Proof you DON’T need to give up booze to live longer: Fascinating experiment on a group who admit to drinking most days (but not to excess) finds reducing their alcohol intake had surprisingly little impact on their health
TMOS recruited volunteers to find out if giving up alcohol improves health
New government-guidelines suggest a person drinks 14 units of alcohol a week
Those who gave up alcohol lost weight and saw their liver-fat measurements fall
PUBLISHED: 22:01, 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:53, 11 August 2019
Can giving up alcohol for a month turn your health around?
It’s a question millions of Britons will no doubt be considering when they Go Sober For October – quitting booze to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support – or take part in the annual Dry January campaign next year.
But does going cold turkey for such a relatively short time make a difference?
Or would we benefit just as much by simply sticking to the new Government guidelines: 14 units – the equivalent of about six pints or glasses of wine – spread evenly over a week, with several non-drinking days?
The Mail on Sunday set out to answer these questions, by recruiting 12 men and women to take part in a unique experiment.
Can giving up alcohol for a month turn your health around? The Mail on Sunday recruited 12 men and women to take part in a unique experiment. Angela, 49, Sarra, 45, Borlina, 32, Sophia, 55, and Clare, 34, (pictured left to right) gave up alcohol and reported positive health results
Our volunteers were chosen because they, like one in ten British adults, admitted to enjoying a tipple at least five days a week.
None, it must be pointed out, drank to what they considered excess – a glass of wine with dinner, perhaps a gin and tonic afterwards, and maybe a bit more on an evening out at the weekend.
Five of them agreed not to touch a drop for a month, and five were instructed to adhere strictly to the Government’s 14-units-a-week guidelines.
Two were allowed to carry on as they normally did, drinking as much, and as often, as they liked.
At the beginning and end of the month, all 12 had their blood pressure, cholesterol and vital statistics measured – and underwent a raft of blood tests designed to measure liver function.
One of the tests was a new kind of ultrasound scan that measures inflammation and fat in the liver.
It is the liver that is primarily responsible for processing alcohol in the body, and regular drinking can cause fat to accumulate within the organ.
Drinking too much or too often can also ‘overload’ it, resulting in damage to the liver cells and affecting the organ’s ability to repair itself. Eventually, this can lead to inflammation, scarring and potentially life-threatening liver failure.
The results of our trial gave a fascinating insight into the relative benefits of abstinence, versus a little self-control (or none at all).
Perhaps most surprisingly, both those who abstained from drinking entirely and those who drank within the recommended 14 units per week saw similar benefits in terms of liver health.
In just four weeks, two participants in both the cold-turkey group and the Government-guidelines group saw a drop in the amount of the fat that had built up in their liver. One of those still drinking 14 units a week went from a high-risk liver fat category to normal.
‘These results show that the problem can be reversed in a short amount of time by cutting back on alcohol,’ says Professor Stephen Ryder, medical adviser to the British Liver Trust. ‘Both groups saw improvements because most were consuming far too much alcohol, and cut back.’
NO ONE WANTED TO ADMIT TO BOOZING
Recruiting for our experiment proved difficult. We initially put out feelers via social media, and through personal and professional contacts.
We were contacted by scores of people who fitted our criteria of drinking most days, but never to excess, and were interested to know exactly how their habits were affecting their health.
But when it came to the crunch, many didn’t want their employers or families to know they drank so often. Others changed their minds – sheepish, when it was totted up, about how much they knocked back.
Once we had our 12 willing drinkers, we allowed them to choose which group they wanted to be in – where possible.
They had a consultation with Dr Tim Cross, a consultant liver expert at the Spire Hospital in Liverpool, where the tests were conducted.
