1000 days

The 9th August 2017, has had a marker against it for quite some time. Almost mythical "1000 days" it seemed such a far away place, a foreign land but in truth it has now become my reality.

The first thing you notice when you stop drinking however, is that alcohol is everything to just about everyone and it is absolutely everywhere.

I have just spent a fun weekend away with some close friends in a youth hostel .. 8 bed dormitory with bunk beds. People assume we have gone away for a booze fest, a hen do, a wild night out. Of course, when I tell them not a drop of alcohol touched our lips and we had an amazing time, it raises a few eyebrows and then come the questions. It's not surprising though, as alcohol is thrust under our noses everywhere; every shop, supermarket , tv programme, advert, magazine, overheard conversation… it all promotes alcohol, portraying it to be the life and soul of every event, every milestone and a life without alcohol is construed to be a life without fun.

Yet I have had more fun in the passing 1000 days, than I can honestly say hand on heart I had in the previous 2000, when alcohol was what I believed mattered. When alcohol was removed, I slowly began to emerge from my numbed out state and gradually began to feel and experience real joy. I laugh and cry a lot, which was a bit strange at first but I am beginning to embrace it. I love that I can have genuine belly laughs with people who matter, I wake each morning rested and without regret, no hangovers, no brain fog and and I am learning what really matters and more importantly who.

I am a work in progress and I am enjoying continued growth and development working towards my own goals and objectives. It is an exciting time and life I feel should be exciting. If it feels stagnate then something needs to change, you're not challenging yourself enough.

I have recently changed career returning to an area I felt I was no longer capable or suitable for. I love it because it is challenging and pushing me from every angle. I drive to Sheffield city centre most days .. none of this would be possible without the confidence and focus I now have since ditching my poison.

There are days of course when I want to scream, or curl up. When life throws that unexpected curve ball it still hits home but I have discovered an inner strength and I know I am resilient enough to learn and move on.

I really want to thank my lovely husband Steve for his unwavering support over the past 1000 days , my three gorgeous children, my lovely family and my friends who have become my family. You all rock!

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The highs and lows of my first sugar free week

So here’s what the past 7 days of ditching the sugary life has looked like…

 First day .. Nervous but determined and wary of caffeine and wheat but managed a day at the seaside with very little effort✔️

Day Two – so so sleepy … I struggled to read and kept wanting naps. Some cravings in the afternoon but I snacked on avocado and nuts and it passed. Early to bed💤

Day Three – woke early and noticed my limbs were feeling very heavy, climbing the stairs was hard work and I was nauseous, possibly nervous about my first day at work sitting at my desk all day with no chocolate or cake to get me through the afternoon slump. Managed ok though. Ate a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner followed by pure cocoa and cinnamon in hot milk for supper.😏

Day Four – I noticed a significant change in my moods and was feeling down in the dumps. Everything seemed too much effort and I felt like life was out to get me for most of the day. Pushed through but had an early night 😞

Day Five – still feeling a bit low definitely would have preferred a day at home rather than work but I managed to get through it. I did have an ice lolly that was offered to me as the office was unbearably hot and muggy and forgave myself immediately because they are not something I would ever binge on. Due to the heat I also drank tons of water which probably helped clear some of the nasty toxins 🔥

Day Six – noticeable signs of PMT which I could have done without during my first week but still feeling strong and determined. However, cravings became more noticeable in the afternoon and I really had a strong urge for chocolate but went home and had a stir fry and a teaspoon of peanut butter instead! Ended up going to bed after 11.30pm which is most unusual for me🆗

Day Seven – despite the late night, I still woke early so was feeling rather tired but I noticed my mood had improved and I felt calmer. What was really noticeable was during my weekly supermarket shop,  the sweet stuff that I normally can’t wait to stuff in my trolley just wasn’t appealing. I was able to bypass it and choose whole, real foods instead and only picked up the processed food my kids seem determined to live on. I did struggle reading in the afternoon and think I may have napped for at least half an hour but a walk in the countryside with my dog energised me and I went home to cook the evening meal💯

All in all I’m quite proud of what I’ve achieved this week instead of rewarding myself or dealing with a stressful day bingeing on sugary cakes and chocolates I went for a walk, had a soak in the bath followed by an early night 🙏🏻

Day 7 – enjoying the outdoors

It’s not that I can’t have it ..

