I took the opportunity to speak my mind about the myths around alcohol measurements
As you know, being an Australian who has travelled the world and settled in London, England, I have a great understanding of the subtle (and sometimes obvious) differences & similarities in cultures and people. So when I was recently interviewed by some Australian press about, ‘What is a standard glass?’ I took the opportunity to speak my mind!
I was horrified that the scaremongering that I witness in the UK is also rife in my home country.
So this is what I said which is completely factual. Please see below:
Doctors recommend for women 14 units per week, which is around two bottles of wine and for men 21 units (unit is 125 glass of wine). However, some people may not know that the unit measurement is not based on any medical evidence but rather was suggested as a guideline as to how people should drink.
The Medical Association came together and decided that like calorie counting people needed a form of guidance on how to drink less. It is believed that people are embarrassed to disclose to their doctor how much they drink per week.
As a form of alcohol education the Medical Association decided that as a general rule this seemed to be true and so decided to reduce limits by three times. However, for many sticking to those measurements can be challenging and I believe you can learn to drink more safely by pacing yourself, so that the liver has time to process the alcohol. This is why binge drinking is a problem. The body and brain has difficulty dealing with large quantities of alcohol at the same time.
There are two types of drinkers: The social and the emotional. The social drinker, drinks purely for fun and social interaction. This type of drinker can have a few glasses of booze but unless they are in a social situation they wouldn’t think of drinking.
The people that The Drink Less Mind treats are the emotional drinkers. They don’t belong in AA but are secretly concerned about their drinking. They use alcohol as a stress management tool to deal with the challenges of life. This is when problem drinking can occur.
Another important point to make is that someone who uses alcohol as a way to relax and de-stress will over a period of time become more tolerant to that first glass. Therefore they will need more alcohol to get that same feeling of stress release. So it comes as no surprise that this form of alcohol consumption can lead to an increase and this is a concern.
The 7 Days To Drink Less program deals with the underlying issues as to what is driving someone to drink more than they want to and how to feel less stressed. The net effect is their emotional thought patterns change to a healthier way to think and feel about their life. This way they can learn a more positive coping strategy to what life brings them.
The Drink Less Mind is not for alcoholics but rather for people who recognize their drinking behaviour interferes with their lives in a negative way.
The domino effect of emotional heavy drinking can become habitual. The result of this type of drinking can lead to anxiety, depression, low self esteem, sexual and social problems as well as weight gain and other health issues.
On another note I took my mother out for her birthday and we shared the most delicious bottle of Californian wine. I love the stuff but it is so difficult to find here in London and also expensive.
My point here is there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing a bottle of wine or more on a special occasion without guilt. This sort of drinking does not cause concern. So let’s band together and wave to those who drink for pleasure and support those who drink for emotional reasons and stop making them feel bad.
I believe these people have a thinking problem not a drinking problem.
Teaching young people to have true self confidence can help them deal with bullying, sexual harassment, gender issues, social anxieties as well as being assertive and having a voice when necessary.
Over the years I have had the privilege of helping teenagers with self esteem issues. I always say and will say again here in this blog that self esteem is something we need to learn. We are not born with it. Irritatingly it doesn’t seem to be taught in schools either.
Young people are particularly shocked when I tell them this, as they assume everyone else is more attractive, more clever and interesting than they are.
I feel very passionate about helping the younger generation basically to help them avoid some of the pitfalls of life. Obviously there are many situations in life that are unfortunately necessary for the young to go through, however there are many situations that can be avoided or managed much better.
Teaching young people to have true self confidence can help them deal with bullying, sexual harassment, gender issues, social anxieties as well as being assertive and having a voice when necessary.
It makes me sad when I hear of young people with lots of hopes and dreams who feel the need to drink alcohol to excess and take drugs to fit in. One of my 19 year old clients told me last month that it was expected amongst her peers to take cocaine and drink alcohol to the point of oblivion. Both these actions she wasn’t happy to do but felt obliged to say yes to stay with the ‘in crowd’.
My heart sank when she also told me what was expected of her sexually too. Such a lovely girl and already feeling unsure of herself to the point that she has to say yes when she wants to say no.
