Recently I was interviewed by Penny Bauder of Authority Magazine regarding my sobriety story and my advice for others that are currently reconsidering their relationship with an everyday toxin such as alcohol, tobacco, sugar, caffeine or with an unhealthy relationship with food or drugs.
You can read all the details of my journey with alcohol here.
Here is what I would tell someone who is on the verge of making a change or deep down knows they want to make a change and just haven’t found their exit strategy yet.
- You don’t have to have a “problem” or hit some sort of “rock bottom” before you reconsider if a long standing bad habit is no longer serving you. I really wanted to share my story because I know there are so many women out there that grew up in a similar cultural context that normalizes unhealthy drinking. First of all, it is official, there is no ‘healthy’ level of drinking. Alcohol, like tobacco and sugar, is oxidizing your cells. Which means it is aging you and causing low level inflammation in the body. Constant low level inflammation puts you in a higher risk category for all chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity and cancer. Not to mention that is just the physical health argument to reconsider your relationship with any substance that is not helping you thrive: processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, sugar or other over or under the counter drugs. This is one strong reason I love alcohol-free living but it is more so for the improvements in my emotional and mental health that I feel the benefits on a daily basis.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. If you are still not willing to find new healthier friends, start by filling your ears with more inspired narratives via podcasts or audiobooks. Hearing others share their experiences and stories really helped me in the beginning feel like I wasn’t alone. I listened to the Rich Roll Podcast because he is plant-based, an ultramarathon runner and sober. From his podcast I was introduced to countless like-minded people living a whole other kind of life that I was only just discovering. It made me feel a part of a community and expanded my vision on what was even possible. You could look for a coach who you connect with and who has already gone through the lifestyle change you are considering.
- Do your research so you are not underestimating the negative effect your bad habit really has on your day to day quality of life and your lifelong potential. When trying to change our behavior doesn’t work on it’s own it is helpful to arm ourselves with a shift in perspective based on knowledge so it makes it harder to lie to ourselves about what we are doing to our mind, body and spirit.
- It doesn’t hurt to just experiment with not doing it for a while to gain perspective and clarity on how it is actually affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Many clients have come to me with a clear desire to ‘detox’ something out of their lives temporarily but they stick around for a 6 month mentorship when they realize they in fact want support in redesigning their lifestyle and shifting their mindset and identity around a long standing habit that is no longer serving them. As I mentioned above, it was key for me to just tell myself I was quitting for a fixed period of time vs. quitting for forever. When we insist on viewing things in an all or nothing mindset we are limiting our possibilities.
- Journal. We have very convenient memories when it comes to what we are consuming on a daily basis and connecting the dots between what we are consuming and how we feel, perform, sleep and interact with others. When we start to write things down it becomes more apparent, more real and builds our awareness around the situation, which may very well be a problem or might just be a situation that could be greatly holding us back from reaching our true potential or finding a deeper sense of self love and acceptance.
Read the full interview here.