EP #29

Alcohol & Nutrition

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In Episode 29 of Breaking the Bottle Legacy with Molly Watts, the host explores the topic of alcohol and its impact on the body, nutrition, and weight loss. Molly Watts introduces her guest, Monica Rai Nagle, a nutrition and coaching expert, and they discuss the challenges of changing drinking habits, especially for individuals in the 40 to 60 age group. They delve into the scientific aspects of alcohol metabolism, dispelling common misunderstandings about how alcohol affects digestion and weight gain. Monica emphasizes the importance of planning ahead and engaging the prefrontal cortex to make conscious choices about alcohol consumption. They also discuss the psychological aspects of behavior change, highlighting the need to address underlying issues and find new ways to generate pleasure and relaxation without relying on alcohol. The episode encourages listeners to apply the knowledge gained to make positive changes in their lives and develop a peaceful relationship with alcohol.

You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode 29. Hi, I’m Molly, after a lifetime living under the influence of family alcohol abuse, spending more than 30 years worrying about alcohol and my own drinking, believing I had an unbreakable daily drinking habit, I changed my relationship with alcohol forever. If you want to change your drinking habits than breaking the bottle legacy is for you. My goal is to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, past, present, and future. Each week all focus on real science and using your own brain to change your relationship with alcohol. Nothing has gone wrong, you’re not broken. You’re not sick. It’s not your genes. And creating peace is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Hello, and welcome or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy with me your host Molly watts, coming to you from sorry to say it folks, an absolutely epic, beautiful Oregon right now. We had a real hot streak there for a while but the last week and the week moving forward. Look to be absolutely spectacularly beautiful in the mid to mid 80s. And, gosh, I can’t you know, I said you get sick of hearing me say it and come to Oregon come to the Pacific Northwest this summer. You will not regret it. Today on the podcast. I am absolutely delighted to be speaking to Monica Rai Nagel. Monica is a certified nutritionist. She has an Master’s Degree in Health and Nutrition Sciences. She also is an author, a podcaster, a coach and a trained opera singer. In fact, she spent most of her half of her professional life as an opera singer. How cool is that? Monica is just somebody that has been a connection with me that I met, she met she reached out to me, which was thrilling. And we’ve built a connection we say we might have been lifelong sisters are twins separated at birth. I don’t know. She said that. And I honestly if I was man I missing out I wish I had known her earlier in life. But she lives in Baltimore, one of my favorite cities that I got to visit when my son was going to school there. And I of course live all the way over here on the other side of the country. So we just are talking with one another supporting each other and she has so much wisdom to share. And I cannot thank her enough for coming on the show today to talk about alcohol and nutrition. This is a another in our series, my series of alcohol and she was the one that encouraged me to put it all together in a series. And you can go back and find alcohol and sleep alcohol and anxiety, alcohol and your liver. And today we’re talking all about alcohol and nutrition. So here is my conversation with Monica. Rai Nagel. Hey, Monica, thank you so much for joining me this morning, I just gave a brief introduction on who you are, and your background and your nutrition and coaching programs. And very excited to have a conversation today with you about alcohol and its impact on the body in terms of nutrition and science and you know, weight loss because I think probably I’m not the only person who who thinks that alcohol is probably not the best tool for people that are trying to develop a healthy nutrition habit or are weighing you know, are weighing less, right? What do you tie? It’s great to be here with you, Molly, thank you. What do you think? Tell me your thoughts on just give me a you know how you see alcohol in your work with AI with women and men in terms of creating better habits and developing a better nutrition plan? How many of them struggle with whether or not to include alcohol in their lives? You know, I think it comes up very frequently, especially because I work with a lot of people in that sort of 40 to 60 age group and and often they have acquired over the course of their adult lifetime a pattern or a habit of including alcohol that they may not even be completely aware of that may have crept up on them over time and increased over time. And so that it may not be top of mind that that’s something that they need to pay attention to. And so sometimes it’s a little bit of a surprise to realize that that may be part of the solution. Well part of the problem and therefore part of the solution. Yeah, I think that that’s that’s interesting that yes And I, you know, raise my hand I had a 30 plus year habit, I was very aware of it because of my own background I was, I had a lot of anxiety surrounding it. But I think you’re right that there are a lot of people that are certainly just unaware of how much they’re drinking, and especially