So, what can you do about it? How can you show up unafraid and live in your power? Tune in this week to find out.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 146.
Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.
Well, hello my beautiful friend and welcome back to the podcast. I hope that you are having an amazing summer so far. And I want to say that I have declared to the ladies that I’m working with both in my IF 45 for Women program as well as in EpicYOU, that I decided to uplevel this July. And I’ll be talking a little bit more about that. But I just want to say that I’ve launched IF 45 for Women. We are active this week, so much fun. As I mentioned, I’m stretching myself this month to set higher goals and to really get to my next version of me.
And do you know, I teach that work here on the podcast a little bit. And I really dive deep into that work inside of EpicYOU mainly. And I allude to it a little bit in IF 45 for Women in that we want to become that next version of ourself and to do that we follow principles, certain principles that take us there, changing that self-identity, tweaking it, up-leveling.
And I think summer is such a perfect time to do that. We have longer days, more sunshine, a lot of us can get outdoors. And we just have a lot of other things that could give us dopamine hits, at least that’s what I find is that I enjoy summer so much that I don’t need my usual dopamine hits because I get other dopamine hits in the summertime. Now, one of the reasons I decided to up-level this month is I felt called to do it. And then also I noticed in June, you may have heard that I went on a great vacation with my family and I backed off on a lot of things purposefully.
And that when I got back from vacation I kind of looked at myself and where I was and I’m like, “I’m feeling a little fluffy. I’m feeling a little puffy”, because of the way I ate and what I ingested on vacation. And I’m just wanting to rectify that. And I know it’s easier for me to do this when I feel the motivation, when I feel empowered and also when it is summer time because it’s just so much easier to get in more exercise for me because I love being outdoors especially when it’s nice outside.
And here’s the thing, nobody likes to look down and see extra belly fat, not myself. So when I see it starting to accumulate on my body I want to take care of that because I know for me I feel better when I’m carrying around not that excess weight. When I’m able to get rid of that excess weight I’m able to get stronger, feel more fit. And so I have some pretty aggressive goals that I’m pretty excited about for July. And so for me this is where I feel epic, this is where I feel amazing, this is where reaching those health goals, those fitness goals, those strength and mobility goals feel really, really good to me.
And why I share this with so many people is because they tell me they listen to this podcast and then they get motivated by hearing my journey. And so when you’re listening to this I want you to hear both sides. Hear that I purposely wanted to enjoy vacation with enjoying more foods that I don’t normally eat. I indulged in more alcohol than I normally do. And I chose to do that and I have no regrets about it. And then the following month I just follow up with getting back to a lifestyle and a health style that feels good to me. That’s where I want to be my norm rather than the abnormal.
So getting back to these patterns, getting back to these healthy habits, getting back to these healthier ways of living because ultimately it comes down to feeling better living inside of this body. And I think that’s what we all want. We all want to feel good inside of our bodies. We don’t want to be complaining about our bodies. We don’t want to be complaining about our habits. We don’t want to be diminishing ourselves in any way. We want to up-level ourselves.
And I do find that there are certain groups of people who do like to stay in that complain camp. They complain about their bodies or they complain that they can’t lose weight or they complain about other things in their life like their jobs or their husband. And they just sit in that complaining mode or there are people that say, “I am not liking this and yet I want to go and change it.” And when they say, “I want to go and change it”, they’re looking at well, what steps do I need to take in order to change that? And I really think this is healthy growth.
Not being stuck, not staying stuck and not being in that constant complaining mode, but really empowering yourself to say, “Here’s something I don’t like and I have the power to fix it and how can I do that?” So right now that’s where I’m at. I’m in this later category where I’m like, “This is not working for me anymore. I really want to up-level in these ways.” And so I’m wanting to really up-level how I look, how I feel and how my body moves and the amount of strength it has.
