
  • Going to bed too drunk to do it vs self care at night
  • Passing out vs brushing my teeth and washing my face
  • Falling asleep fully dressed, shoes and all vs sleeping in my beautiful pjs
  • Puking on myself vs a nice end to the evening
  • Sleeping hugging the toilet vs sleeping in my very comfy bed hugging my hubby
  • Avoiding people vs facing them
  • Pounding head in bed vs early walks with Bowie at sunrise
  • Sitting drinking for 5 hours watching the sunset vs long bike rides at sunset (yes, I’m in Florida!)
  • Empty calories vs whole healthy food
  • “Oh shit where did I put that” vs organization
  • Waking up wondering what I did bad last night due to a blackout vs waking up feeling happy, calm and centered

This list could go on and on and on but on day 8 of loving my new life, these are the things that came to me this beautiful full moon early Saturday morning.

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments. I would love to hear your top comparisons!

Hair day! Usually I’d be 3 sheets to the wind by now!

Hair day always meant stopping at the bar next door to the salon to slam down 2 chardonnays and smoke a few cigarettes prior to going to the salon for 2 hours (which would serve me 2 wines)! I would then head home and just keep on drinking. This would be a binge of at least 8 wines from 1pm until probably 9 or 10, maybe even more if we went out to the bar with friends! I would hate myself tomorrow!

Today I did the hair alcohol free and smoke free and am headed to work out now at 5pm.

It feels good to be clear and to be excited about the rest of the night. I have plans to cook, paint and exercise. All that instead of getting sloshed. I’m happy with it. Happy Friday!

“Welcome to the 4am club”

Said my doctor, an older woman, a few years ago. I was in for my annual check up and had mentioned that I was having a hard time sleeping through the night. Of course, when I had filled out the form asking how many alcoholic drinks I drank each week I lied terribly! What would they think of me if I was honest? At that time I was probably drinking 30-50 wines a week, depending on how dedicated to “moderation” I was that week and how many benders I went on with friends and hubby.

She said that it was hormones keeping me up and waking me up, but deep inside I wondered if it wasn’t the having to urinate, the extreme thirst, the sugar from all the wine… maybe that was waking me up? I didn’t dare mention it to my doctor.

The doc then asked me to try some hormone testing and went on to say it’s normal to be awake at my age at that time and that they call it the “4am club” there at her office.

I remember in my 20’s I met a wonderful woman named Leoma Lovegrove. She was living the life, in my eyes. She was a little more eccentric than I would see myself as, but she was a thriving successful artist in her 50’s. She told me at one point that she painted in the wee hours of the morning because she couldn’t sleep- she said she did her best work from approximately 4am- dawn. I don’t think she was a drinker, so maybe just an early bird, or maybe there is some truth to the hormones waking us up.

I don’t know which it is, but for the last week of no booze I am still waking at about 4 am. I have had to urinate a lot still at night which, if I remember correctly, happened during my 30 day abstaining periods for the first week or two. Must be toxins being flushed out. I am curious to see if it continues or if it was actually the wine waking me up.

The wine would wake me up and I would think “oh no, did I lock the house, did I brush my teeth, did I walk the dog?” I don’t miss that! Now when I wake up at 4 am I am grateful for this chance to renew myself. I’m grateful for this community and the other blogs I read. I’m happy to pray or think during this time. And now I’m praying for positive things not praying I didn’t do something stupid I will regret in a few hours upon getting up!

Yep, the 4am club is better sober! I will take it and if it continues maybe I will be like Leoma and just get my ass up then and get to work on my passions like she did –painting and art! Time will tell. I’m in no hurry. I’ve got the rest of my life to figure this sober journey out.