How To Cope with Winter Weather Triggers

Winter Weather Triggers, are real. The snowy cold days can trigger the romantic notion of snuggling in by a warm fire drinking the evening away, it can trigger the boredom response of being housebound or even the stress trigger of having to cope with kids home from school due to snow for days on end.

Snowy Days

Weather triggers happen and here’s some coping tools for your sobriety toolbox.

  1. Dreaming of the perfect winter afternoon evening drinking! Here’s my #1 strategy. Take a piece of paper draw a horizontal line down the page. First Column title the fantasy, second column reality. Take yourself through the evening, what it looks like in the fantasy and the reality do this all the way through to the next morning. Look at the fantasy vs reality.
  2. Stuck inside winter boredom! Ok it’s time to get your ass into gear remember that list you made during good weather of all the things you wanted to get done around your house but it was too nice out. Get to that list! Start a project or take a class, make a vision board, craft, learn to play an instrument, read, catch up on movies, paint a room, sleep, do an at home workout, listen to podcasts, make some meals that you can freeze for easy dinners, plan out your meals for the week, volunteer, go ice skating, check out a different recovery approach ( Smart meeting, refuge recovery, y12sr), start a second income stream, catch up with some old friends that maybe you haven’t seen in a while do to isolation or your drinking, volunteer (food bank always needs help, as does meals on wheels at this time of year, local animal shelters)
  3. Stressed out frazzled, everyone’s at home for too long. This is a big one, and I can’t stress enough the importance of asking for help. Whether it be from your partner, parents, a neighbour so you can have an hour to breathe (even if it’s just to go grocery shopping ON YOUR OWN) . If this isn’t possible, set up a play date with other kids, this can be a good break having other kids in the house. Don’t sweat the small stuff, so what the house may be messier, winter won’t last forever. Breathe

Remember weather triggers are real and to acknowledge these feelings so they aren’t just pushed aside, yes it can be uncomfortable and your skin maybe crawling, but know that drinking never makes it better.

xoxoxo Christina

Getting Drinking Under Control

  • “I drink my wine so fast I get smashed before dinner” time to switch to coolers”
  • “I’m going to switch from coolers back to wine all that carbonation is making me bloated and I can drink a lot of coolers”
  • “We can’t drink during the week anymore week anymore, I feel like hell
  • I’ll only drink on Friday and Saturday. Oh ok Sunday brunch too.
  • “I’ll only do one Wine Wednesday a month
  • “I’ll only have a glass of wine with dinner”
  • ” I’m going to switch to vodka and soda even though I don’t really like the taste of it, but I’m packing on the pounds from all the coolers”
  • “We need to drink right after work, not later’
  • “We need to start drinking during the day so we can go to bed early and don’t have a have a hangover tomorrow.”

The above were all things I said aloud or in my head, I’m sure there were a hundred more, what I didn’t know at the time was I was trying to moderate. I’d never heard that term before I started digging into my Recovery. To my way of thinking I was just trying to have less of a hangover on work days and less of a shit show and of course more control.

This conversation has come up lately in a few of my sober groups and with friends. We have talked about trying to control our drinking with switching out, switching up, and doing things differently. The overwhelming thing was every one I have talked with has done the control thing in one form or another, Each and Every One, that’s a 100% statistic.

The other statistic that came out was every single person has googled something about controlling drinking, or if they were an alcoholic, or about alcohol problems.

Deep down, in your gut/intuition if you are trying to control an issue, you know it’s a problem whether it’s a phase in your life or an actual problem is something that only time tells.

I have gone through stages in my life where my drinking was more then less, but when I started trying to have to control it, because my mental health, my overall well being and the gong show of evenings were becoming more regular than not and I couldn’t get it under control, (ie everything you just read up top wasn’t working) that’s when I knew it was time to look at stopping (but that’s another blog post)

Can you identify with any of the above moderations? I’d love to hear about it.

xoxox Christina

A Sober Book Club

A Sober book club came about because in early sobriety I was looking for things to do so I found a local book club and it became very apparent the women weren’t here to discuss books, but gossip, discuss their marital woes, or dating stories and DRINK. Oh the wine was flowing like I may as well have stepped into a wine bar. So I talked to a few friends and they all said yes that was how their book clubs were so much drunk fun (insert eyeball here) . One lady said that she warns her colleagues at work when book club night is in order for them to be prepared for her hangover the next day… UGH, it was disheartening, and of course I never went back & have continued to read alone on my own.



