EP #48

Tools for the Trenches by Elizabeth Benton Thompson: A Review

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In this episode of Breaking the Bottle Legacy, Molly delves into the impact of drinking on nutrition, weight, and the potential pitfalls of replacing alcohol with unhealthy alternatives. The episode also includes a personal reflection on challenges and obstacles faced by the host, drawing parallels to the book review of “Tools for the Trenches” by Elizabeth Benton Thompson. The book, written during a profoundly difficult period in Benton’s life, provides tools and perspectives for navigating challenging times, emphasizing the importance of evolving and adopting new perspectives in the midst of struggle. The host encourages listeners to prioritize implementation over mere consumption of self-help content and shares insights from the book, underscoring the significance of telling the whole story and challenging negative thought patterns.

You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode 48. 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. Well, hello, and welcome, or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy. With me, your host, Molly Watts coming to you from a really cold, Oregon. It’s been kind of sunny and clear and cold all weekend. But today it got really cold. And you know, it’s alright, I’d rather have it cold and clear than wet and rainy. So I guess I’m gonna take it but you’ll understand why the cold comes into effect here later in this podcast. So right at the top, I want to tell you that I recorded the episode all the way through. And when I got done, I wasn’t happy with it. And I realized that I had been sharing all this information that I truly needed to be implementing this week. And I I just wasn’t connecting any dots for either for myself or for you as listeners. So here I am starting over. And I’m actually happy about that. And I’m happy with all of the things that I think are coming together now. Which is sort of ironic, because it’s also been borne out of ongoing challenges and obstacles, and me feeling like I’m just waiting every day for something else to go wrong. So more on that in just a minute. But before we get to today’s episode, I want to say congratulations to our prize winner from last week Pamela s. Pamela s, I have your email address, I will connect with you. And we will have a new prize winner next week. We have one every other week. And I just forgot to announce it last week. And if you have given a review of the podcast if you’ve put in a review of the book on Amazon, and you can either send me a DM, send me an email, tell me your reviewer name, you are automatically entered into the drawing and you are entered in until you win. So no worries on that. And you don’t have to keep re entering your keep reviewing, etc. But once you’ve reviewed either the book or the podcast, you will be entered into winning a alcohol minimalist swag gift. So check it out, you can find the link for my website, www dot Molly watts.com. Click on shop and you can see some of the swag that we’ve got. So I also have a special offer coming up in January and I’m going to explain it just a little and then next week on December 1 When the podcast drops, then you will you can begin to sign up. There are basically three pieces of this offer and two steps to take. So three pieces, two steps. I know that might sound a little confusing, but it’s really going to be great. And I think not too hard to activate on so step one is signing up and participating in dry you weary through dry your weary.org which is organised by moderation management. It’s 100% free, and I will include the link to register in my show notes. I’m going to be doing it I’ll also be a contributor as well. But most importantly, I’ll be doing the work of dry you Arey. And I’m genuinely excited to share that experience with you. So step one, register for Dr. Berry. Step two, is a collaboration I’m doing with nutritionist Monica Rai Nagel, who hosts both the nutrition diva podcast as well as CO hosts the change Academy podcast with Brock Armstrong. And Monica was a guest on the podcast here back in episode 29 where we discussed alcohol and nutrition, which is a great episode and I’ll link that again in the show notes. And I encourage you to check that out as well. So Monica is hosting a special group for January, called the 30 day nutrition upgrade, which I think is a perfect complement to doing dry January in my opinion Because here’s the thing, what you’re drinking, or during dry weary, not drinking impacts your nutrition, it can help you lose weight to stop drinking. And I’ve also heard from other people, I’m not going to mention any names, that they even gain weight when they stopped drinking. So if we decide to not drink then But then replace the daily habit with like, say dessert, well, that may not get the results we’re hoping for. Right? So what I love about Monica strategy is that it’s all about starting where you are. There’s no black and white, there’s no good or bad, and it’s about upgrading you from wherever you are to being better. Here’s a blurb from Monica’s website on the program, the 30 day nutrition upgrade is a simple but highly effective way to reshape your eating habits and upgrade your nutrition, starting exactly where you are right now. No judgment, no forbidden foods, no calorie counting, and yes, guidance and support. So Monica has actually developed an app that makes it easy to make better choices around the diet, and you’re going to automatically get a bonus for doing zero for for having a zero for alcohol. So that’s awesome, too. And you’ll be getting some true science about diet nutrition. And here’s what previous participants have reported gaining from the 30 day nutrition upgrade. They say they are enjoying their food more, they have improved digestion, they have more energy and or improved mood, they are feeling less hungry, losing weight. And finally bringing out of control snacking under control. 