how much the alcohol that they’re drinking is impacting their lives nutritionally. And also just impacting the other parts of our health that I was, I was just reading something this morning, about how often people that are drinking more than they they want to or have a habit of drinking are also therefore less likely to do the other things that would be indicative of a healthy habit lifestyle, so less likely to exercise, less likely to get a good night’s sleep, less likely to make good food choices. So there’s a part of that too. They’re definitely all linked. But I think that’s such an interesting insight. And it reminds me of somebody I worked with years and years ago who quit smoking, as an adult, after a couple of decades of a heavy smoking habit finally quit and she actually quit cold turkey. And she’s now I think, 15 years into that. So it, it really stuck. And one of the things that she shared with me afterwards, is that after she quit smoking, she took a new interest in her nutrition and eating healthy. And the way she expressed it to me was that beforehand, she knew that it was important to eat healthy, but she felt like as long as she was smoking, why bother, she was already doing this horrible thing for her health. And so it almost wasn’t worth paying attention to the other things, which is interesting. Once she quit smoking, suddenly, she was like, wow, this is a body that might be worth paying attention to taking care of. But it was almost as if she didn’t, she felt like she didn’t deserve to take better care of her body as long as she was smoking because she had such guilt about smoking. That is really interesting. I bet there bet some of the people that are listening right now there are little bells going off. A lot of us I think get into that kind of the you know, I call it’s the Effat mentality, right? I mean, it’s like, if I’m doing this, I might as well do that kind of thing. And it all just sort of leads down the path. And, you know, this is with people that are drinking more than they want to when they drink more than they want to it, of course impacts their their logical brain and their ability to make better decisions, right or so then you’re just you’re adding insult to injury, you’re creating an even worse problem for yourself. Yes, it definitely becomes sort of a self reinforcing cycle. But the good news is, as you’ve just said, and as I’ve seen that once you can stop and start to reverse one part of that cycle, sometimes you can get a virtuous cycle going in the opposite direction, where it’s almost like it creates a little bit of a, of a draft into which other good habits can flow. I actually have a member of my Facebook group who has been sharing that, because he’s been and I don’t know if it’s which is which is first the chicken or the egg. He’s been very focused this last month on new exercise things. And, and he’s finding that by doing that, he is drinking, he’s wanting to drink less. So you know, it’s it’s both right? Absolutely. I don’t know if it matters, which comes first. But I think I think it’s actually both the chicken and the egg. You know, if we have been drinking a lot and we start to cut back, we often are sleeping better, we have more energy that makes it more possible for us to do an exercise routine. And then that also reinforces our view of ourselves as someone who makes healthy choices, and that can start to seep out into other choices, because so much I know, I’ve heard you talk about this on the podcast, and it’s something that we talk a lot about. So much of behavior change has to do with identity change. When we start to create a new identity for ourselves, we start to step into habits and behaviors that support that identity. And that’s not the whole game in terms of habit and behavior change. But I think it’s important part of it. Oh, absolutely. I mean, and that’s, and for people that have a long standing negative habit pattern like drinking that, you know, for people that are drinking more than they want to and for a lot of the people that are listening to this podcast, it’s it’s a habit that they they feel sometimes is unbreakable. They just, you know, it’s a real struggle for them to overcome this habit. And the problem is that they have no evidence from the past, right, that supports them in making that change. And they have to look to the future they have to find an identity they have to believe and see that they can become someone who has a peaceful relationship with alcohol, but it takes time and it takes it takes there’s definitely an identity that that has to come with it that if you continue to look backward It’s never going to happen. Right, you have to start to collect some counter evidence. One of the things I really appreciate about your podcast is the time that you spend exploring just the science, because I think that having better information about what we’re doing and how it’s affecting us can be one piece of the puzzle. Again, just like identity, it’s not the whole game in terms of behavior change, but it can be a very powerful tool. So I appreciate that you spend so much time talking about the science of alcohol and how it affects our bodies and how it affects our health. And so yeah, maybe we should dig into that a little bit. You know, typically, that’s a good segue. Anyway, Monica, let’s talk about alcohol, and the science of nutrition and what we’re actually doing. Because I think I talked about this, I’ve talked about it a couple of times in different episodes, especially the episode I aired recently on the liver. Because