Tim Mustion – Sober Sundays & Temperance Training

Meet Tim Mustion, who founded Sober Sundays and now with his sponsor Anthony Fazio and CrossFit Owner Rob Thomas, has organized Temperance Training in Boca Raton, Florida.  Tim’s a rising star in the CrossFit community and active sober movement.  Check out my interview with Tim…

 

 

Sober Living Through Fitness at ROCovery

ROCovery fitness is a pioneering organization in addiction recovery and recently opened the first active sober living community center in New York State. They do amazing work and are saving lives with their innovative programming. I had to see what they are doing for myself and recently visited. Here’s the story of how ROCovery Fitness came to be… FMI ROCcoveryfitness.org.

Massaging Kale to Maximize Nutritional Benefit

Until I got down my knees at South Mountain Farm in Phoenix with Intuitive cooking expert Melanie Alpert, I had no clue that I should be “massaging my kale” before eating it!!!!! In this video, Melanie educates us about why we should be massaging our kale to get the maximize nutritional benefit. I hope you enjoy this video and maybe learn something new.

This Alcoholic Spends January 1 At The Gym

Two years ago, I realized I had a drinking problem. I was spinning my 10 year-old daughter around while she was on my shoulders, with one arm holding her legs and the other holding my holiday favorite – a nice glass of Southern Comfort. Thanks to her dear old Dad’s lack of balance, she ended up banging her hand on the wall. Her reaction as she giggled was: “Daddy, you drink too much”.

My reasons for drinking were probably not uncommon; it was an escape from reality; it was an escape from boredom; and it made a general feeling of disappointment briefly go away. Still, it was clear two years ago – just before New Year’s Day – I had to make a change.

In order to stop drinking permanently and keep a new year’s resolution, I needed an outlet that could fulfill the three needs that drew me toward alcohol and oddly enough, that outlet turned out to be exercise.

After a few trips to the gym, I realized that if I performed exercises that I liked, I was not bored. If I pushed my body to its limits, I could escape reality and, best of all, I found it difficult to feel a sense of disappointment after my blood pressure went from “high” to “normal” and I lost 6 inches on my waist with just a few months of replacing drinking with exercising.

The repetitive routine of drinking also seemed very similar to the repetitive routine of exercise.   In order to feel high from booze, I generally had to drink more and more just like when I try to lift a little more weight or run a little faster each time I exercise. My brain seems happy now and at 46 years of age, my body is in the best shape of its life.

Despite not drinking for the last two years and continuing to exercise four times a week, like many of you out there who have a drinking problem, I find the holidays are an especially difficult time. At this time of year, just about everywhere you look, there’s booze. The SAQs (facilities run by the government in Canada) are packed and open late for business, the grocery stores have cases of beer lined up as soon as you enter them, there are endless ads on television showing sexy people lubricated with alcohol and just about any party you attend at this time of year is filled with copious amounts of liquor.

Alcohol, if not promoted at this time of year, is certainly a more than socially acceptable way to get high and perhaps that needs to change.

Even if the time comes when booze ads are outlawed just as cigarette ads are, and we open our eyes and realize that nothing good ever came from drinking, I will continue to wake up early on January 1st each year and find a gym that’s open so I can feel good about myself instead of being hung-over.

I hope you start your New Year in a healthy and sober way.  Happy New Year to All.

We profiled Nathan Friedland of Montreal, Quebec, as a Spiritual Adrenaline Inspiration back in April 2016.

New Year’s Eve 2017:  A Happy, Healthy and Sober Year to Come….

New Year’s eve has arrived and I am actually looking forward to it.

That was not always true and I remember dreading New Year ’s Eve and the new year.  It got so bad that I would look in the mirror and ask myself: “How much worse is it going to get?”  It definitely got worse before it got better but now I am grateful for having gone through all of that. I remember to remember just how bad it sucked and because of those memories, New Year ’s Eve has taken on great import and significance in my recovery.  In fact, in ways I had not envision while sitting in the emergency room during active addiction or while in rehab in upstate New York in May 2012.

