Sobriety Delivers everything Alcohol Promised

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How powerful is this quote?

When I saw the quote above on Instagram, I knew I had to share.

You see, for me, my life had turned into a dependency on alcohol. I thought I needed wine for:

  • Relaxation

  • Celebration

  • Rest

  • Self-Care

  • Entertainment

  • Happiness

But I've learned that - without alcohol - I can do all those things (and more!) in a truly authentic manner.

  • I have less anxiety

  • I have more motivation

  • I am kinder

I feel like a sponge that is soaking up inspiration, love and support all around! 

The truth is, alcohol had stripped me of self-confidence, while also giving me a dose of anxiety and uneasiness in everything I did. I have been meditating more, praying more and connecting with people more. I reach out to people to let them know I am thinking of them. I am happier. Confident. At peace.

What is alcohol taking from you that sobriety may be able to provide? Just something to think about. xoxo Kim

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am sober." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 16 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


How to add essential oils to your sobriety toolbox

Happy Monday! Super excited to be celebrating Day 15 of Sober October! Last year, I think I made it to Day 8 of Sober October so - if nothing else at least I’m making progress!

Once I started reading books written by people who got sober, I noticed many of them mentioned the use of essential oils. For example, Bex Weller, author of A Happier Hour, wrote that she started to incorporate essential oils into a bedtime routine that had her looking forward to something after attending a special event:

"I put fresh sheets on the bed, and placed a new essential oil and a great book on my bedside table."

Also, Holly Whitaker from Hip Sobriety added essential oils to her sober toolbox as a necessity, among rosary/prayer beads and good tea and healing music!

When exploring topics for this Sober October Challenge, I definitely wanted to address how to incorporate essential oils into a daily regimen. And I really appreciate insight from Joy, of Lemon and Joy Life! Here are a few basics about what essential oils are - and how to use them. She also provides a few special blends that are great to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Follow her on Instagram at Lemon and Joy Life - and definitely reach out to her if you have any questions!

Image courtesy of Young Living

Image courtesy of Young Living

What are essential oils? - Essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. They are the lifeblood of plants and contain therapeutic properties when properly distilled.

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

How can you use essential oils? - To use oils aromatically, you can:

  • open the bottle and take a whiff

  • rub a drop in your hands, cup them together and breathe in

  • diffuse them in a diffuser.

According to Joy, research shows that the constituents in pure essential oils stimulate olfactory receptors in the brain and activate the limbic system which is associated with memory and emotion. Simply inhaling an oil can ease daily stresses and emotional ups and downs. Many oils can also be used topically. To use oils topically, you can apply to your wrists and breathe in. Or you can apply to your neck or chest.

Here are some Young Living Oils that Joy suggests to promote relaxation or relieve stress:

Lavender- is the most popular of all essential oils because most people have heard of Lavender being a relaxing aroma even if they aren't familiar with essential oils or aromatherapy. This one can be diffused, applied topically, made into a pillow spray or room spray.

FUN FACT: Lavender is frequently called the "switch blade oil" because it has so many uses. 

Stress Away- a blend of Lavender, Vanilla, Lime and Cedarwood that smells like a tropical getaway. Keep the roll on you in a bag and take it with you to help calm the mind and body while on the go. It is great to use during rush hour traffic or before a difficult meeting.

FUN FACT: Both Lavender and Stress Away are also available in all natural bath bombs that are a great way to relax after a rough day. They are fun, fizzy and relaxing and so nourishing for your skin. 

Tranquil- another handy roll on but this one has Lavender, Cedarwood, Roman Camomile. This one is a favorite of parents and children.

FUN FACT: Joy suggests taking it with you to calm a tantrum on the go, you can apply it to children or adults at bedtime to promote a restful atmosphere and prepare the body for a good night's sleep.

Peace and Calming- "This one is a favorite to diffuse at bedtime in our house," says Joy. It is a blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patcholi and Blue Tansy. "We love the aroma and the sense of calm it brings to our house. I have been known to diffuse this during playdates too!"

FUN FACT: Essential oils have been around since biblical times but they have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years and now you can buy them any where. They are not all the same, even if the label says "pure" or "all natural." According to Joy, Young Living has the Seed to Seal guarantee meaning they have the highest standards in every step of the process, starting with the best seeds, grown in optimal conditions, harvested at the optimal time, then distilled with the utmost care and precision and, finally, every batch of oils is tested in house and by a 3rd party with multiple tests to ensure every bottle of oil contains the correct amount the therapeutic constituents. Young Living has been around for 25 years and truly sets the standards for the industry.

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I seek wellness in my life." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 15 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


#thisis40 - 40 ideas to try when you want to drink

Happy Saturday!

