Last week, I was fortunate enough to write an article for The Washington PostThe article was titled “Yes, healthy habits can include alcohol.” When the editor asked me to pitch a few articles ideas, of course I suggested an article on alcohol, since as I have mentioned to all of you, oftentimes all I discuss is alcohol consumption with my clients. I joke with many clients when we spend an entire session negotiating how many drinks per week, why a client drank, strategizing new ways to handle social events and laughing a lot along the way. I become a weird mix of rabbi/priest/counselor/therapist/dietitian all at the same time!

I had a hunch that controversy was brewing before submitting the article and when the article posted, I got a variety of feedback some lauding my perspective on moderation and sustainable habits and others deeply disturbed, angry and disappointed that I would support an individual drinking alcohol.

I am so “in it” that I forget sometimes that not everyone is having the conversations I am having with individuals struggling with living healthily.

I am a health professional with a passion for supporting others to create sustainable, healthy habits.My ultimate goal for all of you is that you do not live your life yoyo-ing between depriving yourself on living a super strict plan that makes you feel miserable and boxed in and then overeat, stop working out, and binge because you simply cannot take feeling so regimented.

It is exhausting going two steps forward, three back, one forward, three back, two forward…you get the idea. We have all been there right? It is so difficult feeling stuck. Even if it is super small baby steps, how can you keep moving forward?

Of all habits, alcohol is one of the trickiest for two reasons:

  1. Most of us do not know how much we drink. A comment I received to my article was a reader who was horrified that people drink 10 drinks a week. Do you know how many people drink 10 drinks a week?!?! So, so very many…so many of you! It is not that difficult to do! Especially if you are not paying attention.
  2. You do not realize the impact it is having on your weight and health. Many of you try to calorie count it in or do a hard workout the next day to work it off, but alcohol just doesn’t work that easily.

Yoyo-ing with alcohol is painful. Drinking a lot and drinking a little can be difficult for many of you and it is essential to find your place where it can be a sustainable habit for you without sabotaging your efforts towards healthy living.

I do want to be very clear on this. I am not suggesting you drink alcohol. Once more…I am not encouraging anyone to drink alcohol! 

But if you do, be mindful and aware of how much you are drinking and acknowledge it is not allowing you to reach your goals.