EP #52

Becoming an Alcohol Minimalist

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In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist podcast, Molly discusses the transformative power of science-backed strategies to shatter past patterns and eliminate excuses. Molly delves into her journey of becoming an alcohol minimalist, discussing the importance of evaluating one’s drinking habits with curiosity and compassion. She challenges long-standing beliefs about alcohol dependence, advocating for a shift in perspective and dispelling myths around physical dependence. Molly introduces the concept of emotional maturity and its role in breaking a 30-year daily drinking habit, highlighting the need for awareness and understanding the connection between thoughts, feelings, and actions. The episode concludes with Molly’s commitment to continued education, interviews with experts, and the exploration of listener stories in the coming year, emphasizing the transformative possibilities in changing one’s relationship with alcohol.

Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I am 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 used 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. This is Molly watts, and I am still coming to you from well, it’s kind of a cloudy, foggy cold Oregon this evening. And there was actually a dusting of snow here this morning. So that was kind of fun. wish it would have been more. But you know, I’m kind of weird that way. Now we’re back to rain again. You just heard the new podcast intro in the official new name of the show. What do you think? If you’re wondering is this was this breaking the bottle legacy? Yes, and I’m still Molly watts, and I’m still coming to you from Oregon. And I have changed the name of the show. This is episode number 52, officially one year into this podcast. And for the last few months, I’ve been considering how to hone my message and rebrand the podcast. So it’s very clear to people what the show is all about. I wanted to connect with people who are looking for content searching podcasts. And my hope was by branding the podcast in such a way they would be intrigued by the name and decide to take a listen. That was my goal. I threw out some of the ideas I had for the name for my podcast in my private Facebook group and the feedback which is aptly named alcohol. minimalists change your drinking habits. And the feedback was very conclusive. Don’t try to be clever with the podcast name. Just be specific about who we are. Since the way I include alcohol in my life now is fundamentally a minimalist approach somewhere along the line. This last year, I claimed the tag at alcohol minimalist across the social media platforms. And I described myself and my group members as hashtag alcohol minimalists. So the group was very solidly in favor of using the alcohol minimalist name. And I couldn’t disagree, right? And the kiss strategy, right? Keep it simple, silly, stupid, whatever you want to say keep it simple. And that’s what I did. This episode, I’m going to look backwards a little bit over the last year, and also look forward into next year to give you an idea of how we’re going to keep growing together. How can you? Or are you becoming an alcohol minimalist? So I’m really excited about 2022. And I hope that you’ll stay with me to see how this work can not only transform your relationship with alcohol, but truly how it can work in any area of your life, where you’re consuming something in an attempt to numb or Buffer away your emotions. But first, a little housekeeping. I have a prize winner every other week. I give some alcohol minimalist swag away to listeners that have either done one of two things they have gone on to Amazon and given a review of my book breaking the bottle legacy or they’ve given a review on their favorite podcast platform of the podcast. So you do that. And yeah, if you do the book, I can see your name and whatever. If I can see your your information clearly on either platform. You don’t need to let me know because I just collect all those. And then I do a random drawing. If you’re worried at all, just send me a message send me an email, let me know your reviewer name. And I will put you on the list into the randomizer. And today’s prize winner is none other than Joan wold, who is a friend of mine from old she’s one of my oldest dearest longest friends. And I know she’s a good listener and somebody that has read my book and helped review it and she actually agrees with Many of the things you know she learned a lot she told me so, Joanie, you are a prize winner today, my friend. Also, if you have not already considered signing up for proof positive, my January small group, I really want to encourage you to do that. It’s a two step process. First step is to go to www dot dry you weary.org and register for dry you weary that is the 31 day alcohol free month in January, it is sponsored through moderation management, the nonprofit group and draw your weary.org that particular program is it’s completely investment free, but it is a great support system. And I will be contributing in there and, and actively participating and so up and I will be doing dry weary. And that’s the most important part. So go to dry weary.org and register for dry erase that’s step one, to be a part of proof positive. Step two is to go to www dot nutrition over easy.com backslash upgrade, and register for Monica Rai nagels 30 Day nutrition upgrade program. Now you use the discount code, Molly 20. That’s mo l l y 20 to get that 30 Day program for $39. And it’s an investment in January in trying to upgrade your nutrition. So I’m going to be doing both programs, the third, the dry you Arey and the 30 day nutrition upgrade, and for those people who join me in doing both programs, because we’re just going to, they really are synergistic. And they, they support one another to just making it you know, to really starting off 2022 with a bang, right with a really positive step and, and trying to change your relationship with alcohol really focus on the thoughts that come up during that 31 day break from alcohol, whether or not you make it or not, the goal is there. And then along the way, we’re going to focus on upgrading our nutrition. For me, that’s a really big focus. And I to be