Accepting the small wins

Today is my 45th day of no alcohol and 37th day on the 75 Hard challenge. I have to say, it’s been an interesting journey so far.

This is the longest I’ve gone alcohol free in my adult life (besides during pregnancy). The last 37 days have been the most I’ve exercised consistently for many many many years.

The old me would have quit by now with the small results I’ve seen on the scale. I would think that with all the exercise, lack of alcohol, and totally clean eating with no red meat, no fried foods and no white bread products, plus no processed foods would have brought a much more significant loss on the scale. I’ve only lost 7.5 pounds so far and I’ve got so far to go. Normally I would let my wine witch convince me that I can lose weight just as easily while drinking as I am now. And I would be back to drinking almost daily and consuming way more than my fair share 😜.

But this time I’ve committed to the process. I’m enjoying the process. I’m not craving wine. It’s been so weird that I rarely even think about alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve occasionally craved that fuzzy romantic tease that sipping a wine on the deck on a beautiful day would somehow make it even better than it already is, but it’s faded quickly.

I do now notice that I used wine to unwind and detach from work and my goals. I used it to escape from everything I want and need to do. I’m working on finding the way to still escape and slow down without it. It’s a bit of a challenge because I tend to be the type that is very driven to work on my business and life. Like, all the time. So, working on time to relax with myself and my hubby is a little bit of new ground. We used alcohol all the time for this.

I see some changes in my mindset and a few changes in my physique but I always expect it so much faster than it happens. I’m still hopeful that one day soon that switch will flip like I recall it doing in the past. All of a sudden all the hard work comes to a point where it just shows up. The weight suddenly falls off and it all comes together.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking at my age but I’m holding onto it!

30 days Alcohol Free

I am so excited that I have made it to this day! I’m 30 days without alcohol and I’m not stopping!

I wanted to share a few thoughts about this journey. This time it’s been different. I think I was finally really committed. Why? I’m not sure besides the fact that something clicked in my brain (thank God)!

I’ve been talking about this for years. I’ve attempted to stop binge drinking and “control” my drinking many times. I never really committed to it though. I was always counting the days until I could drink again.

This time I went about it a different way. The angle in my mind was different. I am in this to be better. To improve my health. To be present every day and use my time wisely. I’m curious what will happen with my life, my relationships and my business, with this much extra time on my hands.

I wasted almost every day drinking and recovering from drinking for years. I was not what I would call an alcoholic, but I used alcohol to “relax” and to “escape”. I thought I needed it. I will admit, my brain goes and goes and without alcohol numbing it or causing it to ache in the morning, I am very busy making a life I truly love.

In these first 30 days I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve done 40 workouts, drank 30 gallons of water, read 2 books, lost 6 (plus) pounds, lost over 10 inches, hired a new employee and a new realtor, read the Bible every day, and enjoyed some good sleep.

I’m happy I’m finally committed to the process, not the results. I think that is the key. Enjoying the process is the key to success. Focusing on the results always made me fail because the results didn’t come fast enough. I always went back to my ways of drowning in the wine to never appreciate the actual process.

If I can do this, you can too, if you want to. I was a heavy drinker for over 25 years and I loved my wine! Now I am loving my life (instead of my wine). That’s a much better feeling!

Giving the power to my Kids – what’s your BIG WHY?

If I knew then what I know now… something we’ve heard a million times for sure! But, I really think our kids can be given so much power. So much knowledge and confidence.

I wish my parents had given me more confidence and internal belief in myself. Honestly, I think it took me 50 years of living to finally start to feel it. By “it” I mean the power. The feeling that anything is possible. The ability to set goals and (really high goals) and achieve them.

When I was growing up I never thought I could be highly successful income wise. I never thought someone like me would be able to earn over $100k a year. I thought you had to be a doctor, and actor or a professional athlete to make that much money. My parents never taught me anything about how the world of entrepreneurship works. They were not entrepreneurs. Their parents were farmers, but never highly successful (as in making great money). They made enough to get by and pay the bills and save some for retirement. But they never made a lot of money.

I never even thought about being able to make money the way I do today. I didn’t understand the power of action and the power of the mind.

