31:31 A new challenge 31 days after turning 31. 31 days of no drinking!

31 days of zero alcohol the day after I turned 31

My birthday is July 28th, this year it fell on a Tuesday. Also this year when I turned 31 I thought about things I've tried, things my clients try and things that would do a body good. After a couple months of events and summer grilling out I came to rest on this. NOT A DROP OF ALCOHOL FOR 31 DAYS. It wasn't easy, and not because I drink a lot, but because so many activities seem to include alcohol and it is nice to enjoy a spiced bloody mary on a hot day while gardening or reading a book. At first I wondered what I would do on day 31. You'll see how it the past 31 days have transpired. 

Here's what happened. 

New office furniture! This was on the first day. I was feeling great, not paying attention to it to much and really didn't notice anything yet. Office is in Back in Line Chiropractic and Wellness at 102 A Ave Hiawatha, IA 52404, also coach via phone and online. 

This is the day I found I was being awarded the "What's Your 50?" The second is the day I got my award. I was nominated by the Cedar Rapids Blue Zones Project. This award goes out to 50 people in the whole state of Iowa once a year. Taken from the website, "Through the “What’s Your 50?” campaign, we encourage Iowans to participate in volunteer and service activities at least 50 hours per year.  Research has shown that an annual contribution of 50 hours tends to be a tipping point for maximizing impact; both to the individual who volunteers and the benefactor of their service.  Imagine the difference we can make by working together to meet some of our communities’ toughest challenges"

There was a lot of gym, Rierson Fitness and yoga time. Along with a wedding on the 4th day! Rob's friends got married in the most beautiful barn and we enjoyed friends and conversation all evening. I had approximately 4-5 bottles of water. By this point I was feeling the "pressure" to drink, not in an aggressive way but each person that saw me empty-handed offered to get me a wine or a beer. I did fine and made it through with about 20 trips to the bathroom. 

The next morning I was able to wake up, exercise and enjoy a good book. So often the weekends are packed but with so many activities to do it was wonderful to feel fully refreshed. This book was gift from Rob on my birthday as a recommendation from my friend, Anne Erps, out in DC. It is by Sheryl Sandberg and discussing women leaning in to adverse situations to learn, grow and excell. "Lean In" The weekend was wonderful. 

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It was now into the Tuesday, one week down on 31 days. It was ok, I really hadn't noticed a lot of things that were different. Except for the fact that I was completely refreshed and not an ounce of groggy or tired. I started to think, wow, so I am responsible for how I feel....

Here comes the first Wednesday of the month. This always brings Impact CR Siren Wednesday, which was at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. They always have lovely appetizers, wine and beer. Impact CR's mission is, "The concept is simple - provide our members the opportunity to connect, have a voice and make a difference in their community. " After this event I noticed I snacked a bit more when I did not have wine. Interesting. 

The second weekend of 31:31 no alcohol!!! This was a great weekend for gardening, cleaning my basement, which was overdue after all of Dad's things being down there and Robert's brother, Daniel, living down there. There was a moment when I wanted to make a small bloody mary and go garden....just to remember I can't! Ack! The gardening was just as beautiful and fun as usual. This free time also gave me the opportunity to get up to speed on all my essentials for the week and assess what I needed. Charka, Rob and I had some special family time at the Cheyenne Dog Park then I curled up for a read out back. "An A-Z Guide to Food Additives

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NeoCell had sent me their Collagen Sport Ultimate Recover Complex to review. I had plenty of time to post this up on my Honestly Yours Blog and actually now offer it in my online store. I give it an A+ and also recommend the protein powder at the Back in Line office! To get this much done in one week was amazing. I was 13 days in. I surely felt amazing, there had been a fair amount of events that I couldn't partake in the alcohol but the pros were outweighing the cons. 

POWER MONDAY! We kicked this off by our maiden voyage using our Champion juicer. We LOVE it and it works so smoothly with all the produce and has fast and easy clean up. I was thinking how nice it would be to have a dinner and a drink with my mom for her birthday on the weekend....then I remembered 31:31!!!! ACK! I was going to miss my moms birthday beverage in trade for a root beer. Then I realized, my commitment and life begins NOW. Let's see how far I can take this 31 day challenge. What can I do with this?! 