Tom, 54, Jonathan, 48, Hayley, 51, Maurice, 54 (pictured left to right) stuck to drinking 14 units of alcohol a week. The new Government guidelines: 14 units – the equivalent of about six pints or glasses of wine – spread evenly over a week
Before the tests, Dr Cross said: ‘I don’t expect to see any huge changes in their liver in a month. Damage takes place over decades, rather than days or weeks. Sensible drinking needs to be long-term to have any effect on liver health. But there may be improvements in cholesterol, weight and blood pressure, all of which affect our general health – and the liver.’
All the appointments for the first round of tests took place on the same day. And as our participants gathered in the hospital’s reception area, their conversation centred on booze.
Sophia Kupse, 55, an author and health therapist from Bradford, told us a glass of red wine with her evening meal was her reward at the end of a busy working day. But her seemingly harmless habit racked up a staggering 23 units a week – nine more than the recommended limit.
Marie Stonham, 66, a retired nurse from South Bretton, Cambridgeshire, enjoys a glass of red while she cooks dinner, as well as occasional ‘binge’ sessions at the weekend. The odd beer at her local took her total up to more than twice the Government recommendation.
MANY DRANK FAR MORE THAN THEY THOUGHT
Dr Cross made a note of how much alcohol the patients said they drank each week.
For some, like Lowri Davies-Warwick, a 19-year-old customer care representative from Swansea, who drinks most nights, it was a lot – she drank wine, cider, rum, vodka and cocktails, amounting to almost three times the recommended amount.
Not surprised at her units, she didn’t see any harm in her drinking. Others, like Tom Nash, a 54-year-old writer from North London, drank about ten units per week – mostly red and white wine.
The lightest drinker, he initially underestimated his intake – like many Britons, he wasn’t sure how much constitutes a unit.
Lowri, 19, and Marie, 66, continued normal drinking during the experiment. Lowri (left) said she drank most nights, amounting to almost three times the recommended amount. Marie (right) who enjoys a glass of red while cooking dinner, occasional ‘binge’ and the odd beer – taking her total up to more than twice the government recommendation
Maurice Garbutt, 54, a plant operator, and his wife Hayley, 51, a care assistant, from Hunmanby, North Yorkshire, enjoyed a gin and tonic in the hot tub or several drinks with friends on a night out.
They both admitted to having ‘no idea’ how much they drank, so were shocked when Dr Cross revealed their total: 20 units for her, and 34 for him.
Dr Cross explains: ‘Some people confused a glass with a unit, so many were drinking far more than they had estimated.’
One unit equals 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. So a pint of four per cent beer, lager or cider or a 175ml (large) glass of 13 per cent wine is just over two units. A 25ml shot of 40 per cent spirit is one unit.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT CAN HELP
To make sure there were no mistakes, those drinking to Government guidelines were each given measurement cups provided by alcohol education charity Drinkaware, along with information sheets about units.
The participants were also offered psychological support with clinical hypnotherapist Georgia Foster, an expert in alcohol reduction, who could answer their queries by email or telephone.
They were given access to her online programme, 7 Days To Drink Less, which contains a series of 25-minute hypnotherapy sessions to help with stress management, positive thinking and self-esteem.
‘There are two types of drinker, in my experience,’ says Foster.
‘Some have a glass of wine while they make dinner. For them, cutting back is easier because it’s just a habit that needs to be broken.
‘But then there are emotional drinkers who use alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, loneliness or boredom.
‘Drinking might make them happy, relaxed and more confident – so their brain will always be looking for that fix.’
Dr Tim Cross, a consultant liver expert at the Spire Hospital in Liverpool, said: ‘The message from this experiment is not to stop drinking completely, but to drink sensibly, according to the recommended guidelines. Giving up alcohol for a month is beneficial – but only if it leads to sensible drinking the rest of the year’
Only Sarra Smith, 45, a performance coach, from Manchester, and Angela Furlong, 49, an administrator from Liverpool, both in the cold-turkey group, used the programme.
At the halfway stage, everyone was doing well. Couple Hayley and Maurice, sticking to Government guidelines, had bought a tandem and were riding round the North Yorkshire countryside.
