EP #106

Bamboozled & Alcohol Consciousness with Ken Middleton

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In this episode, Molly introduces strategies to live peacefully, enjoy a glass of wine without guilt, and break free from past patterns using science-backed approaches. The episode features a conversation with Ken Middleton, who emphasizes the importance of mental reengineering, exercise commitment, diet improvement, and success seeking in the process of changing drinking habits. Ken encourages a mindful approach to alcohol consumption, advocating for a conscious relationship or complete abstinence, highlighting the benefits of increased energy, mental clarity, and the ability to address underlying issues. The discussion explores the impact of social engineering and cultural norms surrounding alcohol, challenging misconceptions and promoting a holistic perspective on alcohol’s effects. Molly and Ken discuss the importance of education, self-awareness, and gradual change, urging listeners to consider a “dry 90” for a more profound compound effect.

Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got prizes, I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners, and it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from well what do you expect it’s raining here in Oregon? I mean, not only is it raining, folks, it is raining it has been raining cats and dogs. In all seriousness we have you know flooding warnings now and the forecast for the week is rain with intermittent spurts of cloudiness but mostly rain. There’s like a storm front coming in every other day and it’s just nonstop it’s relentless. And my backyard I have a a bocce ball court back there. It looks like a lap pool right now there’s a there’s a plastic cover over the top of it and about I don’t know three inches of water standing on top of it. Someone take me away take me all gone. Take me away from from from Oregon in the winter, right? I know all stop complaining. It doesn’t help. It’s just the way it is around here. And I am on my way as a matter of fact to some sunnier drier weather this weekend. So I am looking forward to that. Today on the podcast, I am sharing a conversation I had with Ken Middleton. Now I had learned about Ken from my friend Janet Garonne over at tribes sober. And Ken actually reached out to me asking me if he thought that if I thought a collaboration that were a conversation would be a good idea. And I definitely wanted to talk with him. Ken is someone who has made the decision to be alcohol free. He created a community online called alcohol ain’t your friend or is not your friend. Alcohol is not your friend. Yeah, that’s it on medium. I will link it in the show notes. And he has written a book called bamboozled. And that is coming out soon. And I just loved our conversation. He believes he has coined the term alcohol consciousness. And I said, Hey, I am all with that because I’ve coined the term term alcohol minimalism. So you can be alcohol conscious. And I think it’s some sort of and I say that at the end, some sort of Venn diagram, right. Everyone who is alcohol conscious, or everyone who’s an alcohol minimalist is alcohol conscious. And everyone who is alcohol conscious, I hope will become an alcohol minimalist. So I think you’re really going to enjoy hearing from Ken. He’s got a lot of great energy, and he’s really dedicated to helping people change that powerless story and that powerless narrative. So here is my conversation with Ken Middleton. Hey Ken, thank you so much for being here on the alcohol minimalist. I am super excited to have this conversation. And I you reached out to me we have a mutual friend Janet Durand and her work over at tribe silver. And I’m just super excited to talk to somebody else who considers something. You’ve coined a term till so I believe I’ve coined alcohol minimalist, you believe you’ve coined what I call God consciousness, alcohol consciousness, which I love. Because really, we’re kind of on the same we’re on, we’re definitely on the same vibe. So talk to me a little about how you got here, where this came from, and kind of what work you’re doing in the world of alcohol consciousness. Thank you so much, probably. Thanks for having me. Um, yeah, so to your point, and we talked about this a little bit a while ago, like, the alcohol consciousness is not about giving up alcohol like that is one of the common misconceptions. People think when they think about when they read, alcohol is not your friend and they read the book are going to read the book, bamboozled. That’s never been my intention. For me, alcohol consciousness is about if you decide to drink, I just want to make sure you are aware of the trade offs you’re making when you make that decision. And I wasn’t aware of that. So go back to my story, what happened with me was, I started drinking in college, as most people did, and alcohol became one of my best friends, hence the name of my medium publication. I call this not your friend, because it did everything that people said it wouldn’t that I thought I needed in my life. So it was hard for me to talk to women, alcohol made it a lot easier. I wasn’t that natural around other people that I didn’t know alcohol may be get out of my comfort zone and just be the life of the party, if you will. And it just made life so much better than what I thought it was before that it became that easier of life from 19. On to the age of that I finally gave up, progress a