EP #85

When You LOVE Drinking Alcohol

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In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist Podcast, Molly provides details about her new program, Step One, with a unique coaching format. The episode addresses the challenge of changing drinking habits when there is genuine enjoyment in drinking. She advises against making distinctions and encourages listeners to quit telling themselves that alcohol is unique compared to other beverages. The episode covers topics such as mindful drinking, evaluating the worth of different drinks, and making intentional choices to create a minimalistic approach to alcohol. Molly advocates for conscious and purposeful drinking, sharing personal experiences and insights.

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 an absolutely spectacular Oregon right now. Just about perfect Days of Summer here at 85 degrees. Certainly no raindrops in sight, and I am just loving it and invite you if you have not been to visit the Pacific Northwest. This is the time of year to come. Come, come see Washington, come see Oregon, and find out what all of us Pacific Northwesterners why we think it’s so great in this neck of the woods. Hey, how are you all I am excited to be here again, I’m back from my hiatus and really loving recording podcast long podcast episodes. Although I will have to tell you in truthfulness that I recorded this episode once already. And the audio didn’t record appropriately. So here I am again. Getting to do it. So that’s okay. That’s all right. gives me a chance to it’ll be better than the first time right that’s that’s what they always say in podcasting. It didn’t record correctly for a reason. And the second time around, it’ll be even better. There is one more week left to join the beta launch of step one, my new program for September. Registering for this program in September gives you an added bonus of two group coaching calls, they are recorded. So in case you can’t be there live. And it’s also just a great time to take action. It’s like a natural time to go back to school, right. And you will learn a lot with step one. It’s really a unique format, you get a personalized one on one coaching session with me, where we will pinpoint your challenges and we’ll create a plan for overcoming them. Using the tools you’ll be learning through the online videos and course curriculum that you’ll receive during the rest of the month. It’s self directed during the month, but the content is dripped to you each week in very doable chunks that you can practice and build on each week. Plus, you have lifetime access. So you can always jump back in for a refresher course. And here’s the thing, only people who are graduates of the course or have proof positive my group coaching program are able to schedule one on one coaching sessions with me. I don’t do one on one coaching with people unless they have taken part in one of these programs. So check it out. The early action offer is passed but you can still join for September until August 28. After that step one will be available starting on October 7. As an ongoing anytime offer. So check it out at www dot Molly watts.com/step. One. So this week on the podcast, I want to talk to you about how hard it is to change your relationship with alcohol when you really enjoy drinking. Well, maybe not how hard it is, but ways that you can do it and still enjoy drinking. Now, many of you listening are probably thinking to yourself, I really should drink less. But the problem is you don’t get it, I really like to drink. And I hear you because one of the thoughts that kept me stuck in a 20 plus year daily drinking habit was that I simply liked beer too much to not drink it every night. And contrary to what you may be anticipating here, I am not going to tell you that you should change your thoughts about liking alcohol, telling yourself that it’s poison telling yourself that it’s dangerous, etc, etc. I don’t that’s not where we’re going. In fact, here’s a quote from my friend, William Porter. Now, Williams has been on the show before and I genuinely thank him for helping me change my drinking habits. And the thing is that William and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, and that is totally okay. And he has said that he has very specific views and he invites people to disagree with him. So here’s a recent quote from William, quote, what is alcohol really a foul tasting carcinogen that makes you feel slightly dulled for a few minutes before wearing off leaving a feeling of anxiety. In fact, it tastes so foul, the only way we can consume it is with a ton of calorie packed sugars, it will ruin your sleep and accelerate your heart rate, which will ruin your fitness but also leave you feeling drained and lethargic. And that stripped of all the hype and nonsense is all there is to it. Every time you think about drinking, think about waking up at 4am Feeling anxious and exhausted. Unquote. Now first off, I’ll say that nothing he says there is completely inaccurate from a science perspective. It’s most of its true, pretty dead on. But it feels to me like he’s having to amplify and make things more dramatic, almost in the scare yourself straight genre. And it feels like if I were saying to him, but I really enjoy my nightly wine after him saying all that I would feel kind of stupid, like, how could I possibly