Last week I overdid my exercise. Early Monday morning I went to spin, it was a beautiful day so I went for a 5km run. This past year I have been on a mission to building & strengthening my core through exercise.
As soon as I was home my lower back was aching, by the next morning I was very stiff. Having trouble walking and moving the wrong way, would take my breath away. I knew I was not going to be exercising.
Hit up my chiropractor and he squeezed me in, and told me to take the rest of the week off. I freaked I’m training for a half marathon (and I’m 47) and not the best at running long distances. He said well it’s either that or your back is going to go out and you will be on the floor, at the moment you have a spasm, and a choice. I coach fitness clients, I exercise daily what in the hell was I going to do.
5 Things that happened, taking a week off exercise.
First off I got caught up work. I did things that I’ve been putting off like updating websites, blogging, filing, organized my office.
As a result of being more organized, I was able to work on my self care. Stretching was my number one priority this week and I admit I need to do more of it.
I went for walks with my husband and spent some quality time together. I am use to doing things at a fairly high pace and walking is not usually one of them it has been so nice.
Decided to try out a few new healthy recipes, but I also found I ate more junk food, usually I keep my healthy eating at 90% with 10% junk food and this past week I have found it has been more at 75% and 25% junk food. Food and exercise have a high correlation.
All in all my back is feeling better, and I am excited to get back to running, lifting and spinning. To get back into routine, as I think that has been the hardest part for me being so completely out of routine. I will be easing into the my workouts!
FOMO while travelling can really lead down a rabbit hole of self destruction. This past week I travelled from winter weather (chilly but sunny) to a self development self love conference in SUNNY New Port Beach California. A travel tip I live by is hit up the grocery store for provisions as Hangry doesn’t just happen at home.
Off I walked to Whole Foods, which is located in a very posh, very beautiful place called Fashion Island. BAM it hit me, that itch, all I could see while walking there were these beautiful patios, filled with beautiful people, sitting drinking. I haven’t had that itch in a while (it’s been winter here) and it was a sinking feeling.
I used to like Whole Foods concept, but by the time I was finished buying my provisions and had to cruise by the Booze Section, my thoughts were heading into a negative spiral, Whole Foods doesn’t care about your health or they wouldn’t be carrying Booze. By the time I got out of Whole Foods I had a full on hate going for the store. ( I call it Whole Paycheck seriously who shops at this store regularly, so overpriced, especially now considering Amazon owns it) as you can guess I was even pissier. I’ve been plastered by the lure of cocktails from the moment I touched down in the sun. FOMO kicks in I think I am the only one in California, not sitting on a patio drinking, except it’s about 1pm on Thursday, but my rational brain has not kicked in on this.
Friday Night the first night of the conference begins and I chose not to purchase the VIP option of this conference as it is a Wine Night, I made this choice months ago, the friends I am with are all going and the FOMO is beating on my brain, again I am the only one (which is not true) not drinking while travelling. I’m exhausted from sightseeing and walking, I’m emotionally tired from the alcohol vibes, I want to sleep, but I can’t. I’m having serious FOND (Fear of Not Drinking). Even though my friends have been great ( they aren’t sober people, but also don’t have drinking issues) it’s always the voice inside my head that’s the loudest.
I sat and cried and when I did so I also had a thought, WHY am I here?
Not here physically with a drinking problem, but why am I here in California. Why did I travel to this event? Why did I spend all this money?
My mom always taught me travelling was the best form of education, and a lot of vacations I have drank away and been so hungover I didn’t want to do anything the next day, but sit lay by a pool or in bed and sleep. I did not go on the tours booked, boat rides offered, exploring, or even out of the hotel, due to hangovers, I would miss the days.
“You can drink anywhere, why would you drink while travelling? The reason to travel isn’t to drink, but to explore, be curious, soak in what you are there for”
This one though changed my entire trip, it ended the FOMO, it ended all my feelings about drinking and the romanticizing of the drinking. I am not hear to drink, I’m hear to love myself and be a part of an event of 500 women and to recharge, to connect and to learn.