little forward and I get a job in sales. So if college is an environment in which alcohol is great, promoted, sales environment is one that does so in the real life. So I did sales, and worked with an organization in which my job was to take my clients out, schmooze them had a corporate account. And so when you can think about how the volume of alcohol increased tremendously, is just the reality of it. And often, when we look at our drinking, it is relative to those around us. So as I looked at my peers, I wasn’t drinking more than they were like, there were a lot of them that were drinking more than me, and people that were more successful that I was in the company. So at that point, I didn’t have a problem. Where it came to a head is when I decided to leave my company in 2017 to start my own business, entrepreneurship, staffing, business, my own, and I was 18 months into it. And I just wasn’t successful. I was doing okay, but I wasn’t doing great. And for me, I always had the saying of my 70 80% was better than most people’s 100% Because after I drink, I knew I wasn’t 100%. The next day, I knew that at the hangover, the brain fog, I knew I wasn’t amazing. But I always felt like I was still doing the job well enough. When I tried to do my own company that just wasn’t good enough. And I said, I didn’t want to go back to corporate America until I can unequivocally say I’ve given everything I can to make this business work. So I stopped drinking, I said, I’m just going to give myself a break for 3060, maybe 90 days and see what happens. I made more money, Molly in that next three months that I had made in the entire previous nine months. And when that happened, I was like, Holy shit, like kidding. I don’t know if we can curse our followers. But I was like, holy shit. There’s something here, there’s there, there is something here. And then from that I just continued to grow and learn. And it was around the education that once I started to open up my mind and realize all the lessons I never learned in high school. I never learned in college around what alcohol does to you and how it hurts you and damages your ability to think and then I said I want to educate others on that and it’s not about quitting. But as I said, it’s just about you knowing and then you make that choice consciously if that is what you want to do for the rest of your life and that’s what a bamboozled is about Yeah, so that’s again that’s why you and I align on so very much because I I talk science all the time I talk neuroscience I talk blood alcohol content, I talk all about the science of alcohol because for me that is definitely what happened I had a different journey, a different relationships but much more for a lot longer. First of all, and also just more daily drinking I was never a big drinker. I wasn’t like you know, a binge drinker. I didn’t like to over drink very much. I came from an alcoholic family. So our my mother was an alcoholic died of her disease. So I did not want to I didn’t want to follow down that path. And I had a very so I I was kind of, you know, had some rules around myself that I followed all the time, but it was great. Very, very much a habit drinker and daily drinker. And definitely drinking far more than I realized, just to your point was really bad for me, right? Like, because I was the same way, like I figured, well, I’m not I don’t have a problem, I don’t get up, I have a full time job. I have kids, I’m very productive, you know, I’d never really understood or never admitted to myself how much that low level anxiety which I had probably because of my alcoholic upbringing, there was an anxiety that was ever present about worrying about whether or not I was going to, you know, teeter down the edge and go off the edge. And could I become an alcoholic over time, things like that. I never wanted to just really appreciate how much that was taking away from me being my the fully best version of myself, right. And so when I decided to change my drinking habit, I kind of went about it in a different way. But I the in terms of just because I just had been doing it for so long, I had the same things and a lot of stories around alcohol that I believed were true, right. Like I believed that I needed to drink alcohol to unwind and de stress at the end of the day. Like that was something that I absolutely 100% believed. So investigating the science of alcohol and understanding the effects on my neuro chemistry and how it actually was perpetuating my stress and anxiety. Right? Not understanding that chemical reaction that I was causing for myself. And when I did that allowed me to challenge those beliefs that I had around alcohol that I was that it was that it was helping me unwind. I was like, yeah, actually, that’s not true. It’s making it harder for me to relax and unwind. So that part you and I completely agree on. Right? We have to appreciate and understand that alcohol is a toxin, it is a known carcinogen. We can do all this without being a scare tactic. Right isn’t to scare people straight. And that’s something that I always get, because people, there are lots of things in this world that are unhealthy for us that we consume, right? And alcohol isn’t the only thing that we’re talking about here in this world, there are different, you know, and different behaviors. If we don’t exercise if we don’t sleep well, if we don’t, if we got a lot of inherent stress. So this isn’t about demonizing alcohol, at least for me. And I