Ep #126: The Secret to Changing Your Drinking Permanently

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | The Secret to Changing Your Drinking Permanently

Are you ready to change your drinking permanently?

There are numerous tools you can use to help you change your relationship with alcohol.

When you decide to live a Drink Less Lifestyle, there is one key ingredient that makes using these tools sustainable for the long term.

Without this key ingredient, you will only get short-term results.

What I’m sharing today is truly the secret to changing your drinking forever.

So, tune in this week to discover what this secret is and how you apply it to your life so you live the lifestyle that you want, permanently.


Are you a woman wanting to drink less and live a happier, healthier life? If so, join me inside EpicYOU! Click here to join.

I have some amazing news. If you missed my free masterclass last month, you can still get access to the replay! I’m discussing the common mistakes people make when coming off of a Dry January and giving you practical tools and strategies so you don’t go straight back to your old ways. All you have to do is click here and you can access the replay!


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The secret ingredient to changing your drinking permanently.
  • Why this secret ingredient makes your journey to changing your drinking easier, quicker, and more permanent.
  • How to incorporate this secret ingredient and create long-term sustainable change around how you think about and consume alcohol.


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 126.

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 friends. Do you love that I come on the podcast and call you my beautiful friends? As I record this, that’s how I think of all of you sitting out there listening to this, it’s like you’re just my beautiful friends. And I really want to thank you for being with me on this journey and coming in and tuning in each week to the podcast, I really appreciate it.

And I also want to ask you a favor. If this is resonating with you and you know somebody else that would really benefit from listening to this podcast, hearing a different perspective on drinking. Maybe somebody’s just interested in cutting down on their drinking but yet ready to quit like me and many, many of you out there. I just ask that you give it a share. Spread the joy because what we all know is that nobody wakes up the next day saying, “Gosh, I’m so glad I over drank the night before.”

So this podcast is not about demonizing alcohol. It’s not about saying we have to avoid it for the rest of our lives. We’re just looking at it as does it play a role in our life, and if so how? And then to be intentional about it. We just don’t want to guzzle more sugar, guzzle more desserts, eat more things when those things make us feel awful the next day and sometimes awful a couple hours later. So my goal here in sharing this information is not about sobriety if that’s not what you’re about. That’s not a label that works for me at this phase of my life and that’s okay.

And what I really want to do is break down the stereotypes and the stigma we have around talking about drinking too much. We don’t have to call it alcoholism. We don’t have to call it these things that if they don’t feel good to you or don’t feel right or they prevent you can actually getting the help you need, let’s use different terminology. Let’s just describe what’s going on for us. Let’s look at why we want it and need it or feel like we need it in the first place. These are the meaningful discussions. These are the meaningful conversations I truly wish girlfriends were having with one another.

And so I just ask if this podcast is resonating with you or helping you in your journey and in your life that you just share it with a friend who you think it can help as well. Also what I want to share on this podcast is it might be a bit premature for me to say but I just got out of a meeting with somebody who had some great ideas that we brainstormed with on my word of the year which you know is connection. And we’re going to be planning some things for later this year. So stay tuned for more opportunities around connection.

I am so excited what we are planning behind the scenes. And again everything’s preliminary at this point but I cannot wait and I’m just bursting at the seams to get racing, get planning, get it all in place and then share it with you all because I’m so excited about the possibilities it can create for us in our lives.

And speaking of connection, it was so fun that one of my previous clients recently visited San Diego and she just reached out to me and we got together and it was so great to see her. I just love connecting with you guys. It’s such a powerful true word for me this year.

Alright, so now let’s pivot into today’s topic. And what I want to dissect on today’s podcast for you is truly the secret to changing your drinking forever, to make the change permanent. And I have to say after years of helping hundreds of women live their drink less lifestyle there is one key ingredient that makes this change sustainable for the long-term. And I really want to dive into that and what that looks like and how you can apply it to your life because we talk a lot about strategies.

We talk a lot about tools. I have given you numerous tools on this podcast and I have numerous ones more inside of EpicYOU in the coursework and the coaching that we do on the calls. And these tools will work with the key ingredient. Now, those tools can still work for short term success but without this key ingredient I feel it’s hard to maintain sustainable progress when you don’t have this key ingredient. So that’s why I’m calling this the secret to changing your drinking permanently. And what I find is when you have this key ingredient the journey becomes so much easier, it becomes quicker.

