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Why I Chose to Get Sober

Why I Chose to Get Sober

There was a time in my life where alcohol and drugs consumed me. I cared about chasing the next buzz day in and day out. I wanted to disconnect from reality and lived in a constant state of fear—fear of not getting what I wanted or losing what I already had.

This took me out of being present in my life, showing up in my life, being the daughter, sister, and friend I was put here to be. My addictions put up a wall that separated me from the rest of the world.

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I lived with this tunnel vision keeping my world quite small. This emotional and physical void within me kept me alone and isolated. Alcohol and drugs did the trick for some time. Then they stopped working.

So at the age of 25, I made the decision to get sober.

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Here are 5 reasons I chose to get sober. I hope it offers some advice and insight for anyone who is struggling with addiction or knows someone who is.

1. I value the present.

Holding onto pain from the past or anxiety about the future is what my addictions thrived in. The present seemed scary. I didn’t think I could handle reality. I didn’t think I was strong enough or worthy enough. That is directly related to the self-sabotaging and destructive nature of addiction. Presence is possible by completely surrendering to what is and letting go of the destructive coping mechanisms that may be holding you back.

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2. I want to give and receive love.

My addictions put up an internal brick wall and I could not tap into the light and love within. I was in constant pain and felt terminally unique and alone in the world. I did not feel worthy of love from others so I pushed them away. I ended relationships left and right and didn’t allow people into my life. Now I see that I have the ability to give love and it feels good! It connects me with a greater purpose and gives me a sense of connection and belonging.

3. I want to show up for others.

I didn’t understand what this meant for a long time. I lived in my own world that just revolved around me. It was all about what I could get from others. Now, I get to truly be there and be present with others. Maybe it’s helping a friend move or being at a birthday dinner. Either way, these are acts of service and bring us closer to others.

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4. I want to embrace honesty and openness.

Addiction fostered a double life for me. From the outside, it looked like everything was okay; yet inside, I was in pain and suffering. I didn’t want to show this to anyone else. I was scared and in a constant state of fear. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can open up to another person, express myself, and communicate. It’s not always easy but it feels good.

5. I couldn’t balance the chaos anymore.

The lies and manipulation that consumed my days were exhausting. I was so scared to commit to anyone or anything, so I lived in this constant state of shame and guilt. The chaos perpetuated this cycle and left me feeling drained. By living authentically, I can put my true self out to the world. This is energizing and stimulating.

No matter what you are going through, remember that you are not alone. You have an infinite amount of strength, wisdom, love, and light inside you. Don’t let the power you harness within be taken away from another person, place, or thing.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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