A few weeks ago, I started A Teetotalers Online Book Club I thought it might be kind of hokey, an online book club meetings are by zoom, but I like connecting with sober women, and I love to read. Then as the first meeting got closer I got nervous what if no one shows up? I already had a dialogue in my head going on, I was going to shut this meeting down if people weren’t showing up, and all the other negative self talk one can get into when you launch something and then second guess yourself.

Guess what they did show up to the Zoom Call. Guess what it was FUN, and guess what we were from ALL OVER THE WORLD AND we were connecting over sobriety, our life, and BOOKS. And we are all looking forward to next months meeting.

The book chosen to read this month is The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, and if you would like to join us for fun in sobriety, you are more than welcome to this is just the start of something beautiful. A TEETOTALERS BOOK CLUB join here to connect with other amazing sober sisters.

xoxoxo Christina

Booze Boobs

Age isn’t making your boobs bigger girl, you have booze boobs, I was devastated to find this out. I had always been slender then I found alcohol. Something from my drinking days was weight gain, in fact through my life you can see in pics, you can tell during heavy drinking days by my weight. I had periods in my life where where you can tell by pics drinking wasn’t prevalent (pregnancy, post pregnancy, I was a single mom/ going to school/ working) funny when I was busy, felt like I had a purpose and passion I wasn’t drinking. I also had small boobs.

I could start to tell when I was drinking heavily and regularly I would gain weight because my bras wouldn’t fit and would become tight (especially when you are trying to stuff a C cup into an A cup) I had even started googling “do your boobs get bigger as you get older” trying to blame aging at the ripe old age of 38 years old on my boobs.

I remember in my late 30’s after I’d met my now husband one day he looked over and said “holy crap those got huge” (he’s not a boob guy) and a gf noticed she’d said to me one day don’t take this the wrong way “but your boobs look great” and I looked down and I had boobs, not just any old boobs, large boobs, I had gained just under 40lbs in under a year. None of my bras fit anymore. Let’s be honest nothing fit anymore, my underwear was digging in, my dress slacks & suits for work had succumbed to leggings with boots and blazers

Alcohol is metabolized through your liver, at a certain point it can’t metabolize anymore and your calories are stored as fat. Now add in the calories from drunk food and boom you have a perfect storm for weight gain. Pretty simple actually. Guess what boobs are made out of Fat. It’s also why you hear the term beer belly (in both men and women)

When I got sober I started listening to a podcast, it’s no longer on the air, but her intro talked about booze boobs. I’m like omg that’s me, I have booze boobs. I didn’t know this was a real thing. It is, and trust me girl if you think it’s age and you drink a bottle of wine a couple of nights a week or more trust me it’s not age, it’s booze boobs. Happy to say as I decided to pull off the 3000 extra calories a week from wine and drunk food (guess what no more booze boobs)


I HATE THE SUPERBOWL

Yep I said it, I can’t stand it, it’s an excuse for people to drink even more, than just a regular sports game. Even when I was drinking I dreaded it, totally wonderful people and nice homes would end up in a shit storm. One party I went to a guy ended up wandering outside and passed out in a ditch in the dark, we were in Panama (think fer de lance snakes, the most venomous in the western hemisphere) and we all ended up searching for him for 2 hours . He was a older man, an engineer from Germany completely brilliant until Super Bowl.

Now I am not a football fan in general, but it was a good excuse to go to a pub or a get together with friends. I honestly never felt great after one of these parties, the food was either pub food in an overly crowded bar with kitchens doing sub par cooking, or in homes that piles of nachos, seven layer dip, gourmet hotdogs, hamburgers and a myriad of store bought wings and then there was cupcakes and sweets galore. With people swilling back beer like they are on Survivor never getting off the island and arguing about whose team is the best and most times those aren’t the two teams that are even in the Super Bowl. It really never was my jam. It was obnoxious. Being a Canadian, I never went to a Stanley Cup Party that was more gong show than I have seen on Super Bowl.