For those needing inspiration, I made a list of 40 things to do instead of reach for a glass of wine. What did I miss? Would love to continue the conversation with you. xoxo Kim

1. Pray

2. Visualize success

3. Meditate

4. Exercise

5. Drink a non alcoholic beer

6. Make a mocktail

7. Read a sober success story

8. Envision the person you want to be

9. Reach out for support on Instagram

10. Find a way to be accountable

11. Go to the zoo

12. Get a massage

13. Take a nap

14. Make a coffee drink

15. Go for a walk

16. EFT

17. Walk a dog

18. Play a game with your kids

19. Think through the drink and how you will feel the next day

20. Drink a glass of water

21. Do 10 push-ups

22. Journal

23. Read a good book

24. List out your whys

25. Find a mentor

26. Join a support group

27. Go to an AA meeting

28. Call a friend

29. Write a letter

30. Listen to a podcast

31. Bake a cake

32. Eat a cake 🎂

33. Go to a movie

34. Dance

35. Make a list of what you are grateful for

36. Make a list on the benefits of not drinking

37. Sing a song

38. Read poetry

39. Memorize bible verses

40. Believe in yourself

WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I make choices that bring me closer to reaching my goals." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 13 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Sober October Day 12 - more inspiration from Sober In Vegas! (part 2 of 2)

Happy Friday!

  1. Yesterday I shared some insight from Kim at Sober In Vegas on how to enjoy an alcohol-free trip to Las Vegas! But what about your own home town? Or traveling to visit friends you haven't seen in a while?

    Today, Kim is sharing a few more thoughts and insights that are perfect to absorb as we head into the weekend! Hope everyone has a good one.

Q. How can you navigate your own hometown (or one you are traveling to) and experience the area sans alcohol?

A. Two words - get curious. Been wondering what that weird building was on your drive home? Pull over and finally check it out.Been wondering if there are any local theatre companies to see a show at on a Saturday night? Start doing some research and asking around. And get involved. You'll start learning so much more about your community by getting involved, and you will start to feel more comfortable and rooted.

"When I moved back to Vegas after almost a decade of being away, I found the quickest way to feel less lonely (and more tempted to drink) was to volunteer weekly," says Kim. "It gave me social interactions to look forward to, helped me get to know my community, and it felt great to give back!"

Finally, See if there are local sobriety meet ups in the area you are traveling. "I also try and check Instagram for sober hashtags in the area just to see what other folks are doing in that town that don’t involve alcohol," she suggested.

Q. What if you are staying with friends?

A. Tell them ahead of time you aren’t drinking. According to Kim, "this has been the hardest thing for me as so much of my current travel has been to friends weddings. I bit the bullet recently and started telling my friends before the trip, 'Hey, just wanted to give you a heads up I stopped drinking–just didn’t want you to think I was being rude if I don’t take you up on an offer for wine or beer with dinner.'

Almost every single friend was supportive and even sensitive about this, planning ahead to have non-alcoholic drinks for me at the event."

See if there are local sobriety meet ups in the area you are traveling.I also try and check Instagram for sober hashtags in the area just to see what other folks are doing in that town that don’t involve alcohol

Q. What are the best pieces of living an alcohol-free lifestyle that you've experienced so far? And do you have tips/tools you use when you perhaps are craving a drink?

A. READING, AUDIOBOOKS & PODCASTS. The minute I start to feel frazzled or lonely or tempted, I dive into something to challenge my brain. When you're feeling at your best explore and stock up--because when you are feeling down you won't have the energy.

Q. What keeps you motivated to continue a sober lifestyle?

A. The fact that everything is harder when alcohol is in my life. Getting sober didn't magically 'fix' me. It is one of the best decisions I've ever made--but sober me was still me and my problems were still there. What has made such a huge difference however is how I am able to tackle those problems now instead of ignore them. I sleep better, I have way fewer panic attacks, and much fewer fights with my spouse and family. I've been able to seek help for long standing emotional & mental issues, and had the time to have my first solo art show. I don't know that any of that would have been possible if booze was still in my life!

WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Read Kim's blog post that provides more tips for traveling sober!

  2. Follow Sober in Vegas on Instagram

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I choose happiness." whenever you have a chance.

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 12 of Sober October.

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

3 tips to try + enjoy while traveling sober! (Sober in Vegas contributor!)

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Sober in Vegas!

If you are like me, I start thinking about the weekend on Thursday!

One of my favorite things to do is to plan a road trip over the weekend - to explore our beautiful state and surrounding areas.

And when I first stopped drinking, I thought I would probably never go to a place like Las Vegas again for a special trip.

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't gamble. What would I possibly do in Sin City if I didn't enjoy any of those things?

Then I discovered Sober in Vegas on Instagram. Through blog posts and images, she shares the unlimited possibilities of exploring Las Vegas and the great state of Nevada as a complete and total teetotaler.

From outdoor adventures to magic shows and art exhibits to nature trails, there truly is something for everyone. And I'm so grateful to Kim at Sober in Vegas for sharing that part of her community.

Today, she shares some tips on how to enjoy your travels, road trips and more while pursuing a sober lifestyle.

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All responses below provided by Kim at Sober in Vegas. THANK YOU, KIM for your expert advice!

TIP 1: PLAN AHEAD. In a place like Las Vegas where alcohol is everywhere, even the strong can feel weak. By knowing ahead of time where you're going to dine or explore (and what alcohol-free options they have) you've preemptively cut out so much anxiety and temptation.

Also don't be afraid to call a restaurant ahead of time and ask what their alcohol-free options are--especially the higher end places. Vegas is a town dedicated to customer satisfaction and often times they are eager to accommodate.

TIP 2: BE AN EARLY BIRD. My tip for you if you're staying on The Strip is to go to bed early and get up early. Late nights in casinos can be rough, and if you have any social anxiety, it can be hard.