100% of participants felt that the program made a positive difference in their eating habits. So step two, so step one, sign up for dry you weary step two is signing up for the nutrition upgrade with my discount code. So I will share more about that next week when it goes live. But my code will give you 20% off of an already great price of $49. So total for both programs for dry, your weary. And for the nutrition upgrade, it’s going to cost you $40. And because you’re doing both, and really going after a great beginning to 2022, which is exactly what I will be doing by the way, you will be invited to my private subgroup that will include live weekly group meetings for coaching and collaborations, and dedicated proof positive daily text texts. That’s a hard word to say. txt to keep you motivated. So for $40, you’re going to get an absolutely incredible start to 2022 You’re going to be supported for an alcohol free month, you’re going to upgrade your nutrition game. And you’ll get daily positive motivation and weekly live coaching opportunities from me if you choose to do both like I will be. So as I mentioned, the registration for it will effectively go live on December 1, I will share that link next week. But if you really want to you go to dry weary.org right now and register for dry where that one is up and open. As a side note, last year was my first year doing dry you weary and way back in episode number seven, I shared all about the five benefits of taking a 30 day break. And so I will link that in the show notes as well. I would encourage you to go listen to that. Okay, on to this week’s episode. Here’s the backstory. For a few weeks now I have had it on the podcast calendar to record a review of a new book by Elizabeth Benton Thompson, host of primal potential podcast and the author of chasing cupcakes people that have listened to this show. No, I am a huge Elizabeth fan. Elizabeth was actually a guest on the podcast in episode number 32, which I will link as well. And in that episode, we talked about the title of the new book and hinted at what it was about, but the book hadn’t been published yet. Well, the book published about four weeks ago now. And I was actually a part of the pre launch team. So I read it before it actually went public. And when I did, I reached out to Elizabeth and asked her about sharing it on the podcast. She asked me to wait until it was live of course which made total sense. And I’ve been wanting to get this episode record recorded now for a few weeks. Well, the last few weeks here have been in a word challenging. And so my calendar kept getting moved around my episode releases kept needing to shift and by that by the time I was writing and recording this episode, I just wanted to get it done, I needed to check the box, I needed to get it off my plate. Life was just throwing me too many hurdles. My car broke down, leaving me shuffling and sharing to get where I need to be like my job. And due to lag time from the manufacturer on a recall item, I learned that it could be several weeks before I have a car again. Then I broke my tooth, which is actually bugging me. As I’m talking and recording this, I can feel it. Oh. And I have to say for some reason, I have a lot of thought work to do around dental visit visits, because in general, my first thought is that I hate them. And now I have a tooth, my last big molar in the rear that has a hole in it with a sharp edge. So it has to be addressed. And of course it doesn’t feel good. While I’m waiting for that appointment. Then yes, things just keep getting better. I managed to cut my finger while dicing vegetables. Now bringing up another thought which I have all the time, which is I hate sharp knives. And this stupid cut, which is not long, literally like a quarter of an inch is deep enough that it will stop bleeding. I’m 36 hours in and it’s still bleeding. Whenever the band aid pressure comes off. Right now you’re thinking okay, that’s not a great week. I’ll give her that. To add insult to injury, I got my COVID booster and have been experiencing some uncomfortable side effects of the gastro intestinal variety. To top everything off. So all that’s been going on. And I told you at the top of the broadcast that it’s then got really cold this weekend. And it’s really cold today like the coldest day that we’ve had so far. Gas what happened today, our furnace went out. So car out, furnace out, tooth broken COVID COVID Booster, giving me a stomach upset. Cut finger. It’s anyway, by the time I was going to sit down and record, I was not feeling great physically. And I was feeling pretty sorry for myself mentally. I just wanted to get the episode recorded. Just get it done. I wanted to unplug, take a bath and just escape my life for a bit. And recording this podcast episode was keeping me from doing that. So I recorded and when I was done, I did not feel good about what I had recorded. I felt like it missed the mark. And it wasn’t doing justice to Elizabeth’s work. As I sat there, grappling with feelings of frustration, discomfort, fatigue, anxiety, it dawned on me that here I was talking about a book called tools for the trenches, daily practices for resilience, perspective, and progress. And I was smack dab in the middle of a hard stretch that I could really benefit from applying these very lessons. Right then, I needed to take action, not the action of recording. But I needed to implement something from the book right here. And now. The book is called tools for the trenches daily practices for resilience, perspective and progress. And as the name implies, this book is meant to help you through the trenches of life. As you will hear this book was written during the very darkest season of Elizabeth Benton’s life. And I in no way want to compare my crappy couple of weeks to the horrible tragedy that set this book in motion. I’ll explain that in just a minute. But I want to first say something about Elizabeth. I honestly cannot remember how I first learned about Elizabeth Benton, her podcast or the book chasing cupcakes. If you’ve had it’s actually bugging me a bit that I can’t but regardless, however I learned about her. I’m eternally grateful that I did because she is someone I consider a mentor in terms of mindset and transformation. If you’ve picked up my book, you know that the very last quote In my book, I learned from her and from her book chasing cupcakes, the quote is from Rumi, and it is very simple. Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? And that that thought has been transformational for me. And what’s for Elizabeth to and, you know, as a business woman, as an entrepreneur, as an author, as a coach, and just a person of integrity, I have mad respect for all that she’s accomplished, and how much she’s continuing to contribute to the world. Tools for the trenches is not light reading. The book offers exactly what the title suggests. But you have to absorb these tools with the understanding that Elizabeth began writing this book, two weeks after the unexpected and sudden death of her newborn daughter. In the introduction, Elizabeth shares, I wrote every word in the darkest, loneliest and most painful season of my life. I’ve never felt more hopeless, more wounded, or more alone, trying to survive these circumstances, in a fog of depression, and under the weight of post traumatic stress disorder has felt impossible, but it isn’t impossible. Quote, I’ve seen many people emerge from dark times to encourage others. But what I haven’t seen as much is people in the dark time sharing how they’re making it through moment by moment. At my own personal bottom, every self help book felt out of touch and out of reach. Tools for the trenches is the book I needed, but didn’t have, unquote. Stories of Elizabeth’s daughter gagne before her birth, and after her death, are woven throughout all the chapters of this book. For those of you who have lost a child or a spouse, I believe Elizabeth’s book will be especially invaluable. As a mother, it’s easily My biggest fear. And I know I’m not alone, that something will happen to one of my children. The realization that Elizabeth wrote this book through her grief and shared it in such a strong and poignant way, gives more weight to each word she wrote. The books premise is that becoming a better thinker, and adopting new perspectives aren’t mountaintop tools. They’re tools for the trenches. They matter most. When life feels hard, they make the biggest impact when you’re in the thick of the struggle. I’m going to repeat that because it’s exactly why I wanted to re record this episode. Becoming a better thinker and adopting new perspectives aren’t mountain top tools, their tools for the trenches, they matter most when life feels hard, they make the biggest impact when you’re in the thick of the struggle. Elizabeth example is extraordinary. It’s unimaginable. It’s heartbreaking. But because of her work on mindset and transfer, innate transformation, because of her continued dedication to practice and implementation, she was able to create something beautiful and purposeful with tools for the trenches. Were we’re going to dive into the book a little more here and some of the tools and strategies that resonated most with me, but first, I want to share exactly where I went. When I decided that I needed to implement something. Now, there is a chapter called You Are the anchor, and that’s where I headed. Each chapter shares a story or a lesson and more importantly, each chapter has a section titled In practice, and Elizabeth encourages readers to pause, writing, quote, it’s okay to stop there and practice for a while your book doesn’t expire, take your time and make it count remain committed less to turning the pages and more to practicing the principles that resonate with you and your journey. This simple statement to focus on implementation and not just consuming the content is so important, and it was exactly what I needed to do. In you are the anchor of the chapter. The lesson is about the headlines we tell ourselves about our life. As you know, news headlines are meant to catch our attention. And so they are often especially in the world we’ve lived in through the past two years. They’re negative, they are fear based. They are sensational. And it’s Are many of us have kind of adapted that to our lives. Elizabeth writes, quote, I’m stuck. I can’t I always our headlines, they’re sensational, dramatic and wildly incomplete. When we say or think these kinds of thoughts, we’ve opted out of the entire story in favor of an emotional and limiting sound, bite, unquote. These incomplete thoughts that we choose, have a significant and often immediate impact on how our bodies physically function, quote, your thoughts impact what your body is doing. Unquote. She goes on to write quote, even if you aren’t a news watcher, you are the anchor in your own life, you anchor yourself to the headline news, you’re telling yourself about your life, your past your future, and your circumstances. I’m so exhausted, I can’t get ahead. I’m a mess. Guess what, there’s a lot more story a lot more to your story than that. More over, that’s a crappy headline to anchor yourself to, you don’t have to put your problem at the center of your story. You don’t have to put your trouble as the headline of your narrative. In the in practice section of this chapter, Elizabeth says simply challenge yourself to tell the whole story, not just the