And all of this type of coercing between her so called friends was with the influence of alcohol and drugs.
My lovely young client is a beautiful and talented girl who deserves to like herself and embrace the true wondrous being she is. That is what is great about my work – I help people feel the sensations of calm and confidence while still remaining humble and intuitive.
My thoughts now being a new mother myself as to how to raise my triplet boys so they have confidence and courage to stand up for themselves is there daily. So seeing young clients even more so now fills my heart with a drive to help this age bracket more.
As you know I don’t profess to be teetotal in fact not at all and I always say having a hangover now and again is completely acceptable as far as I am concerned. However some of my young clients who are 16 are drinking a hell of a lot of alcohol and this is a worry.
A doctor once told me that when a child starts drinking excessive alcohol in their teenage years the brain hasn’t fully developed at this stage. In other words the brain cannot deal with too much alcohol and addictions can start to appear. Teenage drinking is a real problem. The main culprit of this is not feeling good enough and alcohol can give that instant fix (as it does with adults too) to feel better.
I know in Europe children are given small amounts of wine with their meal to learn how to drink in a paced way which I think is the logical way of educating the young to drink alcohol.
I know for a fact that children who are told alcohol is bad and evil tend to want to drink it as a form of rebellion and fascination, which can end up in disaster for the child and the family. I am not suggesting I have the answers but I can clearly see how alcohol dependency can occur. It just takes a few self esteem issues as a teenager and a little bit of alcohol mixed in there to gain pseudo confidence and then an emotional habit occurs. On a lighter note, I am cooking a red Thai curry tonight for Ian and myself. I am getting myself prepared for the night feeds for my 3 month old boys, so no wine for me!
Enjoy your day and I look forward to writing another blog soon x
I enjoy nothing better than a glass of Sancerre when my partner gets
home from work around 7pm and the nights we have a night nanny are the
nights I can relax and have some more if I feel like it.
My exciting situation at the moment got me thinking about parents and people that come back from work and have a drink or two. This is fine, but sometimes you may feel you want to cut back on alcohol in the evening and this blog is designed to help you think about that.
I am if you didn’t know a well-practised Aussie drinker who lives in London and after having triplet boys 12 weeks ago, I am actually just starting to enjoy a little glass of wine again. Celebrating my birthday last weekend proved to be a little more wine related than it has been!
I enjoy nothing better than a glass of Sancerre when my partner gets home from work around 7pm and the nights we have a night nanny are the nights I can relax and have some more if I feel like it.
Even my mother-in-law who doesn’t normally drink has been having a glass with me, so I guess that says a lot about looking after triplet baby boys all day!
When It Becomes Time To Cut Back On Alcohol In The Evening
I know a lot of you are ‘stay at home mums’ or even people who go out to work but talk about ‘The Wine O’Clock’ time that kicks in once the kids have gone to bed. I do understand this and in fact I get it now big time being a new mother myself. It is always the same theme for me, as for other mothers too, where it is a way to spend adult time where I feel I can be less responsible and more of an individual person rather than a mother.
To anybody who resonates with this blog, you will know that there are times when having wine after the kids have gone to bed seems like the only way to find some sort of reprieve.
Issues Caused By Too Much Alcohol In The Evening
And I can assure you there is nothing wrong with it in principal, however if it starts to creep up too much in quantity there are a number of issues that can become apparent such as:
· Alcohol related tiredness. This is caused by fitful sleeping, toxins, REM sleep pattern not being there as long.
· Anxiety, due to the toxins leaving the body as well as the exhaustion.
· Feeling angry, this is due to tiredness, as well as the frustration of being angry at yourself for drinking too much and not feeling in control of the drinking.
· Guilty mother syndrome. The guilt of wanting to drink to run away from being the responsible mother.
For those of you who are aware that this sort of drinking is causing you concern, I can assure you after being in this ‘drink less’ business for 19 years the issues are common and normal but can be unhelpful to your health and emotional wellbeing.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to run away from life by drinking too much now and again but if it becomes your daily stress management tool, following are some tips to help alleviate the drive to drink when you know you don’t want to and so therefore, help you cut back on alcohol.