enjoy drinking something so vile. And to be fair, like I said, William has also said that he has these views. And not everyone’s path to changing their relationship with alcohol is the same, right? And everybody has their own journey to take. And you should take everything he says and everything I say true. You have to take what works for you treat it like a buffet, right? Take what you like what works for you, and leave the rest. He’s openly knowledgeable of that and acknowledges that. Now, I believe that you can change your drinking habits, that you can create a peaceful relationship with alcohol that recognizes those dangers, but adheres to low risk drinking limits. And that you can do that and still enjoy drinking alcohol when you do. There are four things that you need to do if you love to drink, but you’re drinking more than you want to. All right, so we’re going to change your relationship with alcohol, you’re going to create better drinking habits, and you’re gonna still love to drink. All right. Number one, quit telling yourself that one kind of alcohol is different from another. And what I mean by that is I hear things like I just can’t drink red wine. I’m fine if I stick to beer or even white wine. But if I start drinking red wine, it’s all over. I just can’t stop. Or you’re telling yourself something like alcohol is just different than other things like different than other things that you enjoy consuming. Like the thought Yeah, I it would be good for me if I would eat less sugar, but that’s totally different than me drinking wine. If you are over consuming something sugar, alcohol, junk food, social media, porn, gambling, video games, you pick. The same rules apply. Just because drinking too much alcohol affects your ability to be logical does not mean that you are powerless to change. And that’s really what we are saying when we say alcohol is different, right? We say we can’t, it’s different than other things because it impacts our prefrontal cortex. Well, yes, alcohol changes your neuro chemistry. If you drink too much and raise your blood alcohol content to over 0.055% and higher, you will definitely have less inhibitions. Let’s be honest, though. According to science, your blood alcohol content has to go up to 0.11%. That’s true times the limit that I was just talking about. And about one and a half times the limit for being legally impaired. It is, then that scientists say you will experience severely impaired judgment and perception. I know that there have been plenty of times that I decided to stop drinking, you know, back when I was still drinking at heavy use standards, 2530 units per week, when I was past that 0.55%. I was probably past 0.08%. And I was possibly on my way to 0.11%. And I still decided to stop drinking. Have you ever felt pretty buzzed and actually not had a drink after considering it? I know you have because we all have. And that’s my point. You don’t pass out every time you drink, right? Sometimes you just drink and then you drink another drink when you could have stopped. And yes, it’s harder, right? It’s harder when you have less inhibitions, but it’s not impossible. Stop telling yourself that and quit telling yourself that alcohol is just so much different. The key is to figure out how to drink so that you’re not over drinking, and you’re getting the therapeutic benefits of alcohol and not experiencing the more negative consequences. Now, just as a reminder, there is no 100% conclusively safe amount of alcohol to consume. The safest and only safe amount is zero. I actually have a free ebook called alcohol truths, how much is safe over on my website, you can go download it and read more about that. In addition to the fact that the safest amount is zero, the therapeutic effects of alcohol can be achieved in many other more healthful ways. So that’s important to understand too. But it’s okay if you enjoy those therapeutic benefits. I’m here to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol and empowering you to both enjoy the alcohol you include in your life and to help you stick to those low risk limits. For more information on low risk limits, please check the show notes. They are there each and every episode. You can’t miss them. Hey, everyone, just a quick break in the show to talk with you about Sunnyside. Now you’ve heard me talk about Sunnyside on the show before. I’ve had Nick and Ian the founders here as my guests. I am just so impressed with them. They are deeply mission driven. They are building a service to help millions of people create a healthier relationship with alcohol with no pressure to quit or feel guilty. So you know they are very aligned with everything I talk about here at alcohol minimalist. I wanted to share with you some thoughts and comments made by people in my group and my clients who use sunny side. I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised. I have used a few tracking apps and despise to them. But the support the daily check ins and the plan. Yes, the plan. I signed up for three months yesterday and actually looked forward to the check in today. I have no doubt this tool is a step forward for me. I just want to thank you to everyone who recommended Sunnyside in this group and all of your advice throughout. I’m having the best start to a week of moderating Since I fell off the wagon in January, you work the plan and it works. Thank you everyone. Now