think you would agree, right? Yeah, I’m with you, Molly, because you hit the nail on the head. That’s why I use the term alcohol consciousness because it is a derivative of health conscious. And it’s just you making the decision that you are going to be mindful of what you’re drinking, and you’re aware of it to your point, that’s a great point. If you don’t drink alcohol, but yet you eat crap and you never exercise, then you might as well drink alcohol as much as you want. Because, you know, the number one killer in the United States is heart disease in diet and obesity related illnesses, right? So that’s the kind of we want to demonize anything is probably that more so than alcohol. but alcohol is something else that I just feel like a lot of people aren’t aware of. We hear all this time though, how alcohol is good for you, and how well your last day helps. But in the long run, it really affects you tremendously. And so through with anus and in bamboozled exactly what you said. It’s around sharing the science around and how it affects your hippocampus? How would it affect your ability to age well, and effectively, how it affects your relationships, however, to reflect your finances, we look at all the different aspects of it. And we just want to make sure that people as you are making this decision, you are aware that this is something that could affect your life over time. Yeah, much more negative way. Right? I totally 100%. And you and I are again, preaching to the choir, because in my I have a an ebook, I’ll call troops how much is safe. And I talk about physical health, mental health or social health and financial health because we got to look in relationship health, we got to look at it all right, yes. And, and the bottom line is, and there’s no punch line here, the safest amount of alcohol is zero, there is no safe amount. So you know, and you and I have both done the work in terms of educating ourselves to that degree, but that still I am an alcohol minimalist. So I accept the risks that I take in terms of how I offset that, right. I’m very conscious about it. Alcohol conscious, I’m very calm. You know, I make it I’m very intentional about how I include alcohol in my life. I think the big difference too, and kind of you talked about it like you had some learned behavior, some learned stories about what alcohol was doing for you, right? Like you believe you had things that you, you know that it helps you be more social that it helped you. You know, it was fun, it was something that helped you unwind, probably relax and help you talk to women, etc. These are well patterned, well rehearsed stories that many of us have around alcohol. And the thing of it is that we have to, no matter whether we choose to be completely alcohol free to be an alcohol minimalist to be alcohol conscious, I needed to learn how to manage my mind. And I needed to realize I never understood the connection between my thoughts, and my feelings, and how those how those two interacted, I kind of, you know, didn’t realize that I could actually create confidence, fun, etc, that I was capable of feeling confident, relaxed without alcohol, because just the way that I thought I was continually feeding thoughts that made it seem like I was needing the alcohol, when in fact, those thoughts were driving the desire for alcohol, when I learned how to not do that, and actually, like, create a different feeling that that I didn’t desire to drink as much I could feel calm and relaxed without needing alcohol to do it. I’m telling you, so you hit the nail on the head on a few things there that I would go into it in a book and I, I applaud you for addressing so one is around where did we learn these behaviors? Where did that come from? So with your situation, perhaps, and I don’t know your entire story, but perhaps your mom seeing the things that happen that could affect you positively or negatively, you could look at her and say, Hey, I’m not going to do that. Or you can look at her and say, Well, that’s what my mom did. And that’s natural. And that’s what people do. Right. So there’s that. The other aspect, Molly that I think is so very important, is how we’re socially engineered from a very young age that everything we see around us involve alcohol. So how many times and I often think about it, baby showers, wedding shower, right? All the kids parties, all of these things that if you think about it, it does you don’t need alcohol there, there always is alcohol there and people just get so used to it being a part of their lives that they don’t even think about, does it make sense to include it? The other aspect is something that I really hit on in the book. And I think it’s very important. If you compare alcohol to cigarettes, most people look at cigarettes, I think the percentage of people who smoke now is around nine 12% of people in the world smoke, as opposed to a percentage of people who drink is around 60%. Cigarettes were thought to be kind of normal. 