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No More Wasted Days with Sara Kaufman-Bradstreet



Sara Kaufman-Bradstreet is a sober coach with 64.3K followers on TikTok! I first came across her on TikTok and found her posts funny, relatable and inspiring. In this episode, listen to how Sara quit drinking about 2.5 years ago. Initially, she started out with a 30 Day break from booze - but those 30 days changed her life and she was able to see what life could be like without alcohol. Now, she shares her experience with others on social media and hosts 30 day alcohol free challenges.




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You can find Sara on social media @no_more_wasted_days and check out her 10 mantras that helped her so much when she became alcohol free:


10 Mantras to Help You on Your Alcohol Free Journey - https://nomorewasteddays.co/10-mantras. Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at http://themindfullifepractice.com/.


Full episode



Transcript


Intro

Welcome to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019. And now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.


Alex

Alright. Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of "Sober Yoga Girl". I am super happy to be meeting someone today that I have seen all over TikTok. So I feel like I already know her. Welcome, Sara Kaufman-Bradstreet. And Sarah is an alcohol-free coach and she has amazing TikTok's about her alcohol-free life and that's how we came across each other. So it's super nice to meet you. Welcome, Sarah.


Sara

Thank you for having me. I'm like, I'm so flattered that people found me from TikTok just because I have so much fun doing it. And, I don't know, I feel like it's a big part of my recovery journey to that just be vulnerable and share all of that with people. And I'm just, I feel like the luckiest person in the world when people are like, oh, I found you on TikTok. I'm like, how cool is that?


Alex

It's amazing.


Sara

So thank you so much for having me.


Alex

And you are so far away from me right now. It's 6:30 in the morning where Sarah is, in Washington State. And I am, it's 05:30 P.M. In Abu Dhabi here. So we're almost 12 hours apart, which is pretty cool.


Sara

Yeah. I'm like, it's the power of the Internet. It's pretty amazing.


Alex

It's amazing. Yeah. So I was wondering if before we start if you could just tell me a bit about yourself, like, who you are, where you're from, kind of your sort of life journey.


Sara

So I actually grew up in a smaller town in Kansas, and I, when I was, let's see, I went to college in Kansas, and by the time I was done with college, I knew I had to get out of Kansas. It was like the life goal growing up in small-town like I can't be here. So I graduated from college and followed my sister out to Pacific Northwest in Oregon. And that's where I've been ever since. Up until three months ago, my husband and I moved to Washington State, where we're building a cabin on a piece of property we've had for nine years. So, life is kind of crazy, but it is the best life. And I think, I feel like that's me in a nutshell. There's, like, so much more. But, that's kind of the, how I got from being boring to where I am now.


Alex

Amazing. Cool. And tell me a bit about your drinking. So when did you begin drinking alcohol?