Having said that I always like to see the positive side. Super Bowl Sunday is a fabulous time to go do anything. The Gym (don’t go right before hand) and Grocery Shopping is my favorite, and I rarely grocery shop on Sundays. Then of course there is the peaceful empty house to be able to read, dance in my kitchen, prep for the week.

One thing in sobriety, I have set very clear boundaries of what I’m dong with my time. Super Bowl is not one of them, but I know my husband loves it so I will be sending him along with stuffed mushroom caps, a veggie tray and dip and of course a text for me to come pick him up.

Please always remember that stats are higher for drinking and driving accidents on this day, in fact Super Bowl Sunday is one of the highest statistics for DUI’s and drunk driving statistics, so if you or someone you love are drinking please ensure you have a way to get home.

Tired in Early Sobriety

Tiredness in Early Sobriety

We are Just finishing up a Dry January Challenge and some of the women are expressing they are EXHAUSTED and not feeling great, I had to think back and yes I remember this feeling, but the point is I had to think back.

Early Sobriety is tiring, not only are you trying to avoid drinking, manage emotions, but also thinking what in the hell why am I not feeling better, I’ve stopped drinking. I should feel like a million dollars, and honestly that can stem some panic, the thoughts of why should I bother if I feel like hell and am exhausted at least when I was drinking I had energy (ummm not really remember that brain is tricky, remember those debilitating hangovers)

Tired in Early Sobriety Tips

  • Energy levels in humans ebb and flow in everyone. So remember this if you are feeling exhausted. It’s normal.
  • Your body is healing, we didn’t create a drinking habit in one day, years of abuse is not going to get healed in one day.
  • Sleep, yes sleep stop fighting it
  • I know we feel like we should be doing something, give yourself a pat on the back for doing sobriety, you are doing something you are changing a massive habit.
  • Cry if you need to, Crying is a release
  • Nutrition is super important, protein, complex carbs and fats are going to be key ensure you are having a mid afternoon healthy snack (fruit apple with peanut butter is my go to) for energy levels and moods
  • If you are falling asleep at work get up and stretch, we really aren’t made to sit for 8 hours a day.
  • Put a cool compress on your head or wash your face in cool water.
  • Get some fresh air, go for a walk, jog, bike ride just get outside even if you don’t want to, go around the block.
  • Minimize sugar, to avoid the blood sugar highs and lows.
  • Meditate
  • Watch your coffee/ tea intake
  • Know that this will pass I promise, remember I said I had to think back, don’t give up because you are tired.

If you want to join an awesome group of women in all stages of recovery, because being alone sucks, I have a SECRET FACEBOOK GROUP Friend me on the link and then message me to join, we discuss all things sobriety, fitness, nutrition, lifestyle the good the bad and the ugly.

xoxox Christina

How To Quit Drinking Forever

She never has a second cup of coffee but today I did

How to quit drinking forever, it’s a bold statement, and really can’t be promised, but I do know that making better choices one moment at a time, is the key to sobriety.

If you are looking at quitting drinking, sobriety at first can seem so overwhelming and panicky to think I’m never going to have a drink again (no matter how bad you feel, while you have your head in your hands and are saying that out loud and making that decision). Gah the thought of never drinking again actually still panics me. That’s why I don’t think about it. I think about the here and now. In fact in both my recovery and health coaching it’s all about one moment at a time and making better choices. In fact I had a client that was in her late 50’s never married, and isn’t even open to dating but was worried about not drinking on her wedding day.

So let’s look at making better choices today, because today right now is what counts.

