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Cutting down the Booze (calories!)

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TOPIC:   What helps you stay AF or cut back? 


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LYNSAG
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8/8/11 11:47 A

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Actually, I have been completely AF for 3 weeks, and what a difference in energy and fitness!

I never drank beer before, but I had a 6-pack of Coors Non-Alcoholic left from when my husband was on chemo and couldn't drink regular beer, so I popped one on the first hot AF day. Yum! Now it's a daily before-dinner drink - filling and refreshing at 63 calories. I hate AF wine or champagne, but I really like this.



LYNSAG
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1/13/11 10:51 A

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Thanks - I just did that - called it Wine, since that's the only alcohol I ever drink - and I have been surprised to see where I can cut a few hundred calories. Good thinking.



MISSCUS
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1/12/11 10:36 A

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LYNSAG this is what I did to track alcohol. I added a alcohol "meal" to my nutrition tracker. Now the alcohol is right there and not lost or stuck in with dinner.
It totally shows up in the report the percentage of alcohol just like it does for the food. Sure did wake me up as to how much I was drinking. Didn't seem like that much til you see the report.

Phyllis
It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.


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LYNSAG
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1/9/11 11:05 A

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This is a good idea - is there any way to include alcohol (wine) ounces in your daily goals? I had no clue how much wine I was drinking until I started tracking, but I would love to see it as a category like Fat or Calories in the report.

What helps me cut back is drinking hot water, sometimes with a little splash of decaf tea in it.



1XTRAMILE
1XTRAMILE's Photo Posts: 146
1/8/11 8:15 A

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My latest strategy is that I picked up a lovely little glass pitcher from a thrift store. I measure my wine limit for the night - 8 - 12 oz and pour it in the pitcher and then put the bottle of wine away. The smaller amount seems somehow much more satisfying and I have only once gone back to get more wine.


"...it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time." Monte Davis


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WESTCOASTKID
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11/3/10 10:34 P

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Going to the gym in the afternoon/after work.

I am way less likely to want to have any kind of alcoholic drink after I've worked out. Even better, when I stay AF, then my husband is more likely to follow suit; he's like, "if you can do it, I can do it!"

emoticon

***Leslie on Cape Cod***

Sometimes it's not easy to get motivated to workout or go to the gym. But when I am finished, I have NEVER once said, "Gee, I wish I didn't do that."

~~ELEVEN pounds in ELEVEN weeks in two thousand ELEVEN~~


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RUNNER12COM
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10/29/10 12:00 P

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Being the designated driver.

I'm heading to Denver for a weekend with friends. I won't drink tonight because I'll be too tired and a single beer will put me to sleep. Tomorrow, I'm the designated driver and won't drink. And Sunday, I'll be drinking while my husband drives.

So out of a three day weekend, I'll drink one night. And I will factor in the calories, drink plenty of water, and not let a few drinks blow my whole plan.

SDJ



SPRINGHAZE
SPRINGHAZE's Photo Posts: 222
10/25/10 12:29 P

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I have found that I use alcohol as a sort of "sleep aid." Since I started using melatonin (I can't take regular sleep-aids, they make my heart absolutely RACE!), I'm having many more AF days.


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MISSCUS
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10/14/10 12:09 P

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GIZZI thank you, I added a alcohol "meal" to my nutrition tracker. Now the alcohol is right there and not lost or stuck in with dinner.

Phyllis
It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.


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GIZZI315
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10/12/10 11:05 A

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I just learned from the Secrets of Success that you can add another "meal" to your nutrition page. I added a "drinks" category so I can easily see the impact alcohol is having on my weight loss efforts instead of hiding the calories in with dinner or snacks.

emoticonemoticon

Enjoying the journey.....

12 Months to a Healthier Me in 2012


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WENDYDANCER
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10/7/10 10:31 P

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Phyllis, it helps me too to keep busy & not allow myself a drink until 7 pm. AF is hard but cutting back is getting easier.

Beverly - Texas Hill Country
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MISSCUS
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10/7/10 11:22 A

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I am using limits and distractions and being busy to help me cut back on A, not AF yet but working on it.

Phyllis
It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.


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MISSCUS
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9/30/10 12:33 P

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Hello Everyone, I am new here and like you all I am wanting to cut my alcohol way back so I can lose weight. I don't have trouble cutting my calories, just the alcohol. I am glad to have found this board.

Phyllis
It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.


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WENDYDANCER
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9/9/10 2:51 P

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Yeah Kim!! Wish I had a gym nearby.... We can do this!
emoticon

Beverly - Texas Hill Country
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KIMROID
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9/9/10 11:28 A

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GREAT WENDY & SPARKLES! I'll try to join you in losing 5 lbs. That would be so nice!!!!

I've found that going to the gym right after work helps me tremendously. Otherwise I come home, walk to the fridge, grab a beer, then outside to the deck to smoke and drink my work frustrations away. If I go to the gym first I'm not so stressed when I get home. It's a little easier to say no.

Kim

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"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
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SPARKLES
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9/7/10 1:40 P

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Yay Wendy! And Yay for losing 5 lbs in September! Meeee tooooo!
emoticon


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WENDYDANCER
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9/7/10 1:17 P

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Last night I came home & made dinner right away. It felt a little wierd eating dinner at 5:30 pm but it prevented me from drinking & got past the "happy hour" mentality. I told myself that I could have a glass of wine at 7 pm if I still wanted it. Guess what? I didn't want it. Well, maybe a little but not as much as I want to lose 5 lbs in Sept!!

Beverly - Texas Hill Country
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Powerful Prism Panthers BLC17
BLC 18
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BLC 24

"Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to."


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SPARKLES
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9/3/10 3:21 P

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Uuuh- GASTRITIS?!


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HIKER28
HIKER28's Photo Posts: 18
8/20/10 9:10 A

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I am happy to say that last night I was able to have only one beer (and not even finish it all). I stopped at that. As my husband went for another I asked myself "what will another really do for me?" Nothing...So I stopped at that. It was a good feeling.


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KENCHRIS401
KENCHRIS401's Photo Posts: 584
7/29/10 10:11 A

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What is motivating me to stay AF is the feeling of waking up every morning without being super tired or groggy and the feeling that I will have when i wake up Saturday morning without being hungover...i am so looking forward to that.

The only difference between FIT and FAT is the letter "I"


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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT
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7/29/10 5:59 A

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I love it SPARKLINGDAWN!! I am very visual and find that it really helps to find what works for you!

Real Name: Helene

************************************
Persistence (and consistency) is KEY to success!

ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE!!


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SPARKLINGDAWN
SPARKLINGDAWN's Photo Posts: 353
7/28/10 3:22 A

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Well I know that I am amongst some equillibrists here in this thread that have achieved long periods without alcohol. Obviously what I write beneath will not go for those masters - unless they have crystal bowls the size of swimming pools... But for the rest of us that start out on this struggling journey, I would like to share something that I think is going to help me on my journey to become in control.

Yesterday evening it was 8 days AF for me. While I was cleaning up in the stuff that the 13 yr old had grown away from, I found some beautiful marble and glass globes. Some were actually my grandmas, some were my mothers then became mine and now my kids are not using them any more. Due to the different age these have a variety of appearances. Some are smoky misty, some are bright green and blue, and their sizes differ. One common thing is they are round and beautiful all of them. Now instead of staying in the bucket - they have come out in 2 of my most beautiful crystal bowls. One is very full, in the other one there are 8. Well the clever reader can obviously figure out that this is my progress report to myself emoticon.
Each day there will be a marble reflecting the struggle I had. Some day it is a huge accomplishment to stay AF - big globe. Some days - I almost does not give it a thought - small globe or marble. So until now there are 4 really big, 1 medium and 3 smalls, 2 bright coloured, 3 smoky, one pure white, one dark blue and one green.
I created the crystal bowls late in the afternoon. Started by rinsing the globes, drying them, and got all the dust and age of. I selected those that best reflected the previous days of struggle and put in the crystal bowl. I then took the one that best reflected my present struggle up and looked at it, and put it beside the bowl. It was a medium greenish one. It looked so lonely there, globes and marbles look best in company together with others I think. All evening when a drink crossed my mind, I looked at the crystal bowls and thought - "I have had larger cravings and harder times the evenings before, I can do this". When I went to bed I took the green marble and put it together with its friends. And together they looked even better than 7 + 1.
I smiled and felt in control - and went to bed.