Top Tips To Cut Back On Alcohol
As much as it can be challenging, think about doing something different in the evenings once the kids have gone to bed. For example:
· If you decide to do computer work such as surfing the net or facebooking and you enjoy a glass or two with this experience, put the glass of alcohol on the other side of the keyboard or in other words, use your non-dominant hand to drink from and the other have a glass of water handy.
· If you are watching TV, make a conscious effort to put the glass of alcohol down between sips or even better keep putting your glass in another room so you have to keep getting up to drink it.
· If you decide to not drink at all, prepare yourself in advance by keeping yourself busy, such as reading a book or watching that movie you planned to watch ages ago.
· Generally people will have a threshold of when it is too late to have a drink, whether it is just after a meal or some say any time after 9pm or 10pm when it feels too late. Stretch this time out by just doing something different.
The more you do this the more your mind will assume this new behaviour to be true.
I have found just subtle changes in your drinking approach will help you cut back on alcohol.
Have a look at the week ahead and slice it up into days/nights so you
can see for yourself what windows of time you have to decide on an
alcohol free day.
We’ve had a couple of very snowy days here in London. People are not venturing out and I don’t blame them. It seems from emails I am receiving from clients in the UK that while winter is so clearly here that staying at home or sitting by the fire of a beautiful old pub is very attractive!
For those clients who are in the warmer regions of the world, the summer is proving hot and that there is nothing better than a cold glass of sauvignon blanc or a beer to consume at the end of the day. It seems it is too hot to be motivated to do anything. Speaking of motivation: A very good friend of mine called me this morning in a bit of a flap because she had ordered the latest boot camp in a bottle meal replacement program that is apparently all the rage this year and it hadn’t arrived after a week.
This friend of mine is desperate to lose weight since her Christmas and New Year binge of food and alcohol.
My friend is a very organised and savvy person who knows her retail rights. She gave them a bit of grief when they told her that the product due to huge demand wouldn’t be available for another 3 weeks! She was horrified as she felt that they had mislead her obviously along with others and that her hopes to be well on her way to being slimmer and happier with herself by now wasn’t going to happen.
I told her I completely agreed with her but as we went further into the conversation I realised that my friend had put all her hopes into this miracle weight loss program and was at a loss at what to do next.
She said that she is now so angry all she wants to do is go to the pub and sit by the fire and get drunk. This is the problem with Perfectionists and Anger. If one thing doesn’t go to plan then the binge mentality can kick in so easily and the best made plans just go out the window.
How is it that our mind stirs such feelings of not being in control when in actual fact just like in my friends situation it is way beyond her control. This is when the ‘Let down button’ get pressed and the mind starts to play negative games and takes things way to personally. Inner conversations such as ‘Why did that happen to me?’ or ‘What is the point, nothing ever goes my way,’ or ‘I’ve blown my chance now to be healthier so I may as well be a glutton until the product arrives.’
So if you are finding yourself in this situation or a similar one ask yourself a few questions:
· Why does it have to be perfect before I get on with my life?
· Why do I want to hurt myself more by binge eating and drinking because one thing hasn’t gone my way?
· Who said I had do it perfectly before I can get it right?
The problem with waiting for a perfect moment to arise to start your healthy regime will ultimately cause you more stress because perfect moments just don’t come by that often.
So have a look at the week ahead and slice it up into days/nights so you can see for yourself what windows of time you have to decide on an alcohol free day or go for that swim or make that tasty vegetable soup?
Realise that these strong small steps are all your mind needs to learn that you are becoming healthier and happier with you. Don’t suffocate with procrastination it will only make you feel less in control.
Some days it just isn’t going to work because that is life but that is the point, this is your life and being Perfect just doesn’t cut with me but rather can cause more self abuse and unhappiness.
Write down in a diary or on your computer – in fact anywhere a plan to do one thing differently this week that will inspire you. Something that represents a strong small step towards looking after yourself.
I seem to be spending a lot more time recently writing blogs for parenting websites, and in particular mum’s bloggers, about how to drink less!