  1. Opting for the better choice, example heading out with a friend for a walk with a friend and it could lead to a boozy lunch. Suggest grabbing a coffee first (even if it’s your 3rd cup of the day) and going for a walk.
  2. At the grocery store, avoid the booze aisle and hit the Flower aisle (yes even if you are a guy) flowers will brighten up any space way better than tequila.
  3. Being so worried about the 6 month- 20 year distant future. Use the STOP method, literally tell yourself to stop, outloud or in your head 5 times, very slowly.
  4. Situations that may arise today or on the upcoming weekend it’s time to plan ahead for that: 1) your best friends birthday – go early, bail early you made an appearance 2) You are going on a trip with friends and staying in one room – do you bail or can you get your own room 3) boozy brunch time to flex the sobriety muscle and drive there (best excuse ever is I’m driving) 4) obligatory work dinner time peruse the menu or call ahead to see if they have any mocktails ( zero proof drinks) if not time to know what you are exactly ordering for a drink and practise ordering that before you go. 5) Situational: Out of town for work and the mini bar has been a problem in the past call ahead and ask for it to be alcohol free 6) Grocery stores are your downfall, have your groceries delivered (the cost of delivery will offset the booze)
  5. Putting in boundaries around out of town family or friends, yes it’s hard, but I know to keep my family visits and visitors to a maximum of 2-3 days max (that includes Christmas). It’s a better choice for us all.
  6. Going into the deep stuff, at some point you will need to look at the WHY you have been drinking. Did it go from drinking in your 20’s partying to coping? Is it a habit to relieve stress? To Escape an unhappy marriage? Is it anxiety? Are you bored? Is it Trauma? Is it Perimenopause/Menopause? Do you feel like you don’t fit in? A better choice than to drink is to look at the actual underlying reasons.

I hope the tips help on keeping sober, this minute, this hour, today and making better choices is key and imperative on How to Quit Drinking Forever.

As always reach out anytime

xoxo have a fit and sober day

Christina

Chronic Relapse


For the first time ever I had a Instagram Memory pop up and my first memory made me sad. No I wasn’t drinking here, but shortly thereafter I did. I had about 2 months sober in this pic after the first time I’ve really tried to stop drinking for me. It was also a start of a long 7.5 month battle of chronic relapsing.

This chronic relapse memory, brought up every emotion today (even a bit of anxiety. I was on vacation, in a town in rural Panama which had been hell, for almost 3 weeks, I had no support in fact my “friends” that live there, were downright cruel to me about quitting alcohol and my husband wasn’t much better. It was awful. Sure enough we switched countries a few days later and I said “fuck it I’ll drink on vacation I’m bored without it and I’ll quit again when I get home” and I also started back up smoking. We were on vacation for until the end of February, and I had made up for my not drinking. I felt like crap when I got home, I’d gained a ton of weight in a month, I was hungover and anxious. We got home and usually we would “dry out” but it turned out the next weekend after getting home, we had brought a big bottle of vodka home because booze is cheap anywhere but Canada and I helped consume it. Then again on a Thursday because we had company in. A couple of weeks later, I went to LA to the Bliss Project for 4 days and thought that would be a great start to dry out and I didn’t drink, started to run again which just about killed me (remember I’d smoke when drinking) and I got back home and drank, this vicious cycle continued. I’d get a week in a few days in and boom I’d be right back sitting on the patio drinking and smoking. I blamed it on the good weather, the bad weather, on my husband for no support, on my period, on stress. I blamed my chronic relapsing on anything but my own actions. It took until August of 2017 I got sober, but this pic to August was one of my longest hardest journeys in my life. I wanted off planet earth, I was that depressed and deflated. I wish I had never started drinking on vacation. It was too hard to get back at it.

You can’t change yesterday, but if you are reading this, thinking you can moderate or saying fuck it I’ll start next week again. Please reread the line that said “it was the longest hardest journey in my life” and I’ve done some hard things like be a single mom with no child support and live by the beach in one of the most expensive cities in North America, go back to school at the age of 30, waitressed nights, dated addicts. This was the toughest, getting sober again.

Fitspiration: 10 TIPS HOW FITNESS HELPED ME GIVE UP THE BOOZE

Sunday Morning Gym Session

About 7 Years ago when I decided to lose weight, I put myself on a restrictive diet (like most people do and before, I knew better), and of course that included no booze, after about 1.5 months I was out and treated myself to cocktails, cigarettes and all the food and then I found it harder to not drink and stay on a restricted diet (because ultimately real life doesn’t allow restrictive diets forever) and by the end of my drinking career 4 years later, we had moved, my stress levels were at an all time high, I was barely making it to the gym. My mental & physical health were suffering horribly. I then started to look at my drinking it took me another 1.5 to get continuous sobriety but in the mean time I worked on getting sober and got my butt back to the gym.

