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SJC - Sober January Challenge!

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by cnjlakes, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. AzDesertRhino

    AzDesertRhino Active Member

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    cnjlakes & Seltzer,

    Thanks for the welcome and positive comments. I have been reading the stickies and finding tons of great information.
     
  2. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    oh man, this weekend is going to be a tough one with the patriot's playoff game. i'm headin over to my friends place to watch it with a few buddies so i'll have to be on top of my game!
     
  3. cnjlakes

    cnjlakes Active Member

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    You can do it. I've perused your journal and am of the mindset that you are pretty tough individual (mentally and physically). Take a pack of wintergreen gum with you... even if you do crack open a beer, the combination of wintergreen and lager will be sure to put you off!
     
  4. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    thanks for the tips & the encouragement. I'll be sure not to cave in :tu:
     
  5. specialk

    specialk Well-Known Member

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    You can do it. I'll probably be watching the game at a sports bar with friends. I usually drink soda water w/ a lime. Looks just like a vodka and soda. ;)
     
  6. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    At around the time that the Giants-Packers game starts tonight I will have passed a minor personal milestone-it will be my longest stretch of sobriety since 2005. The longest such stretch in 2006 was the SOC, but I entered with the disclaimer that I would be drinking on the twelfth of the month, my wife's birthday and I did. Hence, my longest stretch was October 13 to November 1 and I had my first drink on that date at around 6 PM.

    I'm mentioning it because had I not joined the JSC I would not have accomplished it and I want to thank Jay (Cnjlakes) in particular for starting this and everyone else who has joined for creating a community of support that has given the extra nudge of resolve to keep the streak alive. It's really making a difference in me moving forward on the health front.
     
  7. Ecrivain

    Ecrivain Well-Known Member

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    Big time congratulations! There's nothing minor about it - this is something to be proud of. You've shown extraordinary strength of character.

    And thumbs-up to everyone else in this challenge, too. We're winding down our third weekend. Temptations are everywhere, but we're holding strong. :tu:
     
  8. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    Congrats Seltzer, keep it going!

    I steered clear of the playoff drinking this weekend. I ended up drinking 4 full glasses of water instead which made it look like I was drinking beer since I was in the bathroom every hour :lol:
     
  9. specialk

    specialk Well-Known Member

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    That's how I felt leading up to my South Beach trip early November. 45 days of sobriety made all the difference in reaching my low BF goal.

    No alcohol this weekend but I did have a gingerale while watching the playoffs.
     
  10. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations to everyone here, so far! What do you think about extending this past the Super Bowl into baseball spring training, which is just around the corner! :nod:


    I know what you mean.... after a few ginger ales, I start to get real silly.
    :p
     
  11. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Thanks E! It has been a good three weeks and I am focused on it continuing.

    I'd say as a group we are. As Specialk has written, "There's strength in numbers."

    Rise, thanks for the support and good going with the water decision. I know all about the bathroom trips. :)

    During the past few weeks I've often thought of and used as motivation your pre South Beach effort as my time frame and destination are very close to what yours was.

    Wild man!

    Another weekend in the books! I hope everyone had a good weekend.
     
  12. AzDesertRhino

    AzDesertRhino Active Member

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    Although I started my abstinence from alcohol on Nov. 15, 2007 after years of consistent drinking, I'm game for extending this for as long as anyone is willing.

    I appreciate reading of everyones challenges and success. It helps me stay focused which is a day to day effort!!

    Thanks everyone and good luck to all! :tu:
     
  13. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    Made it through but the boredom was obscene. :(

    Need to figure out a way to keep myself interested and mentally engaged. Not having alcohol around really distorted my sense of time and the dull spots really, really dragged.
     
  14. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    I used to think the same, until I realized that always having alcohol around distorted my time and, what should have been times of production and discovery, turned out to be times of boredom and disinterest from my unproductivity. About a year after taking my last drink, the entire universe seemed to open up into unlimited potential.
     
  15. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    My ex-brother in law is a substance abuse councilor and told me once that drugs and alcohol's most nefarious psychological detriment is that they extend a person's boredom threshold. e.g. For a sober person, sitting around reading a book can be a fun activity. Add a cigarette to that activity and it's more interesting. Add a cigarette and a cocktail and it's even more interesting. Now take away the additions and sitting around reading a book suddenly seems boring.

    I watched an episode of South Park (of all shows) this weekend and the parents were trying to keep the kids off drugs. The final rationale was, "We don't want you to do drugs 'cause drugs can make you comfortable with being bored. If you depend on that, you can grow up and discover that you're not really good at anything." I thought it was a pretty salient point from a show that's trying to be anything but serious.

    I could feel that the time-distortion was due to this boredom threshold. The worst alcohol cravings were when I was sitting around with nothing particularly interesting on the horizon and thinking, "Christ...how the hell am I going to get through the next X hours. I just want to zone out and grease my brain with booze to get through it."

    Any tips on getting past that transition?
     
  16. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Being sober, I have periods where I can sit in my recliner and stare at the wall for hours. Mind racing, or just naturally meditating. It is very tonic and theraputic for me. However, I could never do anything like that when I drank. I was always on the move and doing stuff. In the same sense, drinking lowers ones self esteem (especially when the alcoholic has sober periods) What seems extremely serious and troublesome, is really bullshit. It only seems important because of the distorted acceptance of the situation.

    Being sober changes ones priorities, habits, interests, views, opinions, social behaviors, and temperament. When I drank, I followed all the sports teams and knew every players stats, including that of their mother-in-laws. Nowadays, I couldn't give two shits about Pro sports. Drinking, sports, and gambling went hand in hand for me. Going to the race track, borrowing money, getting in trouble, procrastinating constantly until I was so backed up with everything, I just couldn't escape anywhere anymore.