I think our kids will have such an advantage, starting young, to see that the sky is the limit. I hope they grab onto it young and don’t wait till they are 50 (like I did)! I hope they can take the ball and run with confidence knowing that whatever they dream, they can achieve.

Of course it takes hard work and drive. It takes dedication to the process. But I want to help teach them that process. I want to give them what I never got.

All of a sudden things are becoming more clear on my purpose. My vision of my life is molding into shape.

Being alcohol free definitely awakens something in my soul. It gives me renewed purpose and hope. Today is day 23 for me AF and I couldn’t be happier. I feel like I’ve been regaining little bits of me each day. I cannot wait to see where the journey takes me.

I’m not stopping this time. I’m finally going to live up to the name of my blog, which I named 5 years ago! I have failed time after time, but I’m not done. I’m going to break through and succeed this time. I have found my purpose(s) and they are strong this time. I am here to be a role model to my kids, my husband, my staff, my team. I want to be the best, happiest me I can be. And I want to guide my kids better than I was guided.

That’s my big why. I finally found it.

The energy flow!

Wow, I can not even explain the energy difference I feel being sober. I am accomplishing things I’ve had on my to do list for a long time and things I would brush under the rug. I’m very excited about it!

I’ve set up the cabin, set up a new recording studio, started new workout routine, and I have been up early to read and do my morning routine. I normally would be feeling like crap in bed for most of the morning hungover and not accomplishing much.

I’m not feeling the normal things I’ve felt in the past about sobriety. Normally I feel like I can’t wait until the experiment is over so I can drink again. This time feels different. It feels like a true life change.

My blood labs came back terrible. I had them drawn two days after Christmas. My weight was at an all time high and I had certainly overindulged on foods and drinks. My doctor was not happy with me. I wasn’t happy with me either! I had avoided doing labs for over a year due to covid. It may be just what I needed. I think it may have inspired me even more to do what I’ve been putting off for 5 plus years- living my BEST life!

I am enjoying seeing life differently so far. Seeing things for what they are. Not escaping them. Doing things I have always wanted to do. Not avoiding them to go drink. Being present for my family. Not escaping to drink. Enjoying the process. Not rushing to get through it. Completing the whole workout slowly. Not skipping half of it because I “don’t have time”.

I have been working hard to get to this mental place through many years of struggle. I think maybe, just maybe, I’m finally getting it. I will keep praying it is so! I don’t want to be the person I was last year. I want to be the new me. The one I envision when I think of me happy.

I never thought it would be so darn much work!

Vision Boards

Do you do a yearly vision board?

This is something I started doing again a few years ago. It’s so interesting to see how much you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

One statement I recently heard from a fellow realtor (I am not sure where it originated, but I love it!) is:

We tend to overestimate greatly what we can accomplish in one year and underestimate even more greatly what we can accomplish in 3 years.

Author unknown to me

I find this to be very true. Looking back at all you have done and how far you’ve come and grown is a good way to not get down on yourself for not being exactly who you’re forming yourself to be.

I’m looking forward to this year being a year of more focus on the physical and spiritual aspect of my being, not as heavy on the business side.

My business should be able to continue to grow with the systems and staff I have put in place and this will allow me more personal time.

I pray that this year is a wonderful year for everyone. We all need it after surviving 2020.

Rain is Refreshing Renewal

I’m so happy it’s 100% chance of rain today on January 1, 2021 because to me, rain always has symbolized renewal. It has been present at many important milestones in my life and I always recognize it during times of transition.

I’m excited about the new year and making some basic changes in my life. My goals are pretty simple this year, I think, although they are major lifestyle changes.

I want to read the entire Bible this year. A good friend got me this Bible and I am excited about it!

I want to complete 100 days of sobriety. Today is day one. And I hope that once that is done I choose to remain sober because I love it. I’m not making any plans yet, but that’s my hope.

