Happy Soberween!!

As most of you know, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Every year I have certain things I do that day…cook certain foods, watch certain movies. I even take the day off of work. Yes, I use a vacation day for Halloween because in my book it is indeed a Holiday.

One of the traditions I have always done as an adult on Halloween is drink wine all day. It was probably the one day of the year where I would drink wine at a slow pace, lol. I would sip on wine throughout the day as I would cook and get dressed up. Then at night I would break out the Transylvania (which is now from a vineyard in California so it kind of lost its street cred) wine and drink that. Of course once that bottle was gone (and that bottle didn't last too long) I would switch over to delicious IPA beers. Even our neighbors would come over and “trick or treat” with beer for us.

Obviously this is a tradition that will NOT be happening this year.

I've made is threw a lot of “occasions” in my sobriety…an open bar family event, a Dave Matthews Concert, our 1 year wedding anniversary, summer in general, my birthday, running a half marathon celebration…a lot of these event’s I thought would be extremely difficult, and some of them were, and I know Halloween will be as well.

But I will do what I have been doing and that is setting myself up for success

I will make sure to have plenty of delicious sparkly water on hand. And to carry on the “wine” tradition I will pick up a bottle of some non-alcoholic wine. I’ve had non-alcoholic wine a few times before and it’s not that bad! I know that there are some who must steer clear of it because it is a trigger for them, but that is not really the case for me. Non-alcoholic beer however can be a trigger (since beer was really my poison) so I do not really consume that. I’ve had it twice while out on a lunch date with the hubby…it’s not awful, but it’s not good, and the taste just leaves me wanting more and set’s off that urge so I steer clear of it if I can.

I will pull out a fancy Halloween drinking glass or goblet and enjoy my non-alcoholic goodies in that. I think I might even get some yummy fruits like apples and black berries to garnish my waters. And how about some blood orange San Pellegrino…that is perfect for Halloween!!

Being sober (for a little over 8 months now) has taught me…well it has taught me many, MANY things, but one of them is that I can still enjoy holidays and functions and events without alcohol. Sure, there are some aspects of it that I miss and yes, the craving are still there…every. single. day. But each day I fight & I try my very best to stay strong and I remember how I was living every day for the drink and how my desire to not live like that again is stronger than my desire to drink. Sure, the idea of getting lost in a drunken haze sounds lovely. Giving myself one night to escape & succumb to the numbness that alcohol brings...I lived for that. But I don't live for that anymore. I can't...if I want to live at all. And I do...so I don't.  

I do not need alcohol to enjoy or celebrate Halloween. The magick of the day has nothing to do with alcohol. The magick of Halloween is in the air and in my heart. So whether you are celebrating with an alcoholic beverage or not, 
*CHEERS* to a delightfully magickal Halloween!!

Be sure to check out my social media accounts for pictures of my costume this year!! 

Empire State Half Recap

So many thoughts.
So many thoughts ran through my head as I ran the ½ marathon this past Sunday. My first race since 2012. The first major race I have signed up for and not backed out of in over 2 years.

Some of those thoughts…

-What an awesome way to spend my birthday!
-I can’t believe I am actually doing this!
-Here we go! I am ACTUALLY doing this!
-Who the hell decides to spend their birthday this way?!
-OK, I started this…I HAVE to finish this!
-This sucks!
-Holy crapballz…I’m never doing this again!
-Worst birthday ever!
-I’m going to die!
-Holy crapballz I see the finish line!
-OK, run your ass through that finish line!
-When can I run another one!

Running through that finish line almost didn’t feel real. I can’t really explain it. There were SO many emotions…so many thoughts…good and bad. Of the past (I’ve ran a handful of these before damnit! Why can’t I run like I used to?!). Of the present (I should’ve been more prepared!). Of the future (I am running races again?!).

It was an odd feeling. On one hand it felt like common territory. I mean this wasn’t my first ½ marathon. But at the same time it felt brand new. This WAS my first ½ marathon since 2011. And it was also my first time running a race (especially a long one) at this weight.