I think that I learned today something that is close to the visual posters we are being asked to make. To keep our goal in focus.

Even though I tick my "no alcohol" goal I have set up in my "other goals" part - it is still not that visible for me all during the day. I have to manage it in the brain. I think this is going to help me - here in the starting phase, until this becomes a habit of its own.







Edited by: SPARKLINGDAWN at: 7/28/2010 (03:26)
Be aware of your thoughts
because they become words

Be aware of your words
because they become attitude

Be aware of your attitude
because that becomes action

Be aware of your actions
because they become habits

Be aware of your habits
because they become character

Be aware of your character
because that becomes destiny

Your thoughts becomes your destiny


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DENI_ZEN
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5/2/10 2:44 P

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You're a very wise woman, SATIN. I take a variety of medicines, and I should never have alcohol with acetaminophen...

A gossip columnist is someone who uses dirt to make a mountain out of a molehill.

- MAD magazine


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SATINSHOES
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5/1/10 2:21 P

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I am in the same boat, I have to be totally alcohol free, I can not drink ever again, because I know if I ever have that first drink, it will be a down hill slide, and back to drinking everyday and sometimes drinking too much. Alcohol is not a fun thing for me anymore, it is a burden that I do not want to carry anymore. I have 4 months under my belt being AF, and it feels great!

Smile, and the world smiles with you !


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NURSE4HEROES
NURSE4HEROES's Photo Posts: 161
4/30/10 10:37 A

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yep, sadly this is me too. No such thing as moderation. At least we know it now. Wow, 6 months is great. Can't wait til I can say the same!!


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BLUESBIRD
BLUESBIRD's Photo Posts: 77
4/28/10 10:49 A

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Hi everyone, what keeps me AF? I just know myself, there's no such animal as moderation in my life, I'm like all or noneemoticon. Just a personal defect I guess but at this time in my life, I feel that I know myself pretty well so best for me just to stay clear. I have a total bar in my closet...No it's not for me but we occasionally have college kids over to house and dog sit so I keep it locked up...It really belongs to my husband and he rarely touches anything other than beer and wine...So I don't feel even tempted honestly, I just felt a little dull for awhile with too much time on my hands when I first stopped drinking...Long story short, I just had to give it up because I really was irresponsible about drinking..been AF for 6 months now!That's allemoticon

Edited by: BLUESBIRD at: 4/28/2010 (10:52)
To Thine Own Self Be True


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JMAGEE8871
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4/28/10 10:47 A

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Way to go Debbie. I did that Saturday night and it felt great to go home sober and wake up feeling like I could take on the world.

Surgery: 6-11-2003
SW: 319
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DEBBIEKAY1
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4/28/10 8:35 A

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Just want to let you all know I had a revelation
I was able to drink only 1 3.5 oz glass of wine with dinner and no more I am so excited! moderation gotta love it!

Yesterday is over! We can't go back and redo anything that happened...But we can make better choices today! With God's grace we have a NEW chance everyday!

Hugs Debbie


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NURSE4HEROES
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4/24/10 2:47 P

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two things help me stay AF:

Remembering a few embarrassing moments caused by drinking.

What a couple years of very regular drinking has done to my body, without me even noticing. (+20 lbs)

Edited by: NURSE4HEROES at: 4/25/2010 (01:04)

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LASARRE
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4/18/10 11:31 A

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I have been really careful about plugging wine and other alcohol into my nutrition tracker and they do add on the calories.

Right now, I am really working to stay away from Cosmo's they are my sin.

Nina- Wisconsin CST
Together Everyone Achieves More

Co-Leader- Walk it Out
Co-Leader- Wii Exercise


EEKTHECAT
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4/10/10 9:11 A

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yeah i conveniently "forget" to plug those glasses of wine is as well. oopsie!

i'm striving to go AF from today (sat) til thursday. it looks like a stress free week so i think i can pull that off. last week i went 4 days without, and it was no prob.
i love my wine with dinner, though. or when i'm watching movies. oh well, gotta drop those pounds!


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ALLYSONRW
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4/6/10 5:11 P

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Thanks so much for mentioning the nutritional tracker. Somehow I always 'forget' to include the alchol. I'm going to make sure I include it this week. It'll be interesting to see how many calories I'm drinking!


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DOOBIE893
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4/6/10 2:19 P

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Club Soda and the SPARKPeople Community.


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DEBBIEKAY1
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3/31/10 8:24 A

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It is anemoticonTeam emoticonfor this!
I have been more aware of my drinking habits since joining this team This really helps keep me accountable mostly to my self. Plus I don't want to let you all down either! When you are staying AF it helps me to stay AF!

emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

Yesterday is over! We can't go back and redo anything that happened...But we can make better choices today! With God's grace we have a NEW chance everyday!

Hugs Debbie


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SUZYQ4720
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3/23/10 9:55 A

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Wow...this a great discussion and team! I just started SP and not only want to lose weight but also break my terrible habit of drinking wine (every night) I have one glass and find it very difficult not to have another.

I do realize that if I can get past the pre-dinner drink I am ok for the rest of the night. It is just that FIRST drink!! I need motivation and it looks like this is the place to start. Thanks for all the good ideas - I need all I can get!


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DEBBIEKAY1
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3/22/10 8:54 A

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What helps me?
This team and being accountable to myself and you!

Yesterday is over! We can't go back and redo anything that happened...But we can make better choices today! With God's grace we have a NEW chance everyday!

Hugs Debbie


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DOOBIE893
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3/8/10 8:30 A

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What helps me stay AF or cut back?

#1) Not going to or staying for a long time places where my friends are drinking.

#2) Remind myself that I am making a choice.....


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BROOKIEWINS
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2/16/10 2:38 P

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since my last post, two very important thoughts occurred to me about cutting back, which i've done purposefully (like not having that drink after getting home from the drinking dinner!!) because of y'all:

1. i don't want to miss another sunny day because i feel like crap after a drinking night.
2. i don't like the guilt i feel when my honey spends his day alone because i don't feel good enough to get up early.

it really didn't occur to me that the feeling bad after (in so many ways) was so disconnected from the feeling good during. i've had more fun on less, and i'm really starting to feel like i'm in control. it's not perfect, but it's a start.


to be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ee cummings



--brooke


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DIAMORROW1
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2/16/10 1:32 P

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EEKTHECAT I agree with what you said. I look at the pie chart and the area for wine is larger that the others combined. So I am on day 2 of not drinking. I just can not lose weight and drink too.
Maybe later, much later....

Dianne


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DEBBIEKAY1
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2/8/10 8:51 A

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This is really helping me to plan when I am going to drink. It is helping me not to drink as much because I am accountable to all of you.
Love this team

Yesterday is over! We can't go back and redo anything that happened...But we can make better choices today! With God's grace we have a NEW chance everyday!

Hugs Debbie


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MEADSBAY
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2/5/10 3:03 P

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That is EXACTLY why this is my favorite team!!!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
xoxox
elizabeth
emoticon

elizabeth

*I will never~ever~ever give up!
www.jasminevilla.com


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BROOKIEWINS
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2/5/10 1:19 P

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i agree with EEK, the nutritional tracker is super helpful, but i think most important is all of you. every time i read a post here, i think more about how i'll handle myself the next time i'm drinking.

last night my family poured drinks just as i walked in from the gym. i said thank you, took a sip, and left the glass on the counter. later i decided i wanted wine, but i counted my calories first. i had all of you with me when i thought 'i want some more', but decided bedtime and feeling good this morning meant more.

thanks all!

to be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ee cummings



--brooke


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EEKTHECAT
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2/5/10 7:56 A

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Yeah the nutritional tracker helps a lot!! I used to drink lots more wine and now I actually count the glasses and keep it to max 4. When you see that most your cals come from the wine, it makes you more conscious of cutting down those empty calories!


