I was hit particularly hard when I first heard this quote from Brené Brown, and I’ve been working through my thoughts about it.
You might think everything is fine.
When you aren’t walking in your story, you’re hiding. You aren’t recognizing and owning the whole story.
I’m sharing some empowering questions you can ask yourself to clarify what you’re really getting out of your drinking, which will help you uncover the truth behind why you drink.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 147.
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, so glad you can join me for this week’s episode of the podcast. Today I want to invite you into walking into your own story. So I’m going to share a Brené Brown quote because it really hit me recently. And after I read it, I’m going to break down on how it hit me and how I’m working through this quote because I believe it can help you as well. So she has a quote from Rising Strong that says, “You either walk into our story and own your truth or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.”
Now, I want to read that again because if your brain is like mine, it’s like that was good but then you start to forget some of it so I need to hear things a second time. So it is, “You either walk into our story and own your truth or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.” I’d even add to that that you may be hiding when you’re living outside of your story because you’re in a place of not recognizing and owning all of your story. Maybe there’s a part of your story that you’re embarrassed of. Maybe there’s a part of your story that feels too raw to own.
Maybe there’s a part of your story that you’re just too fearful to look at because it is emotional in some way and usually emotional on a negative way, maybe it makes you sad, maybe it makes you depressed, maybe it makes you anxious or it brings up feelings that we just don’t feel worthy. And I think when we hear, “I’m not good enough”, or we feel that way, these are ways that we are walking outside of our story.
We’re not owning all of our story and owning it in a way that sets us free, not in a way that keeps us stuck. And I truly believe that until you can own your full story, and what I mean by own it, really acknowledge the truth of what’s going on for you, that until you do that piece, you really can’t move on from being stuck. And that’s why in my programs that I run, even in my own life, I’m always coaching people to live in their truth. Be radically honest with yourself.
This doesn’t mean you have to be radically honest with everybody else but become radically honest with yourself and radically honest to yourself. It’s like yourself is one being and then you present yourself to your higher knowing, which is your brain, which is being conscious of what’s going on subconsciously or unconsciously for us.
So I want to give you an example of how I walked into my own story recently. Now I’m going to share this story with you and it feels incredibly vulnerable and I want to just say that that is walking into your own story because you’re recognizing a truth that has been there, but maybe you weren’t willing to see it. Maybe it was hidden by different belief systems. And I’ll share with you some belief systems that I thought I was operating by, but it turns out I was not.
So it’s kind of like I was lying to myself. My brain was telling me this one set of narrative and this one set of thoughts. And when I looked at the data and I looked at my life, it wasn’t true. And there can be pain in that. There can be shame in that. There can be embarrassment of that. There could be like, whoa, I didn’t realize what I didn’t know. And that’s why I love that Maya Angelou quote so much, you do well and then when you know better, you do better.
So if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you’ll probably sense that one of my core values is health. I went into being a healthcare practitioner. I wanted to help other people with their help, I wanted them to understand their bodies and how medicine affects their bodies and how medicine may be able to help their bodies. And my mom was in healthcare, she was a nurse. And I just love that I have the value of health. I want to eat healthy. I want to exercise healthy. I want to be emotionally fit. I want to be mentally fit.
Because being in healthcare, when you see you don’t have those attributes of health, it can really lead somebody to a very dark place. And so for me, I was reflecting on, well, if I value health, how would I rank it for me? How would I rate it for me? So I looked at different components of health. I looked at my emotional health, my mental health, my physical health, my spiritual health. And as I was doing some inner work on myself, I decided to investigate what is the quality of that health?
Now, sometimes quantity matters, sometimes it doesn’t. But the deeper question I had was what was the quality of that health? And so I sat thinking, how am I measuring up in my emotional health category? How am I measuring up, in my mental health category? How am I measuring up in my spiritual health category, am I on track, am I on target? What are the actions that I’m doing that support that category of health? And I did this with my physical health as well.
So when I got to spiritual health I felt like I’m pretty good, is what my brain initially says. But then I felt a nudge come to step it up a notch. I felt this nudge come from within, as if my body was telling me something. And then I recently read a book on healing trauma that was written by a Christian author and it moved me immensely, I mean, it really moved me. It unlocked something deep within inside of me and so I shared that with the members inside of EpicYOU.
And then I tossed out the idea of. “Hey, do you want to do a book club on this because this was so immensely moving for me? And if this could provide some healing for you on your journey of drinking less and living a more epic life, would anybody like to do that?” And it was a resounding yes. So I moved on that prompting from my body, listening, tuning into myself on if I feel I was measuring up in that category. And then I was called or prompted to do that.
Now, that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about is what stood out more for me, and that was my physical health and here in terms of specifically, exercise. So when I look at the actions that I’m taking, I’m doing a lot of walking more now that it’s nice outside. And walking is one form of exercise and it does count for movement. But when I really looked at the type of exercise, the quality of my exercise, when I really investigated the actions that I was taking towards quality exercise I was kind of astounded, but I’m missing the mark.