Because as I was lugging around my suitcase around Europe, I’m like, “This should be easier for me at my age. Why is this not as easy? I think I’m losing some upper body strength. So I’m really making a concerted effort to change that. So I love sharing all of this with you to take you along on my journey. And maybe some of you will want to join me in that quest. And I’ll tell you, one of the impetuses besides the vacation is also noticing that my body is changing.
As I’m going through and navigating deeper into perimenopause I’m noticing some more symptoms come up. I’m noticing some more things that I was like, “Oh, now’s the time I’m going to get that.” And so I just want to help my body and prepare my body for the future because I know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So I want to get ahead of that curve. I know that I’m going to be losing muscle strength here as I go into the later stages and into menopause.
And I really want to maximize the amount of upper body mobility, upper body strength, lower body strength even, so that I can improve my health span and I can improve my longevity. And one thing that I’ve learned by doing life coaching work and these tools is that it’s not just about the destination.
And that’s one thing I really want to help everybody realize, whether you’re in one of my programs or not, is that we need to enjoy the journey. Because if the journey is not fun we are not actually going to be happy at the end goal because we’re going to be getting better at complaining. We’re going to be getting better at being grumpy about things. We’re going to be kind of attached to the negative emotion that even when we achieve what we set out to achieve might not make us feel as good as the brain had predicted because we’ve been practicing how to be unhappy the whole time.
And so I think it’s really important that we enjoy the journey just as much and I’d actually argue we should enjoy the journey more so that we really can make this a lifestyle change that we will keep. And it just makes the destination, once we arrive there to be like, “Oh yeah, I felt good all along and now that I’m here I still feel good.” So I’m practicing that. I’m being happy as I go along this journey and celebrating those small wins so that I solidify them as healthy habits.
And I think that comes along with being a lifelong learner. I really think there’s a lot of advantage to being a lifelong learner, meaning you’re willing to change your beliefs around things. You’re willing to change new concepts and new thought patterns around things, maybe things that served you in the past but they no longer serve you now.
And so you become more pliable, more flexible mentally so that you can just let go of that stuff and say, “Wait, that was fine then but’s no longer fine now and so I’m just going to up-level my thinking, up-level my mindset, up-level my actions so that I can continue to get better and better results for my life. And that to me is living an epic life. I no longer want to hold on to beliefs that don’t serve me or don’t serve where I choose to go because those are limited beliefs. Those are going to keep us small. Those are going to keep us behind.
Those are going to keep us from achieving at a faster rate and getting to what we really want. And do you know what a lot of people really want, is they want to drink less. They want to drink less permanently. They want to live a drink less lifestyle. They want to cut back on how much they are imbibing. They don’t want to feel like they need a drink at the end of the day. They don’t want to feel like every time they go to a party they are required to drink or they feel that they need to drink to enjoy the party or to enjoy the outing.
And many people don’t want to feel triggered by their emotions that when certain of these emotions arise, boom, the thing that they do is they reach for alcohol. And that’s what I want to dive into today because so many people want to drink less. And of course, since this is my field of expertise I hear it all the time. I hear it from friends. I hear it from colleagues. I hear it from the DMs. I hear it in my email box, “I want to drink less.” And my friend, if you want to drink less, go and do it, by all means go and do it. But do you know why many people don’t drink less?
Do you know why many people come to me and they say, “I’ve tried, I’ve tried, I’ve tried. I failed, I failed, I failed. I just want to drink less.” They come to me because right now they have become afraid to drink less. That’s right. That may sound crazy, may sound silly, what do you mean I’m afraid to drink less? That’s exactly what I want. I want to drink less. Well, I agree with you, it is what you want but then why aren’t you doing it? That is the magical question, why is it that you’re not drinking less?
And the reason is because you’re afraid. Now, on some level your brain’s going to be like, that doesn’t make sense. But then as we dive deeper into this, you’re going to see that makes total sense. And I was just coaching someone the other day and they say, “I have this goal of drinking less.” And we ask what their why is. And it’s to better their health and to live with less regrets especially as their kids are turning into teenagers and growing up in their household. They don’t want to model this behavior for their kids. They’re worried about what their kids are picking up on.