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BEGONIAC
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2/4/10 10:16 P

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Having a clear head. Being AF helps so much with cravings. Life is just so much easier!

"Action is the antidote to despair." Joan Baez


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KALYN_C
KALYN_C's Photo Posts: 489
1/31/10 10:24 A

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Tracking the calories. I used to try and save calories on the weekends when I wanted to drink. I ended up starving and usually ate more once I'd been drinking, anyway!

I do my best at everything else. Why should taking care of myself be any different?


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SPARKLINGDAWN
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1/19/10 2:12 P

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I agree - the foodtracker has a nasty way of throwing it right out into your head. I had one glass of rum in the beginning of January, and I just sat there and got really upset about the calories. Before I had a tendency to "forget" to put the alcohol in - no surprise that I had trouble loosing weight back in 2009.emoticon

Be aware of your thoughts
because they become words

Be aware of your words
because they become attitude

Be aware of your attitude
because that becomes action

Be aware of your actions
because they become habits

Be aware of your habits
because they become character

Be aware of your character
because that becomes destiny

Your thoughts becomes your destiny


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HERROYALHOTNESS
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1/19/10 11:00 A

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The food tracker, for sure! As long as I track my food, I won't drink much because I don't want the empty calories. The problem is when I drink enough to make me stop caring about the food tracker! Then waking up and realizing I had 1,000 calories worth of alcohol! emoticon


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TASOGAREBAN
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1/9/10 4:24 P

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I actually haven't had anything to drink the entire week except for Wednesday after a particularly bad day. Strangely, as long as my brother or my roommate stay away from drinking, I'm ok. The problem with me is the peer pressure. It looks as if everyone else is having fun except me so I end up buckling. But yesterday I was literally save by a migraine. I brought a bottle to my friend's house and we were going to toss back a few shots in honor of our show season finale and the migraine hit like a MAC truck. By the end just looking at the bottle made me nauseous. But I woke up this morning and I was HAPPY for it. I was GLAD I got the migraine just because it stopped me from drinking. Even today I don't regret the migraine, now that it's gone.


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DMAGNUM
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1/6/10 5:19 P

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Last night, I was tempted to drink just because my husband was enjoying my favorite type of red wine. (I like that kind even more than he does, and he was drinking it all on me.) However, I had already logged Tuesday in as being an AF day in our team's Other Goals. I would have felt ashamed changing it after the fact.



NICKISCHAV
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1/6/10 1:11 P

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my boyfriend helps me to limit myself when i go out; i have to make it back to chat with him on skype before he goes to sleep, so I don't really stay out as late as I used to.



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MEADSBAY
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1/1/10 6:37 P

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WOW- great list, Olivia.
and happy anniversary to you and DH!
emoticon

elizabeth

*I will never~ever~ever give up!
www.jasminevilla.com


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SASSY_MAMA77
Posts: 32
12/30/09 1:33 P

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Hi everyone,

I'm mostly a lurker on this board, but I've been trying a lot harder these days to have more consecutive AF days in a row. My goal is to get down to once a week on the weekends. I've made a list of things to do that keep me busy during those 3-4 hours after the kids go to bed so we don't reach for our regular glass of wine. I just look at the list I've made and choose something to keep me busy and they're all things I enjoy. These have helped me a lot (and I hope they can maybe help you):

- read a good book
- watch a favorite TV show
- have a herbal tea/coffee/pop (for those who need another type of AF beverage)
- watch a movie
- reorganize the cupboards
- do a crossword puzzle or some other type of hobby
- surf the net, research something new
- volunteer
- go for a walk / work out
- soak in a hot bath
- go for a coffee or to the mall with a friend
- invite a friend over for a chat session
- do laundry
- do a project you've been wanting to work on or start
- reorganize the fridge/cupboards/closets (to keep busy)
- prepare and cut up veggies in the fridge for quicker meals
- cook up freezer meals (saves money and keeps you busy)
- play Nintendo Wii, cards, Yahtzee, or online games to keep busy
- go to bed early and catch up on much needed sleep

Also, in regards to going out, we're starting to plan our outings around AF things to do. Like tomorrow night is New Years Eve, and also our wedding anniversary, and instead of going out and drinking and spending way too much money, we're going out to dinner and then to see a movie. That will be so much rewarding than spending tons of money on drinks at a bar, plus cover to get in, plus taxi to get home, and for what? To be tired and cranky with the kids the next day. No thanks. This way, I'll feel better the next day and we will have had fun. Other AF outings/date night ideas could be:

- bowling
- indoor mini putt
- movies
- cruise the mall and get a coffee
- go skating and have a hot chocolate
- go toboganning (be like a kid again :-)
- walk around downtown and see all the sights
- visiting a local festival
- go swimming at an indoor pool (for those in winter)

I hope this helps a bit. This is a list I am going to keep close to me to remind myself what I can be doing with my life instead of just drinking.

Thanks for reading,
Olivia





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RDEEEEEEEEE
RDEEEEEEEEE's Photo Posts: 2,756
12/19/09 8:25 A

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being broke sure helps, lol

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character." ~Albert Einstein

"Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting." ~ William Shakespeare

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." ~Rabbi Hillel


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BOUNDONE
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11/13/09 3:02 P

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Being AF for me, is fairly new... haven't quiet wrapped my mind around it yet... This is my first week... but so far, it's the fact that I'm working so hard to keep my calories down... and I don't want to waste all my efforts with just a few glasses of wine. This is possible the hardest thing I've ever done...


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PIONEERCK
Posts: 7
11/5/09 9:24 A

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I usually drink in the evening when I'm watching TV. I try to stay away from that activity and do something else so I'm not thinking about drinking.


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KARSTASAURUS
KARSTASAURUS's Photo SparkPoints: (9,162)
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11/5/09 7:13 A

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Waking up in the morning and CONTINUING to lose weight!

It takes me two days to resume a steady weight loss after a night on the town!

And losing 2 days a week or 2 days every two weeks is just NOT WORTH IT!

emoticon

Restart Weight: 234lbs
Week 1: 220.2
Week 2: 216.3
Week 3: 214.9
Week 4: 211.6
Week 5:

I WILL make every day better than the last!

I WON'T get discouraged by scales or tape measures!

I CAN make the right choices every day to stick to my goal plan!

I CAN'T change the past but I can try to mould the future!

I AM worth all this effort!

I AM NOT a quitter!


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KARSTASAURUS
KARSTASAURUS's Photo SparkPoints: (9,162)
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11/5/09 7:13 A

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[DELETED]

Edited by: KARSTASAURUS at: 11/5/2009 (09:50)
Restart Weight: 234lbs
Week 1: 220.2
Week 2: 216.3
Week 3: 214.9
Week 4: 211.6
Week 5:

I WILL make every day better than the last!

I WON'T get discouraged by scales or tape measures!

I CAN make the right choices every day to stick to my goal plan!

I CAN'T change the past but I can try to mould the future!

I AM worth all this effort!

I AM NOT a quitter!


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BLUESBIRD
BLUESBIRD's Photo Posts: 77
11/3/09 9:46 P

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Waking up in the morning, saying "ugh" to the mirror, then giving myself a smile and a wink for an AF yesterday!