    I believe that once someone stops drinking, a transitionary period is almost imperitive, to realize what you truly and quite comfortably could indulge your time in. You begin to gravitate towards your calling, per se.

    Things begin to open up. A clearer picture of what direction to take. A life with alcohol and drugs was a complete 180 from what I'm doing now, and what I am as a person.

    Every one of your senses become more acute because you are now totally free from something that controlled you to some extent. It is no longer there. This is quite a shock to your self confidence, level of inner security, and self-esteem. And it only gets better. :nod:

    Hey M@ I don't wish to hijack this thread but if you want further suggestions, or want some other tips, etc. or just wanna talk, I'm always available via E mail or PM.

    On another note....even though I've been sober and drug free now, going on 25 years this June....it is still one day at a time for me. I have many, many imperfections and hardships in my life (as we all do) but I would keep everything the way it is, if I never picked up a drink again. :) Its that good.
     
  17. Rise

    Rise Active Member

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    M@, my experiences pale in comparison to what a lot of people on this board have been through and other than freshman year of college I was never big into D&A. However, I recently made a bit of a discovery about myself and I want to share it. Like most people, I was a lot more out going when under the influence compared to when sober. So I've been thinking, why is that? Why do I seemingly have a better time when I have a drink in my hand in 6 in my belly?

    Well, I don't actually know the answer to that other than I guess that is the alcohol's perceived purpose. Things are more acceptable when you are drunk, and so you think you can have more fun. Well, recently I've decided to just be more out going when I'm sober and see how that goes. I stopped worrying so much about how I was being perceived because I realized that just being myself was good enough for me and if it wasn't good enough for them... then I'm really just hanging out with the wrong people. The outcome was a little surprising for me (I guess because I never believe what my mom would tell me :lol:) because it turned out I seemed to be getting better reactions even compared to when I was drunk! Saying what I felt like saying, acting how I wanted to act without worrying what people thought (within reason) really helped me connect.

    And this went deeper than just what other people thought of me. I feel better throughout the day. And as mastover said I actually feel like I'm gravitating towards my calling - doing what I want. Or at the very least, figuring out what the heck I really want really is! It's hard to quantify the effect that staying sober really has on you but being 25 now, I hope to have something to show for the next 25 :tu:

    I know it seems like I didn't answer your question but I think that is because like most things in life, there is no easy fix. By changing your life style (you know, the purpose of this site) you naturally begin to eliminate such periods of boredom, feeling like crap, insecurity, etc. The threshold disappeared for me, I'm too busy enjoying life to let boredom ever set in again.
     
  18. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

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    Rise, that's a great post and thanks for sharing it your story. I'm sure there are many who will benefit from reading about your experiences.
     
  19. cnjlakes

    cnjlakes Active Member

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    Mastover and Rise hit the nail on the head.

    Around September, I realized that alcohol was preventing me from things that I truly enjoyed doing (Gotta admit... I was more than a social drinker). Ride 70 miles on a Saturday morning? Sorry guys, I know I'm going to have ten or eleven beers friday night, so that's out (even though I love cycling). "Tomorrow morning before work, I'm going to wake up at 5:00 am and run three miles before." Oh snap... can't do that because I was up until 11:30 finishing off a twelve pack. It got to the point where I would by a couple oil cans for the rural drive home. My rationale? "It's only a few beers... what's the big deal? I wouldn't be over the limit so it's just like drinking soda" Now THAT, is fucked up. It worried me. I've enjoyed physical activities for years, but the results were always nullified by my partying. It's very easy to rationalize the macros in two burrito supremes and a nachos bell grande after a twelve pack.

    Sure, while I was actually drinking, putting the bottle or glass to my lips, things were great, interesting and easy to deal with. About four days into the Sober October challenge I realized that I was using alcohol for a crutch and it was turning out to be a rubber one. It was hard not to. I found myself bored, impatient, edgy, unable to get to sleep (but when I did, it was a sound, sound sleep). I actually put on a few pounds as well. Partly from boredome eating (plus I had quit smoking in September). Slowly, I began to enjoy having a clear mind morning, noon and night. I began reading more and getting more out of it. Henry Miller and I became good friends. I was able to wake up on Saturday and do a 9:00 AM karate class without feeling dazed and nauseous throughout the class (although I still looked like 1977 Elvis).

    While several in this challenge are doing it to drop a few pounds or maintain some discipline, I'm doing it to prove to myself that I can. So yeah, I guess for me it is kind of like JSF AA or something. Since I was teenager, I was involved in the 'getting numb culture' for lack of a better term. In the last 20 years, I have been to several funerals for people that were my age. Slowly, I began to realize that no good can come of that lifestyle. Parenthood REALLY put it into perspective, so I cleaned up my act, but still drank as it was 'acceptable.' Over time it became unacceptable to me. I began using that more since I had quit everything else. IMO, alcohol is a lot worse for you than some things that man frowns upon, but that's a different thread altogether and one that I don't think John would be to pleased with ;)

    Anyway, to close this rant, and to give M@tt some perspective (especially since the smoking thing is still fresh in my head). It does get easier, and the boredom does go away. My energy levels are quite high now. The end of one habit can be the beginning of new, healthier ones. I never thought I would take karate, let alone with my wife and kids! The avoidance of alcohol has been like the sun coming up for me.

    sorry for the long windedness... If anyone wants carry on this conversation off thread, feel free to PM me. What i've typed above is something that I've had on my mind for some time but never put into words. Sorry if I bored y'all.
     
  20. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    Holy crap, guys, this is great stuff! :eek:

    I think that all of your input is incredibly valuable and thank each of you for providing it. Hearing this stuff is akin to seeing transformation photos: a reminder that it's hard work and continuous effort, but that the results are more than worth it.

    Thanks! :D
     

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