And then what we see is that the transformation occurs. And without this key ingredient what I see is people keep fighting with themselves, keep deliberating and debating, should I drink, should I not drink? This worked for a week or two or a month but then I slid back and here I am again. And yes, part of that is part of the journey. So we expect that to happen but we expect that to happen less and less as you’re working through the process. And if it’s not happening less and less then my guess is this secret ingredient may not be part of what you’re practicing and what you’re doing.

So this key ingredient that I’m going to mention it sounds so simple and oftentimes the simple things become the most effective things. And so that key ingredient is how you talk to yourself, is it with condemnation or is it with self-love? Now, I have been doing a lot of work in the month of February in the area of self-love. This was the month that I have dedicated to really embracing more self-love. Now, some people find it very hard to get their mind wrapped around the concept of self-love or calling it self-love. And you could call it other things.

You could call it self-compassion. You can call it self-acceptance but I always like putting in the self because it starts with you and it is about you and only you. So when we say self-love it’s not looking for love from our kids, or spouse. We’re saying how do we love ourself, how do we accept ourself, how do we acknowledge ourself, how do we show compassion for ourselves. And why I say it’s how you talk to yourself because a lot of the times we might be doing the things out in the world that we think are self-loving but our internal dialog is mean as hell to us.

We could be doing the taking a bath, getting massaged, doing all the things but while we’re doing it or before the event or after the event what’s going on in our head is not very kind to ourselves. So before I dive into ways that I’ve been doing this for myself, deeper this month and practical ways to implement this for yourself I first want to talk about self-love. As I mentioned some people have an issue with that. They’re like, “I can’t love myself. That seems so narcissistic. That seems so selfish. That’s against how I was raised or against my spiritual practices.

We’re supposed to think about others and not ourselves or whatever is going on inside of your head around the word self-love. And here is how I look at self-love. It is not a narcissistic hedonistic pursuit of extreme pleasure and joy. It’s not that at all. It’s not that you’re so self-absorbed that you are ignorant to those needs of others around you. It’s not that at all. What it is, is that it’s a gateway or a doorway to greater love for yourself, for others and for the world at large.

So you can have more compassion with yourself which means you can have more compassion with others which means you can have more compassion in the world. So it’s that intrapersonal relationship you have with yourself, it’s that interpersonal relationship you have with others and with things such as alcohol, such as food, such as work, such as whatever, your car, your house. There’s relationships we have with our house. There’s relationships we have with our cars. There’s relationships we have with our clothing.

Some of those relationships matter more to others than some other people. Some of them are take it or leave it. I don’t care what I wear or I don’t care what kind of car I drive. I could take it or leave it as long it gets me to point A, to point B. And some people are like, “No, I care. I care differently. I want to show up differently in the world.” But without doing that internal work we can’t heal.

And if we don’t heal and we don’t learn and grow with ourselves and about ourselves and be with ourselves we’re going to be looking to things outside of us to soothe ourselves, to make the world right, to make things feel better in the moment. And so self-love is about healing that division. It’s about healing what needs to be healed. And when we do this we’re able to create more connection to ourselves, more connection to one another and more connection to the things that matter most to us. So I want to propose that the opposite then of self-love is self-harm.

If you’re not holding yourself to standards and your values and being compassionate with yourself and giving yourself grace, then you’re going to be doing things that create self-harm, things you know you shouldn’t be doing, things you say in your mind that you don’t want to do but then yet you wind up doing and that could look like overeating, overdrinking, overworking. The things that you don’t want to be doing but yet you wind up doing them.

And there are other many, many other forms of self-harm that as a society we’re doing more and more of. Because if you look at the statistics of our health, it’s declining in every category, from a mental health category to a physical health category to metabolic flexibility. We’re losing it all. And I’m not here to be a bearer of bad news. I’m here to say, “Hey, if this is the problem let’s look at solutions and let’s take them seriously.” And in doing this work with so many women to date I have to tell you, self-love is so hard for many people.