I want to complete the 75 hard mental challenge. This will give me structure and accountability to myself. This challenge involves two workouts a day (walking and yoga are fine), reading 10 pages of a self help or business book, drinking a gallon of water, no alcohol, sticking to a diet of your choice and taking a daily progress picture. If you fail to do any of the above on a daily basis you start over at day 1. I have some friends that have done it and they say it really changed their lives. So, I’m excited about that. Since hubby is doing this with me we are waiting to start for a week until after he has a medical procedure.

I have been down on myself for starting and quitting many times over the years. Starting with great intentions and then letting it all slip. This year I’m really intent on not doing that. I am not making any excuses. I will work through the urges and boredom. I will not let the wine o’clock witch get me this time.

My bloodwork was done last week and it was so awful. High cholesterol, borderline high sugar, extremely high triglycerides. This is another great indicator of the bad habits I’ve been encouraging in myself. The drinking, eating whatever I want with no boundaries and smoking (when I drank) all caught up with me. (What was I thinking!?!?) I’m sure my doctor is going to be very concerned and unhappy. I will definitely get a slap on the wrist! Good thing is that I know the lifestyle changes can fix all this. And I’m excited to see the numbers improve.

I wish all of you out there great success with your goals this year. May 2021 be way better than 2020!

2020 good BYE!

I am happy to say goodbye to 2020. I started it with great intentions but it bit me hard! I sucked at 2020! Looking back it was such a trying year.

We had to make the very tough decision to place our 16 year old son in a Christian boarding school due to his behavior. At the time we had no idea he was experimenting with a lot of drugs. We only knew he stole our car and snuck out (before he was 16)! He was doing a lot of destructive things. The decision was very emotionally draining. Thank God we did it. He’s now doing amazing and will graduate in the summer of 2021. The emotional stress of going through this really wore both me and my husband out. Now we are very grateful that we made the decision and excited for his future and the future of our family.

Right at the same time this was happening two of our very long time best friends started causing a lot of stress for us as well. One of them was trained by us to become a real estate agent and was working on our team at the time. We ended up having to remove him from our team and end a 30 year relationship over it. This was and still is a very big stress in our lives. My husband was friends with them for many years and we often travelled together. What we realize though, is that they were causing us a lot of stress because of different viewpoints. They often convinced us to go out and party with them and do things with them and many times it led to us not being home with the kids as much as we should’ve been at certain times. It made us feel kind of guilty and over the last six months we’ve realize that ending that relationship was one of the best things we could’ve ever done.

Then there’s Covid. With my husband being in his 60s and me my 50s we were and are very concerned about Covid, of course. We also sell real estate for a living so we see a lot of people. We have a team of agents and three staff members. We had to change the way we did business and the way we deal with our staff. It was very challenging. Then to top it off I came down with Covid. Thank goodness it was a very mild case and no one else got it. So needless to say, that was quite stressful as well!

All of my good intentions basically got flushed down the toilet this year. I have no excuses. I made the choices I made and now I am living with the consequences of elevated blood sugar, eLD levated cholesterol and elevated weight.

I am looking forward to a fresh start in 2021.

Some very great things came out of 2020 but my health improving was certainly not one of them.

I am excited to get back on track, quit the booze and get back into the gym. I will be participating in 75 Hard for my own accountability and I can not wait!

It’s time for me to focus on myself and not let the outside stresses of life control my health.

Thinking about Too Much Thinking

Yep, that’s me! I am thinking too much and not taking action.

Thinking about how things should or could be instead of taking the steps to make them happen.

This is a cycle of behavior I need to get past! I plan and plan and think and I find myself stuck. So I need to go back to doing the little things. The little things add up to the big things. Little daily steps add up to big change over time.

Taking the long walk, lifting weights daily, a green smoothie for breakfast, veggies with each meal, low processed food intake, no alcohol, no smoking …these easy little daily steps add up to long term benefits.

So, today I endeavor to take little steps and to take action. I will enjoy the process and not focus on the results. I will do the little things today and enjoy today.

Getting back to my Plan

Well… 2020 has not worked out to be anything I expected. I have not accomplished what I set out to do so far this year. It’s been a crazy year with COVID-19, to say the least.