4056 years ago, right? Smoking, playing smoking in restaurants. Now we recognize how terrible it is. Before that reason, they outlawed it in movies, they outlawed it in advertising, because they recognize that when someone saw James Dean smoking in a movie 45 years ago that made kids want to do it. Right didn’t do that with alcohol. And if you look at movies and series that anything you watch, alcohol is included in everything. So where did I learn that you needed to drink alcohol in college? Where did I learn that that’s going to make me talk to women easier? It was from television, it was from all these things I’d seen at a very young age prime example. My wife and I watched the Puss in Boots movie not too long. Saturday was actually pretty good. And you got you got you got my man put some boots, drinking ale. It’s a G rated movie, and he’s drinking in a bar. So it teaches you at a young age that alcohol is a normal part of your life. And that’s what you should do, and it doesn’t affect you. But the thing we learned over time is that two things one, there’s really no concept of a normal drinker. So I share with you that they say about 16 to 60% of people drink, right, that’s over the course of their life. The fact that a lot of people don’t realize and don’t know, is 60% that 60% of people who do or 6% of the US population drinks less than one drink a week. I know. I know that because, you know, I know. I when I heard that when I heard that statistic. I’ve shared that statistic on the podcast before blew my mind. I was like, Oh, he’s talking about I thought everybody drank like me, like literally I thought like, wait, what? Hold on. You mean there’s people that only drink like, like the majority of people only drink less than one drink per week. That feels really weird to me. I have no idea how easy but but so the belief of you can have one or two drinks a night and you’re okay, where a lot of people think that adds up and that starts to build a dependency. And once if you drink what the CDC recommends one or two drinks a night that puts around 14 drinks so we get the max which will put you right at the cusp of the top 80th percentile of people drink through it in the entire nation. 20% of people that so you’re So the concept of the normal drink, it isn’t true. Most people either don’t drink at all, or they drink once a month, once every three or four months, like it’s a, it’s not something that they do on a regular basis. And then the other thing you hit on is so important. When you drink and you make it a natural part of your life, you think that it’s helping the anxiety, but one, it’s not helping at all. It’s making it worse is exacerbating, and two, it actually and there’s been scientific thoughts about this or studies around this, it can create the anxiety. Yeah, so you may not have it before. But once you start drinking the ease yourself, it creates the anxiety and makes it worse for you and it comes a debilitating cycle. Well, the fact of the matter is that it is the main alcohol is a chemical agent and it is it is water soluble and fat soluble it it affects every organ, every every cell of our bodies, and our neuro chemistry, the neurotransmitters it affects the brain immediately and you cannot affect the neuro chemistry of the brain that the brain is constantly seeking homeostasis when we alter that chemically weather and I’m you know I’m sorry, folks and i There are people that are staunch believers that you know, that CBD and and cannabis and marijuana are better for you. Because they’re, you know, not there. They don’t have the same toxins and stuff as alcohol, I got news for you, when you impact your neuro chemistry, you are impacting your neuro chemistry. And there’s no that the brain is constantly seeking homeostasis, and that is what it is going to do. So it will, it will drive up your anxiety when you don’t have a chemical depressant in your system anymore. That’s what it does. It just is it’s trying to get back up to normal. And the only way it knows how is to rebound after you’ve chemically depressed it. And so the and I totally get that the thing with alcohol and you know, so everybody that’s listening, and I always talk about it from here, it’s just it’s dose dependent, right. So the reason that most people don’t like if you’re only drinking a drink, you’re not going to feel that rebound anxiety as much as somebody who’s drinking three or four drinks. That’s just the way that it is dose dependent. And the the reason that the low risk limits exist don’t exist because of they have the low risk limits that are put out by the NIA A, which is what I talk about are, you know, no more than one standard drink for women on any given night, or no more than one standard drink per day, seven standard drinks per week 14 For men, and no more than three on any occasion, right? Those standard those low risk limits exist to help that because that’s what’s been shown that if you stick to those limits, you will are statistically not likely less than 2% chance to develop alcohol use disorder does not have anything to do with your, your your neuro your anxiety, your best life, your longevity, your your cancer risk has nothing to do with that, folks. So let’s be clear the low risk limits exist from the NAA, like I said, to help people avoid developing alcohol use disorder, valuable information. But they’re not designed to help you achieve your best life. They’re not designed to help you feel the benefits of taking multiple alcohol free days, which I talk about all the time. Hey everyone, just a quick break to talk with you about sunny side. Now you’ve heard me mentioned Sunny Side many times before you’ve heard me talk with Nick and E and the founders of sunny side. And I just want to share with you why I am so passionate about this company. They are way more than just a drink tracking app. They are really about helping people create a mindful relationship with alcohol and they stand for a life that is