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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well let’s just say this, If you didn’t read my blog How to host a dinner party sober yesterday, I’ll give you a recap. It was my husbands birthday, and he chose instead of us going out for a nice dinner a Football watching dinner with his buddy. With Appies, great steaks and seafood, and of course booze, so I wrote a post that included a list of How to host a party sober with 8 great tips here .
Now the tips were great and I followed all of my own advice and yes stayed sober, but here’s the reality.
Dinner was to be at 7pm, the game started around 5pm. So his friend got here around 430 and the booze started flowing by 6pm they were flying high. I came downstairs I had been kicked out for trying to talk this is where my husbands nasty remarks set in (you see the difference between my drinking and his I loved being happy so I just wanted to be happier, I was a fun loud obnoxious drunk, he’s a very unhappy one where his hatred for the world comes out) ,
630ish which was half time and I suggested he put on the steaks and I would start on the seafood, but nooooo they weren’t hungry. Of course not, they were drinking you see how do I know this because this used to be me (insert cringe) I remember this selfishness display “just one more drink” I would tell my son ugh.
7pm rolls around and we have a shit ton of food, so I decided not to serve appies (thinking a late night snack might be better and my husband and I had a snack around 4pm) we had a serious amounts of seafood that are rich and big steaks and I didn’t want it to go to waste. My husband gets angry they are watching the game and fine, my son leaves he decides he’s not sticking around for this shit show and goes for dinner with his friends.
I’m miserably hangry by 745 ish, and the guys then say they want to watch the rest of the game, which they figure should be over by 815 ish, well I decide to put my steak and my sons away, as it had been resting on the counter as I don’t like eating a huge steak at 830 at night, tell my husband this I’ll just have seafood. I go back upstairs.
I come down around 9pm and my husband is seriously angry and decided not to tell me they cooked their steaks and ate the seafood. In his drunken stupor he didn’t hear me say I will just eat some seafood, so I ended up with a bowl of leftover soup from Friday night, a husband that just got nasty and me trying to be nice. So the reality check should have been for this party just order in chinese or pizza or thai at 6pm.
I slept in the spare bed away from the noise and about 1030 the stench of cigars fills the house again, cringe, I know when I would drink too much and it was cold out at times I would start smoking in the house and the shame I have today for putting my son through this, he was little when I would do this, and the house would reek of cigarettes. He hated the smell. The anguish that last night brought me, was not for my husband the ruined birthday or his behaviour. The anguish today is my own selfish awful ways when I was drinking and my son was younger. The heartbreak I am feeling and the apology I owe my son when he gets home today, this weighs heavily on me and my behaviour makes me physically nauseous.
If you are a mom or dad out there, it’s never too late start today, quit drinking even if you just try. If I could have a do over with my child’s childhood, I would have been a much more present parent. I have a FREE DRY JANUARY group if you are at all looking to try.
There are two things that came out of this, a) hosting a party when you are sober it may not go the way as you planned, b) completely unrelated things could come up.
I am the host tonight of a birthday dinner, sober Tonight is my husbands birthday, a few noticeable things, have come up he hasn’t a lot of friends (except 1 ) and that one friend is a great friend to him and he’s MR FUN. I believe you should have one great friend instead of a 25 acquaintances (which he does have) . He prefers to stay home instead of going out ( we are very different that way)
It’s his Birthday so he gets to choose what we do, and guess what, evidently there’s a football game on (insert groan here) that he insists trumps going out for dinner. He also gets to choose what we eat and drink (or what he drinks not me)
So today I started organizing more of a football party than a birthday party. Appies are 5 different high end cheeses and crackers (no potato chips here) so today I made a lovely platter. He chose surf and turf, NOT A VEGETABLE IN SIGHT so off to the butcher for good steaks, and seafood so off to the local seafood market for King Crab Legs, and Scallops I went, and of course he wanted Beer and Rum. And that’s where the BOUNDARIES had to come into place. I had a small inkling today for wine for some reason. In fact I’ve had a couple of triggers in the past few days, I’m tired my sleep has been very broken that’s part of the reason. I picked up a lime for my salad dressing the other night and thought oh I could make Margaritas – oops I don’t drink.
Here’s 8 TIPS TO HOSTING A SOBER PARTY
YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S BOOZE, THEY CAN GO BUY IT AND BRING IT, OR IF IT’S FOR YOUR SPOUSE THEY CAN GO PICK IT UP. Never put yourself in a situation where you might pick up a bottle of your liquor of choice.
Ensure you have something to drink, whether it’s a mocktail, a water, tea, what ever it may be just something in your hand.
Keep busy during the dinner, cooking, cleaning, serving, eating
EAT & Breathe
If it’s just a small intimate group like tonight there is 5 of us, and all but me are drinking at an appropriate time (aka as long as you can stand it and get out unscathed) excuse yourself and GO TO BED.
Bonus: 4 deep breaths in through the nostril 4 long breaths out. Do 10 times, if you have to hide in the bathroom.
Plan something for tomorrow. I am meeting a friend at the gym at 10AM, for a brutal leg day session planned and if it’s nice out I’m going to run there.
Play the tape out to the end. The stupidity, the argument, the relief it will feel for a moment and then the anxiety, guilt, shame, and of course play your HANGOVER out and your cancelling on tomorrows plans. Remember it’s not worth it. That’s why you stopped drinking in the first place.
Don’t forget to enjoy the Dinner/Party/Birthday and going to bed sober, that’s what I’ll be doing tonight!