Clare Clark, 34, an administration assistant from Peterborough, another in the cold-turkey group, was taking her children for regular visits to the park.
No one admitted to falling off the wagon. Only one of our participants, who was also in the Government-guidelines group, pulled out – for personal reasons.
THE RESULTS… WITH A SURPRISE IN STORE
After four weeks, 11 volunteers returned to the hospital to collect their results.
At the beginning of the experiment, most of the volunteers had moderate-to-high liver-fat levels with two volunteers showing worryingly high levels.
In just one month, two in the cold-turkey group saw their liver-fat measurements fall significantly. Their drastic reduction in alcohol had paid off.
The other three in that group saw no change in liver fat – which Dr Cross said was a sign they may have to change their diet as well as their drinking for a longer period to see a difference.
Two of them lost weight, each shedding 2 lb to 3 lb.
But two of those who’d gone a month without drinking a drop actually gained a little weight, one putting on 1 lb, the other just under a pound.
‘This could be down to compensatory behaviour,’ suggests Dr Cross. ‘They may have eaten more instead of drinking.’
There were no changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
Prof Ryder comments: ‘They may need to keep their regime going for longer to see an improvement in blood pressure and cholesterol.’
So what of those who drank to the Government guidelines of 14 units a week?
Surprisingly, two volunteers in this group also saw significant falls in liver fat levels.
One of these volunteers saw the biggest drop of all participants – from dangerously high to within healthy levels.
The other two had no significant change. All four lost a small amount of weight – an average of just over 1 lb – and one saw his cholesterol levels fall slightly.
The control group – the two who carried on drinking as much as they liked – saw no improvement in liver fat, weight, blood pressure or cholesterol.
In all groups, the special liver scan – the Fibroscan – showed no serious liver damage.
But Dr Cross pointed out that if they carried on drinking as much as they had been, it could cause problems in the future.
Last year there were almost 15,000 liver-related deaths in the UK and it is now the biggest cause of death among 35-to-49-year-olds.
Dr Cross said: ‘It can take decades to see any significant damage to the liver.’
But he added: ‘It’s reassuring that we have seen some health improvements, even within a month. Losing weight, lowering cholesterol and reducing fat in the liver can only be a good thing.
‘The message from this experiment is not to stop drinking completely, but to drink sensibly, according to the recommended guidelines. Giving up alcohol for a month is beneficial – but only if it leads to sensible drinking the rest of the year.’
TESTS THAT REVEAL THE DAMAGE TO YOUR LIVER
Participants underwent a series of detailed tests at the beginning and end of the experiment to measure aspects of health known to be affected by alcohol intake.
WEIGHT AND BMI
Alcohol is high in calories and drinking large quantities is known to pile on the pounds, increasing the risk of a host of obesity-related diseases.
The researchers computed participants’ body mass index – or BMI – before and after the experiment.
Those with a BMI over 24.9 are considered overweight, and at increased risk of heart disease.
BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL
Blood pressure and cholesterol are known to be high in big drinkers.
Alcohol increases the rate at which blood is pumped around the body and, once digested, the toxins break down into cholesterol and fatty acids, leading to a build-up of cholesterol in the blood.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are the most common causes of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
LIVER BLOOD TESTS
All participants were subjected to the same series of blood tests, designed to detect liver problems.
Some tested for an increase in proteins released during liver-tissue repair, indicating good organ function.
Others looked for enzymes released when the liver tissue is damaged. Another test measured blood-clotting time, as liver damage affects the body’s blood-clotting ability.
A special type of ultrasound, called a Fibroscan, measured the amount of scarring and fat content of the liver – both indicators of disease.
Doctors use a hand-held device, connected to a computer, to deliver high-frequency sound waves to the liver.
The speed at which the waves ‘bounce off’ the liver indicates the level of scarring. Another pattern of sound waves tells doctors how much fat is contained within the organ.
It’s been a very busy year in all great ways. My In-Law’s were here from the UK for 3 months which was just wonderful. We were all very sad to wave them goodbye at Melbourne airport last week.