And when you hear the word self-love you might be thinking you go easy on yourself or you give yourself a bear hug or I should have all these loving feelings inside of me. And I will tell you it’s generally when you do this work it’s the opposite that comes up. I will say the amount of discomfort I have been experiencing this month has been astronomical. I am not saying that this work is easy. I am also not saying that this work makes me feel good all of the time. I have had more down days in the month of February doing this work because it’s the inner work. It’s not more bubble baths. It’s not more massages.

Yes, those are nice. Yes, you can do those but are you doing the inner work? Are you rooting out the things that no longer belong to you at this point in your life? Because here’s what we know is true. The same patterns of thinking and the way you speak to yourself got you to where you are today. So those same patterns, they’ll keep showing up and you’ll keep acting them out. And you’ll keep doing the same behaviors unless you do the inner work to change them. And that means you need a new way of thinking to get you a new result.

And a new way of thinking could be really how you speak to yourself, the beliefs you have about yourself. And I was sharing this concept with one of the women that I work with and she’s like, “I’m a bit skeptical.” And I said, “That’s exactly the work I’m asking you to step into doing.” It’s good to be skeptical. I want you to be skeptical. Do you know that being skeptical is a virtue? We talk about it like it’s something we shouldn’t have but really we should be questioning if there are con artists out there or is this really true? Oh my goodness, is that person telling me the truth or are they lying?

No, we want that critical part of our brain that’s called critical thinking skills, that is skepticism. Now we don’t want to be overly skeptical where we don’t try anything. And you what people will say, “That won’t work. That won’t work. That won’t work.” That is not skepticism my friends. Skepticism analyzes it. When you say, “That won’t work.” That’s denialism. That’s not skepticism. I embrace a healthy sense of skepticism and I believe it’s a good virtue to have. I believe my analytical mind is a strength of mine.

And many of the women that I work with have very analytical minds and that’s not a bad thing. I just say, “Bring your skepticism to your thoughts. Let’s look at them.” And when we really look at those thoughts are they really truth, meaning capital T Truth like fact? And oftentimes what we find it’s not. It’s not a capital T truth. It’s just a thought you’ve been believing for a long time and maybe it served you in the past but it’s done serving you now so why are you carrying it around?

Being skeptical is willing to question the conventional wisdom out there. And it’s also having the guts to say, “Yeah, that used to be what I believed but now I’m walking away from it because I see evidence to the contrary.” And now you’re willing to believe something different and that changes the trajectory of your life. I’ll give you an example.

I was raised in a household that believed good grades were the answer to success. And I know many of the women that I coach have the same type of upbringing. It’s all about good grades, good grades gets you success in life. Now, there are a couple of caveats to that. First and foremost what is success, how is that defined, is that by financial wealth? Is that by materialistic things that you can buy, which it is an extension of financial wealth? Is that meaning happiness? Because a lot of people think success equals happiness and I’ll tell you that equation is not always true.

Success does not always equal happiness. And there are plenty of examples of that in life. So going back to the example of good grades, straight A’s leads to success. Well, guess what, when I look out there and I see the likes of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg or Michael Dow, or let’s even take MrBeast. Do you know who MrBeast is? Yeah, he is a multimillionaire. He’s the number one watched channel on YouTube and his name is Jimmy Donaldson. He made over $54 million last year.

And what do all these people have in common? They dropped out of college. It wasn’t about the grades. It wasn’t about the degree. You know what they had? They had a brilliant idea. It was about the innovation. It was about the authenticity. It’s about knowing what they’re really good at and they started making money doing these things yet grades were no part of it. So knowing this, I am not parenting from the perspective that straight A’s are everything. And I’m so thankful I see that.

Now, I’m not mad or bitter to how I was raised. Parents are always doing the best that they can but once you know better you do better. I love that quote by Maya Angelou, once you know better you start doing better and if not you’re in denial, you’re denying the truth. That’s not skepticism. Skepticism is being willing to challenge the truth, examine the truth as you think of it as being a capital T which is not for most of the time of most of our thoughts. They’re not capital T thoughts.

We’re being willing to look at them so we can change them and say, “Does this really line up with what I think about the world?” This is what the world taught me but what do I think about the world? What are the examples out there that I can see? And so bring your skeptical mind to all the thoughts that are driving your drinking and be willing to test them with that skeptical brain. That’s a super power. Your brain is either working for you or against you. And so I’m encouraging you to use it as your super power to work for you.

