SOBER CITY – Day 261

P171

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Sober City – September 18, 2011
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Over 8 and a half months booze free. Couple weeks more and I’ll be able to relate to all the health conscious mothers out there who had to give up drinking because of the little monsters growing in their bellies. Yes your baby is a beautiful shining light that has changed your outlook on life entirely and will one day cure cancer, now drink your Merlot, I feel ya sister! The comparison is flawed but the sense of accomplishment is sound. All doubt of making it the full year has been completely replaced by pride and perseverance and it really doesn’t feel like an experiment anymore. It’s just a part of who I am right now and that’s really all it is.
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We all make choices every minute of every day and these choices help shape who we are and ultimately how we feel. Our experience of life largely has to do with our perception of the world around us so it’s important to help create the world you want to live in by becoming aware of the choices you make. Just being aware of the fact that you are constantly making choices every day, will help steer you in the right direction. For me, making the choice to not consume any alcohol for a year has served as a daily reminder of all the other things I can choose to do or not do and how profound an impact it can have on who I am and how I feel. The food I eat, the places I go, the company I keep, it’s all up to me and the beautiful part of it all is, if something isn’t working it can always go away and if something is missing it can always come back. I get to choose that. We all do.
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The thing is, most of us make the choice to accept the world as we see it and live inside our own little self designed hells no matter how shitty and small it makes us feel and the worse we feel the harder it is for us to see that we’re doing it to ourselves. It can sometimes be extremely hard to change our path but not making the choice to change things is still making a choice. Sometimes accepting your situation is exactly what you have to do to be happy, but sometimes it only makes things worse. Only you know for sure and only you can decide who you’re going to be and how you’re going to live in this gong show of a life called the human experience. That’s the real experiment here. Living a life you want instead of wanting a life to live.
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So in a little over 3 months, the year will be over and a new one will begin. I’ll stop blogging about not drinking and continue to live my life day to day with new habits and a fresh outlook on life. It’s been an enormously beneficial transformation period so far and the growth and learning doesn’t have to end January 1st. It never does, and it never will. I choose to take control of what comes next and take ownership of everything that comes my way and I hope you do too. Because we only have a little over 15 months until Dec 21st, 2012 when the Mayans send dragons to burn us all. Happy Holidays! Cheers!
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SOBER CITY – Day 244

P764

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Sober City – September 1st, 2011
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Change. It’s something a lot of us want or need badly in our everyday lives. We strive to look better, feel better, act better, be a better person than we think we are now. To transform into something different in search of a happiness that might be eluding us in whatever present state we are currently in. When the changes desired are minor adjustments, all it takes is a little time and motivation but what do we do when the changes we want to make seem way too big to ever be possible? Usually nothing. That’s what I did. I literally could not imagine a scenario where the changes I wanted (and ultimately NEEDED) to make would ever happen. As far as I was concerned, the person I had become would be the person I was from now on. Overweight, depressed, unmotivated and unattractive (in my eyes). I was dripping with cynicism and self pity and I was learning to accept the uncomfortable shit world I created for myself while complaining about it to anyone who would listen. I didn’t see a way out because there wasn’t one. I wasn’t letting there be one. I was settling for a life of less, truly believing there wasn’t anything more, when in reality there was a whole universe of more just waiting to be had. All I had to do was feel worthy enough to have it.
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I feel like it’s important to stress and reiterate just how impossible I thought this was. I spent my whole life struggling with my weight and last December I had reached a new high of 177 lbs. I would always fluctuate 5 or 10 lbs here or there but this time I had let myself slide over the course of 3 years further than ever. The emotional weight I carried after my dad got sick (and died 11 months later) had physicalized itself on my body and was dragging me down in more ways than one. Anyone who has ever dealt with weight issues knows how all encompassing it can be. It goes way beyond a vain desire to look good. It’s about self confidence and mental well being and it can completely define who you are. It shouldn’t, but a lot of the time it does. Some people can own it and that’s a beautiful thing but sometimes you just feel like shit and can’t get past that ugly image you see in the mirror. Sure, it’s mind over matter but when it’s your mind that’s the matter it can seen impossible to change that mirror. But you can. Believe that shit! Seriously, if I did it at 31 after being absolutely CONVINCED I never could, then anyone can.
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That’s why I had to attach this picture. I used to watch those stupid late night weight loss ads with all those “before and after” pics and I wanted one so bad. I even spent more than a few late nights googling different weight loss pills and super quick exercise programs (all of which are bullshit) searching for an easy fix while knowing fully well there wasn’t one. You lose weight by burning off more calories than you intake. Simple. Math. I hate math but you can argue with it. So what did I do? Well, I was way too lazy to go to the gym every day, so I figured cutting out all the calories from booze could help. Step one. Then I figured I could slowly cut back on shitty foods and not diet but just be aware of what I was putting into my body. Step two. (I also stopped eating meat but for different reasons). I did about 4 months of that alone, still not stepping foot into a gym and I figure I lost about 15 lbs that way. Then one day I finally felt good enough to force myself into the gym, and believe me I still had to force myself. Nothing crazy, just a couple days a week easing myself in to a routine. Step three. Then I started going more and more until I found myself going everyday. Not doing crazy workouts everyday mind you, but at least showing up for cardio. Then it just happened. I was finally getting addicted to it. Me! It’s ridiculous. You have to understand how much of a couch potato video game geek I was (and still am in some ways), me going to the gym everyday is a god damn miracle and a possible sign of the coming apocalypse (2012 at a rapture near you). Yet, here I am none-the-less.
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I took my “before” picture in early January and took the “after” picture roughly 6 and a half months later. It shocks me. Every time I look at it I can’t believe it’s real…but it is. I’m now exactly 8 months into my year in Sober City and as of today I’ve officially lost a total of 40 lbs. I’m not telling you this to gloat about my accomplishments or fish for pats on the back, I’m telling you this because the person I was a year ago needed to hear it and there’s a good chance someone else could benefit from my story. This happened to me and it can happen to you. You just have to MAKE it happen. I promise you it’s never too late to be who you want to be. Just be prepared to buy a whole new wardrobe. Cheers!