Quitting Alcohol For A Month – Day 24!

If there was a time I was going to cave, it was this past weekend.

Heat wave, Labor Day weekend, pandemic and the anniversary of meeting my husband eight years ago, Sept 3.

But I didn’t.

I stood strong and channeled more self-control than I think I ever have before.

People were drinking everywhere… and my favorite thing to do in a heat wave is enjoy a cold glass of sauvignon blanc with a good book by the Pacific Ocean. I had the book, in fact was finishing it, and the ocean, but I needed to teach myself the wine was not necessary, just a compliment.

And I did.

But what I’m most proud of is the fact I didn’t let the no-booze change my plans. My hubby and I went on a bike ride along the coast and even stopped at a boardwalk bar for snacks. I tried a Heineken 00 – no alcohol beer – and it was quite good!

So, here I am. On week four and feeling good. Down five pounds and my sleep has gotten so much better. I’m sleeping through the night without waking up multiple times and I also don’t feel bloated, like I would after a night of drinks.

Next week, my month dry will be over.

24 days in and it doesn’t seem as long as it had when I started. And while I’m not going to be sober, I know I have changed. My thought process for wine is different and my body is loving the results of being alcohol free.

Thank you for coming along with me. Stay tuned for next week, when I list everything, all the good and the bad, to expect from a month dry, as according to my time doing it.

Losing 25 pounds – post 12

Yes…. the holidays got the best of me. I stopped going to the gym, I binged on eating and drinking and I said yes to more desserts in one month than I did all year.  While I enjoyed every minute of it, my body was wondering WTF?!

Sadly, my goal of losing 20 pounds did not come to fruition. YET. In fact, it increased. I had lost some weight but then put it all back on and then some in that gluttonous month we call December.

Yup, that’s my life at 41.

But I’m not gonna cry about it. I’m already back to the gym (four days this week!) and though I didn’t go 100% dry, I’ve cut my wine intake by like 85%. FOR REALS. It hasn’t been easy but my body has enjoyed every minute of it.

And yes, to the big fat question in the room – I have reset because I took a step back rather than forward.

But with this fresh new year beginning, what better reason than to start over and get down to business, with a refreshed mindset and a fiercer determination?

I mean, this is life, no? Making choices and learning from them while dealing with the consequences?

Instead of thinking I failed, I decided to look at this like I made some poor decisions but I acknowledge it and I’m paying the price.

Live. Learn. Evolve.

147 and counting down… stay tuned!

 

Quitting Diet Coke 3.9

This is the ninth entry I’ve written about quitting Diet Coke. For those keeping count, as I am, it has been 83 days since my last one.

I wish I could say the hard part is over but that isn’t 100% true.

The hardest part seems over but it’s still a struggle.

Especially recently. The holidays were a bit hard. Diet Coke was around me more than usual (or maybe I was just noticing it more,) regardless, it was in my face. Especially at the movie theater. Does Coke dominate the movie theater soda situation?? It certainly seems so…

I even bought some of the regular Coke for my nephews to have at Christmas Eve dinner and as I was pulling it off the shelf, my eyes caught sight of Diet Coke and even going on three months without any, I found myself wondering if maybe… I could just have a 20 ounce for good behavior… After all, it is the holidays.

Damn it! No!

I fought the urge and had a serious talk with my inner demons. In the end, the good side prevailed. And I chalked it up to another victory against the dark stuff.

Though I will write if something changes, I think this topic may not get as much attention in the future. Not because it’s over but because I feel grounded and unless I flounder, I’ll leave you knowing I’m going strong.

I do, however, have another blog series coming….

What do you think will happen if I buy a $2 Lottery Scratcher every week for all 52  weeks of 2018?

Well, stay tuned and find out right along with me.

#lottoscratcherblogseries

 

1 Day Till Christmas – Giving Back

Tomorrow is Christmas 2017.

What a year it’s been… a world full of turmoil, strife, love, loss, grief, happiness…

Today, with my yoga studio owner and other members and friends, we took presents to a children’s hospital.

It was very sad that all the children in the ward were in quarantine with influenza of some sorts. We left the gifts with a very nice head nurse who was grateful for our visit and excited to let the parents in to select toys for their young ones.

Can you imagine that? A child, in the hospital, on Christmas.

A very sad thing indeed.

Here’s to all the kids (and adults) who have to spend the holidays in the hospital. I can only imagine that is the last place you would want to be and my hope is that you get out with a clean bill of health sooner than later and that you are able to be with your loved ones, because really, when you boil it all down to the point, it’s being with loved ones that make a holiday special.

After the hospital, I rushed home to prepare for my first Christmas Eve dinner at my home for family and it went off without a hitch.

Here’s a big Happy holidays to all my readers and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

XOXO

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

2 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

Wait… what?

Yup! It’s TWO DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!

I am sorry to make this quick but I am tired!

Today I decided to give back by preparing for Christmas Eve at my place. My husband, Don, and I are hosting the family holiday for the first time!

I cleaned, prepped and made a lasagna – up to the point of sticking it in the oven to bring the cheese to a boil.

We did the last of the decorating and the final shopping. Gifts are wrapped and under the tree, (here’s hoping my nephews can make it through Sunday Christmas Eve dinner before opening presents!), and the apps are waiting to be prepared.

Phew!!

We am so happy to carry on a tradition my mother and father once did in Buffalo, NY in the 1980s. Christmas Eves at our place were a thing to be remembered.