When you’re never questioning your thoughts do you know what happens? You don’t really grow. You don’t really evolve. You don’t really change very much and if you do make a change and your mind is not ready for that change, guess what, you’ll putter out. You’ll be relying on motivation. You’ll be relying on feeling good in the moment to be able to execute. And to me, I have never seen this last. So be a skeptic and see if the thoughts you’re having are actually serving you and giving you the results in your life that you want.

Because that’s what our brains were built for, to evaluate, to analyze, to make good decisions, to pivot, to make change when things aren’t going the way we should. And this is how we get the results and the outcomes of our life that we want. This is how we live our epic life. And so for me this month I’ve been really evaluating what are the thoughts stopping me from getting the results that I really want, what is in the way? What is going on up in my brain?

And pulling out these thoughts, my friends, does not feel good, looking at these thoughts on paper, again a lot of times it doesn’t feel good. When I’m talking about self-love I’m not talking about a joyride in the park because here’s what I know about each and every one of us. We’re capable of more but we get comfortable and we settle, all of us, myself included.

And I’m not saying, staying comfortable is a bad thing, staying comfortable is a great thing if you’re getting the results that you want in your life. And if you’re not it’s time to choose differently and that has to start in the mind because if you can’t change your mind you will create the same results over and over. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? You’ll keep changing your actions. You’ll say, “I’ll make a drink plan. I’ll get more strict. I’ll give it up for the month. I’ll alternate between wine and water.”

And all those tactics are really good, there’s nothing wrong with them. But if you fall back into old habits, if you fall back into old patterns of overdrinking. You may have changed your actions but you didn’t change your mind and you’re not changing how you talk to yourself and particularly the thoughts you have with yourself when you’re around alcohol. So become that skeptic, you want to position yourself to embrace a new identity, a newness to yourself so you can get new results. That’s what it requires.

And as I mentioned, many people call themselves skeptics but what they actually are is in denialism. And how you know you’re in denialism is you’re rejecting your current reality. And that’s really safe and really easy to do which is why so many people choose to do it but it’s unproductive and it’s ineffective to getting the change you want. How does denialism show up for you? Well, classic example that I’ve seen when I coach women is that they say, “I slipped up on Saturday but that’s okay. I’m showing myself self-love and I’m not beating myself up for it, so that’s okay.”

Great. I don’t want you to beat yourself up for it but is that truly self-love? Have you learned anything about yourself? Let’s go back to Saturday, what was going on for you? Why did two become three and three become four? We don’t want to just brush that under the rug because maybe there’s something there we can learn.

Maybe there’s something there that needs to be altered or changed so that next time you’re successful, so that next time we don’t repeat the same thing. So that next time we don’t just say, “I was so nice to myself I showed myself self-love so that’s not going to happen again.” And then it goes and happens again. You see, self-love my friends is peeling away some things that need to be let go. And as I’m looking at some of the limiting beliefs that I’m holding on to I’m like, “This is not going to get me to where I want to go.”

I need to let this go, self-love for me is more about letting go than about a warm cushy hug to myself and just to say, “That’s okay that happened.” No, why did that happen, what was coming up for me? What do I need to let go of that I’m still holding on to? Maybe I’m holding on to needing the approval of other people or worrying about the opinions of other people when I know deep down I can’t change that. There are going to be people that don’t like me and that’s the truth. That’s reality my friends.

And me living in denialism of that doesn’t help me and doesn’t help me get to the goals that I have set out for myself. And it keeps me playing smaller and worrying about things that I cannot control. Oh my gosh, there is pain on so many levels to that. And that’s one area I recognize I need to let go. And doing the work of letting go makes me feel so much more powerful, oh my gosh, so freeing. Just think if you were to be free of needing a drink how freeing that is. And I’ve done that work but then I’ve got other things holding me back.

And now I’m peeling back those layers, I’m letting that go to embrace more self-love. And the irony is this doesn’t feel good in the moment, it will feel good on the other side. And how I know that is because I’ve done a layer of this work and another layer of this work and now I’m working on the next layer of this work for my life. Because I want to upgrade that software system that’s running my life. You know that software system that runs your life? It’s called your brain.