Many years ago when I wanted to publish my Drink Less Mind book, every publishing house in the country rejected me. I was told I was crazy to even think about a book that would talk about reduction rather than abstaining.
So, with my heart and my head telling me to self publish, I found a typesetter, a printer and away I went feeling extremely nervous and fearful about my decision. I asked myself many times, as I wrote that book, whether I was taking myself on a professional journey of failure, but I stuck to my guns. And thank goodness I did for it was not long after the ink was dry that I had some journalists who really resonated with my work and the books were literally flying off the shelf!
I started to become a ‘secret club for mums’ who had swapped my book at their book club or secretly talked about the results they were getting when friends noticed they were drinking less.
When I think back to those very early days, I smile to myself and feel incredibly grateful, for it was many of my clients who are parents, who ultimately helped fund my book, and I can’t thank them enough. Parents all around the world sign up for the Drink Less Mind online program and I receive an incredible amount of testimonials from this target audience. Mums and dads who run a very busy household, work full time, part time and all of the in-between.
I knew then that there was mileage in my approach and like I do know that most habitual, unhelpful drinking is consumed in the home. One of my clients called it her ‘dirty little secret’ because all of her friends thought she was practically teetotal, and this was true socially. However, once home and the kids were tucked up in bed it was a different story. She could easily drink one or two bottles a night.
I am, as you may know, not here to judge at all about drinking but what I do know is that ‘dirty little secret’ is not dirty for one and secondly, shouldn’t be a secret either.
Secret or sneaky drinking is driven by unhelpful emotions that make people feel vulnerable, whether a mum, dad or singleton. Unbeknown to many of us, it’s the vulnerabilities that drive us to drink, which then create the vicious cycle of heavy drinking.
I know myself, when I became a mother of triplet boys, even though I have always enjoyed my wine, I was sitting in the seat of my parenting clients saying to myself ‘I could be one of my clients right now!’
Thank goodness I know the signs of how to stop the unhelpful cycle of drinking too much.
So, for all those parents out there who are thinking about that drink or two or three tonight, remember there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol. However, we need to remind ourselves of why we are drinking and if it is taking you down a slippery slope of reliance on the booze then The Drink Less Mind is there for you.
I am constantly frustrated with tabloid newspapers’ frenzied attacks on the latest ‘so called’ stats, in particular about middle class women drinkers.
Last week typically The Daily Mail called me desperate to find a case study for their article about the latest statistics about women trying to keep up with men in the booze department. Hello, recent study????
And typically, I spent hours contacting clients to help with the article and what happened? They took out all of my quotes and as usual decided to keep the scary bits in there without any resolve or resolution for people.
Does the media not get it yet? Why write an article that does not give people the tools to find a solution to their drinking issues?
I had a very clear conversation with the journalist about the underpinning issues about why women drink to keep up with the boys. It’s simple! It is a desire to be liked, to be accepted, to be part of the team and to belong. Self-esteem is the core issue here, not alcohol.
Another article recently that got my back up too, about Julie Merner and how much the NHS spent on her.
Some may be highly critical of Julie Merner and her bottle of vodka a day habit but if you read her history you will clearly see many emotional triggers that started her drinking one or two vodkas a day. This is the culprit, not the vodka.
Julie was clearly traumatised by her partner leaving. That would have been enough for many people to drive them to drink. Then, having to live with her brother; another stressful life changing experience, and then her children not being with her. I think there is more than enough reason here for her to assume that vodka was a good way to suppress the emotional pain of what was going on in her life. For others it could have been chocolate or heroin, but Julie’s mind chose vodka.
It is sad that she did not have, or did not realise, the resource of therapy to aid her feelings of abandonment and loneliness, rather than hitting the bottle. For that was what triggered her drinking behaviour, not her alcoholic tendencies.
It’s a slippery slope when you use alcohol as a way to numb the extreme challenges in life and for Julie Merner this is what seems to have happened. Sad but true, the mind can learn very quickly how to deal with life habitually in unhelpful ways, to the detriment of someone’s own health and wellbeing. Julie’s self esteem was clearly at rock bottom for a long time. The vicious cycle of drinking to excess kept the ‘chicken and egg’ problem going for way too long.