That’s almost a little painful for me to admit out loud because I don’t want to see that. I want to see that I’m hitting the mark, hitting my targets. And what I actually saw when I looked at the quality of my exercise and how often I do it and when I do it. I have to tell you that what I saw reflected back on the piece of paper was I’m doing the minimum. And then it all started to come to me, the thoughts, where my thoughts were, yeah, you’re trying to get away with the bare minimum.
Now, I want to tell you going into this, I didn’t see any of this coming and that’s what I think we can get with our lives. If we don’t sit back and take the time to investigate, we could just be going on autopilot, thinking everything is just fine, like I was in terms of the exercise category. But it wasn’t until I prompted my brain with great questions that really unravel and uncover the truth. And if it’s one thing you could take away from this podcast episode is really looking at your questions.
When you do, do your inner work, are your questions empowering and really trying to uncover what’s going on inside for you? Because easily I could have asked myself, am I getting enough exercise? But notice that’s not that empowering. It’s not a bad question, but it could be more optimized because getting enough is a judgment call. Who’s enough? So what guidelines are you using to say are you getting enough? And are you just doing it to meet guidelines or are you doing exercise to get a result?
So when I’m analyzing the different categories of health, because this is a value that’s very high, it’s in my top five core values and I go on to rate myself from one to ten, how am I doing in the category of physical exercise? I noticed I didn’t rate myself as high as I thought I was rating myself before actually sitting down and doing this process. And then I asked, is my exercise getting me to the result that I want? And guess what that came back as? Hands down, no.
Exercise is the means to an end or for some people it could just be the means. That’s fine, that’s beneficial too. But I want to make sure that the exercise I’m doing counts towards where I want to be going and gets me the result that I want. And if I’m not doing the right quantity or right type of exercise, which is what I discovered, I need to change that up because otherwise I’m really not getting closer to the result that I want.
So if exercise for me is a means to a goal and I’m not reaching my goals, it means that the form of exercise that I’m engaging in isn’t the right form. So I was off the mark. And this may sound trivial to you but when you go through it, it’s a big aha because I was operating thinking I wasn’t far off the mark. But when I sat down and I categorized out, if I continue doing the same amount of physical exercise, will I get to my result? And the answer was most likely no.
So I’ve been operating under a belief system and thoughts that weren’t actually getting me to the result that I want in my life. And the reason I’m sharing this with you is to really evaluate the results that you are getting in your life. They tell you everything. They tell you your belief system. They tell you if your belief system is on track or not. They tell you if your thought process is on track or maybe needs to be modified.
Because what I find for a lot of people is that they want to do the right thing. They want to do what’s going to give them optimal health. They want to do actions that are going to serve their life and not detract from their life. And so if they’re not doing those actions, we have to ask, “Well, what’s the driver of that?” And it’s always our belief system. It’s always our limiting beliefs about what we can do or what we think we’re capable of achieving or accomplishing or having or what we feel we deserve in life.
It always comes back to our belief system and our thoughts. So there’s a humbling-ness that comes from this when you do the work. It’s like, crap, okay, well, that wasn’t working like I thought it would. So there’s a little bit of that humbling process going on and then it feels empowering. Then it’s like, I see how I’ve been off course and off track and that’s great now that I have that knowledge, because now I could take a different trajectory to get to where I want to go. And for me, I’ve been following that new trajectory.
And if you’re in EpicYOU you see my pictures posting at the gym, doing different forms of exercise than I used to, because I realized the old way I was wasn’t getting the results that I wanted. And if we’re all about living our best lives, our healthiest lives and having fun along the way and being happy, we really have to investigate are all the ways we’re doing that, producing the result we want?
Now, I want to talk about a little caveat that came out of this work when I was writing and thinking about this and becoming really aware of the thoughts I have around it. I uncovered that there’s partly a love-hate relationship I’ve had in my past with exercise. I think that comes from the diet culture and exercising in the past when I was in my 20s wanting to be model thin or get to a certain weight or have tight abs or whatever it was.
And I’m not saying any of that initially is bad. It’s just that some of those ways of thinking are outdated for the body I’m living in now and being in perimenopause and now how my goals have changed. So in the past, if my goal was to be super thin, that’s not actually the goal I’m wanting to obtain now in this phase of life, I’m exercising for different reasons, and yet my brain was still lagging behind with the 20 year old self. So then I realized I needed to up-level that thinking to really why I am wanting to exercise in this phase of my life and the reasons are completely different.
So my brain was operating like an old computer and I just needed to update the programming so it operates like a new computer. It’s kind of like a resetting because what I don’t want is to continue a love-hate relationship with exercise. I want to create a positive relationship with exercise. And even if I can’t get to positive, at least a neutral stance with exercise because this is not something I want to come and go in my life. This is a healthy habit I want to establish lifelong, year round, not dependent on the weather, not subject to motivation or being not motivated.