Sara

So I actually-- people are always like, oh, did you start drinking in high school? Do you remember your first drink? And I'm like, I don't remember my first drink. I'm like, it was probably something my parents let me try when they were drinking. And my parents are not big drinkers at all. So it was probably something like my dad was drinking with like the uncles or something, and I asked to try a beer and he let me. Like that's, and I'm-- it was just kind of one of the-- I feel like a normal kid thing, which sounds crazy now that I know everything I know about alcohol. But in high school, I didn't really drink a lot. I was not the typical party kid. I definitely had a group of friends that we all ran around on the weekends and whatnot. And then in college, I started drinking, but not every single day, which is what it turned into eventually. And it was much more, I want to say typical college drinking. But it was definitely now that I look back at it binge drinking. And it always was. Anytime I would drink it was, I would start with one, and somehow it led to too many. And then the next day it was always a terrible hangover. And that pattern stuck with me with my drinking basically the whole way. But then it just kind of followed me. And it's so strange because in my 20's is when I finally got a teaching job and I was starting a career. And that's when my drinking really picked up. And it's always strange to me because it seems like it should have been more in college. But instead, it's like, I'm in my 20's. I start going to bars and start, like, trying to socialize in the new state and that was the way to do it. And it just started becoming more on the weekdays at that point. But not too much. And I met my now-husband in my late 20's and our favorite thing to do together was drink. And I remember having a go-to list of like, what do I want out of my future partner? And one of them was, I want somebody who likes to drink and party the way I do. And it's like, now I kind of look at it and I'm like, man, what? I can't believe that that was one of my things. But it was and we'd loved to drink and party together. And it's what we did until we both chose to quit drinking. So, we got married after dating for like, five years. And then my drinking finally quit for nine months because I was pregnant with twins. And once I was done being pregnant and nursing, it was back to drinking. And I feel like, at that point, it picked up substantially. It's like you have that nine months where you're not drinking at all. And it was so easy to not drink then. And I remember that was one of the things in my brain always going, well, I don't have a problem because I quit drinking when I was pregnant and it was so easy. So the person who has a problem would probably have a really hard time quitting even if they were pregnant. And I'm just like, yeah, so I'm totally fine. But then I pick it up and it's just like, drinking was here and it just escalated up so quickly, I want to say, but that was early 30's, and I quit when I was 40. So it was just kind of watching that drinking become substantially more and more. And at the time, when my kids were born, I taught part-time. I taught music part-time in the public schools. And then I went to full-time teaching eventually. And when I taught full time, I didn't drink a lot because it's just like you had to be totally on. You had to be ready to go the next day. So it was a rare occurrence for me to have some wine on a Thursday night, but it would still happen every now and then. But the weekends were still these, I always say bender weekends, and I feel like, for a lot of people, they're normal adult weekends. But it was just drinking too much, having a terrible hangover Saturday and Sunday, and just trudging through the weekend where you're supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating. And instead, I was hungover and just wasting-- Oh my dog is right behind my camera and is shaking the whole computer. She's itching. But then I actually worked a side business, and my side business took off enough that I was able to start teaching part-time. And I always say that that's when my drinking really picked up and it's so upsetting to me now because I was so excited to watch this business grow and become the thing that was going to allow me to retire from teaching and start living a life that I was totally in control of. And instead, what happened is I started drinking more and more because my only boss was me on three days of the week. So I didn't need to feel like, I needed to show up in any way. I could show up hungover and it was okay because I was just behind a computer. And my business started failing and it was not even a wake-up call to me. I am always like, that wasn't even the thing. I was just kind of like, oh, I better start working on this a little bit. I got to get my time management going better. I got to be of more in control. It never dawned on me that it was my drinking, but it totally was. It took stepping away from alcohol to realize what an impact it had on me in so many negative ways. But finally, when I was like when I was 40 because I had had my 40th birthday party and my husband actually said, you know, I've got to take a break. I think I might quit drinking. And it was like, what? What did you just say? Like I was not happy about it. I wasn't excited. And a big part of our relationship was drinking. I was really worried we wouldn't like each other anymore. I was just kind of like, okay, well, we'll see. And I kind of thought, I'll go along with this with him. I bet will last about five days. It'll be back to what we know. And instead, it turned into a life-changing thing. And I told myself, like, I'll go 30 days. And if I can't string together 30 days, then some things up. I need to either start AA or I need to start therapy. I need to figure out how to get control of my drinking. So I went 30 days, and during that 30 days, I feel like I listened to every Quit Lit book there was. I listen to so many podcasts about quitting drinking. And every story I'd hear, I was like, oh, my gosh, that's me. That's me. That's me. And I was just like, I'm not this-- for me, I was always thinking, well, I don't have a problem because I don't fit this box, this box, this box, this box. And only people who have hit this huge rock bottom, who have gotten a DUI, have been arrested. Those are people who have to quit drinking. I'm not one of those people. I'm a person who's keeping it all together pretty well and managing life, but still drinking a little too much. So I really thought, I just need to get control. But those 30 days made it so I could stop and look and say, oh my gosh, this is taking control of my life. And this has gone from a place where I'm drinking this much to, oh my gosh, I'm drinking so much. And I'm drinking every night. And the weekends are so becoming so chaotic. And it was a big wake-up call for me. So after those 30 days, I kept going because I loved it. I loved the counting. I'm a counting days person. And I went to 60 days, and then 90, and somewhere between 100 and 150 days, I was finally confident enough to be like, I'm just never drinking again. There's no part of it that I want. I don't want to try to moderate. And I just-- I'm done. But it took-- I had to step away first. I had to string together some days and prove to myself that I could but also experience life alcohol-free because I don't think I had done that since like, probably high school. So it was time or since I was pregnant with my kids. But I'm always kind of like, I feel like that time doesn't even count. But that's kind of my, I feel like I went on and on right there with that story.


Alex

I loved it, though.


Sara

But that's what led me to all of that.


Alex

And I love hearing people's stories because it's true. Like what you just said about, you know, you listen to podcasts, and then you hear bits of your own story in that. And there are so many parts of that, that I identify with like, I'm a former teacher, actually.


Sara

Oh, wow.