"Early in the mornings the casinos tend to be much less populated, and if you're walking outdoors on The Strip it's even more sparsely populated," says Kim. "Seven in the morning is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors on The Strip hangover free!"

TIP 3: CREATE A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT. Don't forget to pack items outside of normal clothes/toiletries to ensure comfort while traveling. Some tips Kim recommends are: Earplugs and an eye mask (for better sleep), headphones (to enjoy podcasts or audiobooks!), essential oils (to relax or create a spa-like environment), snacks and extra towels or a favorite blanket.

Stay tuned for more insight from Sober in Vegas. Tomorrow, Kim addresses how to explore your own home town sober AND the best parts she's experienced about living a sober lifestyle. xoxo Kim

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

Image courtesy of Sober in Vegas

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Read Kim's blog post that provides more tips for traveling sober!

  2. Follow Sober in Vegas on Instagram

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I choose adventure. I choose sobriety." whenever you have a chance.

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 11 of Sober October.

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


Sober October: Day 10 (...are you a fan of tough love?)

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I hate being the bad guy.

My husband tends to be the one who is more strict with the children. I tend to let more slide.

At the PR agency I co-own with my business partner, we always joke that I'm "good cop" and she's "bad cop."

I sometimes have a hard time being super harsh. I don't like it and I can see so many sides to a story.

But when it comes to getting what you want, it won't serve any of us to do anything half way. Especially when it comes to being sober and breaking a habit like accepting alcohol at every turn, for any occasion.

I know I've learned a lot from my slip ups. I learn each time I don't want to drink again - and then I find better ways to cope with a certain emotion.

But there comes a time when you've got to own the decisions you make.

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Do you want to try life without alcohol? Or do you want to keep repeating the cycle and stay where you are?

It's not going to be easy to pass on the champagne at brunch, the beer at the birthday celebration or the wine while you're making dinner. But it will be worth it.

You'll learn things about yourself. You'll find new ways to cope with emotions and stressors. You'll do something that you'll be proud of. Stop making excuses and you'll ultimately feel better if you just stick with it.

Why not give it a try? Why not step outside your comfort zone and fight through the tough spots?

Don't give up on yourself. Don't break your promise to yourself. Don't quit when it's hard.

DECIDE YOU CAN. AND BELIEVE YOU CAN.

xoxo Kim

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 10

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I make choices that get me closer to my goal." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 10.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


From frazzled to freedom - How I got to 100 days sober

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When I first set out to complete 100 days without alcohol, I imagined this day full of balloons and confetti.

Celebrating my success with lots of hoopla.

Espousing all my newfound wisdom sitting on top of a mountain.

The truth is, I don’t like to make a big fuss and draw attention to myself. The 100 Days of Sober Instagram page is so radically different than anything I’ve ever done because it does not mesh with my “I want to hide and be behind the scenes personality” - but I keep receiving notes that what I’m sharing is helpful. And that is why I continue to share bits and pieces of my journey.

And I’ve got to be honest. That feedback sets me on fire and ignites a flame inside of me. I love it. I received a note from a woman who said she stopped drinking because she saw herself in my posts - and that is such a humbling thing to receive.

Instead of celebrating, I’m reflecting. Reflecting on:

  • 100 days of saying no to wine to squash (insert emotion here)

  • 100 days of saying yes to exploring other ways to deal with (insert emotion, stress, celebration here)

  • 100 days of saying yes to feeling all my emotions

  • 100 days of saying yes to better sleep

  • 100 days of saying no to overthinking or allowing someone else’s thoughts of me dictate what I choose to share

  • 100 days of saying no to things that don’t serve me well

While I’m happy to be sitting here at 100 days, I can’t help but to think of the woman who is hungover in her kitchen right now, washing down Aleve with coffee.

If she’s anything like I was, she’s snapping at her kids and apologizing to her husband for the fight they had last night, while throwing away a bottle of Chardonnay from the fridge that surprisingly only has a spit of wine still in it.

“I didn’t mean to drink that much,” she thinks. “Today I will not drink at all,” she falsely promises herself until the stress gets to be too much and she decides to pour ‘just a smidge’ to take the edge off, only to repeat the whole damn cycle again.

I wrote a post at the 30-day mark - and everything in here still rings true. The books, the courses, the importance of accountability, the lies I told myself. Please read that to see some resources that I have found immensely helpful.

Here at 100 days, I have a little more insight to share that I promised at Day 30. This actually comes from recent conversations with people asking for advice.

  • One day at a time - I admit. I am as basic as they come. I’m a cliche. I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes and say shit like “one day at a time” - but I’ll tell you why this works for me. Just try saying “no” when it gets hard. Just for one day. And your brain will remember and say “oh I was able to do this yesterday” and try it again. It may take a few times to stick - but when have you ever been able to master something after just one try? Give yourself a break and keep at it. One day your brain will say “no more tomorrows” - try it today.

  • Change the way you look at alcohol - Did you ever have a friend, coworker or mentor that you thought was just so beautiful in every way? They could do no wrong. But then you learned a really awful story about them - about the way they treated people, or cheated loved ones or anything else truly awful? And then how did you look at them? Was it the same? You probably could never view them as the beauty they once were in your eyes. And that’s what I’m asking you to do with alcohol.