Here’s an update about a few things I have been up to since my last Hypno News.
US Nurses and Military
I was recently interviewed by a radio station in the US for Nurses and spouses of Military personnel too. I know people in these professions are seriously at the coal face and experience things we will never have to endure. They are truly courageous in their career choices. During these interviews we discussed stress triggers which can be many and often involve food, alcohol and general anxiety.
Emotional Resilience Training
I am receiving some beautiful emails from people who have started using my new Emotional Resilience program (ERT) that I co-created with Virginia Alexandra. I know we are all too familiar with mental health issues which includes negative thinking, anxiety and low self worth. I am offering below an extended 50% off to help those who would like to become familiar and comfortable being emotionally safe in their every day lives.
ESBD Families – new children’s anxiety program
Some exciting news for us parents out there… Since becoming a mum to triplet boys, I know only too well how important early self esteem can be. Aristotle famously said ‘Give me the child till the age of 7 and I will create the man!’ We know this means all boys and girls. The good news is, this program is for stressed out parents too who are looking for some healthier coping strategies, so it’s not just for the kids! Watch this space for this exciting new program which I have co-created with the help of some amazing friends and practitioners to truly help families out there.
In the last two weeks, I’ve enjoyed running my 7 Days To Drink Less Webinar.
Thank you to everyone that joined me from the US, UK and Australia. It was truly a fantastic experience. If you missed it, you can catch a replay by following the links below.
Also, my new Weight Less Mind webinar is ready too. If you are struggling with emotional eating then it’s a definite must to watch!
I am over being told I have to ‘quit’ are you?
But you see I just don’t get it!
What is wrong with moderation?
Why can’t we control ourselves enough to enjoy the occasional treat or glass of wine or two?
Well, I know you can… In fact I have been helping people take control of their ‘guilty pleasures’ for 24 years.
Join me for myfree webinar where I will help you understand how you can choose to alleviate your fears about how much you drink and learn more about my online alcohol reduction program 7 Days to Drink Less.
I am over being told I have to ‘eat this or eat that’ to be happier and healthier are you?
We live in a social media fuelled world where every day we are told we have to ‘quit’ sugar, fat, carbs, alcohol – just about every guilty pleasure needs to go. It’s seriously boring and seriously depressing! I worked out I spent a crazy 15 years worrying about my weight which kept me in a perpetual spiral of anxiety and self doubt and a BIG part of me feels really sad about this.
I know how hard it is to imagine life feeling free from the chains of the ‘diet’ mentality. If you’ve ever felt this way too join me on my free Weight Less Mind Webinar where i’ll alleviate any concerns you may have about your relationship with food.
HYPNO NEWS: New Seminar Dates, USA, AUS & NZ. TV Interview, New Products and Early Bird Discounts!
I hope that you are having a fantastic January… just a few updates for you!
Exciting news! I am coming back to Auckland on Saturday 2nd February, so anybody that side of the world, if you want to learn in one day how to drink less alcohol then this day is for YOU! Early bird discount is still available if you ACT NOW! https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-auckland
Join me for the Drink Less Mind Seminar in Melbourne on Saturday 9th March. https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-melbourne
Join me for the Drink Less Mind Seminar in Sydney on Saturday 16th March. https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-drink-less-mind-seminar-sydney
I travelled to London twice last year to run seminars, which as you may know was my stomping ground for 22 years! It was great to be back there. I am planning the next round of London seminars later this year. So if you are interested keep watching for the early bird offer!
