Category Archives: Writing

Dry July- Level: Complete~ I Did It.

Well, folks, I did it.  It wasn’t painful and  I actually have money left over at the end of the month.

The last three days were the only days I actually started to “crave” a beer as a byproduct of what I can only assume, is my  still fluctuating hormones that are still attempting to find balance.   During those days, I ended up eating sweet treats that I rarely consume other wise.  I am not a big sugar eater, but since we all know alcohol is basically just sugars, I can see why  my inclination went that way.  (Not to mention, my family is addicted to sugar; my grandma has a junk food drawer, and my uncle is constantly bringing over boxes of pastries and sweets.)

I have successfully gotten to bed before 3 am;  my sleep is more restorative, and I have been consistently getting up before 9 am.  I’ve been working out 6 days a week and I finally dropped below 200 lbs for the first time in 3 years.  I’ve lost a total of 12 lbs; 22 inches over my body, 1.9  BMI points and 10.49% body fat.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I probably should have been taking pictures but the thought of doing that sort of terrorizes me.

I wish I had something inspiring to add to this, you know, to give it some climactic conclusion… but honestly I don’t.  In remedy I will leave you with a realization that has been forming in me for the last month, catalyzed by my TEDx experience:

When I found out that I was selected to be a TEDx speaker, my imagination went sort of wild.  I unrealistically was thinking that “this one opportunity would instantly change my life.”  And so, for the three months after being selected, as I got my speech together, this silent hope was spinning at the back of my mind.  That hope was that I had finally “paid my dues” somehow, and that I would be catapulted forward into a seemingly new life.  Honestly I had no idea what that might look like, but I wanted to believe I was ready for it.

I wanted to think that this one opportunity would open more hypothetical doors, and that the road blocks I had been experiencing, would just move to the side and let me through. 

In reality, none of that has happened.  TED and TEDx are HUGE platforms with thousands upon thousands of speakers and  I have the least viewed talk from this years event in Cheyenne.

After the actual event I was approached by several audience members who relate to my talk and were deeply moved by it.  Those individuals were so pleased to hear something that they could relate to.  They were able to have one of those moments where they knew they weren’t alone and I am happy I could facilitate that.

Sometimes, relation is what we seek, and we tell ourselves, once we find relation “everything will change” or “everything will be better”; however, relation itself doesn’t change much, it just brings some solace to situations and feelings that appear isolating.

The funny thing about relation, is we crave it so badly from others, when often times, we don’t even relate to ourselves and our own feelings and reactions.

Taking a month off drinking, I really had to relate to myself.  I had to work FOR myself.  I didn’t have the sedation to numb my boredom.  My brain wasn’t satisfied with my past behaviors, and so I had to physically move the road block to open the door myself.  Plenty of people were on the sidelines “relating” and encouraging me; but no one could move the block and open the door for me.  And really, I don’t even think I have fully moved the block out of the way enough to get to the door… yet.

Through TEDx, I was given the opportunity to see myself from the outside of myself.  I was able to disassociate enough to talk to myself like I would like a real friend to.  I told myself I needed to change some things, and instead of fighting myself, like I normally do; I stopped and actually listened and moved forward with my own good advice.  I realize now, that honestly I never would have taken that advice from anyone else, even knowing it’s true.  I realize I am kind of a rebellious personality that is triggered negatively by being told what to do, unless I ask for it; and I am much too much of a “know it all” to ask.

When I watch my TEDx talk, I am sad.  I am sad I let my body go.  I am sad that, that sadness and loneliness caused me to pack pounds of fat onto my frame as an added emotional buffer to the reality I face. I am sad that the more I packed on, the more isolated I became in my shame and disgust.  I’m disappointed that I have spent five years knowing better, and yet not listening to myself; always waiting on  some miracle that would never occur because I wasn’t working toward any miracles. I wasn’t doing much more than drowning in circles.

I am proud that I did my talk, despite being in a very low personal point with myself.  Before the event, the only thing that made me nervous, was being seen as fat.  I felt confident in my topic and talk, and my ability to project and perform…but I was scared shit-less that all the comments on youtube would be hatefully directed at my pudgy body.

Surprise, surprise; when your talk doesn’t go viral, you really don’t have to worry about rude comments on your video.  And as for the audience, they paid for tickets to the event; they weren’t interested in the event to talk shit about my body, they were there to participate in bigger ideas and cerebral stimulation.

All of my fear at potentially being judged by my body alone, was unsubstantiated.  And, perhaps that was the instantaneous shift that I needed to make some life changing decisions for myself.  Knowing that just because the decisions are life changing, doesn’t mean that your life is going to change “right now, this instant,” but that this one thing will create a ripple effect that will be life changing in the bigger picture.

The first week I started working out again, my weight didn’t seem to really change, but  I lost 3.85 inches.  It seemed like a drop in a bucket, absolutely insignificant, but I kept going.  7 weeks later, 4 of them alcohol free, I can physically see and feel a difference.  I made a life changing decision that is going to require my attention, participation and dedication.  A life changing decision starting in baby steps, and trusting myself.