I had this realization once I asked myself the above, I wasn’t missing out, I was gaining the most from this experience I could by being present.
This past year I have had the privilege to travel extensively sober and honestly have been the best travel of my life.
So instead of FOMO and feeling sorry for myself I looked at what I got from this trip was far more valuable than any cocktail could ever offer me.
10 years ago when I was dating a drummer in a band (insert eye roll) and was hanging out with a faster than a soccer mom crowd. I met a woman who was in this circle, she dated one of the guys and I thought we could be friends. I make friends naturally and she was smart, fun, crazy, and extremely successful in her business.
I called her one time outside of the circle and outside of drinking to see if she wanted to go for sushi, and again one other time to go for a walk on the beach. Both times she said she couldn’t she’d been partying to hard and had to catch up on work as shit was hitting the fan and she didn’t want to drink. I hadn’t asked her to go drinking I’d asked her to hit up sushi and go for a walk. I was trying to make a friend but how she took our friendship, it had revolved around partying.
A few weeks later we were out and she was flying high as a kite and made a pass at me and when I refused, things got awkward, and out of control. I left the party, very uncomfortably.
Much later that night she called me up screaming so violently into the phone that she really didn’t need to call she could have just yelled outside from across the bridge. She had no use for our friendship never wanted to go get sushi with me and hated the fact I had a kid why in the fuck would she ever want to hang out with someone like me.
Wow I was stunned, a little hurt but I also realized that was the addiction talking. I put a hard and fast boundary around her. When she called again, which was some weeks later, my son answered the phone (welcome to landlines) and I refused to take her call and just hung up the phone. I have no idea what she wanted.
Why she popped into my head today, I was thinking of Friendships. This was the last friendship with a woman that I tried to make before I got sober. After that I tended to shy away from women friends.
When I got sober I didn’t have a lot of friends, just drinking acquaintances and I was lonely. About 4 months in I voiced out loud to my outpatient group I was lonely and everyone looked at me like yeah and? I was right where I was supposed to be. No one could tell me where to find sober friends.
This is what I teach in Fit and Sober, it’s not about finding sober friends its about creating a life you love and attracting friendships.
So off I went on the quest to find friends, follow up to my Outpatient Program, AA & Refuge Recovery but other than talking about not drinking, I never really clicked with anyone. The other issue for me was all these meetings I attended were fuelled by gossip & drama, which is so not my jam. In addition (this is second hand and just my opinion ) but anyone I know who has gone, made friends and relapsed the friends go away. It’s understandable, everyone needs to preserve their recovery and set boundaries but it just seemed fickle to me. I believe all meetings work, you may meet some great people but it’s about quitting drinking and staying sober, I was looking for friends though.
I have gone to sober retreats and the women were great and some had amazing bonds through this but that’s not what happened to me. I know I’m different, I always have been it’s one of the reasons why I drank, to fit in.
Also remember when setting out to meet people, you can have different groups for different reasons. One or two people don’t need to be everything to you for every reason.
Your inner circle needs to be and more than just the connection of not drinking
So what to do now: my sober list was exhausted almost 6 months into sobriety and I’ve met sober acquaintances but no friends. So I started working on a list of things I love to do and consistently show up.
The gym has been my therapy ( and my job) for years so I chose too take a class ( my choice was spin) and I show up 3 days a week. Guess what I met 2 friends here one is a fitness competitor and one is in recovery (yep)
I craft so I started going to scrapbook meetups
I am currently taking a photography course
I love to bike so I joined a women mountain bike group last summer
I love cats so I volunteered at a cat shelter.
I invested in a business mastermind last year
I joined a business network group
I took a cooking class
I joined a yoga studio
Joined online sober groups
You get the picture, now start your list what do you want to explore, what do you like to do that interests you?
Ok so out of all of this I have formed 5 close new friends, that aren’t in recovery, I have 2 amazing friends that I’ve known for more than 15 years, and really worked on rebuilding my friendships with but I also now have 4 close sober friends, plus a therapist that I can call on when I need to around sober people or recovery support.
Remember real friends don’t care if you don’t drink.
Comment below how you’ve made friends while being in recovery.
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