2018 saw the launch of the new and improved program The Weight Less Mind. For those who bought the original program, you got a free upgrade and as a reminder the 50% launch discount is still open but only until 31st January, so if you want to kick start your New Year resolution, do it NOW! https://www.georgiafoster.com/the-weight-less-mind-50-off
I am really excited that my first Drink Less Mind Seminars in the US will be held in New York, February 23rd and Los Angeles, March 2nd with early bird discounts. Whilst there, I will also be launching my Emotional Resilience Training with Virginia Alexandra (Transformational Specialist). For those who would like to discover how to become calmer and more confident in how to deal with general life and the twists and turns it gives us, then this day is for you. https://www.georgiafoster.com/ert-dlm-seminar
I was so lucky last year that I spent quite a bit of time in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand getting to know the Kiwi’s. They are wonderful people who love a drink or two! Here is the Anika Moa TV interview if you haven’t seen it. https://youtu.be/UT9aKWnkk0A
For those of you that have bought Dry January, I hope you enjoyed listening to it as a great support for an alcohol free month. For those of you that felt Dry January was not right time and you want to embrace a Dry February then the Dry February recording is here for you. ** Please note those currently subscribed to my Mind Maintenance program you will automatically be receiving this in your inbox as an extra bonus! ** https://www.georgiafoster.com/dry-february
Last year also saw the launch of my social media reduction program, The Swipe Less Mind. ** For those that are part of my mind maintenance program, I am adding this to your account free of charge too ** https://www.swipelessmind.com
Speaking of Mind Maintenance, which was officially launched last year, for those who missed out on the email, these monthly recordings help keep your mind in tip top condition. This subscription based program delivers fresh new recordings every month, so if you want to join now, simply click here to join the club! https://www.georgiafoster.com/mind-maintenance-order-form
If you or a family member struggles with yo-yo dieting or food issues, then The Weight Less Mind is the PERFECT SOLUTION
I receive a lot of emails from inquisitive men and women about my unique approach to discovering how to eat intuitively.
They are tired of having a relationship with food that causes them grief and anxiety which ultimately effects their self-esteem. And I get it because I’ve been there.
I know you’ve heard these diet stories before but this one is different. It truly IS different. Because I discovered that changing my relationship with food bizarrely had nothing to do with food at all!
I often say to people struggling with their relationship with food; ‘It’s what happens before you eat that is the problem.’ This crucial overlooked stage is the key to changing behaviours around food.
The Weight Less Mind is a win/win situation because it puts you in the driving seat of taking control of food that gives you a very different outcome to what you’ve experienced before.
I believe everybody including YOU has the inner resources to improve your relationship with food. And when I did this myself, my entire life changed for the better. Because it wasn’t just that I was managing my weight, it was far more than that! This is what a typical Weight Less Mind customer achieves within just 7 days.
Become an intuitive eater who doesn’t have to think about what, when and why they eat
Cope with life better without food in the equation
Forget about eating unless you are hungry
Stop the ‘all or nothing’ dieting mentality
Embrace that not all eating situations will be perfect and be at ease with this
Feel relaxed before eating
Feel calm while eating
Feel happy after eating
Natural increase in self-esteem
There are so many more AMAZING outcomes that I could go on about!
Forget the restriction mentality about food RIGHT NOW!
Come and join the 1,000’s of men and women who live a Weight Less Mind and life!
Please remember, I have been helping people for over 22 years and my word is my bond, so that is why I have offer a 60 day no questions asked money back guarantee, because it works!
Buy NOW at this special launch price (50% off) but only until 24th December.
Why don’t you start TODAY a very different journey with food and your weight without all the angst and drama! Uncover your desire to eat intuitively with just one simple click!
Even if you think you’re not quite ready because of the festive season approaching, make this your first New Year Resolution and grab it now and its ready when YOU are!
Avoid unconscious drinking. This is what people tend to do when cooking for example or responding to emails at night etc. Try and sit down and really savour the taste of what you are drinking and therefore enjoy it rather than forget it is there and be surprised that the whole glass or bottle is gone!
Hold your drink in your less dominant hand – believe it or not,this slows down your consumption of alcohol
DOWO – Drink One, Water One – Alternate drinking alcohol with water
Stick to your usual tipple of choice, give the shots, cocktails and punches a miss. They can be lethal and hard to tell how much alcohol is in them.