How fitness helped me give up the booze.

  1. WEEKENDS: I started working out early morning on the weekends, I booked a exercise class or yoga no more mind mentality of a Monday to Friday week. I turned my week into 7 days. Not a work week & weekend. A trademark line I use all the time is your week has 7 days not 5. This also gave me days during the week to sleep in a little longer
  2. CONNECTION: I found a community of like minded friends at the gym. Good chance that people who are at the gym at 7am on Saturday or Sunday weren’t out boozing it up the night before. In fact I’ve met 2 great friends at the gym ( one is in recovery and the other is a competitor and her lifestyle is no alcohol) and I meet up with group of regulars that ask me where I’ve been if they don’t see me.
  3. ENDORPHINS: These are those feel good feelings that are naturally produced from exercise. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphinsalso trigger a positive feeling in the body.
  4. RELIEVES BOREDOM: I was so bored in my first few months of sobriety, I didn’t know what to do. Going to the gym, yoga, running, swimming, all gave me things to do.
  5. SLEEP: Exercising is tiring (especially outside) and it helps me sleep, and not sleeping was at one time an excuse to drink (to help me sleep).
  6. CONFIDENCE: Feeling better, helps you look better, helps boost your confidence. I didn’t have a lot of self esteem or self confidence left at the end of my drinking career.
  7. EATING: I became more conscious of eating more nutritious, whole food meals, though I still have a treat every day. I also started watching when I got Hangry, as this can be a relapse trigger for me.
  8. ENERGIZED: Exercise helps give you energy, if you are tired all the time like I was contrary to popular belief exercise helps boost your energy.
  9. DEPRESSION/ANXIETY: Exercise is the number one prescription for depression and anxiety, and after my initial anxiety of joining a gym or going to a new class it has helped reduce both. In the last 1.5 years of continuos sobriety, I have only had 2 mild bouts of depression ( and I believe the last one was more hormonal than anything) and much more mild than when I was drinking. My anxiety levels are very low and I never wake up in the middle of the night anymore with anxiety.
  10. ON THE ROAD: I was worried about vacations/work travel, and drinking, but fitness has allowed me to keep a schedule while travelling, I workout at the same time I do at home, but while travelling (and I have gotten to run /yoga / soulcycle / swim/walk / workout, in the early mornings before world is awake in the most amazing places; Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paris, Nice, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Maui, Whistler to name just a few. Schedules are important especially when travelling.
Working out with the Eiffel Tower.

REDUCED CRAVINGS: This is a bonus Tip and it combines all of the above, and really one of the biggest benefits how fitness helped me give up the booze. It has reduced cravings. Fitness has given me something to do, with like minded people, while making me feel good, It’s something healthy do during the “witching hour” and helps me sleep all which relieves cravings.

Fitness & Health has played a big part in my sobriety journey. If you have any questions or want to incorporate fitness into your journey reach out to me. Also on my Instagram, I post lots of great exercises, food and life as well as on my Youtube channel my exercises from my free fit and sober challenge in December are posted.

xoxo Christina

How to say no to alcohol when you are out and feeling pressured

Saying no to alcohol when you are out and feeling pressured is hard and I had a flashback Last night I witnessed a woman clearly say not to ordering a glass of wine ended up ordering one. A year and half ago that could have been me sitting there. Now I’ll preface this with I have no idea her reason why she did not want a glass of wine. But the woman she was with was having a glass of wine and said ” oh you can have one, I’m sure you need it” and the waiter said “you look like you could use a glass of wine” Here’s 3 tips how I have learned to navigate that pressure.