really, the liver is most people I don’t think really understand how vital the liver is to metabolic functions in the body. And it’s pretty much the, you know, we think of the gut, right, we don’t necessarily think of the liver as being the primary agent of metabolism. But it really is. That’s right. And there is this popular idea circulating that I’ve heard it expressed like this, that you know, when your drink, when you drink, when you consume alcohol, your liver will put all of its other functions on hold in order to metabolize that alcohol. And some people have also, if they’ve started to do a little research, or maybe they’ve been listening to your podcast, they may also be aware of the fact that people who over consume alcohol can start to build up fatty deposits in their liver. And somehow these two facts which both of which are true, have kind of gotten jumbled together and maybe over simplified a little bit to an equation where people have this idea that oh, if I drink alcohol, then my body will simply not digest and metabolize the food I eat, and it’ll just be converted directly to fat. And that that is how alcohol makes me fat. And that really is a misunderstanding, a an oversimplification of what’s going on there. So as long as we’re digging into the science, we might as well bring it to sell a couple of misunderstandings about that. So one of the things that this under emphasizes is that while a lot of metabolism happens in the liver, digestion of food and absorption of nutrients happens, you know, throughout the digestive system, a lot of it happens in the small intestine before the liver is really even involved in the process. So it’s not the case, that if you’re drinking alcohol, you simply don’t digest food, or that your digestion is on hold until the alcohol is metabolized. You know, they are kind of happening concurrently. It’s a little bit more complex than that. And the reason I think that it’s worth dispelling this misunderstanding is that some people then take that logic to mean wow, well, if I’m not going to digest food that I consumed with alcohol, and it’ll just be converted directly to body fat or liver fat, then maybe it’d be better not to eat when I’m drinking. And that’s exactly the wrong conclusion. Because when we consume alcohol with food, and I remember you interviewed David Nutt on your podcast, a few episodes back, great episode, and great book. Yeah, one of the things that he points out is that when we consume food with alcohol, it slows down the emptying of the contents of the stomach. And that slows down the absorption of blood into I’m sorry, the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. So that’s a good point. Yeah, exactly. And then beyond that, actually, once things do get to your liver, for the sort of last stages of metabolism and elimination, when you have food in your system, the alcohol is actually eliminated from your system more quickly, because the presence of food stimulates the release of enzymes that help that happen. So we don’t want to conclude from that, that we shouldn’t combine food and alcohol because somehow the food will just turn directly to fat that really is a misunderstanding and an oversimplification of what’s happening. That is awesome information. I love that. I think that message does get convoluted. Yeah, sure. Because I’ve not that you shouldn’t eat. But I think what the the, the struggle is, is that alcohol does require the livers full attention. So it slows down if if you’re, you know, it will slow down focusing on other processes. I mean, the livers responsible for over 500 processes in the body. So it’s not just about metabolism. It just stops doing what other else things it can do first to take care of the alcohol. It does have a priority system. Yeah. And it is also True that overconsumption of alcohol can frequently lead to weight gain, but through maybe some other channels as well. For one thing, alcohol contributes a fair number of completely non nutritive calories to the diet. And it stacks up pretty quickly. And there’s a couple of other ways that he gets away from us, even people who are very calorie conscious and are really monitoring their calorie intake because they’re trying to not gain weight, or they’re trying to lose weight, sometimes, sort of forget to account for the alcohol calories, they just get sort of bracketed over there and another category and they don’t pay attention to those, that’s not always true. It’s almost like if you’re drinking it, it doesn’t count, right? Because it is food and drink is an app and something that’s a liquid doesn’t, you know, like that, that’s the mindset like somehow it’s an it’s a liquid, so therefore, it’s not eating? Well, actually, that’s a good point. Because sometimes people will also forget to account for the calories and other non alcoholic it’s like caloric beverages that they’re, they’re assuming that just a triple super latte, right? The junk in it, yeah, or juices or energy drinks, because that AIDS basically sounds like health food, right? So we forget to account for those calories. And that’s one way that they can kind of push our calorie intake up without us being fully aware of it. And the other kind of insidious aspect of alcohol is that it’s contributing all those calories, but it is not contributing any satiety whatsoever. So you take in two, or three or 400 extra calories with your meal. But you do not feel two or three or 400 calories more satisfied, it kind of has no impact on whether your brain or your stomach registers, oh, I’ve had