I also had enormous support out there, which was also a first for me. Not only did I have my husband and my mother there but my uncle, his girlfriend & my cousin also came to support me as well. I’ve never had that much family support for me during a race…not even when I ran a marathon, lol. They even made me this kick ass sign!!

I also had support on the course with a lot of my fellow Lake Effect Runners who were running the race as well. I've been running with the Lake Effect Run Club for a few months now and it has been changing me not only as a runner, but as a friend as well. This is an amazing group of people and I am so thankful to call many of them my friend. Their support, encouragement and cheers kept me going through that entire course.  I wasn't just doing this to show myself that I could, but also to show them that I could too, and that made me feel very proud. (Quick shout outs (& they know why) to Mary, Brett, John, Russel, Jane, Michael & probably a ton others from that day that I am forgetting!!)

And of course there was the support from all of you. I don’t know if I could of kept going the way I did if it wasn't for you guys cheering me on. I started to live-update through Instagram once I got to the ½ way point. I was struggling for sure but you guys kept me chugging.

I struggled for a few reasons. One being that the weather was pretty crappy. It was very cold…definitely the coldest weather I have ran in since 2011, no doubt. And on top of that it was windy. I will run in rain…I will run in snow…I will not run in wind (well, apparently I will but I will hate every.single.second of it). Wednesday was the first day since the race that I didn't taste metal & blood in my mouth…YUCK!! The weather really took a lot of me & fatigued me very quickly. To my surprise my knee held up alright. It wasn't until mile 10 that I really started to notice any pain.  Let’s not forget that the knee injury (injured patellar tendon) kept me pretty laid up for weeks before the race. The longest run I got was 7 miles.  That surely did not make it any easier on me.

This race was a bit harder than I anticipated. I was so mentally picking out things that annoyed me (music, my handheld water bottle, my jacket riding up). I was focusing so much on how familiar my surroundings were and that was hard because it wasn't a distraction like I normally have in races this long. And of course I start doubting myself...*can* I really do this again?! Maybe I wasn't ready?! 

But I did what I do…I fought. I fought hard. I dug deep. I told myself that there was NO WAY I was quitting!! There was NO WAY I was backing out!! There was NO WAY that I was NOT finishing!! I would finish and I would finish hard, because 8 months I decided that enough was enough and I made a promise to myself that I would not let myself go again.  
I promised that I would not give up on myself…and I didn't.

My goal was to finish. Obviously I knew I wouldn't PR at all (my fastest 1/2 to date is 2:17) but I & given where my pace is right now with my weight & my knee, I thought it would be great and would be fair if I could finish at 3:30...I finished in 3:15!! 

Thank you *SO* much again to everyone for all the support & birthday love on Sunday!! You guys made that day utterly unforgettable!! XO

I will have more details about my next (yes, there is a next lined up!) ½ coming soon!! 

I am Suzi Storm...

So as many of you may (or may not) have noticed the name of this page and this blogs FB page has changed.
I have officially said "goodbye" to OK, Just One More Beer.

It took months of thought and as silly as it sounds, it was sad to say goodbye. But it felt like the right thing to do. I still remember the day I came up with that name...the day I decided to blog...and how it felt like such perfect name...and it was. But it just wasn't right anymore. The name didn't bother me. Seeing the word "beer" didn't trigger anything for me. It just didn't feel right anymore...it didn't feel like me...it didn't fit.

I thought about tweaking it a little but that just felt too long. Or changing it all together but I couldn't think of anything that I liked or sounded like me. I didn't want something cliche or that screamed "GO FITNESS AND HEALTH!!", lol.

I am me...I am Suzi Storm. If you follow me on my personal FB page you know that last week I switched the name from Suzi Storm to my married name. And if you have been following me for long eough you know that Storm is not my madien name.  My name is Suzi but Storm is something I came up with while talking with my husband. It wasn't blog or social media related. I thought it would be badass if my name was Suzi Storm. It kind of became a part of me when I first started my weight loss journey. It became to me what Sasha Fierce is to Beyonce...a side of me that I call upon when I need to kick ass. Some people in real life refer to me as Suzi Storm. That name has even been published in reference to me, lol.