And when you hear that you’re like, “Yeah, great goal, to drink less for yourself, to better your health, to also be a role model for your children. And to have less regrets. Amazing goals. That’s an amazing why. And I bet you there’s nobody listening to this podcast right now that would be saying, “That’s not enough”, or, “That’s not a great goal.” No, hands down 100% great goal. And we would all be cheering this person on. We would all be in support of those goals.
So great goals, get after it, get after those goals. Have one drink or no drinks and be done. And then I see it, as soon as the words leave my lips, have one drink and be done. On the other side of the screen, what do I see? Fear in the person’s eyes. Everything in their body language tells me, oh, no, I can’t do that, I’m afraid. Because nobody says, “Woohoo, yes, that’s it, that’s what I’m going to do.” And they’re not jumping up and down with excitement, which means that they are afraid of drinking less.
You may hear this too. You may hear this through your phone or device, whatever you’re listening to me on and I give you complete permission to not have any alcohol or to go out and have one drink and be done. And I don’t think many people are on the other side going, “Woohoo, yes, that’s it, that’s what I’m going to do.” The brain goes right into, yeah, how am I going to do that? Because there’s fear, there’s something you’re afraid of, which when you put words to it, you’re afraid to drink less, it really does sound ridiculous. But there’s 100% truth to it, isn’t there?
Your logical brain, your prefrontal cortex is hearing me going, well, duh, that makes total sense, just have one drink and be done or don’t have any. That’s how you live a life with no regrets, how you live as a great role model for your kids. That’s how you get better health. That’s how you feel better about yourself and your brain is saying, “Yes, that sounds amazing. That’s exactly what I want.” But then what stops you from doing it? What stops you from taking those actions? It’s your emotions, you’re afraid.
And here’s what I want to offer you on this podcast. And I want to say that a little more dramatically. Here is the gold I want to offer you on this podcast episode. I want you to stop living a life that you are afraid of. Yes, what I want to offer you is that you stop being afraid of life and go out and live it the exact way you want to live it. That my friends is living in your power. But you know what? Too many of us are living life from a place of fear, from a place of being afraid, from a place of unwilling to show up differently.
So what do we do? We complain. We complain about the life that we are living. We are complaining about the life and the opportunities that we are given because we’re too damn afraid to go after the life we really want. And you know there is a key phrase out there that I hear a lot and it’s a phrase that when I hear it I know that people are living a life of fear. They’re too afraid to go after what they want and it’s earmarked by two words that I’ll hear oftentimes a lot.
And those two words are ‘if only’. If only my husband wouldn’t blah, blah, blah. If only I didn’t desire alcohol so much. If only it was easier to stay at top of mind. If only I could blah, blah, blah. If only every time I ordered a drink something in my body would snap me into my prefrontal cortex. If only I didn’t have this bad habit, if only. We hear that a lot, if only as if it’s out there in the universe for the universe to answer that wish. And I want to say the universe has answered that wish.
It’s giving you podcasts. It’s giving you coaches. It’s giving you rehab centers. It’s giving you resources that are widely available at your fingertips including the internet where you can get the coaching, the help and the support that you need so that you can go live the amazing life you want and stop being afraid of it. So when you use the words, if only, this my friends, shows clearly that your brain is afraid. So, great, now we know that many people are afraid to cut back on alcohol. So then what’s the next question?
Because if drinking less is good for you and it makes you feel better and you become more proud of who you are, and you’re a better parent and you’re a more amazing individual living and loving the life that you have, what’s there to be afraid of? So you really want to know what the hell you’re afraid of, don’t you? Because if it’s so amazing to cut back, what’s holding us back from doing it? And I’ll tell you what it is. I’ll tell you exactly what you’re afraid of. You’re afraid of the emotions that will come up. You’re afraid of your own feelings.