I think we should all honour that Julie’s story, albeit one that cost the NHS a lot of money, could have been a lot cheaper. Let’s be truthful here, if the NHS had had the right emotional tools in place in the beginning, Julie could have had a very different and insightful journey of healing. The belief that medical rather than emotional interventional solves all problems is ignorant and offensive to those who are in a trauma state. It is clear the NHS treated the symptom not the cause.
How long will it take for people to realise that alcohol abuse is an emotional habit that can be unlearnt without spending £100,000?
Let’s join forces and start a campaign to educate these statisticians on the truth behind these figures i.e. stress, anxiety, loneliness, low self worth, insomnia and boredom just to name a few drinking triggers.
We look at the effects of alcohol and the changes it makes to our lives
Cutting back on alcohol can help you achieve more out of your life
Each year millions of people in the UK, the USA, and around the world say they are going to cut down on their alcohol drinking, but how many really achieve their mission?
A lot of people ask themselves how can I stop drinking alcohol or, at least, how can I drink less alcohol and the reason for that is the effects alcohol has on their life. One of the main reasons why people want to cut down on alcohol drinking is to become more organized, to feel healthier, to lose weight, and to feel better about themselves instead of waking up in the morning recovering from the night before.
If you are one of those people who wants to feel better about themselves and would like to cut back on alcohol, then please learn more about our 7 days to drink less alcohol program. The program has been put together to help people reduce the alcohol they drink, and best of all, the first day is Free. You can try the first day of the program on a trial to see how powerful the program is.
Lets look at the effects of alcohol
If you drink alcohol on a regular basis and feel like you are becoming more alcohol dependence, then you may notice that you are feeling anxious, and your sleep patterns are not what they were. You may also notice through drinking more alcohol that you are not feeling as good and as healthy as you once did. This is down to the effects of alcohol.
It is not just the way alcohol can make you feel if you become more dependent on it, it’s also the way it can make you look. Instead of looking and feeling refreshed, alcohol can make you look tired and worn out, and as you may know, it can put weight on you.
Some alcohol drinks have 250 calories per pint, which is a lot of calories. If we think about a man and his average calorie intake should be around 2,500, then that means after five pints, he has had half of his required calorie intake, which is one of the reasons why a lot of men have what we call a beer belly.
Drinking alcohol or too much alcohol can interfere with a diet or someone trying to get fit. What a lot of people don’t know is that alcohol absorbs into the body, which can reduce the amount of fat you burn when exercising at the gym.
Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, it cannot only make you feel better but will also help you look better.
By understanding the effects of alcohol and how it can cause problems in your life, it will give you a greater understanding of the reasons why so many people say drinking too much alcohol is not good for you. I know we hear all the time on how alcohol can cause health problems, and although it’s true a lot of people do ignore it until it’s too late.
So how much alcohol can you drink each week?
The new study has said the amount of alcohol people can drink each week is now the same for men and women. The new guidelines have been put together to help reduce the effects alcohol has one people’s lives.
It is not recommended to drink more than 14 units in one week. For a man, 14 units a week would be six pints of beer. For a woman, it would be, six glasses of wine.
By reducing the amount of alcohol you consume, and by not going over the recommended number of units, you can reduce the .
So let’s look at the effects of alcohol has on our life if we find ourselves drinking more than we should
1. You could start to feel anxious
2. It can result in sleep patterns being disturbed
3. It can increase body weight
4. Make diets less successful
5. Make you feel you are not fully in control of your life
6. Can affect the skin and how you look
7. Heavy drinking affects the liver
8. Drinking too much alcohol can increase certain cancers
9. Drinking too much can affect the heart
10. Drinking too much can affect the brain
These are just some of the ways that alcohol can have a negative effect our lives
We offer a program that can help you reduce the amount of alcohol you drink. It is a seven-day program and is called 7 Days To Drink Less. The first day is free to try. For more details about the program, and to try the program for free, please visit How To Reduce Alcohol Drinking