Suzi Storm was here long before OK, Just One More Beer was...and Suzi Storm will be forever. It may seem a bit egotistical but oh well. This fits. This name, Suzi Storm, is not only me but is also a symbol of strength and perseverance. Every one has a storm within themselves...let that storm drive you towards your goals. Become the storm.

XO-Suzi F*cking Storm

P.S. I will have a 1/2 marathon recap post up soon!!

Oh the 3 0

Just days away from my 31st birthday (October 19th is my birthday…same day as my return to the ½ marathon!!) and of course I can’t help but reflect a bit on my first year in a new decade.
I was not scared or upset to turn 30. Age to me has always been a number, even when I was younger. I always looked older and I sure the hell felt older thanks to all the curve balls life threw me as a child. I even hung out with older people. I never really could relate or connect to many my own age. This even stands today. Hell, I married someone 13 years older than me.

My 20’s were great though. I blogged about them here. But of course, my life has changed in enormous ways in just a year.

 While I was 30 I came to the realization (& accepted) the fact that I had become an alcoholic. I have since quit drinking and as of today I am 8 months sober. This has been by far the BIGGEST change of them all. This change I firmly believe is what has led to all of these other changed, in some way or another.

I've lost almost 60 lbs. Drinking has certainly helped but I can honestly say that it’s not the main reason behind my weight loss. I’m not going to lie…I was super bummed that I wasn’t dropping lbs like it’s hot. But not drinking certainly helped me to make smarter decisions when it came to food. I track every day. I’m on a crazy few months spree with tracking. In all my years of being a Weight Watchers member this is the longest I have gone with consecutive tracking. I knew how to lose weight and drink beer. I did that. I lost 101 lbs while never giving up beer. Giving up beer this time really hasn't made a huge impact on that.

I've started running again! This Sunday is not only my birthday but also my return to the ½ marathon. It will be my first time in a race since 2012. Running has obviously helped me lose these 60 lbs and vice-versa. I've never ran a race at this weight, and believe me I am terrified to see the race photos, LOL…but my drive is stronger than ever. Running has helped to keep me sane and has been a huge influence in my staying sober. I have also met many new friends through running and by running with the folks in the Lake Effect Run Club.

My relationships have changed. Some have been better…some have been strained…some have become non-existent. People come and people go. I have always and will continue to always cherish every relationship, every person that has been brought into my life. As I grow, I will continue to fight for the love and light that I want brought into my life.

I know what I want in life more now than ever…and at the same time I have more questions about life more now than ever. I know what I do and what I do not want in my life.  I am more selfish. I do not have the patience for the negativity of others. I've dealt with a lot of bullshit and I still deal with a lot of bullshit. I do not need to deal with the bullshit of others. Don’t make your problems my problems…I got enough of my own.

This really is a journey. Life is a journey. There are hills and mountains and gravel and pavement. There is fire and wind and water. We are teeny, tiny creatures in this big ass universe just skipping about. And I live my life now trying to be mostly humming and dancing through this journey….and that folks is my Matthew McConaughey portion of this post.

So basically what I am saying, in a nutshell is...I got my shit together when I was 30.

My first year of being a 30 year old was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. I can only hope that 31 will be just as awesome.

And I am still younger than Beyoncé. 

Ready or not, here I come...

So the Empire State ½ marathon is 12 days away…and I am kindoftotallysortof freaking out.


As usual, I don’t feel as prepared as I should be. But with that being said I am not completely under-trained. Since April/May I have been running consistently but that’s usually just 3-4 miles. I am certainly more trained for 5K’s or 10K’s.  But like everything I do in life…go big or go home!!

I signed up for this race exactly 10 days after I quit drinking. I normally do not do anything longer than a 10K in my area because I find them boring, as I see this scenery all of the time. Especially at the park where this race is because it’s the same place I go to almost every time I go out for a run.  I like to run longer distances in places that are new to me to help distract my mind. It’s easier to run 13 or 26 miles when I’m going “oohh, what’s that?!”  instead of “holy hell I am only to here?!”