enough to eat, I better stop eating. So it doesn’t, you know, it just kind of piles on the extra calories doesn’t make you feel any more full, or necessarily get you to stop eating any sooner. And so it can really add up pretty quickly. That yeah, very good. All of that information is wonderful. It made me think of something that I think is important too. Because it again, just a sort of a misleading message. I think that we get about out or not maybe misleading but dangerous. In my opinion. I was looking at I saw a few articles that were talking about how to, you know, the best alcohol to two choices for rising weight, the lowest carbs or exactly what a rum and diet whatever, exactly. What’s what’s interesting about that, to me, Well, what was interesting about this was everything that was listed was a spirit. So it was Vodka, rum, tequila, you know, all and basically just saying, you know, vodka and tonic or whatever. The thing that if you and back to Dr. Nut, one of the things he talks about is the hire and people ask me this all the time. Does it matter? What kind of alcohol I’m drinking? Well? Yes, it actually does. Because there’s been a lot of evidence and a lot of research for people that are struggling with alcohol use and alcohol misuse and finding themselves drinking more and more higher spirited, higher proof, alcohol drinks, like spirits. All right, they get you altered to a higher blood alcohol content, I mean, in your own body faster, right, then, like beer or wine or anything else that has a lower alcohol by volume in its own right, right. That’s why you can have 12 ounces of beer, and you can only have one ounce of spirits. Right? The difference, but whoever has one ounce of spirits, right? That is the standard. Exactly. But that’s the only that’s the standard drink. Right. And so what I found was interesting is that that was actually the recommendation for the best alcohol to drink to lose weight. Well, it’s a it’s a very slippery slope, folks, you got to be very, you would have to be very attentive, in my opinion. Yes. And because portion control becomes a real problem. And there’s also sort of a self delusion that goes on that because you’re drinking the lowest carb style of drink, and maybe you’re mixing it with a diet mixer that you then allow yourself to have more, there’s this kind of compensatory, subconscious compensatory mechanisms like well, I’ll have to because really, each one only counts as one and a half or something like that. And I think that that kind of messaging is also pitched at a somewhat specific market that I get particularly concerned about, and that are people who are very conscious of their weight and their body size. And they’re kind of stuck in a in a real dieters mentality, which is something that I spent, I don’t know, I think about 80% of my professional life pushing back against and frequently it’s young women, you know, but not always. Sometimes it can be men, sometimes it can be older women, but extremely body conscious, extremely nervous about their weight and about gaining weight and they’re likely To seek out information about what are the lowest calorie drinks that I can drink, or the lowest carbohydrate drinks that I can drink. And something that often goes, part and parcel with that. So unlike what we were talking about before, where people are just not kind of conscious of the calories in the drinks, these people may be hyper conscious and hyper focused, and in an effort to maintain what they find to be an acceptable body weight, and not to gain weight, they will start trading other calories for those alcoholic calories. Right and, and they will start, you know, I see this with, you know, college age girls or girls in their, in their 20s, who are often chasing a kind of unrealistic body ideal, and they want to go out drinking and, you know, they know they’re going to have several drinks over the course of the night. So they’ll skip dinner to save calories for that so that they can drink and not gain weight. And that just concerns me so much, because it is not difficult to get to the point, especially if you’re following that kind of strategy to kind of state then at any costs, but still drink more than maybe would be advisable. Alcohol can start to take up 30 40% of your daily calories really easily, really easily. And when your actual nutritive calories have been shrunk to just 1000 or 1200 calories a day or something, it starts to get really hard just to meet your basic nutrient needs. And so we get into this weird situation where people are actually getting undernourished, you know, malnourished, not getting the adequate nutrients, because they’re reserving so many of their calories for alcohol in an effort not to gain weight. So I feel like we always have to kind of present those messages in tandem, so that the take home isn’t just a how do I, you know, minimize the calorie impact of my alcohol consumption? Yeah, no, I agree. And actually, that’s interesting. Again, because I did read, I read an article again, I think this wasn’t even about the 20 mile, you know, the 20 year old chasing a body mindset. But this was just in the British population, in general, on the days that the British population like was the heaviest drinking days. So the days that typically like maybe like a Friday or Saturday, right, so the days that are typically the highest alcohol consumption, they, they find that the percentage of calories that are attributed to alcohol in the overall calorie of the day, you know, calories of the day are between 30 and 40%. And just, you