about having more, not less. Right. There are more rested mornings more days when you’re feeling your absolute best when you have more energy and positivity. Sunnyside is not there to tell you to never go out to never drink but they are there to help you enjoy your life and to wake up and be ready to be your shining best. It is not an all or nothing approach. It is friendly. It is approachable, and it is absolutely judgment free. They want to be a solution that fits into your unique lifestyle. And I think that’s exactly what they’ve created. You can register for a free 15 day trial. Go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to get started. That’s WW w.sunnyside.co/minimalist to try Sunnyside today I know you I think I’ve read an article that you’re not really you’re not a real fan of dry you Arey. It’s not worth it. I mean, it’s cool. But it’s like, Ah, it’s such a fad, in my opinion, and to your point, I 30 days is cool, going echo free, I think is cool. But I think you can really get true benefit for going longer. For me, it took a little bit longer, I did see a lot of benefit after two weeks. And then I saw more benefit after four weeks. But once I got to 90 days, that’s when I really started to see the major benefits. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do dry January, but I just challenged people to give themselves an opportunity to see where they could go by doing a dry 90, because I think the compound effect of you not drinking would be felt a great deal better over a 90 day period versus 30. Okay, all right. So yeah, I’m in the midst of I’m one of the other things I really liked about I can’t remember which article I was reading from you. But you know, I am looking at my dry my dry January experience this year, I’m approaching it with this idea of maximum effort. And I’m approaching it in the terms of and that doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol, because I’m not worried about not drinking for 3031. You know, that’s that’s gonna happen regardless. Right? But it’s more about just kind of taking the opportunity to ask myself every day like, is this? You know, is this your maximum effort for today? Can you do you know? Are these the food choices you want to be making? Are these the are you incorporating enough water into your world? Are you moving your body enough? You know, everything because again, when we do dry January, if we take it into the if we just try to clench our fists and white knuckle it through 31 days and abstain, right, yeah, there will be physical benefits, because there’s benefits of taking that much time off drinking period. But the slot work and actually allowing ourselves to, to lean in to give ourselves that opportunity to really be the best versions of ourselves is there too, if we want to do that work, we want to do the thought work. And yeah, hey, why not try try 90. Folks, if you want to really, you know, Coco checkout, go talk to Ken and he’ll inspire you to do dry 90. That’s it. I mean, you hit the nail on the head. So eco conscious is the other side of that is being conscious about using your sobriety or your lack of drinking alcohol to build that best version. Because I would argue that when you’re not drinking, if you’re not doing anything to try to enhance yourself, you’re wasting the night you might as well be drinking, like you need to push yourself in some way. And so for me, when we talk when you hit it early about anxiety, and the fact that it creates it a debilitating the other side of drinking is that it doesn’t allow you to do the hard work to fix the problem yourself. And so, I had a podcast meeting with a guy named Jeff Graham recently, recently back to zero, his podcast with Peggy Cooney, which was awesome. And we talked about men in the fact that a lot of men don’t address their drinking problem, you have a lot of women that are just, you know, they’re more open and more vulnerable, where you got men, you got a manly man that they don’t want to really talk about it. And we ask the question of is, is alcohol really the problem that I call, it’s a symptom of the problem. But the problem really is addressing and looking internally around who you are, and how you’re approaching things. And are you really solving problems? Alcohol, for the longest has been that thing that makes it easy for you not to have to address the problem. So you have a bad day at work. Instead of addressing why you have a bad day at work, you come home and you drink, you get into argument with your spouse, instead of identifying and talking through that argument. You drink to feel better, you had a hard way with your kids. Instead of trying to be a better parent and understanding what you need to do to do better. You just drink the feel better. So the beginning of releasing alcohol and stop drinking is not the it’s not the answer. But it’s the beginning answer of you becoming the best version of wellness. So I tell people, I’m not an addiction coach, I don’t have the ability. If you’re truly physically and physiologically addicted to alcohol. I’m not qualified to help you. Yeah, I’m a Wellness Advocate. And I want people to build because the beginning of getting rid of alcohol, then you can look at your eating, then you can look at your exercise. You can look at your sleep, you can look at your mental acuity. You can look at all these different aspects of that, that if you don’t get rid of alcohol first, though, for a lot of people when I was one