headline, quote, I can’t do this is a headline, practice telling the whole story, I am doing it, I just don’t like it. This is a season and there is no season that lasts forever. This season has brought forth seeds of desire that I am responsible for cultivating there are opportunities that have been and will be brought forth from this difficulty. Unquote. When I tell the whole story about what’s going on in my life, I am reminded that this isn’t permanent. This is temporary. I’ve got insurance for my car, I’ve got insurance for my teeth. I’ve got insurance for my house, and for my furnace as a matter of fact, and I’m fully vaccinated. These are all good things. These are things I’m grateful for. And I get to choose to tell the whole story. Here are some of my favorite quotes. And I and that’s exactly what I did. I stopped myself, I decided to tell the whole story. And you know what, I immediately felt better, I immediately felt a sense of relief because I was choosing where I wanted to focus my attention. And that is a lesson that I continue to learn and want to make sure you’re learning when you listen to this podcast and think about how your thoughts create your feelings that drive your actions. Here are some of my favorite quotes and ideas from tools for the trenches, from the chapter called The courage of the seed, quote, somehow Life finds a way to break through. Even when there’s no light, even when the odds are against you. And it seems utterly impossible. There’s still a way to break through envelope. Unquote. From the chapter living in the limitation, quote, stop living in the limitation refuse to lock into your first idea, especially when it’s rooted in assumption, fear, past patterns or insecurity. No matter how many times you’ve struggled to lose weight, or you’ve broken promises to yourself, you can change that pattern. You are not in any way limited by the way things have been. Unquote. From the chapter, regulating or reacting, quote, it’s always a choice. It’s forever a practice. We don’t need to conform to the temperature of our feelings. We can set the temperature we desire. It’s about being proactive, instead of reactive. I like to think about it this way. Will I lead? Or will I follow? Will I lead my mind? Or will I follow it? Will I lead my thoughts? Or will I follow them? Unquote. From the chapter pushing or pulling, quote, what would it look like to fight for my health and happiness instead of against it? Are you pushing or pulling? Are you fighting against what you should be fighting for? What would it look like to fight for what you’re fighting against? against. These questions are incredibly powerful when the moments feel hardest. These are the times when I’ve noticed the greatest tendency to push instead of pull to fight against instead of fighting for these questions have the most impact in the moments when I’m telling myself, I don’t care, it doesn’t matter, or I don’t want to do the work on quote from the chapter work ethic, quote, friend, this isn’t just about happiness, we can bring the same creative problem solving to just about anything. mental peace isn’t just a feeling. It’s a work ethic. Enthusiasm isn’t just a feeling, it’s a work ethic. Passion isn’t just a feeling. It’s a work ethic. motivation isn’t just a feeling. It’s a work ethic. Competence isn’t just a feeling. It’s a work ethic. Security isn’t just a feeling. It’s a work ethic. I could literally share something chapter by chapter from the book. What I want you to know is that this book is something you’re going to want to read, cover to cover, and revisit often. I personally love the audio book. And listening to a chapter is easy. It’s kind of an end and re listening to it much like podcasts, I learn something new, pretty much every time I do. As with any tool, it only helps if you choose to implement. And that’s really what I want you to hear. It’s set up the book is set up to be an implement implementation tool in practice every chapter. Before I practiced mindset work, before I got consistent with my efforts, I consistently turn to drinking alcohol when faced with a negative emotion. I can’t imagine how I might have reacted to a truly catastrophic loss, like Elizabeth has been navigating. I’m not perfect at all, I am far from it. I have so much to learn and so much to practice, but being aware of the power of my thoughts, and how they create the feelings that lead to the actions that I take in my life has been life changing. And becoming a better thinker, which is what Elizabeth Benton Thompson wants for all of us, is available to all of us. Our beautiful human brains are capable of thinking on purpose. And learning this, practicing it is how you will transform your life. At the end of tools for the trenches, Elizabeth writes, I want you to remember that evolution is tough to see up close. As you look at your situation, from your current vantage point, it’s impossible to see all of it, you don’t know what’s ahead, be open to the reality that the seed cracks open in the dark, unaware of the bright new life on the other side of fear and loss. I’ll link the book in my show notes. And I hope you’ll pick it up. I hope you use it. I hope you’ll implement the tools. I know that you will love it as much as I do. All right. That is all I have for you this week, my friends. I go to the dentist tomorrow morning, thank goodness. And someone’s coming to look at our furnace the day after tomorrow, but that’s okay. It’s before Thanksgiving. So, for those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, remember to make a plan ahead of time for your alcohol. If you’re including it, treasure time spent relaxing with family or other loved ones. Be safe in your travels. And until next time. Choose peace my friends. 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