Edited by: BLUESBIRD at: 11/3/2009 (21:47)
To Thine Own Self Be True


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9167111
9167111's Photo Posts: 84
11/2/09 10:53 A

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You go girl...
emoticon

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

''Set your goals high and don't stop until you get there''
- Bo Jackson



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RDEEEEEEEEE
RDEEEEEEEEE's Photo Posts: 2,756
11/2/09 10:28 A

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I made a discovery this weekend. Turns out I didn't need to drink to enjoy Halloween! I was gonna, cuz I ALWAYS do have a little sip of brandy or bailey's to stave off the chill... but since i'm in florida and it was like 70 degrees, it was hard to justify even for me! lol Then I thought of how it would most likely turn out, me depressed still from my divorce, hating to spend holidays alone. Most likely to get schtikkered and start drunk dialing. SO nah, just stayed sober, had a nice time in light of the circumstances and stayed on track.
Keep on sparking ya'll!

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character." ~Albert Einstein

"Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting." ~ William Shakespeare

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." ~Rabbi Hillel


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9167111
9167111's Photo Posts: 84
10/29/09 8:20 A

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Great information! Thank you so much...

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.”

''Set your goals high and don't stop until you get there''
- Bo Jackson



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LOVE2LAUGHALOT
Posts: 29
10/18/09 11:43 A

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Love this post! All of you have put some very inspiring words into my mind and I hope that I can do the same for someone else. Thank you for the article Sparkles- so scary but very true. I can relate to one too many of the symptoms of overall drinking.

The statement regarding remaining AF that really hit home for me was this.... "Remembering that the choice to drink is an individual affair, not a group (or couple!) decision. I can choose not to drink even if others around me are making different choices."

I find myself blaming my friends and the people I have surrounded my self with the reason for drinking. So much to the point where I was beginning to think I needed to find new friends. Then I found myself being the one ordering the last round, or drinking alone. Drinking is my choice. It is only under my control. I am the only one who can make that decision.

What keeps me AF is knowing that although I can not control my past, only I can make the decisions today that will determine my future. I am focusing on one choice at a time and with each choice, I focus on the fact that I am laying down a strong foundation for a healthy future. I want a strong body, strong soul and a strong mind.

How being AF will help me get to my goal:
Strong Body-
Obvious health reasons as stated it the article
No hangover- which leads to no overeating the next day and will help me stay motivated to workout
Keeps you younger- on the inside and out

Strong Mind-
Clarity in thinking and focus
No anxiety, depression
High inhibitions

Strong Soul-
Forces you to face your problems rather than hide behind a bottle
Strength, courage and willpower to remain AF is liberating
Better and more quality relationships

With every choice I come across, I ask myself if it will help me get to my goal. When it comes to alcohol- I know it won't.

"And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again"
-The Cave, Mumford & Sons


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LOLLYJEAN
LOLLYJEAN's Photo Posts: 2,576
10/14/09 11:22 A

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Thanks for posting the article Sparkles. Not only did I read it, I saved and printed it off.

I hope you are all having a great day emoticon

Watch where you're going...not where you've been


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DMAGNUM
DMAGNUM's Photo Posts: 272
10/13/09 12:33 P

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Last night, being that it was a Monday, I did not anticipate wanting to drink at all. I have been trying to abide by a “no alcohol Sunday until at least Thursday” rule lately. Around 8:30 P.M., I was watching last week’s episode of The Biggest Loser, which I had recorded via DVR. DH was watching Monday night football in another room. He came in to the room where I was watching TV and said he could go for red wine and asked if we had any. I told him we did indeed have a big, economy buster of a bottle of red. Then he left to go pour himself some. I was sooo tempted to get some red when he did that. Our house is chilly at night lately, to boot. Good thing I was watching “Loser.” During the episode, Bob and Jillian took the contestants to a Mexican restaurant to demonstrate how to eat healthfully when you eat out. Bob and Jillian admitted that it is hard for them to resist margaritas and chips sometimes. None of the contestants had any alcohol, nor did Bob and Jillian. That was my little AF reminder of the night. I can have it sometimes, just not EVERY time the urge strikes. Timing is everything. I just have to remember how Bob and Jillian said that it is hard to forgo treats at times, but you have to think about your health, weight and reasons not to indulge most of the time. The overall end results are usually worth the sacrifices here and there.

Edited by: DMAGNUM at: 10/13/2009 (12:36)


POOPSIEDOODLE
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10/8/09 7:31 A

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An incredible article SPARKLES; and, I can honestly say that some of the points scare me because I can relate to the physical downsides that were pointed out.

emoticon for your research and for posting it.



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DMAGNUM
DMAGNUM's Photo Posts: 272
10/8/09 7:19 A

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Thanks for the article, Sparkles. It made me realize that there is more than one reason we all joined this team in the first place. Sure, I definitely want to lose weight. But the more I interact with the rest of you, I want to cut down my drinking for my physical and mental health, as well as for the well being of my loved ones. Keep up the good work, everyone!



SEPTEMBERSPIRIT
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10/8/09 5:14 A

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The one thing that keeps me going is that "It's NEVER too Late" to do anything you want in life. You can't change the past but you can make your Today and Future what you want it to be! We are doing this on this team and I'm so proud to be a part of it!

Real Name: Helene

************************************
Persistence (and consistency) is KEY to success!

ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE!!


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MIMICOTO
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10/7/09 8:31 P

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Wow - that was worth reading Sparkles. Thanks for posting it.

My kids have been a big motivator for me as well - I have the double disadvantage in that they're really young (2 & 5), and I'm really ... um ... un-young emoticon

Seriously, at 44 yrs old, it's pretty important that I get myself in maximum good shape to give us all a chance of enjoying one another as long as we can. Thanks for this solid info that serves as a real reminder of what's going on when we drink too much...

~Mimi~

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made - Wayne Dyer

Leader, Go for the Goal


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SPARKLES
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10/7/09 8:01 P

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Sorry - know it was way long - & I doubt I've read it all word for word. And yeah - let me tell ya - those kids are growing up FAST! My baby boy turned 18 in June. (sob) And let me tell ya, my kids remember alot of BS from their Mom. But thankfully, they're forgiving & we're ok now. But I never did alot of things with them that I wish I had - but you sound like you're on the right track. Nothing worse than looking back at alot of missed opportunities that occurred for no good reason. (speaking totally for MYSELF again) I tried to cherish more with my last one - my son - I knew I darn well BETTER.
So here's the GRANDMA now - looking back - & telling ya - you still have time...but don't waste a minute of it.
Ok - that's the closest I'm coming to advise giving today.
Gotta fix dinner now - have a good evening. Jenn


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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT
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10/7/09 7:41 P

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That's quite the article (I skimmed it) because I know all the CONS to drinking... and have witnessed some close friends and family have their health and lives deteriorate (and some passed away - my sister last November at the young age of 50 and my best friend in 2007). For me that is antoher reason that I want to cut back - because I'm a single mother of two girls who still need me in their lives (they are 13 and 8) ... I don't want them to just remember me as a drinker or grouchy/irritable. I want to be able to have energy and be healthy and willing to do things... This is happening now so I know I'm on the right track... just have the slips here and there but moving forward for sure!

Real Name: Helene

************************************
Persistence (and consistency) is KEY to success!

ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE!!


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SPARKLES
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10/7/09 4:43 P

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Glad yall got something from it too - Frankly, the SHORT TERM effects don't sound all that enticing to me, when they explain what is actually happening. Like you said, "a major buzz-kill" lol (sorry bout that)

Jenn


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MEADSBAY
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10/7/09 4:33 P

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OK!
OK!
OK!
I'll have another AF day today.
(No, really, that was very informative, and a major buzz kill!)
Several of my siblings are alcoholics (most are sober now) and I can vouch for many of the long term effects cited in this article. emoticon
Very scary stuff, indeed.
Thanks for sharing.
xoxoxo
emoticon
elizabeth
emoticon

elizabeth

*I will never~ever~ever give up!
www.jasminevilla.com


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DOOBRIE
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10/7/09 4:18 P

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Pretty scary stuff Sparkles! Hope reading it will make me stop and think next time (too late for tonight) emoticon.