of those people, you don’t have the ability to address all the other issues that you need to focus on. Yeah, I agree with you. For me alcohol was the thing that I needed to to address first because it had been a long standing habit and a habit for me that I believe to be unbreakable. That’s I think where For me, it was why it was the thing that I needed to change because and because of the fact that I grew up with an alcoholic parent, and I had a lot of other, you know, I had a lot of beliefs around alcohol that I needed to change. And that’s I think the thing, it’s, when I talk about in my work, I talk about the behavior map results cycle, I talk about learning this idea that your thoughts create your feelings that drive your actions that get the results you have in your life, right. And, because if we don’t learn to manage our minds, and to your, what you’re kind of saying is, if we do not learn to make that connection, because we do not reach for alcohol, just, you know, blindly and people people want to say it’s because it tastes good, I just like it, etc. But no, we we learn to reach for alcohol, because we believe we are getting something out of the glass, it’s solving for something it’s solving, for your nerves walking into a party, you don’t want to feel nervous, and you want to feel more calm, and so you’re worried or social anxiety, you know, you want to be looser, people believe they can’t do that on their own, they believe that they need alcohol to help them, they, we have a lot of stories that we build up and learn around alcohol, that simply aren’t true. And we can learn to be those people, but we have to be willing to do the work to your point, you have to be willing to do the work. And I agree with you. I work with a lot of people about I say humans, because I never want to be like it’s all for me all women have a certain you know, and, and you and I are in totally different different age, brackets, demographics, you know, etc. Right. And so I love that because it’s important for us to engage this conversation across all humans, because there are and, and I do believe men, men want to focus on the action and they don’t want to focus on the thought work that goes into it. And until you really address why you’re drinking in the first place, and what you’re looking for in the glass and learning that you can actually find that without drinking. It’s not sustainable change, right? You can you can willpower yourself through for only so long. But if you don’t learn how to manage your mind and become a better thinker, least that’s how I talk about it. You won’t that that sustainable, peaceful change won’t exist. Absolutely. Molly, I mean, and you hit the nail on the head. So the book bamboo is that we kind of break it up into four parts, right? The first part is like, why do you do it? Why did you do it, we want people to understand why you drink because a lot of people don’t get it. Like to your point. They’re not educated on how you’re socially engineered and what drinking does for our life. Because you it’s mindless that it becomes such a habit that we don’t think about it. So we focus on that first. And the second part we talk about, like, what will it do? What Why do you have to gain? So we talk around the concept of our Why don’t you do it? And then second, why do you have the gang like all the different aspects of career life, fitness, finance, all of that good stuff. The third part is the part that I want to hit on with what you just said is how do you do it. And we have this concept called the meds, meds and that none of them think about I think I’m gonna add two days because there’s a concept of ageism, that I think is important to talk about. But in a D S stands for mental reengineering, exercise commitment, diet improvement and success seeking. And that first aspect mental reengineering, is so important. And what I tell people, when you start to think about not drinking anymore, and giving it up, do not stop immediately. I tell people don’t I tell people a year ago, you what you should start doing is just educating yourself, reading books, listening to podcasts, learning what alcohol can potentially do to you, and continue the drink to then see, are you seeing that in yourself? Can you now recognize one of the things I tell people all the time? That’s so ridiculous. I never made the connection that when I used to wake up at two or three o’clock in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, that it was because of alcohol never made that connection until I stopped drinking and started reading about it and recognize that that was going to get my life. So once you read and you’re drinking, you can see is this happening to me? Am I using alcohol as this crutch? Do I now recognize every time I go into a party, it’s not that I just want to get a drink because I It tastes good. It’s because if I don’t get a drink, I feel weird. There’s something there the book said this would be the case. So then once you recognize that then you can make the decision of Alright, I want to give it back all because I can see that the science of everything they’re saying that is doing to me is actually taking place. The next aspects are exercise commitment, because I truly believe that it’s a couple of things you get with when you give it back all that we all know about. One of the big things is time. When you stop drinking, you will have a lot of extra time on your hands and you got to figure out a way to feel