  • Decide you can - Just freaking believe in yourself and decide you can. No one can do this for you. No inspirational quote, meme or someone else’s success story is going to make you do something you don’t believe you can do in the first place. Decide you can. And then take little steps towards that goal. Don’t worry if you mess it up. Just start over. Believe in yourself. No one else will do this work for you.

    I’ve started to view alcohol as a toxin. A carcinogen that is linked to a number of cancers. And a brain altering poison that makes me dizzy and fuzzy. It helps me to look at it that way instead. And if you are reading this looking for ideas, it may help you, too.

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I’m sitting here in my kitchen writing this to you today. It’s calm and peaceful. I’m grateful and hopeful that perhaps someone else will be inspired. And I’m praying for all you strong souls out there who are disappointed in themselves again this morning - and perhaps feel they haven’t got it quite figured out. Guess what? Neither do I! Just still taking it day by day. xoxo Kim

P.S. Life is still not 100% perfect. It never will be. During this post, the dog has thrown up and escaped out the backyard. At least I’m not running after him down the streets hungover right? :)

Sobering Statistics - Day 8 of Sober October

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I usually like to keep things light and positive.

But the truth is, it's important to start seeing alcohol for what it is. It's a known carcinogen that can cause death, destruction, depression and dismay. Viewing alcohol this way - in a new perspective - is especially helpful for me when I start to romanticize bringing alcohol back into my life...

Oh, wouldn't a delightful gin and tonic be so refreshing on this crazy hot day?

Hmm, no, not really. Because it will make me want three more. I will be tired and cranky that I can't take a nap...because kids, y'all. I will most likely eat half of the pizza we ordered for the kids and then I will sleep like shit and wake up feeling like a swamp monster.

<Put that in a commercial and see how well a light beer sells!>

O.K. So let's talk sobering statistics. I know I've shared the following before - but in case you missed it or glossed over it, I'm sharing again. It's a quote from Jillian Michaels in her book, Making the Cut.

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  1. Alcohol not only promotes fat storage and inhibits muscle growth - but it has been linked to cancer, y'all. Cancer.

  2. According to Cancer.gov"there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer. In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.

  3. Drinking too much can harm your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 - 2010. It can shorten your life or reduce the quality of life you lead.

  4. Alcohol is considered the #1 date rape drug, per the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse. Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25% of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both.

Personally, I've made 1,001 awful decisions when I have had too much to drink:

  • Decisions that put myself and others in harm's way.

  • Decisions that I would never had made sober.

  • Decisions that left me apologizing years afterwards to people for something I did or said.

  • Decisions that left me physically ill and full of anxiety and depression.

  • Decisions that ruined friendships or other relationships.

  • Decisions I probably would have been fired for.

The truth is alcohol promises everything, while taking away your inhibitions, self-respect and decision-making abilities. It takes everything that is valuable to you but offers less than little when it comes to leading a joy-filled and intentional life. I think a glass of wine every now and then is perfectly fine - but let's be honest, I'm not part of that minority that can simply have a glass of wine and leave it. So why even bother?

Let’s keep going and figure out new ways to enjoy life, socialize, unwind, celebrate, relax and mourn. xoxo Kim

FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 8

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am healthy and strong. I take care of my body so it can take care of me." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 8.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Did you see this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News?


Three ways alcohol is sabotaging your fitness goals + video from Asheton Brown

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Happy Sunday and Day 7 of Sober October!

I am so stinking tired. I took three four-year olds to a pumpkin patch yesterday and really feel like I've been hit by a bus. Sigh. The kids did have a great time and we got to take really awesome pictures in a sunflower field...and, while I'm exhausted, at least I'm not hungover, right? 

Image from Beechwood Farms in Marietta, SC. It was hot - but fun!

Image from Beechwood Farms in Marietta, SC. It was hot - but fun!

I've always loved, loved (and loved) to work out. I love running, circuit training, yoga - really anything except cycling or riding a stationery bike. And I'm amazed at how much easier it is to have incredible workouts without also asking my body to try to rid itself of the wine.

It's really no surprise that alcohol absolutely sabotages workouts, but here are three interesting things it does, which work against fitness goals.

Quote from Making the Cut, author Jillian Michaels.

Quote from Making the Cut, author Jillian Michaels.

  1. It packs on fat - According to Jillian Michaels in her book Making the Cut, alcohol releases estrogen into the bloodstream. "Not only does estrogen promote fat storage and inhibit muscle growth, but frequent estrogen spikes in the body have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer."

  2. It disrupts recovery - From an article in the Active Times: Alcohol depletes important minerals that are important to the recovery process. “It encourages yeast overgrowth which has a whole spectrum of symptoms. It depletes the body of vital minerals such as magnesium which is an important electrolyte for muscle recovery and muscle health for those exercising and seeking fitness,” explains Dr. Carolyn Dean.

  3. Sleep quality suffers -  This quote comes from an article from Shape Magazine. "A few glasses of wine before bed may help you drift off faster—but the zzz’s you log won’t be deeper, says Haas. “Alcohol can prevent restorative deep REM sleep, which is needed to feel rested.” Lack of sleep can impair muscle recovery, and even if you manage to drag yourself to the gym after a night of tossing and turning, your workout will suffer.