Here’s hoping we can give back to the nostalgic feeling while also creating new traditions of our own.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!!

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

3 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

Today was part 2 of 7 Days till Christmas

Quick summary – I volunteer at an organization and one of my tasks is to deliver a holiday gift bag to an elderly person in need. She wasn’t thrilled to hear from me until she fully realized who I was. And though she didn’t want to schedule a drop off time, I tried to make it work.

From our conversation, I surmised that she was going to be away this week. So, I purposely waited until today (honestly, I was suppose to drop it off by yesterday but I fudged that a bit…) because I was hoping to catch her home.

Sure enough, I did this afternoon and what a lovely moment we shared.

I delivered her present and a big smile spread across her face. She mentioned she was expecting it. I told her I purposely waited because I knew she was traveling. She told me she just returned last night. She felt the bag and with a smile, said “Oh, this is heavy!”

I told her how much we appreciate her and how we wish her a merry Christmas and happy New Year. She told me the same and we parted with smiles on our faces.

Not the ending I knew would happen, but it was certainly the one I hoped would…

3 Days Till Christmas!!!!!

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

4 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

Who better to give back to than a pair of loving grandparents?

When I was a child, I admit my grandparents were not my primary focus. Don’t get me wrong. I loved going to grandma’s because it typically meant I was going to see my extended family, in particular my cousins who were all around the same age, and have a great time while the adults chatted at the big table but I should mention the adults all spoke in Sicilian to one another so none of us kids could understand much of what was being said.

But my Nonna and Nonno were always happy to see me and I especially remember my grandma’s cooking and the smell of onion and garlic wafting throughout her house, no matter which room you were in. Tomatoes from the backyard were always used to make sauce, a Sunday tradition for us Sicilian folk, and all seemed right with the world back then… ah, famiglia!

It was only a few months ago that I introduced my Nonna and Nonno to my husband, Don. They were unable to come to the wedding unfortunately, as they’re in their nineties, but it was very important to me that they meet Don and I wasn’t willing to risk anymore time so we went this year. It was a wonderful visit and they welcomed him right in. He got to see a little slice of my past while meeting two people that mean a great deal to me.

Sorry to take the scenic route to my point… Today, I wrote a letter to my grandparents (in their native language, which I’m still in learning-mode on!) to say hello, happy holidays and to let them know I love them both very much. I am waiting to mail it though, because I want to print a few photos to include in the envelope but didn’t get out of work in time to go do it. Tomorrow morning though, I’ll be printing and mailing and I hope when they get my card, it puts a big smile on their faces.

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”  –  Alex Haley (American writer, 1921-1992)

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

5 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

It’s 5 days till Christmas!!

And for today I decided to check out the Beacon Light Mission to see what their needs are and if I could fulfill any. I’ve done this before around the holidays and thought of them today.

I should mention I am agnostic. I am not Christian and though this is a Christian organization, I am drawn to it not for this reason but for the fact it provides showers, meals and beds to men in need and have been doing so in some way since the early 1900s. They aim to rehabilitate and to me, that all starts with a meal, a shower and a bed.

Whatever religious belief guides such a mission is fine with me. They seem to be transparent about helping and I dig that.

So, I went to their Amazon gift list and purchased a 6-pack of men’s boxers.

Maybe I’ll make someone’s holiday just a little brighter with some bare essentials…

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

6 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

For those readers who have been with me a while, you may remember an organization I like to volunteer my time with by writing letters to those in need.

It’s called More Love Letters and after reading Hannah’s book years ago, I became a fan of the site and volunteer at least once a year by writing letters. I am a bit late for the holiday season but wanting to make sure, I checked the site and lo and behold, there was one more request for someone in need.

Today, I am writing a letter to a complete stranger. I believe it is a sign for her that she is not alone and I’ve included some words that have helped me in the past when life threw me something I wasn’t expecting or prepared for.

I encourage you to check out this site. More Love Letters is a global non-profit organization driven by the mission of spreading love to those who are heartbroken in some way. Something we have all been through at one time or another…

I love that I can give back by using my skills as a writer. And I know, if and when the time comes when I need this, the universe will provide because I firmly believe that what you put out in the world comes back to you.

“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226

6 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!!!! Spread that giving spirit!

#givingbackblogseries #givingback

7 Days Till Christmas – Giving Back

Today was interesting. And an opportunity to spread some holiday cheer a la’ spur of the moment.

A little backstory first.

I volunteer and one of the events I signed up for was to deliver a holiday gift bag to someone either elderly or disabled.

I picked up my bag dutifully by the deadline and set out today to plan for delivery.

“Hello, may I speak with XX?”

“She’s not here, thank you…” (Tries to hang up #1)

“Excuse me… Sorry to bother. May I leave a message?”

“No, I’m sorry. I’m not near a pen. But I’m sure we’ll hear about you if we need to…” (Tries to hang up #2)

“I am very sorry. I am calling from XX and I am the volunteer for them. I’ve been assigned to deliver a holiday gift bag for XX and I would love make sure she has it before Christmas. At her convenience, of course.”

Silence.

“I’m not in town. But the neighbor to the west when facing the garage, is friendly and will accept it. Or you can leave it at the doorstep.” (Tries to hang up #3)

“Oh wonderful! I’ll see what looks safe and will do exactly that. Thank you. I’d just want to get the present to her before Christmas.”

Silence.

“Thank you so much. That is very kind. Happy holidays to you.”

“Happy holidays to you also!”

7 Days tills Christmas!

#givingbackblogseries #giving back