In this episode of Weight Loss for Food-Lovers, Molly takes on a pairing that many of us would like to take off the menu: Overeating and overdrinking. A sommelier by training, she wasn’t looking to remove alcohol from her life entirely, but rather to establish a more deliberate relationship. (Note: If you are someone for whom alcohol is an addiction, what follows may not be applicable and would be something to discuss with your physician.) Just as the all-or-nothing model for dieting tends to boomerang, simply abstaining from alcohol for many is not a viable or desirable long-term plan.
For Molly it has been a process – one that incorporates several critical pillars. She first took a deliberate break, then used that time to cultivate awareness and learn how to process challenging emotions. Substituting new forms of pleasure was also a critical element that helped her brain and body re-engage with enjoyment.
This is where Life Coaching comes in. Much like when it comes to tackling the habit of overeating, learning to moderate the role of alcohol requires new tools and practices. Molly helps her clients identify thoughts, interrupting habits and resist the desire to numb. Change can be daunting, which is why it’s so helpful to have a skilled guide on the journey. In her work Molly finds that support and feedback are the surest ways to create the kind of self-awareness that leads to enduring, deeply gratifying change.
To ask questions or learn more in a free one-to-one discovery call, just reach out to Molly here.
· A few thoughts about the difference between struggling to cut back and struggling with alcoholism. Molly’s approach isn’t for everyone.
· How the all-or-nothing model can be counterproductive (with weight control and alcohol moderation both).
· Abstaining from alcohol has positive effects (improved sleep, anxiety reduction, more free time), but the temptation or nagging feelings of desire remain.
· Life Coaching and the pillars Molly has developed for making permanent change:
o I: Take a break. Create a window of time to experience life without alcohol, reconnect with yourself and see what rises to the surface. Get curious!
o II: Pay close attention to your emotions and learn how to process them. Notice and allow difficult feelings to surface. Separate out emotions from the habit of drinking to quell them.
o III: Create pleasurable new habits. Look for ways to remind your brain that it’s enjoyable not to drink. The rewards are sometimes subtle. (Some of Molly’s go-to’s: Going for walks, spending time in nature, reading a great book, savoring food in new ways without alcohol).
· “When I identified that drinking a couple of glasses of wine was continually making ne feel worse instead of better, I thought the solution was to give it up.”
· “The desire to drink felt like a constant pull at the end of the day.”
· “I got to a point where I realized, ‘I need to think about (the desire to drink) differently.’ And I came up with a process that worked.”
· “To change your relationship with alcohol, you need to first give yourself a break from drinking.”
· “You need to connect to your feelings on a day-to-day basis. What are some of those feelings coming up?”
· “The more I listened to my inner wisdom, the more I was able to connect to myself and what I truly wanted.”
· “Start wondering: What is alcohol doing for me on an everyday basis?”
· “Until you get to the root reasons for why you’re drinking, you’re never going to resolve it.”
· “It’s important when you take a break to measure both the benefits of drinking and not drinking – to really see it and understand.”
· “We use alcohol as a coping mechanism instead of just having it to enjoy it, which is a different experience.”
· “Start processing (difficult) feelings so you start to experience some relief and start to have confidence that you don’t need to escape them.”
· “You need to layer in pleasure in new ways as you’re simultaneously changing the habit of overdrinking.”
· “It takes time to create this new habit of not having a glass of wine or cocktail every evening, but I promise it’s worth it.”
Links & Resources
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