You’re afraid of the feeling of maybe awkwardness, of going to a party not knowing anybody or who you’re going to talk to or who’s going to be there. Or maybe you’re afraid of feeling bored, come home at the end of the day and you’re like, “Well, I don’t have anything on my to-do list and so gosh, there’s a lot of hours to fill. What am I going to do? You’re afraid of being bored or maybe you’re sad about something in your life. And you’re just afraid of feeling sad.
So what it comes down to is that you’re afraid of something and oftentimes it’s your emotions. So you go into hurting your mind and your body with alcohol because you are afraid of your emotions or something else. So instead of really analyzing what we’re afraid of, notice that we take a detour and drink. And then let’s look at what happens on that detour when we add alcohol to our mind and body and we’re drinking more than we want. We know the damages that causes.
We know that alcohol shrinks our brain. Yes, just two drinks a day my friends, over a period of just a few days, starts to shrink your brain. What does that mean? It means it gets harder to focus, harder to get stuff done. Not only that, alcohol lowers the brain’s blood flow so you’re not oxygenating the brain as well as you could be. And so you experience things like brain fog, like it’s harder to make decisions or you make poor decisions like, yes, I’ll have another drink or I’ll eat that pasta or yeah, I’ll just clean up the French fries that are sitting in front of me.
Or we make other poor decisions like sending a text or calling a friend and gossiping. Or we have trouble concentrating and then we develop memory problems because when the brain shrinks, a part of the brain, the hippocampus responsible for memory, that starts to atrophy more quickly than many other parts of the brain. And I want to tell you, these effects happen with just moderate amounts of alcohol. These studies that have shown this have been just done with seven drinks a week.
Seven drinks a week produces these negative effects on the brain because alcohol is a drug. It’s interesting to me that we say drugs and alcohol, like alcohol is separate than the drugs but alcohol’s in with the drugs. It’s just as powerful of a drug as other drugs that are out there. So yes, it’s a drug, it kills brain cells. And so I share this data with you, not to scare you but to highlight even a moderate amount of alcohol consumption has a dramatic effect on the brain.
And there was a recent study done where they looked at non-drinkers and compared them to light drinkers. And the light drinkers had a 57% higher risk of dementia. So yes, drinking can literally make you lose your mind, but it’s so normalized in our society that we just sit there and slap our knee and laugh and think ha, ha, ha, that’s all fine, that won’t happen to me. But guess what? It could. And that’s why I’m so passionate about this topic. I don’t want to drive you to do things based on fear because that’s actually what’s keeping you from doing the things is your fear.
And I have only learned this after working with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of women, to break this habit. The thing that keeps them locked in the habit is their fear. They’re afraid. And I want to help you bust through that. So I really want you to think about what are you afraid of when you drink less? To help you, I’ve created a worksheet that I’m going to hyperlink to the show notes of this podcast episode that you can get on my website.
So, again, I will put that link in the show notes so you can download this worksheet and really understand yourself, really look at what are you afraid of. This is doing the deeper work. This is doing the inner work. And it’s this inner work that will give you the transformation you need to change your relationship with alcohol permanently. You know that you can either take the action of drinking or not drinking, either one of those we don’t know is going to be sustainable. That’s a moment by moment decision.
But doing the deeper work makes choosing water or a non-alcoholic beverage so much easier because it actually rewires your brain and changes your desire for alcohol. And yes, while we love quick wins, we also want to know that the work that we’re doing is giving us sustainable progress. And yes, focusing on the action of either drinking or not drinking is important. The deeper work requires going into our thoughts and our feelings about it.
This is the whole think, feel, act cycle. And my program and many other programs out there embody this because it’s such an effective tool when you learn to use it and apply it to your life. It is the main tool that Smart Recovery uses and many other programs. And if you look at the research, it is widely effective for breaking any habit or any addiction you have. So if you can learn this around alcohol and then I applied it to other areas of my life, it is a tool that can help you in so many areas of your life.
