Sunday, December 08, 2013
I like to say 30 days alcohol-free instead of 30 days "sober" because I wasn't always "drunk" when I was drinking, but I did get "drunk" way too many times. Still - I don't like the term "sober". I don't like the connotation that I was an "out-of-control drunk" in which my life had become "unmanageable" like AA says. I simply wanted to lose weight. I have a wonderful life. Drinking wasn't causing all kinds of trouble in my life. I just wanted to lose weight and get healthier. I realized early when I joined SparkPeople in September of 2012 that the only way I was going to be able to lose weight was to eliminate all the unhealthy alcohol calories. I cut way back on alcohol and I quickly lost 30 pounds in 6 months and then maintained that loss for another 6 months.
I got frustrated on my plateau. I've been in the 170's since April of this year. I would quit drinking for a few days or a few weeks and then want to celebrate and would go back to drinking every evening. I have to admit I enjoy drinking. But I want to be thin and healthy even more than drinking a bottle of wine every night. The weight-loss had completely stalled.
So 30 days ago I received my "alcohol-free bracelet" in the mail and put it on my wrist. I haven't touched a drop of alcohol since. Totally alcohol-free. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. My bracelet says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" but it could be whatever works for you. I considered, "I'm a Free Spirit". But for me, I need the power of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in order to be alcohol-free. I agree with AA about that. I think belief in a Higher Power is necessary to resist the lure and temptation of alcohol for most of us. Alcohol is so pervasive in our society and so delicious and tempting, that resisting it with your own willpower seems nigh on to impossible.
When I put my bracelet on, I accepted the fact that personally "I" can't have just One or Two drinks and then stop. I know me. I'll have another and another until the alcohol is gone or I basically "pass out". Therefore, I can't touch a DROP of alcohol. Even smelling it on my sweetheart's breath was tempting. I can't stop after one so don't even get started.
My sweetheart gave me a 30 day chip today that he made out of a poker chip. I love that he made it and gave it to me with a kiss and a "congratulations". He's proud of me. And I'm proud of myself. I've lost 5 pounds in 30 days. That is such a reward to me. Only 2 more pounds to go to get out of the 170's. The scale is finally moving in the right direction. I'm getting off of this plateau. Woo Hoo !
My next goal is 100 days alcohol-free which I think will be February 17th if I counted on the calendar correctly. I really believe that, with daily prayer to my God, I will reach this goal.
p.s. It is unseasonably warm here (in the 80's in the afternoon) for December - even for Florida. We're sleeping with our windows open all night. I'll bet everyone up north is very envious of this beautiful weather. I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy it.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
We listened to Joel Osteen this morning like we do every Sunday morning and his message was inspirational as always. He talked about "remembering the good times". I agree that remembering all the special times when God has truly blessed you is certainly important. The homebirth of my second son was an incredible highlight of my life. When Johnny and I were able to rent our beautiful apartment over five years ago was also a wonderful blessing. Adopting our dog, Jasmine, and our cat, Zeppelin were great additions to our little "family". We have been so blessed and have lots of good memories.
For Johnny and me, all of our "celebrations" and "good times" over the past 7 years have involved alcohol. I associate drinking with "having fun", "partying", "celebrating" - you get the idea. I think that in order to recover from my alcohol addiction, I need to remember the BAD things associated with alcohol. The times I got "sick as a dog". Fortunately I don't have any DUI's to remember, but there were many times when I drank too much and got sick. I would lay down on the bathroom floor to be close to the toilet in case I got sick again. Johnny would find me there and try to get me to go to bed. I would cooperate and go to bed - but usually I'd feel sick again and run back to the bathroom. It was disgusting. I HATE to get sick.
Sure, Joel is right - remember the good times. But in the case of an addiction - remember all the BAD things that happened because of your addiction. It really helps to prevent you from going down that road again. The New Year's Eve Party may have been fun - but remember how you felt the next day? Miserable. Headache. Nauseated. Exhausted. . . . .Sick as a Dog ! I want to feel clear-headed, energetic, happy . . . I'm not going take a chance of getting drunk and sick again. I can't drink alcohol.
I'm proud to announce that I made it through Thanksgiving and payday weekend without alcohol and I'm on Day #25 alcohol-free. I'm going strong and feeling good.
And P.S. - Jasmine isn't really sick - just sleeping peacefully after a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving which was also her 5th birthday.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Last night my fellow LoveBug, Johnny, had a dream in which there were monkeys everywhere and he was running and trying to escape from them. Johnny always has vivid and prophetic dreams. The meaning of this dream was pretty obvious: It's time to get the "monkeys" off of our backs. They've been dragging us down for long enough. Specifically, I need to get the "drinking monkey" off my back. I need to quit drinking if I'm going to lose weight and get healthy. Johnny needs to get the "smoking monkey" off of his back before he gets cancer and dies. My previous husband developed throat cancer from smoking and died a year after symptoms appeared.
I have a dream to be thin and fit and energetic. Johnny has a dream to be free of this nasty nicotine addiction. I have been trying to quit drinking for over a year - ever since I joined SparkPeople and got serious about losing weight. I have been alcohol free for a few days or a few weeks at a time but have always relapsed when it was a holiday or the first of the month when I received my retirement check. I always wanted to celebrate - and didn't know how to celebrate without alcohol.