Thanks for posting!

Doobs

Edited by: DOOBRIE at: 10/7/2009 (16:18)
Doobs
England


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SPARKLES
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10/7/09 11:49 A

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I was going to post that article one part at a time, but then thought, Oh to heck with it. If somebody WANTS to read it they will.

I personally found it VERY eye opening, & something that would make a person (me or anyone) stop & really think about what's happening to their body when they drink.

J


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SPARKLES
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10/7/09 11:48 A

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Biological Impacts Of Alcohol Use:
An Overview

By: Michaele P. Dunlap, Psy.D, Clinical Psychologist

INTRODUCTION

Ethyl alcohol or ethanol, known commonly as alcohol, is the same whether the beverage is wine, beer, or hard liquor. Beverage alcohol is a drug that depresses the central nervous system, like barbiturates, sedatives, and anesthetics. Alcohol is not a stimulant. There is no question that the person who drinks alcohol seems stimulated. Speech becomes free and animated, social inhibitions may be forgotten, and the drinker can begin to act and feel more emotional. But these effects are misleading; the "stimulation" occurs only because alcohol affects those portions of the brain that control judgment. "Being stimulated" by alcohol actually amounts to a depression of self-control. A principal effect of alcohol is to slow down brain activity, and depending on what, how much, and how fast a person drinks, the result is slurred speech, hazy thinking, slowed reaction time, dulled hearing, impaired vision, weakened muscles and fogged memory. Certainly not a stimulating experience!

Alcohol is also classified as a food because it contains calories. The average drink has about the same calorie count as a large potato but, unlike a potato or any other food, alcohol has no nutritional value. The calories are empty.

PHYSIOLOGY

Basics of alcohol metabolism:

Alcohol is not digested like other foods. Instead of being converted and transported to cells and tissues, it avoids the normal digestive process and goes directly to the blood stream. About 20 percent of the alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood through the stomach walls and 80 percent is absorbed into the bloodstream through the small intestine.

Alcohol dilutes itself in the water volume of the body in order to travel through the system. Those vital organs, like the brain, that contain a lot of water and need an ample blood supply are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Alcohol's dilution in the body does cut its effect somewhat. There one important biological difference between men and women comes into play: Muscle tissue contains more water than fat tissue, so men -- who have more muscle and less fat on the average than women -- can have about 10 percent more water in their bodies. If a lean man and a lean woman of equal weight consume the same amount of liquor, the woman is more adversely affected for this and other reasons.

The initial impact of alcohol:

The brain, liver, heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, and every other organ and tissue system are infiltrated by alcohol within minutes after it passes into the blood stream. The strength of the drink will have a significant effect on absorption rates, with higher concentrations of alcohol resulting in more rapid absorption. Pure alcohol is generally absorbed faster than diluted alcohols, which are, in turn, absorbed faster than wine or beer.

Alcohol taken in concentrated amounts can irritate the stomach lining to the extent that it produces a sticky mucous which delays absorption. The pylorus valve which connects the stomach and small intestine may go into spasm in the presence of concentrated alcohol, trapping the alcohol in the stomach instead of passing it on to the small intestine where it would be more rapidly absorbed into the blood stream. The drinker who downs several straight shots in an effort to get a quick high may actually experience a delayed effect. Finally, the temperature of the beverage affects its absorption, with warm alcohol being absorbed more rapidly than cold alcohol.

Measurement of effect by blood alcohol level (BAL):

The drinker's blood alcohol level rises as a factor of the relationship among the amount of alcohol consumed, body size and proportion of body fat, the amount of food in the stomach, and what is mixed with the alcohol. The BAL rises more rapidly in those who drink on an empty stomach. Water and fruit juices slow the absorption process, while carbon dioxide speeds it up. The carbon dioxide in champagne and carbonated mixers such as Cola, and soda water rushes through the stomach and intestinal walls into the blood stream, carrying alcohol with it and creating a rapid rise in BAL. A 0.08 BAL, for example, indicates approximately 8 parts alcohol to 10,000 parts other blood components. When a person drinks more alcohol than his or her body can eliminate, alcohol accumulates in the blood stream and the BAL rises.

Elimination of alcohol from a healthy adult body occurs at an average rate of approximately ½ to 3/4 ounce per hour, the equivalent of 1 ounce of 100-proof whiskey, one large beer, or about 3 to 4 ounces of wine. When blood alcohol concentrations reach very high levels, the brain's control over the respiratory system may be paralyzed. A .30 BAL is the minimum level at which death can occur; at .40 the drinker may lapse into a coma. At .50 BAL, respiratory functions and heartbeat slow drastically, and at .60 most drinkers are dead.

BODY SYSTEMS AND EFFECTS

The Liver:

Located in the upper-right side of the abdomen, the liver is the body's largest glandular organ. Its complex functions are associated with dozens of processes of body chemistry and metabolism. It produces the bile that helps digest fatty foods; it manufactures heparin, an anticoagulant, it stores and releases sugar. The liver also produces antibodies that help ward off disease, and it cleanses the body of poisons, including alcohol. With small amounts of alcohol, this cleansing can happen effectively. When the amount of alcohol is high, imbalances are created which can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hyperuricemia (as in arthritis or gout), fatty liver (which may lead to hepatitis or cirrhosis), and hyperlipemia (build-up of fats sent to the bloodstream; which leads to heart problems).

The Central Nervous System:

The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves originating from it. Sensory impulses are transmitted to the CNS and motor impulses pass from it. When alcohol acts on the CNS, intoxication occurs, affecting emotional and sensory function, judgment, memory and learning ability. Smell and taste are dulled. The ability to withstand pain increases as the BAL rises.

Different parts of the brain seem to be affected by alcohol at different rates, creating alternate periods of restlessness and stupor. Long-term effects of alcohol on the central nervous system include tolerance, dependency, and irreversible damage. Changes in tolerance for alcohol, and the alcoholic drinker's dependency on alcohol, demonstrate that changes occur in the brain.

With each drinking episode, central nervous system functions deteriorate in a predictable sequence, beginning with intellectual functioning, followed by disturbances in sensory and motor control. Last affected are the automatic biological functions, such as breathing and heart action.

The brain is the organ that is most affected by alcohol, and proves that it is being damaged through the drinker's behavior changes and emotional distress. Three noticeable effects of alcohol injury to the brain: memory loss, confusion, and augmentation. (Augmentation is a physiological response to alcohol which results in hyper-alertness to normal situations, perceiving light as brighter or sounds as louder than usual, or the drinker’s becoming extremely sad or angry for no apparent reason.) The drinker's rapid mood swings and emotional and behavioral instability can be brought under control by stopping drinking.

Blackouts, or loss of memory for a period during drinking, are a physical effect of alcohol on the brain. They occur as alcohol cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain. Lack of oxygen supply to the brain can kill tens of thousands of brain cells every time a person becomes intoxicated.

Another effect of alcohol on the brain is the "learned behavior syndrome"; when a behavior is learned under the influence of alcohol, the drinker sometimes must re-learn that behavior after stopping drinking.

The Blood:

One effect of drinking alcohol is "blood-sludging" where the red blood cells clump together causing the small blood vessels to plug up, starve the tissues of oxygen, and cause cell death. This cell death is most serious, and often unrecognized, in the brain. With this increased pressure, capillaries break, create red eyes in the morning, or the red, blotchy skin seen on the heavy drinker's face. Blood vessels can also break in the stomach and esophagus leading to hemorrhage, even death.

Other effects of alcohol on the blood include: anemia; sedation of the bone marrow (which reduces the red and white blood count, and weakens the bone structure); lowered resistance to infection; and a decrease in the ability to fight off infections.