Don’t drink to please others. Have the confidence to stick to your guns and if you need to tell a little white lie to back that up, then tell people you have a ‘cracking hangover’ from last night so you are taking it easy tonight or you are on antibiotics!
Finish each drink before you have a top up so you can gauge how much you are drinking.
See the festive season as a time when we all tend to drink more than normal and that is okay, so be kind to yourself and realise it’s just a silly season!
When Katie was in her mid 50’s she came to the conclusion that having a committed and loving relationship just wasn’t ever going to happen.
Sadly, Katie is by no means alone in this belief. There are women all over Australia who have been looking for a life partner and feel very let down by the society we now live in.
Things have changed a lot in the last 25 years. Many blame the Internet. Some blame women having careers and some blame independence and women wanting it all. The jury is out as far as I am concerned.
It’s tricky to understand why there has been a surge in single women but I do know one thing that inhibits anyone finding love; it’s their thinking.
Katie’s first love broke her heart at 18 when he dumped her for one of her University friends. It took her a while to get over this trauma and then when she hit 29 she panicked and thought she had to get married because everyone else was settling down too.
Katie met Adrian and they decided it was a good idea to get married, which they did pretty quickly and it wasn’t long after they had twin girls. The marriage wasn’t great and Adrian was a highly critical man, which made Katie feel that she was never good enough. He used to compare her to other woman all the time and put her down a lot. However, like many unhappy couples they decided to stay together for the sake of their daughters.
Then one day Adrian came home and told Katie he didn’t love her and never had loved her and that he had found true love with someone else and wanted to separate.
Although, at first, Katie was shocked at this, she deep down knew he was right, that they shouldn’t be together, so the good news was it was an amicable break up. However, what plagued Katie was anger! She was angry that she married someone she didn’t truly love for the sake of keeping in with society and ‘what she thought was expected of her.’ Although she loved her daughters, she felt she had missed out on finding her ‘true love’ and that it was too late for her.
A friend suggested Katie start internet dating, and with a bit of hesitation but a deep sense of hope, she took her friends advice to go into this mine field of the mid-life dating scene. Sadly, this caused her more anguish because there was a general theme with the men she chose to have a date with – they may have looked different but underpinning was a slight critical eye of what she wore, what she ate and how she spoke, which rang alarm bells.
Katie asked herself “Why do I keep attracting the same type of guy who makes me feel bad about myself and not good enough for them?’
This is a common issue with many women looking for love.
What Katie didn’t realise is that her mind, like everyone else’s, works on memory and how love and vulnerability has been dealt within her past. This is key to why a healthy relationship seems elusive to so many women. Their mind has created an unhelpful, protective mechanism.
What is familiar in love can become a habit
The mind is lazy and likes things to be familiar, even when it is to the detriment of someone’s emotional wellbeing.
Unbeknown to Katie, through her past negative love experiences, her mind started looking for a relationship that was similar to the ones she had. Not because she wanted to be hurt and rejected again but because it was all her mind knew and it was deemed ‘normal’. These were the only references she had which her mind used to guide her on her mission to find a loving committed relationship.
This affected her self esteem and her sense of finding love started to become more and more anxiety based, rather than trusting.
Katie’s mind had literally trained her to avoid any potentially healthy love partners because the brain scanned her relationship history and said ‘don’t go there, you don’t have any evidence a loving relationship will work. Go for the type of man you know rather than don’t.’
This is the irony of the unconscious mind which is where all emotional habits are stored. It works on history and emotional habit, whether helpful or not.
In order for Katie to learn a healthy love mind set, she needed to let this part of her mind understand that having a healthy and happy relationship is nothing to do with her past. She needed to build new references of feeling safe, loved and desired without criticism.
How to become familiar with a healthy loving relationship
One of the easiest ways to do this is use the clever part of the mind through hypnosis. To literally re-train the brain to become comfortable and familiar with healthy, loving men who have integrity now and in the future, irrespective of someone’s unhelpful love history.