know, nutritionally not healthy for anybody. Yeah. And there’s another facet of that as well. And that is that, you know, alcohol is expensive, you know, when you go out to eat, I’m always so struck, if we go out for dinner, on a night, when we enjoy wine with dinner versus a night when we decide not to drink with dinner, the size of the tab is so drastically different. I mean, usually, it’s easy for half your restaurant tab to to be alcohol. And and it’s pretty easy to see that. And so there’s also a way in which people may prioritize their dollars, their recreational dollars for alcohol and and not for food. Because you know, you only got so many dollars, if you want to spend a lot of it on alcohol that’s less to spend. So yeah, and then, of course, as is so often the case, there’s the other end of the spectrum, which is that drinking alcohol can very easily lead people to overeat. And so we get kind of the opposite syndrome, where people are gaining weight are eating too much and not terribly nutritiously because of alcohols effect as you referenced earlier on the decision making parts of the brain on inhibition. Yeah, well, this, this leads me to a question I want to talk with you about and that’s planning. Because I am a stickler, people hear me talk about it, and especially in my group all the time, and people argue with me about it about the idea of planning ahead feels feels wrong, like I shouldn’t be planning for alcohol like I shouldn’t like it’s somehow giving myself permission to drink more than I, you know, and I and I know that it has to it’s the same for me when I am making plans for whatever I’m going to be eating for a day. The my theory or my ideas on this are that you have to engage that prefrontal cortex you have to have it coming from a point of where your future goals lie, that you make a plan for what you’re going to drink. And, folks what you’re going to eat, because when we leave it up to in the moment, thinking, that reward center and when you’re over hungry or when you’re overtired when you’re you know you’re coming off work on Friday, and if you don’t have a plan in place for what that’s going to look like. Decisions then become more challenging because that reward center gets talking really loud about what it thinks it deserves what it wants, what it needs. And it’s typically not the same voice that we hear when we are making a plan ahead of time with our prefrontal cortex. Well, I couldn’t agree more. The way we express this is that we will always make better choices on behalf of our future selves, then we’re going to make in the moment, and that’s why we can, you know, having that plan and thinking ahead of time about what we want to do is so important. But there’s a couple of ways that falls apart, people will diligently plan, have the plan, and then find themselves unable or just simply unwilling to stick to the plan. So the plan just kind of gets abandoned, because they’re not prepared for the fact that even with a plan, that primitive reward driven part of your brain is not going to just sit back and be like, oh, there’s a plan. Right? Light, it’s gonna resist, it’s going to argue, and it’s going to negotiate, and it’s going to pull out all of its tricks, you know, to talk you out of the plan. And if you haven’t kind of foreseen that and gotten ready to, to kind of engage with that part of your brain when it happens, then the plans just get scuttled right away. So I think that that’s an important part of planning is also preparing for the fact that you’re going to feel resistance to the plan, and that you’re going to prepare yourself to follow through anyway, if for no other reason, than out of curiosity to find out what happens if you do just once, you know. But I think you raised another really important point, and that is somehow when we plan, we feel like we have to be perfect. Like we can only have a perfect plan and that to somehow acknowledge you know what, I’m going to this party, I am probably going to eat two desserts, or, you know, realistically over the course of this evening, I probably am going to have three drinks and and if you’re putting that on your plan, it somehow feels like well, how can I countenance that? I can’t put it on my plan. Because, you know, that’s, that’s not ideal. So why plan for it? I think that’s what I hear. Yeah, you know, how can I plan for something that’s that sub optimal, and, but if you follow that logic through, it’s like, okay, it’s not okay to plan for it. But if I haven’t a plan one way or the other, it’s going to be somehow okay to do it anyway, that you know, the doing of it isn’t the problem, it’s the intention, that’s the problem, that is such an interesting dynamic to, to unpack, and I agree with you 100%, that there is a lot of value to just showing your brain that you can make a plan and you can follow the plan, even if the plan you make and follow is not your ultimate idea of ideal or where you want your behavior to stay forever, there is some value to, to putting it down on paper and committing to it and following through with it, even if it’s imperfect, if for no other reason that it starts to build that trust in yourself, that you can follow your plan that you will follow your plan and begins to kind of connect the dots at some level between your intentions and your actions and your consequences. Because if those are just forever, uncoupled, you know, it’s like I have my intentions, then there’s what I do. And then there’s somehow this thing that happens to me. If we don’t put those into into relationship