And how I support that and how I manage that leads to my inner peace, happiness, joy and doing the work that I’m meant to do on this planet. It’s helping me live into my calling. When I get quiet this month you know what I hear? I hear my higher power speaking so loud. And you know what I’m guided to do? I’m guided to help a million women change their relationship with alcohol forever, not temporarily, not short term, permanently.

And as I say that there’s this fire inside my gut right now. I don’t know how else to describe it. It consumes me. And if I am to do this work it means I have to do this work so I can guide others how to do this work for them. It’s not just preaching it’s practicing what you preach. And I’m sharing all of this with you because I think a lot of times when we hear self-love, self-compassion we expect that it’s going to feel good. We expect that we can just gloss over things.

And please don’t hear me say the opposite, that it has to feel bad. It doesn’t have to feel good, it doesn’t have to feel bad, it doesn’t have to feel any which way. You don’t get to control that. You just have to do the work. And when you do the work it’ll show up how it’s meant to be. And sometimes diving under those limiting beliefs and looking at them doesn’t bring up the best feelings but that’s the way to transformation. That’s the way to evolve and to grow and to be the different person of yourself, to be that future self of you.

Whether you’re working on 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, or 116.0, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you’re making the progress you want to be making. And if you want to get there quicker there is a process to do that. I love one of the quotes that I’ve heard a long time ago which is, mental creation precedes physical creation. So everything is created twice, first in our mind and then out into the physical world. Steve Jobs had the vision of the iPhone in his mind and then he created it. Everything’s created twice.

So as I wrap up I just want to leave you with the actions are very important. I’m not saying the actions are not important but what I know for sure is that if the thoughts and the feelings are not aligning with those actions, particularly the thoughts aligning with those actions maybe the feelings even take longer to catch up. But the thoughts need to align for that to be sustainable. And the emotion that helps you get there the quickest when I’m talking about on this podcast that secret ingredient is having more self-love. And what does that look like for you?

And one of the ways to do that is to be a skeptic of your mind, to be a skeptic of those thoughts. Are those thoughts really true about you? Are those thoughts holding you back or are they creating more of the lifestyle you don’t want, more overdrinking, more dependence on other things outside of you? Because what we know is that true freedom is when we’re not relying on anything outside of us, when we are unattached to the things of this world. We don’t need them. We can still want them. We can still have them.

We don’t feel like we need them to make us happy because the more we need something outside of us to make happy the more we’re going to want it and the more that becomes a habit. And then when we’re overing on something it feels like now it’s in excess, it’s too much. I’m all about the goldilocks and the goldilocks for me is like, hey, what amount of alcohol makes me feel like I could still live the lifestyle I want and not feel deprived? Some people call that moderation. For me that’s my goldilocks zone.

My goldilocks zone I know that I don’t need it and I want it, and when I have it, I don’t go overboard and I don’t feel deprived when I don’t have it. And my drinking doesn’t get in the way of other things that I want to do with my life, it doesn’t get in the way of remembering conversations or building connection with others. Or I don’t get so stupid or sloppy drunk that I’m embarrassed of myself because that’s not how I want to show up in this world.

And this is what I help other women find for them, that goldilocks zone, that drink less lifestyle where they can define where and when they want alcohol and it doesn’t impact their life in a negative way and actually by cutting back so much they live their epic life. They’re out creating a life they love. They’re out living a life they love and they’re doing it not being dependent on alcohol. Yes, they may sure choose to drink it but they also know their goldilocks zone. And knowing that they can happily and easily stop. It’s no longer this mystery.

We’ve done the inner work that needed to be done and we did it in a loving compassionate way where we let any demons that were still lingering come up. We let any of those self-limiting beliefs that were still lingering or making us feel unworthy, we let those come up and we take care of them and eliminate them. We set ourselves free. And that to me my friends is a beautiful, beautiful journey.

And if you want my help to help find your goldilocks zone for your drinking and so that you can go on and live your amazing life in an epic way I’d love to help you. And how I can help you is through EpicYOU. In that program you get everything you need, everything you need to be able to live an epic life and drink less. Alright my friends, love having you with me on this journey and I’ll 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 help 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/epicyou. I can’t wait to see you there.

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