honest, I there’s an app that goes with this program, I used it for the first time recently, in just kind of testing it out and trying it, it grades you on a daily basis, kind of by you, it’s self reporting. So you report the choices that you made throughout the day, and I got a D, a D for the day, that was kind of like Ooh, got some work to do. Right. So I’m excited about that, though, it isn’t about trying to get A’s. It’s about moving up the scale. And so I’m really excited about this program $39, use the code, Molly 20. When you register for both, you’re going to be a part of my small group proof positive, I’m going to be sending out daily motivational quotes for that group and having weekly coaching meetings with the small group. So for $39 for both programs and a small group, I think you cannot beat it, it’s going to be a great way to start off 2022. So please check it out. There are links in the show notes. So looking back over this year of podcasts, you know, I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. Of course, not every episode is awesome. But even when I felt like I wasn’t at my best, I’ve inevitably had someone reach out and comment positively. So that’s awesome. And it may not be obvious, but individual episodes when I’m not interviewing people, they on average require about five hours of writing time before I record, sometimes more if I have to do a lot of scientific research. And despite the fact that it might sound like I just jump on and talk. All that to say is that it’s not always easy, and it doesn’t always flow the way I want it to. If you’ve listened to past episodes, you’ll hear a few where i i literally admit to re recording it all the way. And it’s definitely a labor of love, and one that I continue to work on. I recently started following Tara McMullen and her podcast what works which is focused on entrepreneurship for humans. That’s what it’s called entrepreneurship for humans, which I love. And the description says what works is the podcast that helps you think differently about how you do business, and the impact you can have in your community. And I love that it’s really about just creating a better a better product and that’s so important event as a podcaster right. So the A for mentioned Monica Ryan Nagel actually shared her work with me. I signed up for her weekly newsletter, which is just chock full of great writing, and lessons. And one of Tara’s key tenets is to create remarkable content. Instead of feeling pressure to produce more content and being on more platforms, focus your attention she says on the quality of content you’re producing Above all, take more time, be patient, focus your attention and use care in creating your content, less urgency, slow it all down. Now, I’ll admit, creating remarkable content here on the podcast as always been the goal. And I think most people want to do that, don’t they? Or at least they want to get good content. But it’s the slowing down of that process for me and seeing a longer, slower timeframe as important to creating remarkable content. That really felt challenging for me at first, I only have so many hours in a day or week and my mind wanted to throw out that as a as an obstacle right away. And instead, I asked myself the question, what would need to change, so I could create remarkable content easily. And when I changed my perspective, funny enough, the writing started to flow a lot more easily. So I’m really committed to making 2022 a year of remarkable content. And I will continue to practice and pay attention and take care as I do it. So I hope that you’ll stay around and stick around as the alcohol minimalist podcast continues to evolve. Okay, so back to what becoming an alcohol minimalist really means. So this podcast started out last year as breaking the bottle legacy for two reasons. So first, it came out in advance of my book, which is titled the same, if you’re not familiar with it, it’s called breaking the bottle legacy, how to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. And of course, I wanted to promote the book when it was published. So I was really starting to just build that platform when I launched the podcast back in the beginning of 2021. And number two is I also wanted to honor my roots as an adult child of an alcoholic and share my journey in breaking that legacy to provide hope for other adult children of alcoholics. So that’s why the title was important in that respect. And of course, I still want to reach out to adult children of alcoholics, that will never change. But even more broadly, I want to help people who are daily habit drinkers change their drinking habits. I also want to educate anyone who is drinking alcohol, about the science surrounding alcohol use and the importance of low risk limits. And I think this is a key difference for me between moderation and moderating and being an alcohol minimalist. So I fully support moderation management, the nonprofit organization that is focused on helping people moderate alcohol and change their drinking change their relationship with alcohol. For me, minimizing alcohol in my life was just a further extension of that. And incorporating those low risk limits, which are slightly different and lower than moderation management’s guidelines, was the key there. Another part of this whole rebranding or restructuring or redefining is, I want to de stigmatize drinking in a way that we don’t see sobriety as morally right, and drinking to excess as morally wrong. We want drinking to become much more neutral. We need to be able to evaluate our drinking with curiosity and compassion, and decide if we are using alcohol in a way that doesn’t serve us. And if it is the case that we are, how can we change the behavior, becoming an alcohol minimalist for me, meant that I wasn’t going to drink to access anymore. I wasn’t going to use alcohol to try to change my emotions. And I was going to create a relationship with alcohol, where I didn’t rely on willpower. I didn’t feel deprived whether or not I was choosing to drink or not. And I learned along my journey, that because of my past, as an adult child of an alcoholic, I had a lot of stories that I believed were true that actually fueled my desire to drink alcohol. I also learned that I had patterns of emotional immaturity that