that time. So I tell people, there’s very few things. Well exercise, right? Yeah, as well exercise, right. But the other side of that is that exercise is known scientifically to reduce cravings like it helps you because you’re, you’re, you’re used to the dose artificial dopamine spike of alcohol, you need something to substitute that. And there are very few things that can give you that dopamine equals or somewhat equal spike than exercise. And I’m a big believer of when we change internally, that’s one thing and we can feel the change inside. But it helps us it motivates us if we can see the change, too. So I always think exercising is that way, if you just want to like someone be like, Man, you look great, I can see you’re slim. And now it’s just that little extra motivator that helps you continually say, Okay, this is a good thing. Third thing is diet improvement. The reason I say diet improvement is because if you exercise a lot, and then you eat whatever you want to, you may not see the change that you want to see. So they’re just connected hand in hand. But the other aspect is that scientifically, if you eat better, more whole foods, you get your Vitamin D from folate, you get your Vitamin D for serotonin, it makes you feel better. I think they did a study that said that people that eat better, more whole foods and better quality foods are typically 25 to 35%, less at risk for depression, and anxiety. And that’s what alcohol wants. Like, that’s part of the reason we do it because of that those type of feelings. So by eating better, you decrease the chances that that happens. And the last thing is what I tell people is so important. It’s called Success seeking and for success again, for me. It’s around and this is what we talked about earlier, when you stop drinking, you’ve given yourself a gift like you really have you’ve given yourself the ability to think more clearly, your cognitive recognition is greater than it’s ever been before and you can do amazing things. Sometimes the reason people go back to drinkin is because after they drink because you to your point earlier, when you first start drinking, it’s like this, everything is great. And you’re like everything’s exciting, everything’s amazing. But eventually, our life just mellows off because homeostasis takes place. And even though our life is better, it may feel home drum because a humdrum because we’re just so used to it. We’ve been doing it now for a year, year and a half. And some people go back to drinking because they don’t feel like their life is amazing. Or they feel like I’ve done it or I’ve stopped drinking long enough that it doesn’t affect me anymore. So I should be okay, going back to it. I tell people, you’ve given yourself a gift. You need to use that gift to do something amazing. So you know that your previous alcohol conscious self could never accomplish what you’re now accomplishing with a gift you’re giving yourself from being alcohol conscious. So what I mean by that for me, I intended to learn Korean my wife is Korean her I want to talk to my mother in law. So for me, I wanted to learn how to speak Korean freak from fluently. There is no way the pre Middleton couldn’t learn Korean, there’s no way. But but but but now. But having that goal of a three to five year goal of learning Korean, I’m pushing myself mentally and using the gift that I’ve given myself to not drink to make that excitement of when things seem like they’re normal. I know I’m still growing just not at the same pace. But it’s keeping me focused on the prize to say, I can never go back to drinking because I have such a long term goal that I want to accomplish that my former self would have never been. So it’s so important to have that goal in your life. I love that. Yeah. And I think that kind of just feeds into what like I say all the time, what I what I’ve shared with you about being a better thinker, right? Yes, here’s the thing. Life is going to be 5050 It’s going to be good, it’s going to be bad. I want to I want to be able to experience the whole human experience and believe that I can handle it without alcohol when right or anything else. So whether it’s alcohol or food or gambling, or social media or TV or any other numerous unhealthy things that people use to cope with, you know, negative emotion, right this that motions that they don’t want to feel uncomfortable things they don’t want to feel whether you become alcohol conscious, alcohol, minimalist, totally alcohol free. I guarantee you that life isn’t going to be like this isn’t the answer to being. Everything’s going to be perfect. Everything’s going to be great. You know, you’re never going to have another bad day in your life. Nope, sorry. Bad days are coming because that’s life and there but so are the wonderful days, so are the exhilarating days. For me. It’s all about feeling empowered and wanting to know that I have the power within me to create the life that I want to create. And definitely when you have a minimalist relationship with alcohol conscious relationship, or you’re completely alcohol free, you got a lot more energy and a lot more bandwidth mental band With cognition, creative, you know, energy to create the life that you want to have, right. And that’s, I mean, I could not I’m in the same boat, I couldn’t do what I do, I could not do what I do, if I wasn’t now called minimalist, if I didn’t really, you know, embrace this idea of not having a very low, I don’t, I just don’t drink that