How To Say No To Alcohol

  1. BE PREPARED FOR THIS situation (research mocktails so you know what to order): Sit up a little taller and say no thank you but I’ll have and promptly order a club soda with lemon, or ice water, or a mocktail whatever it is but make sure you know what you are going to drink, prior to going out
  2. Say No Thank you I’m driving. Say no thank you I’m not drinking my calories tonight. Say no thank you I have an early morning. Say no thank you I’m doing #dryjanuary #soberoctober #soberjuly #fitfebruary. Say no thank you I’m cutting down as I’m getting healthier. Say no thank you I’m fighting a cold.
  3. Turn it into humour with the situation above, I would have laughed at the waiter and said “I really look that bad, there goes your tip” or with the friend above “my life isn’t that bad that I need to have a drink” or something along those lines and then promptly order your non alcoholic drink

Remember if someone is pressuring you to have a drink it is usually more about them than you (wait staff want to make money) your friend may not want to drink alone, or it’s the only thing you have in common with someone. Drinkers like company remember that!

I hope these tips help, and as always reach out anytime.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober

The horror, right. I don’t track days sober. I have been seeing all over instagram, people holding up signs and celebrating and getting hundreds of likes. I am also in a couple of Facebook Sobriety Groups and a few months ago one woman posted she was celebrating she will have 500 days sober. I thought do I have 500 Days Sober? I don’t know. I had made a conscious decision last time I got sober not to track how many days I had sober.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober

  1. I used to track how many days I had sober, like every minute of it. There are even apps to do so, right down to the seconds you have sober. It would leave me defeated I was always resetting the clock.
  2. I would yell at the app, are you kidding me it can’t be 11, 2 hours, 36 mins and 6 seconds, this fucking this is lying.
  3. I felt like a failure every time I reset the clock. Not looking at it like it was a life lesson, or what I had learned, or what I needed to look in my life. I would just have self hatred.
  4. I felt like I was whiteknuckling it. I didn’t feel like the numbers were ever big enough, nothing was enough and I had felt like I wasn’t enough long enough.
  5. I didn’t count my drinking days.
  6. I’d heard so many people in AA laugh about how many 24 hour chips they had .
  7. I don’t want to be seen as the person who had 46,000 days without a drink a drug or a cigarette when I die. I want to be remembered for a lot more than that.
  8. My days were being measured against a liquid instead of quality, productivity, kindness, compassion and what type of person I was. There is no measurement for that it’s about being a better person than you were yesterday.
  9. It felt like sobriety had an end date like “The Whole 21” or the “21 Day Fix “Diets, just like my fitness, my eating healthy, there is not expiration date.
  10. Sobriety is NOT a competition.
Time can be are enemy or our friend.

Ok now you know Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober. My sobriety date is the first Saturday in August of 2017 I do know that much. If you are feeling any of the feelings up top, I’m telling you it’s time to start creating a life you love. Here’s what I did at first, instead of tracking every single day, hour, minute second. I bought a planner just a cheap weekly one, and I’d write my gratitude in it daily 3 things I was grateful for . Then I would mark off by the week, I started this planner at approximately 4 weeks sober, and I marked it off by the week and at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks I would reward myself. With experiences, I did a sensory deprivation float, went to baby goat yoga, and booked a yoga retreat. I looked back at my planner and around week 22 I had stopped writing in the weeks, faithfully but not intentionally did I quit writing and I see I wrote week 25, 29 and 30 and that was the end of counting. It just petered out.

Today I count today as sober, I write daily my gratitudes (3 at then end of every day and that includes: grateful I am sober today. We all have just 24 hours including Beyonce, no more no less. So enjoy today with gratitude, be happy to be sober, just for today, and know that life is more than just about being sober, it’s about creating a life of happiness, gratitude, goals, family, love, kindness, memories, activities and health and my sobriety roles into all of that. Instead of counting the days behind or counting the hours ahead, try and be present for now.

Have a fit and sober day

xoxox Christina

Bored in Sobriety

When I first got sober, I wrote this blog post bored in sobriety. I had no friends that were sober, my husband isn’t sober, and I was bored. I have a girlfriend that is now going through the same thing, she doesn’t want to go to meetings, she has a young child at home and she’s bored. We talk a lot and we both read a lot and talk about books, so she said to me why don’t you do a sober book club.

So I did, We officially have launched A Teetotalers Book Club, Online and FREE, for women in recovery. You can be at any place in your recovery, the only requirement is you show up for the Book Club Sober and you want to connect with other amazing women. CLICK HERE TO JOIN US

A FREE ONLINE BOOK CLUB FOR WOMEN IN SOBRIETY