Now, I put that worksheet up there, don’t be afraid to do it because being afraid is the whole reason you are stuck. And I’ll tell you, the quickest way out is knowing what you’re afraid of and developing tools so that you’re not afraid, developing tools that can help you with these emotions. So you become emotionally resilient.
Now, here’s something that comes up a lot I hear when I’m coaching is that I’m afraid of failing. I’ve tried to cut back so many times. I’ve used different programs, bought different books, listened to different podcasts. I’ve tried all the things so I’m so afraid of failing because when I fail I know I’m going to be really harsh to myself. I’m actually going to be very nasty and I’ll call myself a loser or I’ll feel like a loser. And this my friend is sneaky. This is your brain giving up on you without even doing any extra work.
This is your brain just crapping all over you and telling you anything you try is not going to work. And how do we know that? We can’t know that ahead of time. There is no way to know it ahead of time. And that harsh critic has to go away for you to get progress or at least be managed because you are not a loser.
And I like the line by Alan Arkin in the movie Little Miss Sunshine. He says, “Do you know what a loser is? A real loser is somebody who is so afraid of not winning that they don’t even try.” And notice it’s about being so afraid and it’s fear that keeps us trapped, fear that prevents us from trying but you must try. That’s the only way to a better, healthier life. That’s the only way to break this over-drinking habit. Actually it’s the only way to break any habit. And here’s the thing, your health can’t wait.
Your brain doesn’t want to wait anymore, your brain wants to heal, your body wants to feel better, your self-esteem wants to come up and you want to feel better and more amazing and more epic in your life. And I’ll tell you something, that once you get started you will find that the cost of change isn’t as high or isn’t as great as your brain is currently making it out to be. So just think about that. You’re thinking the fear is so, so bad but once you get started you find out that your mind was making it much worse than it actually is.
So what I want to offer you again on this podcast is to stop being so afraid of life and go and live it in the way you want to live it. If you want to up-level yourself and up-level your life, go do it, join me. I’m improving the quality of my life and the quantity of my life by the things I’m doing this month because I want to feel more amazing, more epic. I want you to feel more amazing and more epic. And you’ll find that when you do this you won’t be the same person.
You won’t be the same person you were last year or even the year before that, you will have changed. You will have attained a healthier level from your brain to your body and emotionally you’ll be way more resilient. This is what makes you stronger. Not only that, you will have also conquered a fear and attained a goal that matters or maybe many goals that matter, just like my client who wanted to feel healthier, make better decisions, be a better role model and not live with regrets.
This one problem can solve so many others and it matters to your health and your wellbeing because think of what the flipside offers if you don’t do this, if you keep living afraid, if you keep living in fear. You get better at drinking, you continue to build the identity of someone who drinks or a drinker. And you keep building that habit even more and you get better at something that adds zero value to your health and to your life, it actually takes away from your health and wellness goals.
You actually become better at something that is more detrimental to your health. Now, if I was to ask it another way, who wants to be a master at making themselves weaker and less strong minded and less able bodied? Nobody would put their hand up in the air. And this is why I think when you solve your over-drinking habit you solve so many other problems, so many other downstream problems that come from over-drinking and it comes from stop being afraid. Go out and be and live the person you want to live as.
And as James Clear says, you’ll feel better once you get started. My friends, this is the epic-ness I want for you. And so by minimizing that alcohol intake or even eliminating it altogether is going to give you a much better life, no hang-ups, no hangovers, no regrets. Instead we swap it out for a lot more joy and a lot more satisfaction in life. Alright my friends, that’s what I have for you today. Go and have an amazing epic day and I will see you next week.
If you want to change your relationship with alcohol and with yourself then come check out EpicYOU. It’s where you get individualized health mastering the tools so you can become a woman who can take it or leave it and be in control around alcohol in any situation. EpicYOU is the place for women who want to be healthy, confident and empowered to accomplish their goals and live their best life. Come join us over at epicyou.com/epicyou. That’s epicyou.com/ E-P-I-C-Y-O-U. I can’t wait to see you there.