8 Days down guys, and today is Sunday morning here in Australia ☀️
Sunday morning shows extreme polar opposites for people depending on their Saturday choices:
There’s the people out for a run or walk, cooking their Keto breakfast or heading to the market.
Then there’s those who are laying in bed or on the couch, head pounding, googling how many carbs in a Big Mac with the blinds closed.
If this isn’t your first challenge, you probably knew this email was coming, because it always does.
The one about alcohol.
The one that many people don’t read because it’s confronting or feels too preachy.
I write this email from a place of vulnerability, respect and honesty.
I have probably already drunk a lifetime worth of alcohol in my 32 years.
I’m embarassed about it, but I can talk about it because I am making a change.
And it’s hard: it’s taking therapy, commitment and plenty of backward steps.
But alcohol is not serving me. It is reducing what I am capable of, what I can achieve in this world.
If this email helps even one person make a healthier choice for just one day, it will be worth it.
We all know alcohol isn’t good for us, but is it really that bad?
So below, I’ll address some of the common reasons (aka myths) we drink.
The reasons we use to tell ourselves that it’s not that bad.
Not everyone needs this, those that aren’t drinking already obviously.
But if you think you drink at a safe level, think again.
How much you drink is your choice, but you should know that drinking is never free of risk.
The more you drink, the greater the risk to your health and the more it takes from your life.
Myth 1: Alcohol helps me relax
Probably the most common one when it comes to our group of Keto challengers.
This is undeniably untrue. Alcohol will numb our emotions and stressors temporarily – but they do not go away.
They compound, unaddressed and unresolved and we can get stuck in a state of emotional exhaustion as a result. Alcohol also increases anxiety and depression dramatically.
TIP: Decouple relaxation from alcohol. This looks different for everyone, but having coping mechanisms that don’t involve numbing yourself are crucial to healthy emotional relationships. Some tips are here.
Myth 2: I drink to celebrate / a reward / I’ve earnt this
This one caught me off guard. Once I stopped believing Myth 1, I started using ‘celebration’ and positivity as a reason to drink.
My therapist called that out pretty quickly. In her words “We tell ourselves that the intent is healthy so therefore the habit is healthy.” I was celebrating, I had worked hard or had a good week or lockdown was ending in Melbourne.
It felt positive, so therefore the drinking is positive… right? Nope. Same habit. Different excuse.
Also be aware that if you use alcohol as a reward, you may have fallen victim to some pretty evil marketing tactics that are explicitly targeting women.
Guess what the fastest increasing demographic of alcoholics is?
Successful, intelligent, straight, white women. Marketing is telling us we DESERVE to drink. We earnt this. Think boozey brunches, wine-oclock, and “mums wine time” culture.
Whether it’s a big week at work or coping with motherhood, we’ve been told it’s OUR TURN to drink by advertisers. And it’s working.
Myth 3: Alcohol is not as bad as other drugs.
Sorry to tell you, but it is worse. Alcohol is the most harmful drug to society.
Everyone is doing it, it’s legal, readily available and our culture is built around it.
These things are true but it does not reduce the harm that comes from alcohol – to us, our families and society.
Those stupid articles you see about a glass of wine helping lower blood pressure are sponsored by alcohol companies.
The net result of alcohol is always negative.
There is no healthy alcohol.
These are all pretty big ones but might not feel like they apply to you.
There’s some really simple facts that directly apply to you and every single drink we choose to have though.
1. It slows down weightloss
2. We sleep worse (we may fall asleep faster, but our sleep is less restful)
3. Our moods are more irregular
4. Our stress levels increase
5. The effects compound in our body and build over time
6. The urge to drink at a certain time each day is low grade addiction
7. Alcohol is directly linked to a huge range of cancers and is a listed carcinogen
8. All of the negative affects start after ONE drink
We remove BPA from our plastic containers, demand pesticide free food and wear sunblock without a thought.
And then drink a bottle of vodka.
Every single time we have a drink, we are choosing to become less healthy.
I don’t preach this to tell you to abstain or scare or annoy anyone.
I want you to make each choice to drink a conscious one. Consider the negatives, and decide if you really, truly, are getting a positive benefit from that drink.
Or if you deserve better.