with one another, then we really are stuck trying to change any one of those. Absolutely. And that yeah, you are, you know, preaching to the choir, this is what I talk about. The reason that I am so that I believe in this so much is because I know that for my own personal experience, I had to start meeting myself where I was at, and I had to train myself to trust myself that I could make a plan and stick to it because I was so used to never being successful with a plan, never following through, and especially plans that were made in the moment, you know, and I would go I’d be out and I’d be like, Okay, well, I’m just gonna have three drinks. And then suddenly, that third drink would be done. And I’d be like, Oh, but I kind of want the one other one. So I would, and it happened all the time. And so for me, but it did, I had a lot of internal dialogue. When I was first starting on my process of changing my relationship with alcohol. There was a lot of internal dialogue like that’s too many. That’s too many don’t plant that’s too many to plan. And I want people to hear, keep going. Even if you have those internal dialogue thoughts that say that’s too many. Keep going keep working on it because it’s the first step is meeting a doable plan. Force yourself into a doable plan, whatever that is. The steps can come the steps follow. They do build on that being able to show yourself that you can plan ahead you can use your future self as a goal And then take the steps to cut back from there. Right? Yes, absolutely. If you’re going to be drinking too much, planning to drink too much, believe it or not, is a step in the right direction because refusing to plan and then going ahead and drinking too much, it is a little bit. It’s fear based, you know, it’s because we are afraid of looking at that behavior. That fear is not changing the behavior, it’s just causing us to look away from it. And that’s very dangerous. There’s a I remember reading in Smithsonian Magazine one time, that baby pandas, when they are afraid, we’ll cover their eyes, which are their spots, right with their paws, they’ll they’ll cover their eyes. So it sort of covers up that black, the black spots around their eyes. And they had to accompany this with a picture of a animal veterinary specialist or something carrying a baby panda. And you carry a baby panda Exactly. Like you carry a toddler, you know, like on your hip with your arms around them. And the panda has its hands over its eyes. And it’s like, Oh, my God is so cute. Not terribly functional, not terribly helpful. Like, if you are at risk, covering your eyes is probably not your best move. And when I see us doing and I say us because it’s not just the people listening to us, right? It’s you, it’s me, we all do this, for sure. When I see us doing things like refusing to plan, because the plan is going to be more than we want to acknowledge or commit to or fess up to. We’re covering our eyes like a baby panda. And that is not helpful. Yeah. I love that. I love that. What a great story. I love that. I didn’t know it’s a great image, right? It is absolutely as well. And it helps us have a little bit of compassion for that part of ourselves that’s covering our eyes. Because what’s cuter than a baby panda. Just when you’re when you haven’t that thought folks just see yourself, okay, I’m doing the baby panda thing. Gotta stop. So I love this conversation. I love all of this. And I want to end with having people understand. So first of all, let’s talk a little bit about where people can connect with you. Because I know that people that are listening to this show there, at least, if you’re anything like me, folks, I’ve even said this to my friends. I said, Okay, well, now I’ve got the alcohol piece down, I still need to tackle my ongoing relationship with food because I know. And actually, before we get to that, I want to say something really fast about that, because I think that you’ve probably seen it in your work. And I know that I talk about it here with people using alcohol as a coping strategy. Emotional eating. Do you see a lot of people struggling with using food as a coping strategy? Like I see people using alcohol as a coping strategy? Absolutely. And I think that they are two sides of the same coin. And basically, at its heart when people are using either food or alcohol, or any number of other things like right social media, or gambling or porn, you know, whatever. Basically what we’re doing is trying to change the way we feel using some sort of external substance to change the way we feel. And sometimes it works. Often it works. So we wouldn’t do it. Right. It does actually change the way we feel for a minute or two. Exactly. In the moment, of course. Right. And I think sometimes we we don’t pause to acknowledge what we’re actually getting out of whatever our behavior is that we’re choosing. And I think it’s important to say like, yeah, it does provide some pleasure, some relief, you know, in that moment, because then that can help us see the next step, which is Yeah, yeah. But then it’s creating a new problem. You know, it is becoming its own problem. And when we, I have a podcast called The Change Academy with Brock Armstrong, we talk about behavior change. So I am a nutritionist by training. Brock is a trainer, an exercise specialist by training, and we each have podcasts that focus on those areas of expertise. We also work together on a coaching program for people to create sustainable weight loss called the weight loss. I mentioned, we can throw links in the show notes, various