The Gastrointestinal Tract:

The stomach, the small and large intestines, and the pancreas are each affected by alcohol. Alcohol increases acid in the stomach. That can result in gastritis or stomach or intestinal ulcers. The pancreas produces insulin which is necessary to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. Drinking causes a steep rise in the blood sugar; the pancreas responds by producing insulin which causes a fast drop in blood sugar and the symptom of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. 70-90% of alcoholics suffer to some degree from the disorder of hypoglycemia, chronic low blood sugar, as a long term effect of their drinking. Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include dizziness, headaches, lack of ability to concentrate, depression, anxiety, light-headedness, tremors, cold sweats, heart palpitations, loss of coordination, and upset stomach. In time, the drinker's overworked pancreas may stop producing insulin and diabetes can result. Conversely, a person with a family history of diabetes may be more vulnerable to problems with alcohol.

The Muscles:

Alcohol reduces blood flow to the muscles, including the heart, causing muscle weakness and deterioration. One outcome is cardiomyopathy (sluggish heart) which is common in alcoholics. Another outcome, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), or "holiday heart,"is often treated in emergency wards after several days of party drinking. Muscle aches are a common symptom of excessive-drinking "hangovers."

The Endocrine System:

This system controls the body's hormones and includes the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands, and the ovaries or testes. Alcohol sedates these glands, resulting in under-production of hormones; effects include increased susceptibility to allergies. Alcohol can effect sexual functioning in various ways. In low doses, it lowers inhibitions and may make a person feel sexier; but in higher doses, it can decrease sexual functioning: in men, by decreasing the frequency of erections, decreasing the maintenance of erections, decreasing penile size during erection, and increasing the amount of time between erections, in women by interfering with normal processes of sexual stimulation, and blocking orgasmic response. With chronic and prolonged use of alcohol in men, there is a shrinkage of sex glands and an increase of the "female hormone" estrogen. This produces secondary sexual characteristics, such as enlarged breasts and a decrease in body hair. Prolonged use of alcohol can cause infertility in both men and women.

TERMS TO UNDERSTAND

Tolerance: As people drink, their tolerance for alcohol may increase. They might seem to be able to "handle" alcohol better and need more to achieve the same effect as before. The liver does not become more tolerant, and is damaged over the course of time, leading to poor liver function and a noticeable decrease in tolerance, or "reverse-tolerance". A heavy drinker's reverse-tolerance is a sign of late-stage alcoholism.

Withdrawal: The effects of alcohol on the body account for the sick, uncomfortable, shaky feelings following a period of drinking. Withdrawal symptoms vary in intensity according to the amount and prolonged frequency of drinking.

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

* hangovers -- fairly common result of overindulging-- headache, fatigue, thirst, and nervousness. There may be nausea and abdominal cramping. Diagnosed alcoholics report fewer hangovers than drinkers who are non-alcoholic, this may be because they have learned to ignore the symptoms.
* sleep disturbance -- waking up earlier than usual after expecting to "sleep it off," being unable to fall asleep, disturbed dreaming.
* irritability, anxiety, and restlessness -- all caused by the irritant effects of alcohol.
* tremors, or "morning shakes"-- Tremors will clear after several days of abstinence, if there is no permanent damage to the nervous system

* physical weakness, rapid heart rate,
* mental sluggishness
* difficulty thinking clearly or flexibly

All the above are lingering evidence of alcohol's impact on muscles, heart and brain.

For the drinker with only a mild degree of physical dependence, withdrawal effects may not extend beyond the symptoms listed above.

Some drinkers experience second stage withdrawal, marked by:

* convulsions -- seizures usually occur between 12 and 48 hours of the last drink. There may be a loss of consciousness and body control.

Third stage withdrawal symptoms involve:

* alcoholic hallucinosis and delirium tremens -- auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations occur. This period may last for three to four days, during which the de-toxifying person is in a severe state of agitation, is often completely disoriented and sleeps little, if at all. The delusions are almost always terrifying and may produce violent behavior. There is a 10%-20% mortality rate associated with this stage of withdrawal. Detoxification of the acutely ill alcoholic requires medical supervision.

SPECIAL CONCERNS OF WOMEN

Female drinkers reach higher blood alcohol levels (BAL's) faster because of less water and more fat in the body and because of differences in digestive enzymes. Women develop alcohol-related disorders such as brain damage, cirrhosis and cancers at lower levels of drinking than men. It is also known that the menstrual cycle affects alcohol metabolism in women. Women have been shown to develop their highest BAL's immediately before menstruating, and their lowest on the first day of menstruation. This can be related to hormone level shifts. There is evidence which shows that premenstrual syndrome with its emotional and physical discomfort and de-stabilized blood-sugar levels can trigger excessive drinking by some women.

FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME (FAS) and FETAL ALCOHOL EFFECT (FAE)

Women who drink during pregnancy risk the development of both mental and physical defects in their children. Effects on the child can include: growth deficiencies; poorly formed bones and organs, heart abnormalities, cleft palate, retarded intellect, delayed motor development, poor coordination, behavior problems, and learning disabilities. Smoking cigarettes, combined with alcohol use, will increase the chance of birth defects. Use of alcohol increases the chance of miscarriage. It is best that a woman avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and other drugs entirely during pregnancy. Antabuse is not a suitable treatment for the pregnant or potentially pregnant alcoholic woman; it interferes with maternal liver function and may cause harm to the developing fetus.

Since harm to the infant may result even before a woman realizes that she is pregnant, women who might become pregnant need to be particularly cautious about what they consume.

NUTRITIONAL OVERVIEW

Secondary Diabetes: Diabetes can result from prolonged, excessive use of alcohol. Because it is caused by drinking and not from a genetic disorder, it is called "secondary" diabetes. The symptoms are identical to genetic or "primary" diabetes. Abstinence from alcohol is a vital part of treatment for this disorder.

Vitamins and Proteins: Those who use alcohol excessively deprive their bodies of essential nutrients. The drinker and the recovering alcoholic must pay special attention to diet. A diet high in protein not only provides many of the nutrients vital to recovery, but also keeps the blood sugar from too rapid change. It is better for those who drank excessively to get protein from eggs, milk, or vegetables, than from meats or cheeses. Because of an already-fatty liver, excessive drinkers cannot process the extra fat. When they eat meat, fruit should be eaten; it aids in breaking down fats. Vitamin supplements are helpful for people with drinking problems: these include, vitamins A, B, C and E. Protein supplementation may be important to reducing alcohol craving and maintaining emotional balance for alcoholics wanting to recover from their past heavy drinking. Similarly, a diet high in complex carbohydrates stabilizes blood glucose and reduces the low blood sugar state that can lead to craving alcohol. Understanding one's own special nutritional needs is an important aspect of recovery from excessive alcohol use.

OTHER DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine which are used, like alcohol, for "recreational" purposes have different, but similarly harmful, physical effects.

Research on marijuana use has shown several severe emotional and physical effects:

Frequent use can lead to the "amotivational syndrome", in which the person becomes apathetic, loses the ability to set realistic goals, lacks drive and ambition.

An active ingredient of marijuana (THC) settles in the fatty tissues of the body, especially in the reproductive organs. Male hormone levels drop and there is an increased level of impotence. Drop in hormone levels for women will affect the menstrual cycle and may result in a higher incidence of miscarriages.

Marijuana has from 7 to 10 times as much tar as one cigarette, increasing the chances of lung damage and emphysema. The chemistry of marijuana is extremely complex, dried marijuana contains over 420 chemical compounds--Delta 9 THC is generally cited as the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, but research suggests that other compounds acting independently or interacting with Delta-9-THC also contribute to the intoxicating potency of the drug. While stored in body fats, THC and its metabolites are slowly released back into the bloodstream. Complete elimination of a single dose can take 30 days.