The neuro-scientists have confirmed that irrespective of what people believe the brain is pliable and adaptable to emotional change irrespective of someone’s past. In other words, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
The neuro-scientists have also confirmed that hypnosis is the fastest and most effective method of creating emotional change.
Like Katie, creating new patterns of thought about love and finding the right partner who is intuitively good for you is possible and absolutely accessible.
Cracking The Love Code is a powerful on-line programme that trains the brain to create healthy love thoughts and feelings that support the conscious desire to find a relationship.
Georgia Foster specialises in helping women change their thinking about love and relationships. Her highly successful program called Cracking The Love Code is here for you to purchase. She also has a sample day for you to try first.
From time to time I would like to share with you some information that I think is important, along with any updates and news that is inspiring and supportive.
Just to let you know when you see an email in your inbox from me titled Hypno News, this is where I will discuss topics, top tips, success stories, new products and more!
Irrespective of which of my programs may be of interest to you, the key commonality is the desire to discover how to feel better from within.
Sometimes when life just gets crazy challenging we forget that while in a frenzied state it is difficult to see life logically and realistically.
Many men and women forget they have incredible resources within.
So for those of youwho are new WELCOME!
‘Some days you have to create your own sunshine!’
The truth is, while anxious and fearful, decision making can be difficult. Whereas being in an intuitive state,decisions are easier. So use this recording as a reminder about how amazing you are even on those challenging days. Create sunshine within you with this recording.
As the Dalai Lama says “If people meditated just for 25 minutes a day, the world would be a better place.” This recording is meditation. Hypnosis has the same brain wave activity as meditation. The only difference is, I do all the talking. So you can focus or just drift or a little bit of both. Just remember to be stationary throughout the recording so you can relax and enjoy.
Menopause (Men can skip this part)
I’m am officially in menopause, which I have to say has been a struggle for me for many reasons, which I will talk about in the next Hypno News. I recently met an incredibly inspiring woman who I am going to introduce you to very soon. I am doing her program and loving it! So I will report back asap.
The Weight Less Mind
I believe the emotional drivers to overeating are the issue, not food and weight itself. Many men and women tell me their stories about being unhappy about their relationship with food and how they would like to change it.
So just to let you knowI’ve been working on brand new content for The Weight Less Mind which will be available for FREE toeveryone who has already purchased this product. So a complete update for you. I am also including a new video series and lots of new recordings. So watch this space.
For those who would like to purchase this updated product, bear with me. I’ll have it ready next week for you with a special launch price!
Statistics on USA drinking habits in the construction industry
I was recently approached by a large building company based in the US to discuss an in-house program for their staff about alcohol reduction. This is what I discovered:
1 in 5 workers reported being injured or put in harm’s way because of a co-worker drinking or had to redo work, and cover for a co-worker because of drinking
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) cost the US $44Bn each year in higher insurance rates, higher taxes, medical claims and property damage
The cost of alcohol misuse costs companies $179 billion each year and it is rising!
I’m newly sober and dog-paddling through the booze all around me. It’s summer, and Whole Foods has planted rosé throughout the store. Rosé is great with fish! And strawberries! And vegan protein powder! (Okay, I made that last one up.) At the office, every desk near mine has a bottle of wine or liquor on it in case people are too lazy to walk the 50 feet to one of the well-stocked communal bars we’ve built on our floor. Driving home from work, I pass billboard ads for Fluffed Marshmallow Smirnoff and Iced Cake Smirnoff and not just Cinnamon, but Cinnamon ChurrosSmirnoff. A local pharmacy, the same one that fucks up my prescription three months in a row, installs self-service beer taps and young men line up with their empty growlers all the way back to Eye & Ear Care.