When I realised booze was no longer doing anything good for me, it took me many attempts to stop. I stopped once for 6 months promising myself I would drink only at weekends or on special occasions which soon became a nightly occurrence. So what made it different this time? How have I managed to abstain for 28 months? Well firstly, I have had an amazing team behind me, my husband my kids and my friends. Secondly,  I never told myself I couldn’t have a drink. I always told myself I can if I want to but I choose not to because I care about myself enough to not put my body through it anymore. I read about the dangers, learnt as much as I could and I decided I no longer want it in my life. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re the only one at a party saying no but as time has gone on I find more and more people like me who wanted to make that change. It has made such a difference to how I feel about life and about me. 

Sugar is the same, I can’t turn back the clock and tell myself I don’t know the dangers. I’ve read and watched enough to know what it does and eating sugar is not a self loving act. It’s done because I’ve been brainwashed into thinking its a treat for a stressed out me, time out for me and for special occasions despite its poisonous, addictive qualities. I could moderate and keep it for special occasions but like booze I think why bother? But I’ve learnt my lessons so it’s not saying never, only today I choose to say no.

Day one of quitting the white stuff! 

Having conquered the daily need for a glass of wine or five, my need for a lorry load of sugar over the past 28 months has been all over the place. On my worst days, I can mindlessly consume a packet of biscuits, a bar of chocolate and slices of cake despite feeling incredibly bloated and nauseous. The result for me is a significant loss of energy, an inflamed and bloated body, aging skin and loss of elasticity therefore more wrinkles, lack of clarity (foggy brain) and I’ve noticed my limbs feel weak so that I struggle with my day to day tasks. 

I have odd days where I can ignore sugary items but have you noticed they are everywhere; my workplace, every store and garage,  every coffee shop ☠ all the time screaming at me to take a bite. 

I have known for a long time that this sweet looking but deadly assassin needed to be removed from my life but having been proven to be more addictive than cocaine I recognised it was going to be a tough move and I have been trying to find the right time mentally in my life for more tough. Unfortunately,  finding an ideal time is proving damn near impossible and I’m conscious that my precious time is ticking on. There is never going to be an ideal time and like drinking, I have already had a lot of false starts or practice runs I prefer to call them. Each attempt was a learning experience and I am indeed learning but I need to grab the bull by the horns or the lolly by the stick in this case and just go for it. 

By documenting why I am doing this and how I feel on a daily basis initially, I hope it will help me to push through those difficult days whilst also making me accountable. If you are embarking on your own sugar busting crusade please holler, as I have learnt from my recent experience in quitting the booze there is undeniably strength in numbers and together we can do amazing things! 

18 months on… Sober, clean eating and loving and living life to the full! 

I am having a fantastic 2016. The best decision I made in 2015 following my earlier blog was to stop drinking. I no longer wanted to waste my evenings with a glass or 3 of wine from 6.00pm onwards each night with my ass in the sofa, feeling miserable but not fully understanding why. The first few months I admit it  was hard… having to change my habits particularly Fridays after work.. Oh my! I so wanted to end the week by either joining colleagues in the pub or grabbing a bottle of vino in an attempt to unwind and reward myself for my hard work.  Instead I walked the supermarket aisles treating myself to flowers, scented candles, books, nice chocolate or had long soaks in the bath with candles lit until I created new habits. My Friday’s are now spent walking the countryside with my dog, taking photographs and really noticing, appreciating and sucking it all in. Weekends I driving my lovely car having only recently passed my driving test .. Something else I never got round to doing as I was too busy procrastinating, drinking or hungover ! 
Still have plenty of other stuff on my to do list, so many things I never thought I’d do but I’m now taking baby steps towards them. Each month I challenge marls further taking myself out of my comfort zone and growing daily in confidence. I am more determined than ever that it will be during the second half of my life when the best is yet to come .. 

2015 is going to be my year

After a frustrating year that has left me feeling increasingly stressed, the fattest and the unhealthiest I have ever been and quite simply .. unhappy…. I have decided to do something about it and to make significant changes. A lady I very much admired has recently passed away. She  enjoyed life to the full and always made you see the positives in any gimageiven situation. She inspired a lot of people. I have always tried to remain optimistic and believe in the good in everyone and in my situation but in doing so I have also allowed myself to believe that there will be time enough tomorrow to work on those little things and even the big things that niggle or leave me feeling miserable. However her passing has taught me that life is too short and there’s no time like the present to get to work on the areas that are causing me to feel like this and this is why I have created a blog to record the next 12 months. 12 months to transform!