Given the slow clearance of marijuana's chemicals from the body, researchers predict that repeated use of marijuana at intervals of less than 8 to 10 days results in accumulation of THC and other psychoactive substances in the tissues of body and brain.

If marijuana is used with alcohol, the effect is greater than if the two effect patterns were added together.

Driving after using either alcohol or marijuana is unsafe, after using both, driving is more than twice as dangerous. Judgment, reaction time, and coordination are worse than with either drug taken alone.

Cocaine, "Crack" and amphetamines are fast-acting stimulants. People who use alcohol and stimulant drugs together will drink more to feel the effects of alcohol because of the stimulant effects. When stimulant effects wear off, the alcohol effects "catch up" quickly, and that can be extremely dangerous, both in terms of physical effects and distortions of perception and judgment.

Stimulants are also quickly-addicting drugs which cause their users to need more and more to get the same "high". Chronic stimulant use leads to dysphoria--a depressed, low-energy state; flattened emotions, a lack of interest in sex, and physical immobility.

The physical and psychological consequences of heavy stimulant use include: hallucinations and delusions, a mental state that appears "really crazy." Many stimulant users experience formication, the sensation that their skin is crawling with bugs. Impaired judgment and feelings of persecution are common. Users may overstimulate their heart muscles and cause sudden death from a single heavy dose.

PRESCRIPTIONS

Drugs prescribed for medical conditions are frequently harmful if combined with alcohol. Addiction to alcohol is addiction to all sedatives. Drugs which are prescribed to combat anxiety include various sedatives, "tranquilizers" and barbiturates; most frequently prescribed is Valium. Tranquilizers are addictive, and, if taken with alcohol will multiply the effects of both to sedate the user. This interactive effect can lead to a coma or death. Sometimes antidepressants, or amphetamines, are prescribed to treat depression or for weight control. These drugs speed up the nervous system and are addicting. Because they are stimulants, the effects of drinking while using them is like the effect of cocaine with alcohol -- they "cancel each other out" until the stimulant wears off, then intoxication occurs quickly.

Medication of any kind should not be mixed with alcohol. None should be taken by the recovering person, unless the physician who prescribes is fully aware of the alcohol use history.

Over-the-counter or "ordinary" medicine such as cold tablets or cough medicine are frequently used without caution. Drugstore medicines can have dangerous effects when mixed with each other, with alcohol, or when taken by the recovering alcoholic. Read the label. Ask the druggist.






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MIMICOTO
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10/6/09 9:37 P

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Hey all! I never used to plan my 'A' or 'AF' days until joining this team. Now I find that planning is one of the best tools I have for helping me reach my goals. To be honest, I think it helps to set us up for success...

Great job in setting your goals Septspirit - and I love the planning ideas KGD1111

Edited by: MIMICOTO at: 10/6/2009 (21:37)
~Mimi~

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MEADSBAY
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10/6/09 7:17 P

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This is an excellent thread, my friends!
Helene- remember that thread we had going about 6 months ago- what do you do when you're really craving or something like that? I don't see it anywhere. I was checking to see if there was anything to add to this discussion.
Thanks for all the great ideas.
I am going to look for that book, for sure.
emoticon
elizabeth
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elizabeth

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KGD1111
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SeptSpirit - I know it sounds funny to plan our af days, and I agree, but it actually works best for me to plan even further. I go so far as to plan how much and what I will drink when I do. I made A its own section in my meal plan and I actually plan ahead of time by fitting it into my caloric goals for the day.
Maybe this sounds crazy to everyone, I mean why not just plan for all af days and go from there.
But for me, I have to be realistic and planning it ALL for me helps best.
Anyway, good luck SeptemberSpirit.
Btw, Keep us informed on your progress. I always enjoy reading your posts.


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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT
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10/6/09 6:00 P

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Well this is a great thread! I was looking over my months and trying to figure out a new strategy to kick start my AF streaks again or just cut back again as it seems I'm going back to old patterns and feel so anxious about it.

In reviewing 2009 so far (as I've counted each AF day per month) I had my most AF days in January when our resolution mode is high and we're motivated. Then came events and things that threw me off and it seems I've been on a downward spiral. So I thought I need to make a plan and set myself a goal. We have the monthly challenge thread but I need an extra kick and need to really get back into this. Reading this thread has been great as I see more new and great resources.

So now with a plan in mind - I look to the last days of October and going to aim to plan my "Alcohol" days with the end goal in mind that I want to beat my January total of 19 days AF. Now it's a slight twist to the planning your AF days but I figure if I 'allow' myself the "A" days, I won't feel deprived, they will be planned and it might be the trick that turns things around for me!

So in looking at my month I have a few things coming up. Outing with work on Thursday, Sunday "Thanksgiving" celebration with my cousin and a few weekends, including Halloween and maybe an outing so I'm going to pick 5 days that I can have drinks and plan the others AF. I'm going to mark my calendar and follow it like I do any schedule.

I've been doing great with keeping up with other commitments (including my volunteering) and now I need to do this for ME to make a CHANGE.

Wish me luck!!

Real Name: Helene

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ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE!!


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LOLLYJEAN
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9/20/09 12:49 P

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emoticon JENNNVA on staying AF os far!!!

I wish I could say the same. I've done better this month than any other month in years but it's not good enough.

It's ridiculously simple and yet so hard (for me). If I eat dinner...I don't drink.

Watch where you're going...not where you've been


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JENNNVA
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9/18/09 3:30 P

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Right now - what helps me is finally seeing the scale move! I've been AF for all of September so far. That's my motivation to continue.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!


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LIVINWELL
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9/17/09 9:42 A

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RTLIFESTYLE,
You have done some awesome work with your weight loss and health! My weight loss has been VERY slow, but I am in it for life, so slow is OK.

There is a great support thread going on in the "Who is AF today?" topic if you would like to join us.

I hope you have been doing well since your post on the 14th.


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RTLIFESTYLE
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9/14/09 10:20 A

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I also want to be healthier. I don't want anything to control me. I've went from 181 to 136. I made it through last night without a drink. Yeah!

rtlifestyle
Co-leader Emotional Eaters
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Don't get discouraged. Look at today only. We can't change yesterday.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. SP quote


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LIVINWELL
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9/14/09 9:02 A

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I'm working on remembering my motivations for not drinking. I want to think consciously about these reasons and remember them when I feel tempted.

Here's one of my reasons for moderating or being AF:

Being as healthy as I can be!

I have high blood pressure and probably always will since my entire family has it, some of whom are overweight and others who aren't. Exercise is making a difference in controlling it better, but when I drink I sometimes forget to take my medication before going to bed. I think the alcohol in my system has a negative effect on the BP as well.

I am only in my mid 40's and have had high blood pressure for more than 10 years now.

I want to live a long, happy, healthy life!

What are your motivations for wanting to moderate or be AF?


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DMAGNUM
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9/13/09 8:13 P

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This team is so helpful. My husband and I went grocery shopping tonight. Because the weather is beautiful and we know it's not going to last too much longer here in the Northeast, we went to a local restaurant to sit outside to eat. It's a BYOB. My husband bought a six-pack. He gave me a bottle. I took three sips slowly. After our food arrived, I didn't touch it. I told him he could have the rest of mine. Thinking about the rest of you on this team should really help me to stop and think, "Do I really need this drink?" I feel so relieved that I didn't drink even half of that beer.



MIMICOTO
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Welcome RTLIFESTYLE - happy to have you with us!

~Mimi~

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made - Wayne Dyer

Leader, Go for the Goal


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RTLIFESTYLE
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9/13/09 3:29 P

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I just joined this team. I need someone to help support and encourage me with not having a couple of drinks everynight.

rtlifestyle
Co-leader Emotional Eaters
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Don't get discouraged. Look at today only. We can't change yesterday.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. SP quote


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LATVIAN_SANDY
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9/11/09 1:58 P

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Yes, thank you MIMICOTO for starting this post and the information about the book!

