How liver damage helped me to rethink my drinking and the 3 steps you can take

It's still so clear in my memory from my time working in HR consultancy. You may know already that taking a career change was a drastic step for me from my sales driven, high-pressure environment.

The week would start with the dreaded ‘Monday-itis’ & as the week went on, the build-up of pressure from ensuring our teams were hitting their targets & hope that I would be able to control enough of the variables to ensure I closed all my deals.
Whether it went the way I wanted or not lead to the same outcome... A much-needed release came perfectly in large quantities of alcohol at the end of the week.

Many of you may work in similar environments where you find yourself rushing out of the office on Friday, to the nearby happy hour bar that will just as happily prop you up as drown your sorrows from the deals that didn’t close or the celebrations of success. This pattern of behaviour that sometimes started a lot earlier than Friday, of what I believed to be ‘innocent’ team drinks, that started with a round of shots to get to our ‘stress release’ point as quickly as possible was what ultimately led me to an inflamed liver.

When I started to realise that some days I was happy to have 1 or 2 drinks and head home for an early night then that's when I discovered the new challenge. How to manage the peer pressure, have a good time & not waste my whole weekend recovering from the lack of control of my last working day of the week!

These 3 steps helped me greatly:

 

First - Decide what type of night you would like to have.

It's a conscious decision, to have a choice you have made yourself. Am I out for the night? In which case I’m happy to accept the consequences over the rest of the weekend or would I like to join my colleagues/friends for a couple of enjoyable drinks & then call it a night? Make the decision by yourself & stick with it! This will train your willpower muscles & make it much easier not to just get stuck in a pattern of damaging behaviours.

Second - Choose your poison wisely.

Quite often because of the cost, we easily accept poor quality alcohol on happy hours or promos, or simply just to ‘join the crowd’. We are all uniquely designed & have different tolerances on drinks. I have found in Asia, the ability to drink Sake and rice-based spirits is much easier for locals then a Western branded beer. I too have found that I have a higher tolerance to rum & organic red wine, which were always part of my upbringing, than I do to beer or cider.

Third - Drink a glass of water in between every alcoholic drink.

Preferably with a slice of lemon. This will help keep you hydrated & therefore more aware of your choices. The lemon will also support the liver in working to detoxify your body of the alcohol.

By no means am I promoting excessive drinking as a key to good health but the facts are clear that over 10% (according to World Health Organisation) of middle & high income earners do regularly engage in binge drinking. Equally, when we look at all of the world’s blue zones (areas with the most centennials) they did have a form of high quality local alcohol in their consumption. So maybe if we can align ourselves to balance & whatever that means for us individually, then we can set out on the road to improved & sustainable health.

 

Do share this article with anyone you believe would like the support to reach their health goals.
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Elika
Elika
I decided to become a health coach following years of frustrating yo-yo dieting, over exercising & lack of nutritional support available whilst knowing my health was being compromised. I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied over 50 dietary theories and practical lifestyle coaching methods. With my knowledge, I co-create completely personalised actions based on your goals to move you toward your ideal vision of health within your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and resources.

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