Traveling for work, I steel myself for the company-sponsored wine tasting. Skipping it is not an option. My plan is to work the room with my soda and lime, make sure I’m seen by the five people who care about these things, and leave before things get sloppy (which they always do). Six wines and four beers are on display at the catering stand. I ask for club soda and get a blank look. Just water, then? The bartender grimaces apologetically. “I think there’s a water fountain in the lobby?” she says.
There is. But it’s broken. I mingle empty-handed for 15 minutes, fending off well-meaning offers to get me something from the bar. After the fifth, I realize I’m going to cry if one more person offers me alcohol. I leave and cry anyway. Later I order vanilla ice cream from room service to cheer myself up.
“People love this with a shot of bourbon poured over it,” the person taking my order says. “Any interest in treating yourself?”
That’s the summer I realize that everyone around me is tanked. But it also dawns on me that the women are super double tanked — that to be a modern, urbane woman means to be a serious drinker. This isn’t a new idea — just ask the Sex and the City girls (or the flappers). A woman with a single malt scotch is bold and discerning and might fire you from her life if you fuck with her. A woman with a PBR is a Cool Girl who will not be shamed for belching. A woman drinking MommyJuice wine is saying she’s more than the unpaid labor she gave birth to. The things women drink are signifiers for free time and self-care and conversation — you know, luxuries we can’t afford. How did you not see this before? I ask myself. You were too hammered, I answer back. That summer I see, though. I see that booze is the oil in our motors, the thing that keeps us purring when we should be making other kinds of noise
One day that summer I’m wearing unwise (but cute, so cute) shoes and trip at the farmer’s market, cracking my phone, blood-staining the knees of my favorite jeans, and scraping both my palms. Naturally, I post about it on Facebook as soon as I’ve dusted myself off. Three women who don’t know I’m sober comment quickly:
“Do they sell wine there?”
“Definitely wine. And maybe new shoes.”
Have I mentioned that it’s morning when this happens? On a weekday? This isn’t one of those nightclub farmer’s markets. And the women aren’t the kind of beleaguered, downtrodden creatures you imagine drinking to get through the day. They’re pretty cool chicks, the kind people ridicule for having First World Problems. Why do they need to drink?
Well, maybe because even cool chicks are still women. And there’s no easy way to be a woman, because, as you may have noticed, there’s no acceptable way to be a woman. And if there’s no acceptable way to be the thing you are, then maybe you drink a little. Or a lot.
The year before I get sober, I’m asked to be The Woman on a panel at the company where I work. (That was literally the pitch: “We need one woman.”) Three guys and me, talking to summer interns about company culture. There are two female interns in the audience, and when it’s time for questions, one says:
“I’ve heard this can be a tough place for women to succeed. Can you talk about what it’s been like for you?”
As The Woman, I assume for some reason that the question is directed at me. “If you’re tough and persistent and thick-skinned, you’ll find your way,” I say. “I have.”
I don’t say she’ll have to work around interruptions and invisibility and micro-aggressions and a scarcity of role models and a lifetime of her own conditioning. My job on this panel is to make this place sound good, so I leave some stuff out. Particularly the fact that I’m drinking at least one bottle of wine a night to dissolve the day off of me.
But she’s a woman. She probably learned to read between the lines before she could read the lines themselves. She thanks me and sits down.
“I disagree,” says the guy sitting next to me. “I think this is a great company for women.”
My jaw gently opens on its own.
The guy next to him nods. “Absolutely,” he said. “I have two women on my team and they get along great with everyone.”
Of course they do, I think but don’t say. It’s called camouflage.
Guy #1 continues. “There’s a woman on my team who had a baby last year. She went on maternity leave and came back, and she’s doing fine. We’re very supportive of moms.”
Guy #3 jumps in just to make sure we have 100% male coverage on the topic. “The thing about this place,” he says, “is it’s a meritocracy. And merit is gender-blind.” He smiles at me and I stare back. Silent balefulness is all I have to offer, but his smile wavers so I know I’ve pierced some level of smug.
The panel organizer and I fume afterward. “Those fucking fucks,” she says. “Ratfucks.”