It had been a full week of clients, meetings, Shero planning and family. But I had realized it was really about me. Taking care of me, challenging myself and staying committed. The 14th Dr CJ Kleene DC from Back in Line and I put on a Meal Planning Workshop. It was amazing, everyone went home with vegetables lasagna and the kids enjoyed it too

It was after that that I realized I had a social gathering for the networking group I am in, Corridor Business Builders in TWO days! At a golf course. In the evening. AND my mom's birthday was that Saturday! Oh dear. 

"CBB is a unique networking group dedicated to relationship building, networking, and community service. Several goals of CBB include growing and building lasting relationships among members, encouraging personal business development and growth in a variety of ways such as referral business, financial success, and personal and professional development."

About this time I saw a friend post about this savory looking bloody mary and it about did me in.

The weekend flew by. At the golf outing I drank my fair share of water, had a few extra appetizers, cheers-ed my mom with a root beer and had to part ways for late night socializing but I had made it through. It wasn't incredibly hard per say, but it is so common place to have a libation with an event, meal or celebration. The occurrences were adding up. 

The 21st was Iowa Valley Food Co-op day. It was amazing! I had unexpected weight loss, hours of increased productivity, more fun and feeling good! However....I was beginning to crave that familiar salty bloody mary that I liked to kick back and enjoy while reading or out with friends. 

BUT I had announced that I was going to Costa Rica in February to the Wanderlust Teacher Training! THANK YOU! To all the Honest Living friends and clients for this opportunity!! 

"We are a direct-to-consumer cooperative of producer and consumer members in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. IVFC is a web-based cooperative where consumers can order products directly from area farmers and other local businesses. IVFC acts as a facilitator, providing a marketplace for all types of local producers, processing orders and payments, and facilitating delivery to consumer members." From the IVFC website. 

At 26 days in we ran the Run For Shelter 5k for the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter. It started to downpour so I ducked for cover while Rob blasted through the second half. 

August 23rd I was feeling that I could take on the world and had motivation from the morning run.  Rob and I decided with Rob to climb the Praying Monk in Arizona January 2015! 

After spending more and more time outside and in the garden I could see just how this sabbatical was improving my health and my outlook on the day. I've always enjoyed the quiet and peaceful life but lately it has felt better and better. After dad passed there was a chaos to life. And now it is coming back into focus very clear and very calm.  

By this point I had become common place to forgo or not even miss joining others for a libation. I had filled my time with personal development and activities. Yoga everyday, lots of water, plenty of rest and getting everything done each day that needed attention. With a clear head too I might add!

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The final visit to Camp Wapsie August 28th for The Shero Experience! I could NOT have pulled this off if I had been groggy, hungover or tired. This was a real example of a benefit the 31 day Challenge gave me!  

Finally it was August 30th. I could have a bloody mary....but did I? No sir. Rob and I got up early and headed to Pictured Rock in Iowa with a friend for some rock climbing!!!! A huge benefit of no drinks!!! 

So what did I learn on this 31 day challenge? 

I learned that there are temptations and opportunities EVERYWHERE to have an adult beverage. I learned that most people would like a person to join in and have a drink. I learned that many events serve alcohol, but most of the activities I like to do are best done stone sober. I learned that I feel great everyday and get a lot done this way. 

Most importantly I learned that it's OK to say, "No Thank You." It's September 8th and I still haven't had a drop. The funny thing is it's going further and further from my mind as an option. 

Will I have a drink again someday? Yes. This challenge was a way to see if I could dedicate myself to something that seems so common. It wasn't that I think everyone should refrain from alcohol, it was a test of will power. And I did great! 

What is the next 31 day challenge? 

I am going to set my next challenge as starting today September 8th to October 9th to be 

Yoga Every Single Day!!! 

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"A nice person is a 'yes' person, whereas a good person is a person who accepts their responsibility in things and moves forward and tries to constantly evolve and isn't afraid to say no or challenge someone or be honest or truthful."Miranda Kerr