But this race is on my birthday this year. That immediately drew my attention because I have always thought it would be fun to run a race on my birthday, because ya know, after racing comes the celebratory beers. I was only 10 days into my sobriety and at that moment I was still not fully admitting that I was indeed an alcoholic and that sobriety would be a lifelong battle. At the time I thought “I wonder if I can make it to my birthday and after the race I can have a celebratory beer!” LOL!! Obviously, being almost 8 months sober now and fully admitting that I had become an alcoholic, I have a different perspective. Now I just hope to NOT have a celebratory alcoholic drink.

So instead of spending my birthday in a bar like I normally would have I will be spending my birthday with a couple thousand people pounding the pavement.

This will also mark my first time getting behind a starting line since the 2012 Utica Boilermaker, which was a pathetic attempt of me pretending I was still an active runner when in reality all I spent my time doing was drinking, eating, and drinking some more. I would sign up for many races between then and now but I would drop out of every single one of them.

I’m not dropping out this time!! While I may not be as physically prepared as I should be I know that I can pull this one out. I have lost over 50 lbs so while yes this will be the heaviest weight I have ever raced at (well mine maybe the first 5K I ever did) I am certainly much better off than I was when I signed up. Sure, the farthest distance I have ran since getting moving again has been 7 miles  but it was a decent, strong 7 miles. Remember when I ran my marathon and my longest run before that had only been 13.2 miles???? Yeah…again…training plans + me just don’t get along.

I know I have the drive, the will, the craving, the desire, the strength inside me to run those 13.1 miles. I know that I have ran 13.1 miles many times before. I know the excitement of being in a race again will start some adrenaline to course through my veins. I know that having some friends out on the course will be motivating me (and also know that if I drop dead and they run by that they can at least identify my body). I know that having my husband…yes, this will be the first time that I can say that my husband, not my boyfriend, is at the finish line, will be waiting for me at the finish line will keep me moving forward.

I’m not doing this race to prove anything to anybody but myself. I know that I will not come even close to any previous ½ marathon times I've hit, and I am OK with that. I am not going out there to try and set any PR’s (but to be completely honest, knowing where my pace is right now & my fitness, I would like to finish at or under a time of 3:30). I am going out there to cross a starting line and a finish line. I don’t care if I stop and walk a bit, because I know that I will. I don’t care if some of my friends finish the marathon in almost the same time (or less) than the ½ because I’m not competing with anyone…but myself. I am here to prove that I can do this again. I am here to prove to myself that I didn't just sign up on a fluke and that I am a runner again. I am here to prove that I do not give up on myself.

The only thing I am worried about mostly is my knee. As many of you know I have had issues with my left knee and got diagnosed with Patellar Tendonitis. I took the rest and medication as the doctor ordered (which was another setback in getting properly prepared for this race) and will take my first running steps today. I don’t plan on running a whole lot between now and race day. Let’s be honest, what’s done is done as far being prepared for the race.  All I can hope for at this point is for my knee to hold up and for no further damage to be created.

My girl Dani has a saying that keeps her going…finish what you started…and that is exactly what I plan to do. 

Hello October!

It is that time of year again…that most magickal time of year…autumn!! This time of year soothes my soul and makes my heart extremely happy. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than fall time. October is my favorite month out of the year…it contains my birthday and my favorite holiday, Halloween. Ever since I was a little girl I felt deeply connected to this time of year.

Sweater and hoodies…comfort food…warm coffee, tea & cider…boots…comfort food…scarves…crisp air & crisp leaves…comfort food…gorgeous display of colors & red (my fav color)…comfort foods…

Did I mention comfort food??

See for me, whether I am (re) losing weight or maintaining my weight, Fall/Winter are the hardest times for me. Now I did hit my goal weight & reach Weight Watcher Lifetime status in the fall but it’s always been a battle. I’m not a huge craver or sweets…it’s the savory that I like to get down with. Cheesy, crunchy, gooey…I’M IN!! Summer sure has its fights, like a lot of outdoor holidays, picnics and parties. But there are SO many great, healthy options during the summer. Endless fruits and veggies and GRILLING!! And drink wise this summer I was hooked onto diet Snapple and Crystal Light tea drinks which cost me no Points+ values. Unlike the delicious lattes and cocoa I want to consume…like…ALL THE TIME!!