much period anymore. I don’t drink hardly at all, in terms of compared to a much more in the I used to be in the, in that in that top top percentile of drinkers in the United States, I’m much closer to the to the 60 to the majority now. And it’s great. And I want people to understand, and I think you agree with me here. It’s possible. I don’t believe it’s absolutely possible. And it’s absolutely great. It takes commitment, it takes some work, but it’s absolutely possible for people to do this, you can create the relationship, you can become conscious, you can do this. And all you got to do is keep going gotta keep, you just gotta keep trying. That’s it. That’s it. And I think what you said earlier, something I want to press upon to the audience is so important. Alcohol does not solve all of your problems. Stop drinking, stop drinking alcohol doesn’t solve your problem, just because you stopped drinking. That doesn’t mean your life is going to be perfect. But what it does do is allow you now to have the emotional fortitude and the mental capability to address all of those problems. Because when you’re drinking, you don’t have to do it. It is it is what it is, it’s the band aid of life, if you will, it’s a great band aid of life, you don’t have to address any problem, because you can just drink it and not have to think about this away for a while. Yeah, it goes away for a little while. And when it comes back, guess what, there’s another six pack of Heineken, you can go by that make it go away again. But when you stop drinking, that problem is going to hit you in the face. And I tell people this all the time. And I don’t mean to sugarcoat it, it sometimes oftentimes, it’s going to get harder before it gets easier. And you have to expect that there is going to be a time and I use this analogy to everybody when he talks about quitting alcohol, and then why people do it and how when you do it, it feels like your life is more challenging. And you don’t want to do it anymore. So you go back to drinking, but it’s like steroids, right? Steroids are going to make it easier for you to lift weights and to grow and to be strong. But the the trade offs that you’re making for steroids eventually are going to catch up with you. When you drink consistently, it may make your life easier to deal with in that time. But eventually it’s going to catch up with you, it will catch up with you, especially if you’re drinking that consistent over 15 to 25 drinks a week, and you will become an unhappy you it will get there I will promise you. And so I tell people, it may be harder when if you all of a sudden you’re doing steroids and you take the steroids away and you go to the gym, it’s going to be really, really hard to lift, you won’t be able to come close to lift the amount of weight you can lift before. But if you keep putting in the work and you keep growing, you can eventually get to where you were before and be even stronger. But you got to know there’s going to be a little bit of delay before you get to where you want to go. But it’s about that long term vision is going to get you there. So I just want to be clear at people I go home makes a lot of things better, but it doesn’t. It’s not drinking alcohol makes a lot of things better. But it doesn’t solve all your problems. You got to do the you have the ability and you have to do the hard work to do that yourself. Yeah, I say it all the time. We can do hard things. You can do hard things, right. So Ken Middleton tell tell my listeners where they can connect with you. Yes, yeah. So I’m on all the platforms, if you will. So first there’s the bamboo book.com. So if you want to go there now you can sign up for the events reader list so you can get all my updates of when the book is going to be officially released. You can actually get a excerpt from the book chapter two, we talk about college and how that affects our life and how we’re socially engineer to how to fix our life in the future. So you can get that chapter today if you go to that website. So The Bamboozle book.com Then you can go find the pain of.com, which is a medium publication that you can read my writing and all of my other peers writing about alcohol consciousness and how alcohol was not your friend in life. And then of course, Kim middleton.com If you go to Keenan middleton.com That is my website. When I’m saying thing on Instagram, LinkedIn everywhere. Keenan middleton.com You can find me and just learn about my blog and my fitness endeavors and things of that nature. Awesome. And I will put all of those links in the show notes, folks, so you can find it. I love the I love the title. Kennedy would say that to you bamboozled. That’s just fantastic. What a great title. Yeah. A whole mix tours of assault. Without a doubt something my wife and I get like I was talking to my wife a year and a half or driving into title. And I tried it you’re like like, that’s it? That’s it right? Yeah. Yep, I hear you. So that’s awesome. It has been a joy to talk with you Kate Middleton and I will definitely link everything in the show notes folks. You can find him and you I’m imagining this Venn diagram, right, because like, all alcohol minimalists are alcohol conscious people. All right? So we’re kinda like Yeah, so I think that we overlap on so much, and I just wish you all the best with the book. And please go check it out, folks. And check Ken’s workout as well. Thanks, Molly. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com