Alex

Yeah. So I was a teacher. That's what brought me to the Middle East. I was a teacher for six years and wanted so badly to leave my teaching career and do yoga full-time. And my partying was accelerating and accelerating and so funny, because, in the last year of my drinking days, I remember my yoga classes had, like, one person in them. So interesting and it was only something that I realized in retrospect, that as soon as I got sober, my classes, all of a sudden, were picking up and picking up and had, like, 30 people in them. And it's only a connection that I made in retrospect. That was like, wow, it was me that was pulling myself back, right? And it was me that was like, I just clearly wasn't showing up as, like, an authentic, like, authentically living my truth as, you know, a Yogi. And clearly, people could sense that, even if I wasn't telling them like, I was, you know, drinking all night. I'm sure they could just sense it. And so it was really and it was like, once I chose sobriety that, like, my business really took off. And now, you know, I quit my job and do this full time. And so hearing you talk about that, like, I've really resonated with that.


Sara

Yeah. And that's kind of how it was with the online business I had. I was on online health and fitness coaching. And I was like, I was the online health and fitness coach that was gaining weight and missing workouts. Eating really healthy and then drinking so much and holding back calories so I could drink and just like, kind of look at all the things I did. And I'm like, oh, my gosh. But it was the same thing when I quit. I didn't tell anybody. I was just kind of like, I'll do this thing. And instantly, and this is online, people watching me on the internet going, What's changed? What are you doing? You look different. And I was like, finally I was like, I quit drinking. And then I took a before and after of like when I was drinking and then after, like, I don't know, 60 days. And I was like, whoa, and it was just a face-to-face kind of like, a light in you is so doled by alcohol. And nobody knows that that's happening because it is so normal in our society to drink. And then all of a sudden, you cut it out. And people are like, what have you done? But then when you tell them what you've done, they're like, oh, I don't think I want to do that. I'm like, hey, I understand. I didn't want to do it. And then you do it. And you're like, oh my, I always tell people once you do it, you're like, I know the secret now.


Alex

And the transformations are like mind-blowing. Like I've seen it in so many people, but I saw one today on a sober Facebook group of a guy. He put his two driver's license together, and they were a year apart, and he was only six months sober. But it literally, you're looking at like an old man and then, like, a guy in his 20's. Like side by side. I was like, whoa.


Sara

It's amazing. I'm always like, well, and I did had no idea how puffy I had become and how like my eyes were not as bright as they should be. And it was just like, it's just amazing. And it's so funny now, people are always like, oh when I quit drinking, I want to lose a lot of weight. Will I lose weight? I'm like, I didn't really lose weight. But I lost all this bloat. I had no idea that I had so much bloat and inflammation happening. And then, it was really the like, I forgot where I was going with my thought. But it was kind of like, no, there's not always this huge weight loss transformation, but there's-- your body is going to change in these amazing ways. So it really is because you take this poison out that you've been using.


Alex

Yeah, absolutely. And so tell me about how did you end up kind of transforming into becoming an alcohol-free coach? Like, what was your journey to get there?


Sara

So after about six months of not drinking, it was October. And I was kind of like, I'm going to do a Sober October group. And I'm going to see who wants to do this with me. Just really casual and posted about it on Facebook. Hey, who wants to do a Sober October? And at that point, I had been sharing just little bits and pieces that I quit drinking. And gosh, here's what I've experienced. And I feel this freedom that I've never felt anymore. So I had made a few posts on Facebook about it, probably three or four. And then October rolls around. I was like, hey, who wants to do a Sober October with me? I'll host a Facebook group. We can check in with each other. And I probably had, like, 30 people be like, oh, I want to do it. Let me in there. Yeah. Let's do this. So I did that group. And then it was super laid back. And it was me hopping in once a week going, hey, who's still rocking their Sober October? And that was that. And then after that, I was like, okay, let's keep it going. So I did a November group and then December. And in those groups, I started formulating these videos that I was putting together for my friends and family. And just like, hey, here's day one. And I ended up making 30 videos to go with the 30 days, filmed it all on my iPhone in my bedroom. And I was just kind of like, I'll make these and put them on YouTube and see what it becomes, kind of type thing. And I have to say that a few of my first challenges were, like, just all over the place, and the videos weren't going out at the right time. And it was definitely me kind of figuring it all out.


Alex

Right.


