Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exercise.. and a concert...

As I sit here typing I can feel so many muscles in my body aching and it feels GREAT!!!!! 2015 is going to be the year of fitness for me. I have really let my muscles go in the last 8 months.

Basically when my book came out and everything went nuts for me in June, I also cancelled my gym membership because my youngest started morning kindy and I didn't need their playroom any more while I exercised - it's complicated but basically the gym I was at was quite far away but I went there because of their playroom - once he was at morning kindy he didn't need the playroom and I didn't want to drive all the way in… and I was really busy as well you know….

I don't know why I'm typing out this long explanation (justification) as to why I cancelled my gym membership last year….

Enough excuses Mrs D - bottom line is I quit the gym, got busy with fantastically exciting sobriety stuff (like launching a new community website dedicated to helping people get sober that has 1570 registered members in only 6 months!!) and slowly the months went by and I started gaining weight which is a bummer but not the worst problem.

The worst problem is that I feel physically weak. I don't feel 'in' my body. I don't feel fit.

Exercise and me aren't best buddies. I've never particularly liked it. I've never gotten a huge endorphin rush from a great work out. I don't enjoy sweating or feeling uncomfortable while pushing my body to do things.

But if I have exercise in my life I feel better overall. I feel functional, healthy, motivated, proud. At 43 I know this. I've had enough phases of no-exercise… and enough phases of exercise… to know which is preferable. So I semi-begrudgingly move now to always implement regular exercise.

Lately I've been trying yoga on the living room floor via the TV (managed 4 sessions), the 'Map-My-Walk' app on my phone (managed 2 walks around my neighborhood) and swimming lengths in the local pool (only thought about that one, never made it to actually do it). So the gym it is. It works for me. I book it into my week (Mon and Wed morning after school drop-off definitely, Thurs as well if it's a good week) and that is enough. I feel good again! I get stronger. I feel better. I feel 'functional' because this is what we humans need to do - use our bodies. And ….. I suppose…. there must be some happy exercise endorphins cruising around inside as well.

Went to a concert on Saturday night. Had SUCH A GREAT TIME!!!!!! Concerts are the ultimate sensory experience for the sober person. I cried happy tears during a few songs, did loads of chair dancing - waving my arms around and singing at the top of my lungs (along with thousands of others at the venue), laughed and felt so happy. The lighting was amazing, the musicians were incredibly talented and the entire environment was a buzzing delight. I didn't need to go to the loo five million times. I wasn't thinking about buying more wine throughout. I wasn't slightly removed from the sensation because of alcohol affecting my brain. I was clear, present, connected and so so happy.

A sober life isn't all peaches and rainbows.. no way. Low times come, they come often and I deal with them. But the highs - like going to a rocking good concert - feel so much better. And with exercise in the mix, I am giving myself a very good shot at more positive feelings as well.

It works if you work at it. Does that slogan apply to recovery, or life in general? I'm going to use it in a general life sense. I'm working at it, and that feels good.

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. Sounding good :) Realistic, fitted into schedule, can't give up like when in the living room. Go you!! I have found Tara Brach really helps me look forward to my walks, mental/spiritual exercise at the same time as striding about trying to save my life. Do you listen to podcasts at the gym? One good Ted talk had me laughing aloud so much, & suddenly the walk was over. (Not good on the 'minfullness' about nature, but .... Happy endorphin creating

  2. Really great to hear about you getting the exercise stuff sorted. You'll feel so much better! You know, I'm kind of glad it's not all peaches and rainbows. A good storm or some bitter greens are just the thing sometimes. Concert sounds great, and so do you! xo

  3. Yay for you Mrs D :) What's the other one - you're either working on your recovery or working on a relapse? Couldn't live without my running now and maybe you'll come to love exercise too? xx

  4. Whenever I start feeling down - or when ever I start isolating, I make myself go for a walk. It happens that in all the places I've lived, a walk is a hike is an aerobic exercise. I can't ever remember getting back from a long, intense walk and thinking, "God, I feel worse - wish I hadn't done that..." I always feel renewed. The trick is finding something you really love to do and GETTING STARTED. Thanks for this post.

  5. No pain no gain. Work those glutes Mrs D :-)
    (I'm not even sure what glutes are but I think it's gym speak)

  6. I had the same feeling when I went to a jazz club!
    It was awesome!
    Peace and Hugs!

  7. This blog is utterly fantastic. I've read nearly the entire thing in a few days. This and two others have become my lifeline in early sobriety. I wish there were ones like this for other addictions as well. I was a closet pain-pill popper for years, and it's so very hard to find witty, personal accounts like this one in my own, um... shall we call it genre? Anyways, Mrs. D, you freaking rock!

  8. Couldn't agree with your summation of exercise more! And I laughed hard at your comment re swimming laps, have done (or more precisely not done - dreamt it too) the same. Feeling the same desire to get this body moving. So over the shorts being too tight around the belly.

  9. Love all this. Exercise makes a HUGE difference for me. And concerts are amazing :)

  10. Love your site and posts, which I've just read through a few. I feel ya with the gym stuff! I won free lifetime membership at Jetts Aus/NZ so really have NO excuse. Good luck with everything Mrs D