This is a healthy habit that gets structured into my weekly routine. So one of the questions I asked was, what am I getting out of my physical exercise? And as a follow-up question to that, I also asked what am I getting out of not exercising? And I will tell you, the way your brain answers these questions is profound. So if you’re struggling with over-drinking, you can do this by just substituting in drinking. What are you getting out of your drinking? Because I really think you owe it to yourself to know.
You owe it to yourself to walk in your story and own your truth. What are you getting out of your current amount of drinking, what upsides? You obviously have some if you over-drink because it’s the reason you’re over-drinking. Your brain thinks that there are tremendous upsides to drinking because you wouldn’t do it if your brain didn’t think there were some upsides to it. So really sit with that, what are you getting out of your drinking?
And if we look at a list of all the short term effects of alcohol and drinking we’ll find that you may be drinking because people like to feel giddy. People want a sense of euphoria. People want to feel a change in mood or maybe you like that you have lowered inhibitions when you drink. Another quick effect of alcohol is you’re impulsive, maybe you like loss of coordination. It also leads to trouble focusing and difficulty making decisions. And it’s also a sedative, it makes us feel drowsy.
Or there could be hundreds of other reasons your brain comes up with, like it shuts off my brain. Well, I’d really challenge that because your brain doesn’t shut off. That’s synonymous with death. So your brain really doesn’t shut off. So really look at the stories and the narrative you have about why you drink and what you’re getting out of it. And just like I looked at my exercise and what I was doing and what I was getting out of it, it wasn’t as robust as what I wanted. And you may find that with drinking.
And when you really peel back the layers and you’re looking even at the longer term effects of drinking, not just the short in the moment effects, but the longer term effects. Are they bringing you closer or is your drinking bringing you closer to your core values and who you want to be? Do you want to spend the next five, ten years being the person who always goes to the bar and always orders a drink? Do you want to be seen by your friends that way? Do you want to be seen by yourself that way?
Do you like all the long term effects that come with over-drinking and are you experiencing any of those effects now, especially as you enter midlife? We’re slowing down, we know when we enter midlife, our hormones change, things are changing, our tolerance changes, the way alcohol affects us changes. We know that we’re more susceptible to sugar and alcohol breaks down to sugar and how that can set us up for further complications and diseases in the future.
And we know that alcohol is seven calories per gram. So we know that it puts on more weight than protein would. It puts on more weight than carbohydrates would, which come in at four calories per gram. So we know that alcohol does put on weight. We know that alcohol does weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to diseases and cancers.
We know that alcohol changes our libido, decreases our ability to have an orgasm. We know that it dramatically affects our mental stability, our emotional stability. We know that we get more anxious, more depressed, more sad, less self-esteem. Alcohol increases conflicts in family relationships and romantic relationships. Alcohol is more likely to give us ADHD and make us flighty and not be able to concentrate, giving us memory problems. And the list goes on and on and on.
I love asking my brain empowering questions. And one thing you want to do is not be afraid of what your brain has to say. We don’t want to be afraid of our thoughts. We don’t need to be afraid of our thoughts, we can just look at our thoughts. And it’s the practice of actually looking at our thoughts that allows us to get the change we want and get it faster. Because there’s nothing more unsettling and heartbreaking than thinking you’re on the right path but you really haven’t analyzed your thinking and your thinking was off and that’s what took you off course and that’s what took you off path.
Instead, really look at, own your story, own your thoughts in order for you to see if they’re giving you the results you want, and if not, be able to change them. Now, I only say that so that you can recognize, hey, if I’m experiencing any of those, maybe it’s not because I’m aging. Maybe it’s because of the amount of alcohol.
Alcohol increases our age A-G-E, which stands for advanced glycation end products. So we know that alcohol ages us, it ages our skin, it causes more wrinkles. It does all these things that many of us don’t want to have happen to us and we are trying so hard to prevent or fight against. And so I think it’s really important when you are looking at this action of drinking that you’re truly understanding what you’re getting out of it and what is the result it’s producing in your life.
And that, my friends, that means I’m inviting you into walking into your own story and owning your own truth. Because until you can look at it, until you can understand it, until you can see how it’s affecting your results and where you want to go in your life, until you can understand all of that, it’s going to be really hard to change. Because if you don’t understand and own the operating system you’re operating in now, it’s going to be very hard for you to upgrade without really understanding, oh, my gosh, I see how my brain is stuck here and I want it to go over there.
I’m done living with my brain that’s outdated and I want to update it so that I can get an up-leveled life. Because here’s the thing, if I keep doing the amount of exercise and the quality of exercise I was doing, unbeknownst to me I was never going to get to the result that I truly wanted. And there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the right how to and the right tactics to get you to the life that you really want and the results that you really want.
So empower yourself, my friend, empower yourself with these empowering questions and don’t be afraid to own your story and own your truth because it is the only way you will set yourself free. Alright, my friends have an amazing week and go and live those epic healthy habits. I’ll see you next time.
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 And become a woman who And 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.