you don’t have to take my word for it. You don’t have to take their word for it. I want you to check it out for yourself. Go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to get started on a free trial today. All right. So number one, you need to quit telling yourself that alcohol is different. Number two, choose to drink what’s worth it. Choose to drink what’s worth it. Now what do I mean by that? I think anyone that’s been on any sort of restriction or diet or change and you know whatever. You’ve probably heard some sort of wisdom like if you’re going to eat chocolate make it really good quality chocolate And this is along those same lines. But I don’t want you to think that you have to go buy more expensive wine or the finest brandy, though, I will tell you that I hear from my bourbon drinking friends that you can really tell the difference between a cheap bourbon and a high quality one. But I digress. I don’t drink bourbon. But what I mean by this is that when you are working on your drinking habits, and becoming more mindful about your alcohol, you want to make sure that the drink you’re having is really worth it. I recently went to a show here in Portland in the moda center, if you’re familiar with this area, like a big event, one of the first that I’ve been to in probably more than three years, obviously, since COVID. But I didn’t really go to events like this very often, regardless of the pandemic. So it’s been a bit since I’ve settled on up to a bar at one of these places. I decided I wanted to enjoy a beer during the show. They had a nice variety of options, and one of my favorite IPAs on tap. Now I had planned to have a drink at dinner, which didn’t happen due to some unexpected circumstances. Namely, I forgot my phone back at home, which had all of the tickets on it. And I could not access my Gmail account on anyone else’s phone because I have every security measure set up through my phone. So I digress. But it did involve an extra hour of driving and missing the restaurant experience that we had chosen. Well, I missed it anyway. So in my brain, I’m thinking all these thoughts. I didn’t have a beer at dinner. I’m thirsty. I liked that IPA so much. And then I get up there and guess how much they are charging for a pint of IPA $13.50 My jaw drops, my thoughts immediately go to that’s highway robbery. Clearly, people just are so wanting alcohol that they feel like they can charge ridiculous prices for it. And then I stopped myself. I wanted to enjoy a beer at this show. And to do so it wasn’t going to help me by focusing my attention on the price. And so I got my one beer. And by the way, it was totally worth it. It tasted great. And I had an overpriced pretzel to go with it. Now on many other nights that drink would not have been worth it at all. And that’s what I mean by choosing a drink that’s worth it. Be mindful, be intentional. Don’t just walk in the door after work and unconsciously start pouring. Make your drink worth it. Pay attention to it plan for it. Don’t fight against enjoying a drink. But let’s choose to make the drinks we do include in our lives worth it. In his book drink the new science of alcohol in your health, which is by Dr. David Nutt, which is absolutely a phenomenal book. I will link it in the show notes. I talk about it all the time. It’s recommended reading in my Facebook group. I’ve interviewed Dr. Net here on the podcast. And he suggests in that book many sensible strategies for eliminating drinks that aren’t worth it. And he says, quote, look at your wicked week of drinking, rank your drinks in order of fun satisfaction and results. Which ones left you feeling good? Which ones could you have done without? Which ones did you wish you had refused? Unquote. creating awareness of what drinks are worth it to me is something that we can all due to begin to eliminate the ones that aren’t worth it. For each one of us that’s going to be different. And I’m sure there are plenty of you and me on a different occasion, who would categorically say that there is no pint of beer that is worth $15 Tip included. The point is that you have to start choosing what you’ll keep in your life and what drinks you can eliminate because they simply aren’t worth it. I have one that’s very easy for me now one that I used to do all the time. I used to come home from an event like I went to at this you know at the at the motor center. I used to come home from one of those events and have a drink when I got home. Like the one more when I got home from an event or from going out or to a party. And I used to always feel like having one more when I got home. Now I actually look forward to ending my evening with something non alcoholic. I enjoy feeling the desire for something non alcoholic and I noticed it I appreciate it, I encourage it. And I think you can do the same. So start by choosing drinks that are worth it to you. All right, number three, make sure you are telling yourself the whole story. What do I mean by that, I mean that I truly held on to the belief that I loved beer too much to ever give it up. So you tell me, I love drinking, I like drinking. I just like my wine. And I get it, because I couldn’t imagine there would ever be any time that I would be alcohol free. And not just hating every minute of it. But my love of beer wasn’t the whole story. The whole story had some pretty big and after, I love beer, and it