I know you said that one of your motivations is to acknowledge that deciding to have a drink (or not) is an individual decision, but I have to say - if no one around me is having a drink, I will not have one, either. So for me, that is a powerful AF motivator.

Sveiki!
Central time zone


JENNNVA
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9/11/09 12:39 P

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Thanks for posting that MIMICOTO! I think I'm going to check it out. Sounds like overall it's a very informative book and a keeper!


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MIMICOTO
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9/11/09 10:28 A

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A few people have asked for more information about the book,'The EasyWay to Stop Drinking' by Allen Carr. I'll do my best to provide a description here and tell you what I liked (and didn't like) about the book. Feel free to ask any questions that don't get addressed here. A link to the book on Amazon is provided at the end of the message.

First, this book is an easy read. It is written in a friendly, conversational tone, and the chapters fly by. It is not preachy, judgmental or condescending. You do not need to quit drinking before you read the book - in fact, it is suggested that if you are currently drinking, you continue to do so as it helps to reinforce what is being said in the book. I did this to good effect and couldn't believe how truly awful my drinks tasted by the time I got to the end of the book.

By the end of the book, I was really ready to quit drinking - and felt happy, excited and relieved to be stopping. It was, as promised, easy. Since reading this, I have come to believe that alcohol is just as nasty, addictive and harmful as other drugs that I would never consider putting into my body. It's just tougher to say 'no' to this one as everything around us tells us it's 'normal' to drink and 'not normal' to abstain.

Basically, this book is geared toward demystifying our thoughts about alcohol - and in fact shows us that, contrary to what we might believe, we are not the problem, alcohol is the problem. The author systematically addresses the 'lies' we have come to believe about alcohol and why we drink, and leads the reader to see alcohol for what it really is - a toxic, addictive poison that affects all human beings in the same way (i.e. you are not flawed if having a drink makes you want more - that's one of the effects of alcohol and one of the ways it traps us!).

He uses the analogy of the 'pitcher plant' - a carnivorous plant that attracts flies with a sweet nectar and traps them...by the time they've figured out what's going on, they are too full of nectar to fly away - it's too late to escape. Sound familiar?

He goes through each of the 'reasons' that we are convinced we need to drink (because it tastes good, to relieve stress, to be happy, to feel good, have a good time etc.) and demonstrates how the ultimate effects of alcohol are the exact opposite of what we think we're getting. In some cases, it creates the very problems we are using it to relieve....and in any case, the problems we are avoiding when drinking are still there (or have become worse) when we come out of the haze.

The one place where I found this book lacking was in providing practical tools to 'stay stopped' once I had quit drinking (I read the book several times and quit drinking - EASILY! - several times, but have had to dig around to develop the practical ways to stay stopped - that's how I found this Team!). He doesn't deal with the question of 'relapsing' which is a very real (and very common) part of giving up this highly addictive substance.

So, there you have it. I am not completely AF, but I can say that this book was a turning point in my 'history' with booze.

Here's the link:

www.amazon.com/Easy-Way-Stop-Drinking/dp/1
402736479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&q
id=1252677665&sr=1-1


~Mimi~

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made - Wayne Dyer

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LIVINWELL
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9/10/09 9:01 A

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I'm reading 7 Tools to Beat Addiction by Stanton Peele and have found it very helpful. I, too, have had several starts and stops with cutting back and going AF for up to 15 days, but am finding more and more reasons that I need to go AF for good. One suggestion I read was to write down all of the reasons to stop or be AF and read it when you are tempted.


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AF2FIT
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9/10/09 12:17 A

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Finding stories that hit close to home:

http://www.channel4.com/health/microsites/A/addiction/alice_king.html


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MIMICOTO
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9/9/09 5:10 P

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Great suggestions everyone! I knew that I forgot something that really helps me....planning! When I am clear about whether or not I plan to drink, it really helps. If I set a goal to not drink on x y z days, it is easier to hold myself accountable....when I don't, it's easier to be vague about what success means.

~Mimi~

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made - Wayne Dyer

Leader, Go for the Goal


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NHGRL68
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9/9/09 4:23 P

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emoticon MIMICOTO. Great idea doing this!

Before I joined this team I was really struggling to stay AF. I kept thinking that I was going to start but then something would come up, and I would start drinking again. I was never a heavy drinker. I would try to keep it at 2, at the most. But I still felt like it was controlling me. And once it got to be 5-6pm, it was all I would be thinking about. I didn't like that.

A few things that helped me along the way...

1) I started out by cutting back. I started drinking less alcohol and less often.

2) I would try to stay busy during the time I am usually drinking.

3) I found a substitute, non-alco drink for that time. For me it is iced blueberry herbal tea. I'll probably switch to hot herbal tea when it gets colder.

4) This Spark team has really been a blessing for me. This team and all the supportive,motivating, and warm people really inspired me and got me going in the right direction. I think getting on here and posting is very important. It has REALLY helped me a lot.

That's all I have for now:-) Best of luck to everyone!emoticon
~Melissa~

~Melissa~

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~NEVER give up on yourself!~


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DMAGNUM
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9/9/09 1:59 P

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This thread is a great idea, Mimicoto! One thing that helps me stay AF is this team. I have spent fewer weeknights kicking back w/wine when I get home from work, even though my husband still has wine or beer with dinner most nights. The rest of you inspire me. If the temptation is very great, sometimes I log in and read some posts on this team, and that cures my desire. I also sometimes buy those awful gossip rags on my way home from work. I know they're a waste of money, but they're cheaper than buying a bottle of wine. They are mindless entertainment. I love to read books, but I usually do that while I'm on the train. Last night, I also found inspiration by surfing the Web. There's a site called "How I Quit Drinking" or some such thing. I'll try to find it again and bookmark it. A lot of people posted very encouraging stories about how they stopped drinking and why they're happier and don't miss it. I have been AF all this week, but have two upcoming challenges: I'm taking DH out for dinner for his b-day tomorrow, and I'm attending a wedding on Saturday. Hopefully, I will stick w/club soda and lime.



JENNNVA
JENNNVA's Photo Posts: 3,513
9/9/09 12:31 P

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Great job MIMICOTO! You pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. I think for me, in addition to what you said is I've finally reached a point where I'm tired of working so hard to drop the last 15-20lbs only to drink them away so quick. I know I'm not going to loose them with alcohol involved. So I'm determined to change that this month. I'm interested in seeing the results at month end.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!


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ANDREA40925
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9/9/09 12:28 P

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Another thing that helps me is taking "break" when I think I want a second drink. Often after one glass of wine I feel like another. I tell myself, "have a cup of tea first, and then see if you still want the wine." Pretty often by the time I finish the tea I don't want the wine anymore!


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MIMICOTO
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9/9/09 10:58 A

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I'm starting this thread with support from JENNNVA and NHGRL68. We thought it would be a good idea to create a thread where members of this Team could share in one spot the things that help us have AF days or cut back on our alcohol consumption. This might serve as encouragement and give us all some new tricks to help us meet our goals. I'll get the ball rolling!

Things that help me have AF days include:

1) Staying hydrated - drinking all my water prevents me from being thirsty at the end of the day when I'm most vulnerable

2) Visiting and posting in this forum - staying in contact with others 'like me' has become a huge source of support.

3) 'Starting' with a non-alcoholic drink at the time I would normally have a glass of wine. Often if I skip the first drink, it interrupts the pattern and no more drinks follow. Lime sparkling water and Coke Zero are my current favorites!

4) Remembering that the choice to drink is an individual affair, not a group (or couple!) decision. I can choose not to drink even if others around me are making different choices.

I'm looking forward to reading what keeps all of you on track - especially those of you who have been racking up those AF days on a longer-term basis! Let's spread the Spark!

Edited by: MIMICOTO at: 9/9/2009 (11:01)
~Mimi~

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made - Wayne Dyer

Leader, Go for the Goal


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