Thanks to the unicorn ninja Asheton Brown for sharing her thoughts for the 100 Days of Sober project!

Thanks to the unicorn ninja Asheton Brown for sharing her thoughts for the 100 Days of Sober project!

To further explain the advantages of teetotaling while working out, here is a video from fitness model and motivational speaker, Asheton Brown, who addresses why anyone could benefit from skipping the glass of wine while trying to achieve their fitness goals. She filmed this especially and exclusively for 100 Days of Sober, when this challenge was just an idea in my mind. Many thanks to her continued support. Check her out on Instagram - she is as inspiring as she is beautiful! (Also, video by Dumah Morgan - thanks, Dumah!)

xoxo Kim

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 7

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I keep moving forward in my fitness goals" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 7 - and please share your favorite book that addresses addiction or achieving sobriety!

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Did you see this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News? 


100 Days of Sober featured in The Greenville News

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As someone who has been in the PR profession my entire life, it truly is weird to be on the other side of a story. But I want to thank Lillia at the The Greenville News for writing an article that highlights the rise in restaurant trends geared towards non-alcoholic beverages and lifestyle trends that focus on balance - as well as my semi-private (now public haha!) 100 Days of Sober Challenge where I've taken a step back from alcohol in my life.

(For anyone who knows me, I've had a longstanding love affair with wine that has recently ended!)

This will be the only time I'm ever uttered in any article in the same mention as Husk Restaurant, so I'm just gonna roll with it! If you read the article, let me know what you think. xo Kim

Sober October: Day 6 (for the book lovers!)

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Happy Saturday!

I love the term "quit lit" - it describes a genre where people have written literature that share their stories of getting sober. The challenges, the hard bits, the funny parts and everything in between. Ultimately, the story ends with the author conquering sobriety - and honestly every book I've read, each person's life has turned out for the better.

My husband drinks and was not interested in quitting for even a challenge (totally cool and fine with me) and most of my friends drink so it's not like I have a lot of sober inspiration around me physically. So I turned to a lot of books - a lot of quit lit!

  • I read books. And books and books and books! I really needed to immerse myself in learning about how other people viewed alcohol in a negative way - to change my behavior and thought patterns. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I actually had the energy and interest in reading after the kids went to bed (before, I would be two or three glasses of wine in and just go to sleep). Here are a list of my few favorite books, many of which I’ve read several times:

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  1. The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley - I am actually reading this for the fourth time. As a mother of little ones, she just so accurately describes some of the unique stressors that come with being a mom, raising small children and doing all of the little duties that sometimes become pretty mundane. She is funny. She is smart. She is compassionate and I just can't recommend this book enough.

  2. Mrs. D. Is Going Without by Lotta Dann - When she wrote the book, her children were small (which I obviously can relate to) and she is funny, honest and it’s just a good easy read. I’ve read it several times!

  3. Kick The Drink Easily by Jason Vales - Good old fashioned straight forward advice in this book.

  4. This Naked Mind by Annie Grace - I will admit, it took me a long time to get through this book. I pick it up and read a few chapters and go to something else. The information she presents is SO valuable but it’s not exactly an easy, breezy read. The best thing about Annie is that she completely changed my perspective on alcohol and I began to stop romanticizing it, which was so helpful for me.

  5. A Happier Hour by Bex Weller - A really great and inspirational book. It’s easy to read and relate to as she’s a career woman who is able to achieve awesome and wonderful things once she decides to get sober.

  6. Alcohol Explained by William Porter - It’s a great book that, like This Naked Mind, helps to end the romanticism behind drinking - and I oftentimes find myself reading the chapters in a British voice.

  7. My Faire Junkie by Amy Dresner - So so funny. It’s compelling, intriguing, funny and even has some good Hollywood celebrity drama thrown in there for good measure.

  8. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray - She’s a great writer and her honesty about getting sober - and the advice/perspective she has on mass media, social pressures and breaking the news to friends before heading to an event was really helpful.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 6

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am writing my own success story" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 6 - and please share your favorite book that addresses addiction or achieving sobriety!

  3. Send any questions you may have to me atkim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Read this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News!


Day 5 - Progress Over Perfection

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I received the following note about "slip ups" and wanted to address in today's Sober October email to you!

How do you feel about relapses? I am doing Sober October but I had a slip and drank yesterday. I still plan on doing the rest of the month sober but I wanted to know your thoughts.

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I think, when it comes to alcohol, we should all give ourselves a little grace. We are practicing a new habit, which doesn't happen overnight! It takes a while to rewire a brain that is used to drinking alcohol at every event, every occasion.

That's not to say that we shouldn't commit wholeheartedly - but it took me SEVERAL, dozens even, attempts to get to a place where it's easy for me to say "no" to alcohol.

For me, I had to work through a lot of situations - birthday parties, special events, boring Thursday nights, tough days - and everything in between. So when I reached for wine during one (or all) of the above, I learned something about why I was drinking in the first place.

So, if you're truly trying to achieve a sober lifestyle, definitely commit to not drinking - but don't give up if you have a slip up.

Mistakes happen. You're human. And it's a process.