But… I feel like I’m just not doing what I need to do. I know what it is. I just have been making excuses. My son is away at a boarding school to help him – he had a terribly stressful year in 2019. I’m so grateful he’s there and getting the help he needed so badly. He’s happy too. So, that stress has been lifted. Covid has also caused a lot of stress, but it’s time to stand up and do what I set out to do.

There is nothing I cannot do. I know that. What really is amazing is that when I drink, I forget about ALL my other goals and priorities. All I do is work my ass off and drink, for the most part. I work 60 plus hours a week in my business. And I drink several nights a week and when I drink, I DRINK.

I drink a couple bottles of wine. And then that leads to me smoking. I never smoke until I drink. So two bad habits tied up in one neat little messy box. Seriously, I know better! I’m not stupid. What I’m doing to myself is plain old stupid.

I wake up, like today, annoyed with myself. Annoyed that I now won’t go exercise because I feel like shit again. Annoyed that I didn’t work on writing my book again because I’m laying in bed wallowing in my self disgust. Annoyed that I have not lost any weight since January because I drink too much. Annoyed at my belly that now looks like I’m 5 months pregnant from the bloat of alcohol and lazy food choices.

And then my mind says, well the holidays are coming. You have to drink for the holidays. Or, you’re finally buying your mountain cabin as a second home and you will need to drink wine there to celebrate it. And it goes on and on. The mind of the alcoholic, I guess.

I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I can stop drinking with no issues. I don’t get any withdrawal symptoms. I actually mentally crave wine. Nothing is physical, and I know a lot of women are like this. There is a large group of “gray area” women drinkers. Especially now with COVID-19 and being stuck at home for so long. For me wine is my escape from work. My time to relax. That’s what my mind thinks when wine o’clock hits.

I’m tired of this. Tired of waking up hazy, parched, hungry. Tired of not living my best life. Tired of not weighing my ideal weight and being embarrassed by my size. Tired of not remembering the end of the night most nights I drink. Tired of all my excuses.

So, today I’m contemplating, yet again, what to do. Quit for good? Do 100 days? Do what? What do I do? I hate the thought of quitting forever. Of never having a Chardonnay or a Cabernet again. But I also hate the fact that I’m a smoker when I drink. And that I look 5 months pregnant. And that I waste so much time when drinking and recovering.

So, I’m back to my blog. My accountability partner is my blog and the community that blogs and comments on blogs about this subject. I have been MIA because I’ve been avoiding it. It’s time to step back up to the plate and make my life everything I know it can be.

I look forward to your support and encouragement as I navigate this and decide what to do with my approach. I also look forward to catching up on some of my favorite blogs on this subject for encouragement!

Cheers!

Teen troubles

I didn’t realize how much of my focus was on him. Worrying about him. Checking his bed in the middle of the night to see if he was still there. How drained I was from the constant power struggles. He really put me and my husband through a lot of pain for the last year.

I love my 16 year old son very very much. Tuesday was the day that we finally did what we’d contemplated and threatened for so long. The final final final straw had finally happened and we did it. We enrolled our son in a boarding school for troubled teen boys.

I will write more about him and what happened with his life later but right now this is more about me and recovering from a year of abuse from him (not physical abuse, mental and exhausting (up all night ) abuse!).

This is the second morning since he’s gone. I know it will be a rollercoaster of emotions over the next 15 months while he’s gone, but right now I feel relieved and happy that we finally made this move. We literally exhausted ourselves trying to help him and none of it worked. It would work for a few weeks but then he’d be right back at his games. We need help and we finally accepted that fact. It didn’t feel like we gave up or that we failed. We just need more help.

We will be involved with him and the staff for the entire time. We get to see him occasionally and talk weekly and write. We pray he learns and grows.

We’ve been consumed with him. Now we need to focus on us, our marriage, our 13 year old son who has been somewhat neglected because he’s a good boy, and because the oldest took so much energy. Time to refocus on healthy habits and drop the old bad ones.

I started this year off alcohol free and the stress of this made that extremely hard over the last month. So today I am going back to no alcohol and no more smoking! I picked both back up over the last month or two and they don’t serve me well. And now I have no excuse to “need” them.

So here we go again, round 100 of me attempting to live my best life… my healthiest life, and my happiest life.