led to creating a 30 year daily drinking habit, that by definition would be considered heavy alcohol use. Now, I’ve said from the very onset of this show, this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat alcohol addiction. I am not a doctor and addiction expert or a trained psychologist. I am someone who has studied alcohol extensively. I’ve studied and been certified as a life coach and I have transformed my own life by changing my relationship with alcohol. I became an alcohol minimalist, and I am committed to helping other people through education and sharing that experience. Now, if you are experiencing signs of physical dependence most notably if you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms like nausea, tremors, vomiting, and needing to drink first thing in the morning to relieve those symptoms. So obviously, I’m not talking about being hungover after a one night party. But if you are feeling physical signs of withdrawal daily, then you likely have developed a physical dependence on alcohol and you may need medical attention. With that disclaimer, I will also remind people that according to a 2014 study by the SAMH s a, which stands for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nine out of 10 alcohol, heavy alcohol users are not physically dependent on alcohol. So I was not ever physically dependent on alcohol, though I had developed a psychological dependence. And it’s my belief that most people who are drinking more than they want to who have an unbreakable, quote, unquote habit of drinking, are battling a psychological dependence and probably not a physical dependence. So I think it’s important to create aware of this awareness of this statistic, because it means that for most of us, the solution for change exists within us. It’s our own brains. I’ve had people share with me a belief they have, that they believe they have an issue with alcohol and believe they might be an alcoholic in the sense that they believe they might have developed a physical dependency, they deliberately think this right. And I’m using the term alcoholic, because that’s the language that most people still use around problematic drinking. But as a reminder, that label is something that the NIA which is the National Institute of alcohol abuse, and alcoholism, doesn’t use anymore. And instead, people that are misusing alcohol are considered to have alcohol use disorder, which can range from mild to moderate to severe. I’m bringing this up, because I think that for some people, believing that the problem is physical, makes them doubt their ability to change that relationship. It also makes the answer to the problem be all about abstinence and removing alcohol from the person’s life as the solution. And I want to create awareness about how believing that you’re physically dependent on alcohol, when you’re actually most likely not, is probably fueling the feeling that you are powerless to change. What if instead, you don’t have a physical issue, you’re not sick, you don’t have a disease. But you’ve created a habit of turning to alcohol, which has created a psychological dependence. It’s a habit that can be addressed and changed by using your own brilliant human brain. To start changing my 30 year habit, I had to challenge some long standing beliefs I had about my past as an adult child of an alcoholic. I had to change thoughts I had about my inability to change habits, I had to question my thoughts about my love of beer, about needing to drink every night to relieve stress. I educated myself on neuroscience and on the science of alcohol to start challenging these beliefs that fueled my desire to drink. I learned and applied the tools of self coaching tools I used and refined into something I call the behavior map results cycle to not only helped me change my daily drinking, but really helped me navigate life and become a better thinker. So I won’t go into the behavior map results cycle in detail in this episode. But I will link to episode number 11 and number 12, of breaking the bottle legacy where I really introduced this work. And I will also put in a small plug here that I believe the book breaking the bottle legacy how to change your drinking habits is really a great tool for learning the behavior map results cycle and beginning to implement it. And that book is really now pretty much available everywhere online in terms of books of ebooks, I’ve expanded it past Amazon it’s of course on Amazon, and Amazon’s where you can get the paperback if you want it that way. But it’s now sold now on Apple books google Barnes and Noble Kobo, you name it. Links are in the shownotes. Just know before you you know, keep listening or decide that this is where you want to go. That becoming an alcohol. Minimalist isn’t just about the number of drinks you’re going to have in the week. It means that you’re going to have to become willing to experience all of your human emotions, and you will need to understand the connection between your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. And that really is the foundation of your new identity as an alcohol minimalist. In 2022, we’ll be diving deeper into emotional buffering. We’re going to be relentless in improving our emotional intelligence, and creating confidence in our emotional resiliency. I’ll continue to interview experts and guests who can expand our understanding of alcohol science, neuroscience, and psychology. And I really hope this year to share stories from some of you, the listeners who have become alcohol minimalist to and what that has meant in your lives. As we head into the last 10 days of 2021, I just want to thank you all for being here. For those of you who have been with me this past year as podcast listeners, as members of my private Facebook group, for those of you who are joining me improve positive in January, for those of you who bought the book, who’ve left a review of either the book or the podcast, for those of you who have taken the time to email me, for all of you who have simply decided to share your valuable time with me. I am so very grateful and humbled by sharing this journey with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 2022. Here come the alcohol. minimalists. Choose peace my friends. 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