"In truth, our lives benefit from deep, lasting growth when we make changes slowly." - Jim Daly

Keep going. Don't look back and make small steps towards achieving your goal. If you truly want it, you will find a way and the power to turn down alcohol, otherwise, you'll always find an excuse!

Wishing you all a happy Friday and a fun, fantastic (alcohol free) weekend! xoxo Kim

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 5

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am making progress" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 5

  3. Send any questions you may have to me atkim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Read this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News!

How to survive the weekend (and enjoy it!) alcohol free - Sober October Day 4

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Happy Thursday

Here is a question from a Sober October Challenge participant:

"I'm good until Friday/weekend. Then I'll talk myself into having a glass, which leads to most of the bottle. :( Question - Surviving the weekend booze free?"

I had so much fun putting this together! And the content below is jam packed with good information, including four keys to enjoying a weekend sober, fall-inspired soft cocktail recipes by the fabulous Karolina Rzadkowolska, who manages Euphoricaf.com AND 15 amazing tips on how to rock a party sober, which is also provided by Karolina. Check out all the good stuff below!

I believe there are a few factors that go into play when it comes to surviving the weekend and staying alcohol free. 

  1. Preparation

  2. Visualization

  3. Distraction

  4. Motivation

Be Prepared - As you know, alcohol is EVERYWHERE - from the tailgate to the birthday party and from the dinner date to the backyard BBQ. And not only is alcohol everywhere, but it's pretty much expected that you should drink to enjoy any event tied to the weekend. It's just engrained in our society. That's why, it's important to be prepared. You'll need to prepare not only what you will plan to drink but also what you will plan to say and do so you don't get caught off guard.

  • Practice ordering a few drinks ahead of time. For example, "I'll have a soda water, please!" If they don't have that, then plan to order a lemonade or ask for an iced tea. If you're hosting or heading to a party, perhaps bring ingredients for a fun soft cocktail! (Click hereto see three fall-inspired versions by Karolina Rzadkowolska!)

  • You'll also need to be prepared to respond to any questions you'll receive from friends or family who are used to see you drinking. Have a few responses on hand, such as:

  1. No thanks, I'm not drinking tonight! I'm taking a break from alcohol.

  2. No, not for me tonight. Alcohol has been messing up my sleep lately and giving me anxiety so I'm not drinking right now.

  3. No thanks. I'm doing a Sober October challenge and am feeling really great removing the alcohol from my life!

  4. I'm doing a lifestyle challenge and am avoiding alcohol right now. Maybe next time.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my biggest hangups with socializing during the first few weeks of sobriety was actually telling people. And honestly, so many people responded with grace and support (and oftentimes verbally expressing their desire to cut back).

Visualize Success - I'm a huge fan of visualization. The first time I saw someone do this was Lindsay Vonn at the top of a ski run. (I was watching her on TV - when I reread this it seemed as if I was on the mountain top with her so I’ve edited to avoid any confusion. haha!)

She literally closed her eyes and visualized the entire course beforehand. It's something athletes do to imagine success over and over again. And it has personally worked for me in my personal life.

  • Before attending an event or starting the weekend from the comforts of home, set aside time each morning to fully visualize enjoying it without alcohol.

  • Get really specific! Imagine where you are, who you're with and create a picture where you see yourself laughing, having the time of your life and easily saying "no thanks!" to a glass of champagne handed to you - or confidently ordering a soda water at the bar.

  • Believe you can, decide you can and visualize your success.

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Image courtesy of Karolina Rzadkowolska

Create a Distraction - Sober October isn't a time to feel like you're missing out. It's an opportunity to choose something different for your life. Experience a new normal. Have different conversations. Get outside of your comfort zone. You could certainly do the same thing this weekend and just remove the alcohol. But how about trying something new?

  • Schedule a hike or a fitness class that you've wanted to try.

  • Find a new coffee drink or dinner recipe that is a little complicated and test it out.

  • Make some of the new alcohol-free cocktails provided by Karolina Rzadkowolska.

  • Visualize success (see above!) and relish in the energy and freedom you now have just by the power of your own choices.

Figure Out What Motivates You - Are you someone who loves a gold star? Are you motivated by the carrot or the stick? Figure out what really, really helps you achieve goals and apply it to this. 

For example, if you were to take the money that you would have spent on drinks and use it to buy something special Monday morning, would that keep you motivated? Or would you love to share with your husband on Sunday night that you achieved your goal of not drinking? What about committing to donate $500 to a charity if you slip up? Would that prevent you from drinking? Think back to the last time you crushed a goal and work through why exactly you stuck with it - and then use it to your advantage when heading into the weekend.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 4

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I find joy in the journey" whenever you have a chance.

  2. Download these fall-inspired soft cocktail recipes and tips on How to Rock a Party Sober by Karolina Rzadkowolska

  3. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 4 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself.

  4. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Day 3 Sober October - You promised!

Mantra Day 3 Sober October

I recently read the Best Selling book, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It is so inspirational and has encouraged me to DREAM BIG and stop listening to the lies my mind tells me.

She made a point that we would never break the promises we make to others as often as we do to ourselves. If we did, we may not have many patient friends surrounding us anymore! Here is a quote from the book:

"If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you're not making promises at all....How many times have you given up before you've even started? How many times have you made real progress, only to face a setback and then give up completely? How many times have your family or friends or coworkers watched you quit? How many times have your children watched you give up on yourself over and over?" - Rachel Hollis, Girl Wash Your Face

Please do your self a favor this Sober October and DO NOT quit this journey.