It can be difficult to stay on track during this season if your trigger foods/drinks are the highlight. So here I have some of the tips and tricks that I have used over the years to help me not fall (haha…get it…I know, I know…I’m hilarious) too off track & sabotage my goals:

This is my #1 rule…ENJOY!!!! I’ve preached this at SO many WW meetings…you have to let yourself ENJOY the season!! If you swear yourself off of that Pumpkin Spice Latte, or promise to not eat that homemade macaroni and cheese then you are just setting yourself up for a potential failure. PSL’s (that’s what all the cool kids are calling them now) may seem like crack, but they are not...they won’t ruin your life.

MODERATION!! Enjoy, yes…but in moderation. Have that SLICE of pumpkin pie. Have that SERVING of chicken and dumplings. Indulge in A pumpkin or fall flavored drinkable treat ONCE a week. You can ENJOY these things when you practice MODERATION.

How about LIGHTENING things ups!! Love homemade mac & cheese?? How about using a 2% milk cheese or replacing the whole milk with 1% or skim (I use Skim when I make mine and even the hubby can’t tell…and I make a MEAN mac & cheese). Or how about some more nutrient filled noodles. Getting that PSL?? Get it with skim milk, no whip. Fat free whip cream on the pie…use a can of pumpkin puree to make cookies or muffins. There are a lot of ways to lighten up your favorite cold-weather comforts.

Stay ACTIVE! It can be hard to get outside and get your walks/runs in when the weather gets cooler. I live Central New York and we have one of the snowiest winters in the US. But we still get out. Invest in some proper clothing. Get something to modify your shoes for when it’s icy out. Don’t want to go outside? Well if you have a treadmill now would be the time to dust that thing off. How about buying a new workout DVD that you can do right at home? Invite some friends over…have some drinks and do some drunken Yoga or whatever those PiYo things are all about. If you are going to let yourself indulge in more fat & calorie filled up foods you really should make sure to keep your workouts filled up too.

Sweaters…they can be your friend or your enemy. DRESS for your body…do not hide your body. For many of us, losing/maintaining weight is a mostly mental battle. Sometimes we see all these adorable, comfy sweaters and just buy, buy, buy. But the sad truth is that not every sweater is right for everybody. If you start dressing slumpy, you will feel slumpy.  (I don’t think “slumpy” is an actual word…but this is my blog and I do what I want) I know that is huge for me because the minute I start to think that I look frumpy, I feel frumpy…and when I feel frumpy I care less about what I eat…and then I care less about working out to keep my figure and then it all goes downhill from there. Try that sweater on first and make sure that it’s not too bulky, and make sure those leggings and skinny jeans don’t make your legs look like a can of crescent rolls waiting to be popped open against the edge of a kitchen counter.

T&M man…T&M…let’s hashtag that sh*t… #TM…TRACK AND MEASURE!! During this time of year I make a lot of big pots of soups and dishes of casseroles. They are wonderful for providing multiple meals but it’s also extremely easy to over serve yourself. Take the time to measure out your portions. Invest some nice measure cups and spoons and even containers to store the extra servings in for future meals. And make sure to track it all! Even if you go 100Points over (and believe me…that has happened)…track it!! If you don’t follow WW you should still try to keep a log of what you eat. Invest in a new tracker/journal for the season.

Stay FOCUSED!! Do not lose sight of your goals.  Maybe come up with new mini goals just for Autumn/Winter. Like trying a new winter vegetable or participating in a winter sport.

There will be days where maybe you over enjoyed a bit…days where you forget to ask for the skim milk…days where you said “screw it” and just plopped that mac & cheese right on your plate…IT HAPPENS!! There’s nothing you can do about it but to accept it and move on!! You can still work towards and hit your goals around this time of the year. Enjoy the great offerings that this seasons brings…just be sure to stay mindful of them. Happy October!!

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