I wanted to share with you how I have celebrated the New Year for the last five years to enhance, rather than undercut, my recovery.

I live in midtown Manhattan, one block from Times Square, and have made a conscious decision to get out of town every New Year.   My neighborhood is insane and the morning after the sidewalks have puke and other garbage all over, remnants of the ball drop.  I did not enjoy New Year’s when I was drinking and even less now for obvious reasons.

My first year, I traveled up to Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park in northern Maine.  I had six months at that time and knew that Bar Harbor would be deserted for the New Year.  I journal relentlessly and brought my journals from rehab as well as the first six months with you and on the evening of December 31, I reviewed my journals and prepared a rather lengthy gratitude list for all the positive changes that had happened in my life in 2012.  I set goals and for the coming years in regard to my self care and financial amends.  I went to bed early and on January 1, 2013, headed to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, to see the first sunrise of the New Year.   It was an amazing way to reflect on the year that had just concluded and start the year to come.

Following that theme, each year I try to get out of New York and enjoy someplace quiet, off the beaten track, out in nature and away from the party scene that dominates on new year’s eve and day.  I have returned to a few times Acadia, spent the holiday on a silent retreat at a Buddhist monastery and once at the beach.   Every year I bring my journals beginning with my rehab journal and peruse the entries over the years.   Preparing a gratitude list has become an annual tradition and something I very much enjoy.     The most critical thing is to be up to see the very first sunrise of the year and recommit to living a healthy and sober lifestyle.

I would love to hear how you celebrate your recovery and the New Year.  Post a comment on Facebook or send an email to tom@shanahanalaw.com.

10 Months, Nicotine Free – Jason Tells His Story Of Breaking Addiction.

As the holidays approach, I’m grateful to be just shy of 10 months nicotine-free. The fact that I didn’t give up trying to quit until the miracle finally happened is the best gift I could have given myself and the people who love me.

I started smoking in college in 1993, and started trying to quit a month or two later. Granted I wasn’t very motivated to stop as a 20-year-old student, but even then quitting was already beyond any strength or willpower I could muster.

I got a year and a half smoke-free at one point, about two years into recovery from alcoholism, but I never really applied 12-step principles to smoking and one night after a meeting I decided to bum “just one.” I barely thought twice about it. Just one turned into half a pack that night, and I bought my own pack the next day. For 12 more years I was a smoker who was always ‘just about to quit.’ There were periods when I gave up and resigned myself to my fate, but for the most part—to my credit—I kept trying.

Late last year I started going to the gym for the first time since I was in my twenties, and my 42-year-old smoker’s lungs and oxygen-starved muscles protested loudly.  A friend gave me a copy of Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, and I read it. At that point I realized what my blind spot had been—for so long I had considered myself a smoker who happened to be quitting, but I never did the same first step with regard to nicotine that had begun my freedom from alcohol.

At that point a number of changes in my thinking began to more closely reflect reality, which eased the quitting process for me:

 

I’m not a “smoker,” I’m a nicotine addict pure and simple. Words matter. As an active smoker I am constantly going through withdrawal and fending off the inevitable by picking up just one more cigarette. As long as I keep the obsession going that sometime I’ll beat the craving, no rational reasoning is likely to get me to stop. It will never be easier; it’s an addiction.

Quitting is 100% possible. People do it all the time. I’ve done it. Part of me endlessly debated whether I “could do it” – which for an addict is an easy out to keep smoking. Of course I could be a non-smoker – I did it every day of my life until I started smoking.

Withdrawal is temporary, will not kill me, and though it will make me a little crazy for a while, that’s OK.

Today, I feel healthier and younger than I’ve ever felt. My colleagues at work have noticed that I don’t smell as bad and am much more productive and focused. I’m downright athletic for the first time in my life, training for a Triathlon next year.

Most of all, I’m not thinking constantly about cigarettes—about when I’ll get my next fix, about the discomfort of physical craving, about how I wish I could sit and focus during after-dinner conversation or enjoy a lazy morning in bed on a cold winter day without having to go satisfy my addiction. They no longer control me as long as I don’t pick up the first one.