was those and that I finally had to acknowledge were costing me my quality of life so much, that loving beer wasn’t going to keep me from changing my drinking habits. Those stories, if I told them in the full story, we’re, I love beer, and I’m tired of feeling anxious and worrying about my drinking. I love beer. And I know the amount I’m drinking is impacting my health. I love beer, but I don’t enjoy over drinking it. The thing is, over drinking leads to hangovers, or impaired sleep, heightened anxiety, possibly cancer. And when I get really technical and clinical with that information, which is what I like to do with the science of alcohol, I know that the whole story of loving beer needs to be more specific, it needs to go deeper to provide the full picture. We don’t have to eliminate alcohol from our lives completely, to have a peaceful relationship with it. At least most of us. Now I said it before, for some of you, your most peaceful relationship with alcohol may very well be alcohol free living or sober living. And that is totally great. But you can most of us can. Abstinence is not the only way to get better. And eliminating over drinking was the key for me. And I believe that can happen for all of us if we are willing to tell ourselves the whole story. When you were evaluating your own drinking, get clear on how the habit is showing up in your life. tell the whole story by one getting very specific and realistic about how much you are currently consuming. You have to have the data, you have to know what is going on to have any hope of changing the habit. And number two, ask yourself what positive things you’re getting from the habit and what problems it is leading to. As a side note, I highly encourage you write this stuff down. Writing things down is a big tool. It was a big tool for me in changing this habit. And it’s a big tool for most people that talk about self improvement. You’ll hear most every most all all of them say that writing things down is a way that you can help visualize and get better and get clear on your thoughts get clear on exactly what’s going on. So number three, tell the whole story and write it down if you will. Number four, in ways to change your drinking habits while you love to drink is probably the most enjoyable one. It savor the experience. That’s right, I want you to really tune into your drinking experience. Choose alcohol that you love the taste of and then savor it. Think of it as a delicious treat, not something just to throw down your gullet, sip what you’re drinking, don’t chug it. We’re aiming to make alcohol a minimal part of our lives around here. And to do that most successfully. It helps if you take the time to notice all of your senses when you’re drinking. And when you’re drinking your favorite drinks. I remember one of the members of my Facebook group who shared that she quarks, a bottle of 8% Chocolate Cake stout, and pours it into a martini glass when she has it. And she enjoys it with a piece of dark chocolate. And I thought that sounds yummy right even as I’m explaining it to you. Doesn’t it just sound delicious? So yes, please. And that’s just one example. Right? Let’s go back to red wine. I hear a lot about red wine. People seem to really believe like they can come to All themselves with everything else, except red wine, because red wine is so delicious. I hear this a lot. Now, instead of choosing thoughts that really drive the desire to over drink, instead of choosing that thought, what if we practiced making a plan for a glass of red wine with a really nice dinner or even with dessert, maybe with a charcuterie board, and we’ll pay attention to the smell will describe it to ourselves, we can taste the wine and see ourselves like a small yay, discerning all the different notes in the wine, we can watch the wine as we swirl it around in the glass. And when our brains, our lower brains start saying, just one more, another one won’t hurt. We’ll just tell it, you know what we’re enjoying this one part? Well, this one glass as a part of a plan. And if I do anything more than that, it will become less enjoyable. Red wine is no different from anything else I enjoy consuming. I don’t want to over indulge, because the whole story won’t be as wonderful as stopping at one. We can practice that. It’s a skill to practice. It’s a skill, it’s a decision to direct your brain. And it’s really possible to love drinking and still create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. I know it is because that’s what I have. I enjoy the drinks that I drink. I enjoy them. And that is 100%. Okay, and it’s what I want for you, I want you to be able to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. It starts by figuring out how not to over drink. And we do that by changing how we think about alcohol. We quit telling ourselves that one kind of alcohol or that alcohol is different from other things that we enjoy consuming. We choose a drink that is worth it. We tell ourselves the whole story about what alcohol is doing for us or not doing for us in our lives. And when we drink, we savor the experience. All right, that is all I have for you this week, my friends. I did it I got through it. I think it’s better than the first one. I do think it really is. So you know until next time, I hope it’s sunny where you are. And until then choose peace. 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