things this Yes, folks coming up. But Brock and I realized that although my beat is nutrition, and his is physical fitness, that what we spend so much of our time talking about actually is behavior change, how, why do we do the things we do? And how do we change things that we’re doing, that aren’t working for us? And so, a little over a year ago, we launched a podcast called The Change Academy, where we talk about the art and science of behavior change, which is so fascinating. We love it. And in one of our recent episodes, we were talking about coping mechanisms, and how you want to pick a coping mechanism that doesn’t create a new problem now That’s kind of the lowest minimum requirement for a coping mechanism. Yeah, it should help, but then it shouldn’t create its own problem. No. And you know, that’s funny, because Dr. DE Jaffe, you know, he’s got wonderful recovery program and his book called The abstinence myth. And his whole idea of people helping people who have, you know, who truly have alcohol use disorder and, and drug addictions and everything else, is that we have to address the root cause of people’s dysfunctional choices, right. And that’s really, because always at the root of everything, we are always trying to just change how we feel. I mean, that’s really the bottom line. And if we don’t take care of that, we will just change our focus from, you know, one to another to another, to a different coping strategy, right? Well, whatever problem the new behave, the coping mechanism has created becomes the focus, like now my problem is I overeat or I over drink. And that becomes the focus. And we forget to back that up one step and be like, Well, what was the problem I was trying to fix. Without God that led to that with alcohol, with food with whatever the behavior was, it kind of we started to get focused on that behavior. And we do have to deal with that behavior, engage with that behavior, especially with something like alcohol, where there’s a lot of neuro chemistry involved, that becomes a self reinforcing cycle. It is at some point necessary also, just to widen the lens a little bit and take a look at the the circumstances that lead you to seek that relief, or that escape, or that pleasure, and to find new ways to generate relief and pleasure and enjoyment and relaxation. We don’t want to just take away this thing that has come to mean so much to us, we want to replace it with other things that can help fill that gap. Yeah, absolutely. I think for me, one of the things that has been key and I talk about on this podcast a lot is just understanding that I actually am in control of creating how I feel about things and being able to manage my own mind. So many of us walk around with, with very little, we’re right, we’re working highly on autopilot. And like, a lot of our brains are on autopilot, and just being able to take more of a conscious role and a conscious part of managing our thoughts so that we can create the feelings that we want, so that we take the actions that we need to get the results that we have in our lives. It’s really it is all and I’m sure that change Academy talks about that all the time, too. It’s everything. It’s really it hasn’t. It’s not about alcohol, it’s about everything in my life. Yeah, and the only last thing that I’d love to add for people who are working on behaviors is that sometimes we take this sort of stoic approach that we just have to learn to do without this thing. And I think it’s so important to frame that as a way to learn how to create pleasure and enjoyment and joy in our lives, that we’re not just asking you to put down the crack pipe, and, and stop using this thing that is at some level, making your life livable, that part of this process is making your life not just livable, but fabulous, without needing that thing to get you through. Yeah, and that just makes the whole project a little bit more appealing and a little bit more fun. Yeah, I know. I think that’s one of the things I and I’ve said it a couple of times in the in the podcast is I convinced myself for so long that it was going to be so miserable, to have you know, to quit drinking the amount that I was drink that it was gonna be so hard that everything was going to be so painful. That of course it didn’t I of course I didn’t want to do it. I mean, you know, because I literally had that thought all the time. And it there was there is value folks in actually just thinking, you know, this could be fun. This could be fun, changing my life could be fun. And who knows, folks, you could just get on a whole roll. Take over your whole you know, just like Monica said get on a nutrition kick and make your body and your life just feel vibrant and alive. So that would be fun too, wouldn’t it? When this whole conversation has made me feel vibrant and alive. Good ally. Thank you so much for inviting me on the podcast. Of course I have enjoyed it so much Monica and I will link to everything that we talked about your change Academy the way less pot website as well the Facebook group, all of it. So folks that you can connect with Monica Rai Nagle and just learn more about taking the next steps in changing your life and especially for those of you that are that are focusing on your nutrition Yeah, we can’t wait to have you on the change Academy as a guest Molly, we’ll do that very soon. Thank you so much. All right, be well. Thank you for listening to breaking the bottle legacy. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Take something that 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