Thanksgiving is next Thursday and the 1st of the month is only a week away. So the question is, "Will I be able to remain alcohol-free during this critical time?"
In the past, I haven't been a fan of AA, but I now agree with one of its main precepts. I can only be alcohol-free with the help of a higher power. For me that is Jesus Christ. I have a new bracelet to remind me of this dependency. It reads, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13 Jesus Christ gives me the strength and resolve to resist the lure of alcohol. I need to "pray without ceasing" for this strength.
I admit that I love the taste of an alcoholic beverage, and the relaxing feeling it renders in my brain. But the damage alcohol does to my body is no longer acceptable to me. And the negative damage alcohol causes to my life can no longer be tolerated. If I drink too much on any particular night, I will vomit. And I HATE that. Once I didn't vomit until the following morning. That was particularly nasty and distasteful. Then I am full of regret and guilt for drinking so much the night before.
The worse thing that happened from drinking - my final straw - was a "black-out". The next day after drinking vodka, I didn't remember dyeing my hair. It turned out okay but how could I forget doing that? I totally didn't remember doing it. Thank God I didn't do anything worse - like cutting my hair OFF !
I've never had a DUI but that is probably because I haven't had a car in 5 years. If I owned a car, would I have gotten behind the wheel on a drinking night? Probably, in my drunken state, I would have driven, as I wouldn't be thinking clearly.
So now I'm on Day #16 Alcohol-Free. I'm still really feeling tired and sleeping a lot, but soon that will pass I hope. I hope that soon I'll start having more energy. I'm writing this blog in the afternoon instead of taking a nap. That's a good start to being more productive. I believe I'm thinking more clearly and I've lost 4 pounds in the past 2 weeks. THAT makes me very happy.
The alcohol-monkey is still on my back - probably always will be hanging around to tempt me - but he's losing his balance and not holding on as tight anymore.
The "smoking monkey" is losing it's grip on Johnny's back as well. Over the past couple of weeks, Johnny has cut back on the number of cigarettes he smokes in a day. Now today he is wearing the nicotine patch and is smoke free. Day #1 There are no cigarettes, ashtrays, or lighters laying around. He is wearing his new clean T-shirt that says, "Don't fret - God is with you." from Psalm 37, Johnny's favorite Psalm. I hope his T-shirt works for him like my bracelet is working for me. The strength of God will get the "smoking monkey" off of Johnny's back. He's having a little "Nic-Fit" as I write this and went to take a nap.
Our Love Bug Challenge is running into a little "Monkey Business" - but overall, we're making progress. Wish I had some bananas in the house. Maybe I'll run to the store and get some to feed our nasty monkeys.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It's the time of year when I can start bragging about our wonderful weather down here in Sunny Florida. FINALLY ! We had 90 degree weather for six months. I don't know why I'm surprised. It's like that EVERY year and I've lived in Florida for 30 years. You'd think I'd be used to it by now but NO ! I can't stand it being SO HOT for SO LONG. NOW, in NOVEMBER we have finally turned off our AC and opened the windows. It only gets up to 80 degrees now in the afternoon and cools off to the 60's at night. PERFECT. I LOVE IT. NOW I can brag. All you people up north preparing for snow, eat your hearts out. Better yet, come take a vacation by us. We need the tourists - a major part of our economy, of course. OK - so much for the bragging and advertising - now for another LoveBug Challenge Update:
My bracelet that reads, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" is really working. I haven't had a drink since I put it on my wrist last Thursday - that's 6 days ago ! When I get an urge to have a drink, my bracelet reminds me "NO, I can't have JUST ONE, so don't even START" Even if I bought just one Bud Light Lime-a-Rita, when that was gone, I'd start in on the beer - even though I really don't even like beer. I'd just want to keep the "buzz" going. I can't stop after one. Admit it. No matter what my good intentions are, I would end up drinking for hours. Then tomorrow I would have regrets. No way to live. So I'm alcohol-free, at least until Thanksgiving. I don't want to feel TOTALLY deprived so I'll probably treat myself to a bottle of wine for the holiday. Just one day.
If I were to come back in my second life as an animal, I would definitely want to be a kitty cat. I can so relate to my kitty Zeppelin. He is so happy and content and LOVES to sleep. ME TOO !
I got such a SHOT of MOTIVATION this morning. Walking my dog, I ran into an acquaintance who is always walking her dog, HAPPY. I hadn't seen her in about 6 months. She had gone up north to avoid the summer heat. She was amazed at how I looked - and I had just crawled out of bed. I didn't even have a bra on (which was embarrassing). "You look GREAT !", she said. It felt so good that she could notice that I had lost 30 pounds last year. That was just the SHOT of MOTIVATION that I needed to continue with my Love Bug Challenge. 20 more pounds to go. I CAN DO IT !
Here's an edit to this blog: The mailman just delivered Johnny's new T-shirt for our challenge. It is black with a guitar on it and says "Don't Fret - God is with you." from Psalm 37. It has the verse from Phillipians 4:6 also "Do not be anxious about anything" It is supposed to help him quit smoking. Hope it works like my bracelet seems to be working.
What gave you a SHOT of MOTIVATION today?
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