  • Let's keep going.

  • Don't give up and break this promise to yourself.

  • You are here for a reason.

  • You signed up for a reason.

  • When it gets hard, when life gets stressful and sad and gloomy - which it very may over the next 31 days - DO NOT QUIT.

I want to celebrate with everyone at the end of the challenge. Let's find out how strong we really are. How prepared we are to ace daily hiccups and frustrations - and even the good stuff.

We don't need to celebrate, mourn, rewind or decompress with alcohol. I'm going to keep my promise to myself today on Day 3. How about you?

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 3

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I keep the promises I make to myself" whenever you have a chance

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 3 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.
    Much love and success for Day 3! xoxo Kim

Sober October Day 2 - Meditation

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Welcome to Day 2 of Sober October!

Whether you are a seasoned veteran at this practice or new to it, I'd love to explore the benefits of meditation today. I have personally seen how it has changed my emotional and physical states through my own sober journey - and am thrilled that there are so many studies and research to back up the good-for-you feelings that so many have discovered on their own.

Healthline article cited that a recent science-based study showed that meditation could even help with addictions:

"Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits."

The same article reported the following 12 benefits of meditation:

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MY OWN JOURNEY

My personality tends to thrive on stress and having a lot to do. And I used to find it more than difficult to even attempt to calm down my mind. Even taking a yoga class was a stretch for me because I thought I wasn't moving enough, doing enough, exerting enough energy!

Meditating has helped my sober journey simply because I'm more mindful of the reasons behind my decisions and motivations to do things. I'm no longer on auto pilot and therefore no longer relying on old habits to get me through. I have the luxury of taking a step back to make a decision and evaluate whether or not it's a good one for the goals I've set for myself.

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RESOURCES
Looking for a meditation that is right for you? You may want to try:

  • Gabrielle Bernstein - This is such a timely note because today she announced she is celebrating 13 years of sobriety!! You can visit her post here to see her must-have tools in her sober toolbox. Many of her mediation albums are available on Amazon Music - and a few are free with an Amazon Prime Membership. My favorite Album is 2010 Gabrielle Bernstein Meditations and the Vision Track (number 8) is SURE to get you pumped for the day!

  • Headspace App Headspace has a plethora of options to explore for everyone from the novice to the seasoned pro! I've used the running meditation, the morning meditation and have also completed a series of basic programs for the beginner.

  • Calm - Calm is also a great resource. I've used the meditations and mindfulness practices there to help get to sleep and end the day on a relaxing note.

FREE GIFT FOR YOU!

  • Morning Handover Meditation (from Meditations for Alcoholics). Grace at Meditations for Alcoholics provided their popular "Morning Handover" that includes reflections on Steps 1 through 3 and also the third step prayer. PLEASE NOTE: Don't worry if you do not identify as an alcoholic or do not practice the 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous! It can still be beneficial for you if you give it a try! Also, the recording appears as if it's 17 minutes long, but it really only is a 10-minute meditation. Decide you can make the time for a meditation practice and go for it!

  • Here is a note from Grace at Mediations for Alcoholics who graciously shared this meditation. Here she shares her story on why she created a series of meditations specifically for people with an alcohol addiction.

WOW! I hope this fills up your sober toolbox full of good things to explore.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 2

  2. Download your FREE MEDITATION here or find another meditation guide to incorporate into your daily practice

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I live in the present" whenever you have a chance

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 2 (or post a favorite meditation practice you've found helpful!)

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Much love and success for Day 2! xoxo Kim

SOBER OCTOBER DAY 1

Hello! Welcome to Day 1!

So glad you are joining me on this journey. Today I want to help you define a vision of what success looks like to you at the end of the next 31 days.

There have been many times I declared "I'm never drinking again" on a Monday morning - only to find myself pouring a glass of wine on Thursday evening. The problem? I didn't have a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve in my head.

It was only when I truly stopped to create a picture in my head of the woman I wanted to be, then everything changed. I envisioned:

  1. A woman free from the pull of alcohol

  2. Someone who was well-rested, happy and full of laughter

  3. An individual who was glowing with confidence, enthusiasm and self-love

  4. A woman who easily turned down alcohol when offered - not because I had to, but because I wanted to

Whenever I would get a craving (and when I still do now!), I picture this woman who is strong, sober and supremely confident and courageous in my decision. I don't want to go back to breaking promises to myself and finishing a bottle of Chardonnay when I only meant to "pour a smidge."(anyone else?)

So now, I will ask you some questions about who you want to become, how you want to show up in this world and what this vision looks like in your mind.

Once you complete the questions, don't forget to revisit this image in your mind as often as you like. Visualization is a powerful tool and can help you realize your dreams of becoming a sober superstar and rocking this challenge!

FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 1

  1. Download your DayDream Workbook here and complete

  2. Say your Daily Mantra "I am sober" whenever you have a chance - when you are running errands, waiting in traffic, cooking or working out!

  3. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 1 (or post any successes or struggles you encountered)

  4. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Congratulations on beginning - and completing - Day 1! Don't forget to complete your DayDream Workbook to create the best vision for yourself and to keep you motivated! xoxo Kim


Day 0: Sober October Challenge!