Sara

But it's like I finally saw like, this is something people need. People are searching all around. And there are people like me who are thinking, well, I don't know if there's anything wrong with me. I was always thinking, I'm not an alcoholic because an alcoholic is a, b or c. And I don't fit any of that. And so I shouldn't go to alcoholic synonymous because that's not for me. And now, I always think about that now. And I'm like, that's so ridiculous. I could have totally gone. And it would probably would have been amazing. But, I was stuck going, well, what am I supposed to do? I think I'm supposed to learn how to control my alcohol. And I felt like I couldn't even quit, type deal. So, with the challenge, it was kind of like, well, if I do this for other people, they might have that same revelation I had where it's just like, life is just better without alcohol. You don't have to claim you're an alcoholic. You don't have to claim you have a huge problem. You can just quit. And I think for a lot of people, it does take that little 30 days. So I strung together all my videos. I got them all pieced together. And then it turned into more of a thing where I was like, I want to see how many people I can help. I want to really start pushing this out to people. And that's when I came up with "No More Wasted Days" and started that as a brand and a company and really just started posting on Facebook at first and was having zero luck. Like, I was just like, man, nobody wants to hear this story. So, then I went over to TikTok because it was the beginning of the pandemic and was like, everybody was doing it. But I kept watching TikTok thinking, I can't talk about not drinking on here. Everybody's doing these hilarious videos. Like, this isn't the platform for this. And my husband was like, you've got-- just start doing them. Just start making them. Make a "No More Wasted Days" page and do it. So I was like, okay. I would make videos in my room thinking, no one will ever watch this. So I'll come up with some ideas. And then a video went viral. And I gained, like, 10,000 followers overnight. And I was like, whoa. But I actually had a group ready. I was like, okay, let's all get in this community and start it. And I have a free community and it's grown from zero to almost 5,000. And then it is the friendliest place on Facebook. It is the most loving community, full of people who are curious about becoming alcohol-free. And people who have been alcohol-free for ten years. It's just like, this amazing group. So that's all come together. And every month now I host an alcohol-free challenge where people come into that. And that's more of my VIP setting where people get access to the daily videos. And I have a Journal that I've created because journaling was a huge part of my success. And it's just become a big thing. And I am so happy that I'm able to help people in this way, whether it's that they see a TikTok and it changes their life and they never talk to me or they do a 30-day challenge with me, and it changes their life. It's just amazing.


Alex

So incredible. So incredible. And, you know, I can so relate to your kind of story with TikTok in that I was so resistant to it for so long. Like, everyone kept saying, TikTok is the thing, and I'm like, I don't know. Like it kind of scared me to like, this idea of these videos being pushed everywhere. But it has been such an amazing connector for me. You know, brought me to you, like, brought me to some of the most amazing-- there is this amazing sober side of TikTok. And it's pretty awesome.


Sara

The Sober TikTok is like, I think it's the coolest thing in the world. And TikTok is-- just like, their algorithm is so on point because your "For you" page is just like so catered to you. And I remember when I just hopped on it for the first time, I was like, this is the coolest thing because my TikTok is so different than my husband's TikTok feed. And then, when I started my "No More Wasted Days" page, that was so different than my personal one just because I was more searching, like, the self-help and the sober and all that type of stuff. And I was like, this is the coolest platform. So if you're listening and you're not on TikTok, you have to. And people will be like, it's not very cool. I'm like, no, no, no. You have to keep doing it. You have to swipe and you have to heart. And then all of a sudden, you're like, this is the coolest thing in the world.


Alex

And even like, something that I love about it, too. Like I'm here in Abu Dhabi, and so I, you know, I get the sober content. But I also got a lot of local content. And what I really love about it is that I'm experiencing storytelling from so many unique perspectives here that I wouldn't have. Like, so I have, you know, my ex-pat community and that's kind of who I hang around with. But then you're on TikTok and you hear like, you know, local Emirati person talking about their perspective, or like, you know, they have a lot of like domestic helpers. And so you'll see people from Ghana, like, talking about their experience like, and just, it's so cool. Like, just all the different, like, I feel like people are given a mic on TikTok that they like might not be given otherwise.


Sara

Yeah, totally. It's just, it's such a cool platform. And I was so resistant. My husband told me to get on it when it was musically. And I was like, no, and that's when I taught middle school. I'm like, I think my middle schoolers are on that. And now I have had past students be like, Miss KB. And I'm like, well, yeah. That's me.


Alex

Me too. You know, I had a kid a couple of months ago, comment on one of my TikToks, and I taught really young kids, grade one. So he was on his mom's TikTok. So I think he was in grade four. But he commented saying, like, Miss Alexandra, we're so proud of you. And it was just so beautiful because I have so much fear as I'm sure you can relate to being a teacher and kind of stigma of having drinking problems like, you're like, oh, my God, I don't want my kids to find this. Everybody seems to find it.