Tomorrow marks a new month, a brand new day and Day 1 of our Sober October Challenge!

If you are interested in changing your perspective on alcohol - or just want a fun challenge during one of the best months (in my humble opinion!) of the year, then be sure to sign up for the Sober October Challenge.

I’ll be joining you on this 31-day alcohol free journey. Hope to see you there! Kim

Life lessons from a pumpkin patch

After spending the past two days in beautiful Chapel Hill, NC with Lara Casey and her team, I am so pumped to pick all the beautiful flowers from the vine - and concentrate only on a few “prize pumpkins” I’m growing in life.

pumpking patch family

Have you ever fallen victim to the season of “yes?”

  • Yes to hosting a baby shower of your brother-in-law’s cousin from out of town

  • Yes to volunteering at school twice a week and bringing turkey to the fall festival

  • Yes to that extra project at work that your colleague passed on

  • Yes to attending every single birthday party your kid is invited to

  • Yes to serving on the board of your favorite non-profit

  • Yes to coordinating the go away party for your husband’s coworker

  • Yes for organizing the first Sunday School class at your church

None of the things above are inherently wrong. Of course it’s nice to do things for other people. And I truly believe that giving back and doing things for others brings the very best out of us. But I used to be one of those people that would say yes to all of the above, all while trying to raise two children, keep a house clean and walk the dog.

I came back from the Making Things Happen Conference in Chapel Hill, NC led by Lara Casey at Cultivate What Matters. And, while there were so many takeaways, one of the biggest one was the following quote - and also the very timely visual of how to grow a prize-winning pumpkin.

Too much of a good thing is still too much. - Lara Casey

You see, Lara gave us a sneak peek of “Rita” - a very large and beautiful pumpkin she grew in her garden. While preparing for this task, she ran into a farmer who told her that the secret to growing a pumpkin is to select one or or two flowers from the vine that will eventually become a pumpkin - and to remove all the other beautiful flowers off the vine.

Concentrate on one single flower to grow into a formidable fruit.

According to Growing and Gathering:

If you want to try your hand at growing even bigger pumpkins you can prune your plant even further to leave just a few fruit on each vine and see just how big they can get.

These remaining pumpkins will now get a chance to receive all the water, energy and food that the plant is taking in, and will grow bigger and better for it.

Lara made the parallel between growing impressive pumpkins and selecting a few things in your own life that should be prioritized over everything else.

To make things happen in your own life, to reach your goals and life a fruitful, joy-filled life, pour your sunshine, energy and soul into just a few things that are worth of your time, attention and talents. Genius, right?!

If I commit to everything under the sun (I’m a huge fan of Gold Stars!) to please everyone else around me, I will become tired, resentful, run down and burned out. I’ve tried this and I just can’t do everything all at once. I can try - but I won’t do anything very well.

Alternatively, if I select a few things that I KNOW I want to grow - my faith, my family bond and a few key projects to provide for my family - those good things will benefit from all my love and energy.

I don’t want a bunch of tiny pumpkins. I want several large and impressive pumpkins. Too much of a good thing is still too much - and I’m not bending over backwards anymore to add more to my plate, unless it makes sense within my very own pumpkin patch.

What do you think? Do you fall victim to saying yes to things, only to regret all that’s been added to your to do list?

I can’t wait to write more about the conference. Happy Hump Day, y’all.

Day 86 and milestone moment!

These past 86 days have given me so many experiences to reflect on. I’m really proud of changing habits and not falling back into things “just because it’s what I’ve always done.”

Mom Brain

I shared this funny photo on Instagram but also with a note that I am celebrating Day 86 of the 100 Days of Sober Challenge!

I’ve been attending a conference for the past two days. I was so nervous to check into the hotel! Hotels are usually where I love to order room service and wine and enjoy the quiet away from family.

But not this time. I ordered room service and opted for soda water. I’ve woken up early both days (which is typical because I usually can’t sleep in a hotel room) and have had a productive couple of days.

There are definitely some work trips I can remember being pretty hungover - going to trade shows or events and just not giving it my all.

This conference is a motivational/goal setting intensive workshop and I am super thankful to be clearheaded and sober during it all.

Just a reminder that you CAN CHANGE. Decide to CHANGE. Whatever is on your heart, you’ve got this.

Fall Sale - 25% off TeaMi purchases through September 30!

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Use code KIMB25 to receive 25% off your TeaMi purchase through September 30.

Just a quick note to anyone who is interested in trying TeamMi blends! I am so bummed that I drove to a conference this week and forgot my Energy tea blend.

I also am excited that - when I get home from the conference this week - I should have the Chai Tea and Relax blends I ordered to try.

Last week I shared that I love trying new tea blends during this sober challenge. It’s nice to explore different non-alcoholic beverages and the TeaMi Energy blend has been awesome so far. I get a nice clean energy feeling from it - much different than when I’m sipping on coffee with whole milk all day.

There are a variety of blends to try - and, from now through September 30, you can receive 25% off your purchase of $34 or more by using the code KIMB25.

I do receive a small commission and will donate 100% of the commissions to Women For Sobriety each month.

Hope you all have a great week! xx Kim