 I am committing to put the work in, where no one else can and that sure is a confidence booster.

 

Well my lovely readers, this is the last post in the Dry July Series.  Thank you for following along, sharing it with your friends and pasting it around for people to see.  It’s been fun… but now I need something else to write about for a while… WHAT OH WHAT WILL IT BE?  I am still open to suggestions from the peanut gallery!

If for some reason you are just catching the tail end of this series and you wish to read the rest, click the links below.  Always feel free to share, comment and like.

And THANK YOU< THANK YOU< THANK YOU for taking this ride with me ❤

 

Dry July-Day 26~ Week Three Wrap Up

Dry July-Day 21~Unintentionally Committed?

Dry July- Day 17-19~ First Steps

Dry July-Day 16~Replacing Rewards

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July-Day 6~ Real Hydration

Dry July- Day Five~ Waiting

Dry July- Day Four- Independence Day

Dry July-Day Three- Epigenetics and Sleep

Dry July- Day 2- Eleven Facts

Dry July- Day One

Dry July

 

 

 

 

Dry July-Day 26~ Week Three Wrap Up

Well, I have successfully wrapped up week three of no alcohol, and easily said no to wine when offered.

Like I’ve said before, this has been easy.  In part it is my lack of desire to go out… so maybe that is cheating a little?  I’m not putting myself in locations where I might feel inclined to drink.  Let me tell you, if one wanted to drink in this town, it’s easy enough to do; but right now we are in the middle of our local “holiday week” of Cheyenne Frontier Days Celebration.

So, it’s lots of rodeoin’; drunkin’ boot scootin’  hootin’ and hollerin’ ’round these parts.

Today in particular, is “Cheyenne Day” wherein one of our main streets is shut down, and drinking is allowed on the sidewalks during the day, mid week for any all who are legal or sneaky.  It’s notorious for people being black out wasted before noon.  Yehaw, Wild West!

Maybe I will go down there later and just observe a little bit.

In other news, I figured I would post a little up date on my exercise successes.  In total since I started working out again, and charting everything on June 20, 2017; I am down a total of 8lbs;  17.5 inches over my body, and I’ve lost 7.38% body fat.

NO DOUBT cutting out alcohol has made a huge difference.  

I’m not sure if anyone else can tell that my body is shifting, but I sure can.  My waist is coming back; my butt is perking up, clothes are starting to fit better and I am consistently getting to bed earlier and waking up before 8 am.

However, one thing I have noticed is, my days don’t seem any longer than they did before… so I don’t know about any feelings of change when it comes to actual productivity.  I am basically doing the same stuff, in pattern, at a different time of day.

I will say; by making time to exercise and weekly increasing intensity, or changing format for challenge, I do feel at least one thing out of my day is personally productive.  Writing down what I do daily, in an exercise journal gives me at least something tangible to reflect on when it comes to small steps toward a bigger accomplishment.

Watching the numbers is sort of obsessive for me,  in the sense of understanding my body more intimately; which is certainly encouraging.

I’ve joined gyms at different periods in my life, and my greatest physical strides were never made there.

 It’s knowing and acting on the knowing that: All Of This Is Up To Me. It’s all within my capacity to control.

 We all want our own personal Cheer Section, but sometimes all we get, is the choice of whether or not to cheer ourselves on.

Cheering yourself on can be incredibly hard when you may already be feeling down and in the dumps.  I found that feeling shitty, and feeling  it honestly and  deeply for a duration will finally bring me to a place of absolute boredom with that feeling.  I move beyond “I am feeling this way.” to “What the fuck can I do to get out of this?  I am sick of it.”

Some people, go dark.  They just want to die to escape that feeling, they can’t see the temporary nature in it.  They get caught in a feeling of permanence, which is deceptive.

I’m not that kind of person, I don’t want to kill myself; I don’t want to be in depression forever, and I understand that going through periods of hopelessness assist me in relating to others in that predicament.  I understand my worth as a person, and the worth of shitty experiences in helping me to understand and overcome certain mental and emotional hurdles.

I’ve learned to do this for myself without a Coach, and without a Cheering Section; so I know it isn’t impossible.

Like I said, everything is temporary; and that even means “Feeling on top of the world.”

I’ve worked out, and had my body in a shape I was very happy with, and when I was happy with it, I became lazy about maintaining it.  I thought “Here I am, I climbed a mountain, now I’ll never have to climb a mountain again.”  And I went merrily, merrily on my way back down the other side of the mountain. Then I lazed around in the valley for a while, still caught on the high of the mountain.  Eventually I wandered into the dark forest,  which caused stress, and that stress became weight, and before I knew it I was walking through that dark forest with all this weight until I came to the base of a different mountain… and there was no foreseeable way around the mountain, so I had to start climbing again.  And as I climbed, I was losing that stress, because I remember what freedom feels like on top of the last mountain.  And that feeling carries me through how rough it is to be climbing a mountain.  I remind myself that I can see further and more clearly from up there.  As I climb higher and higher, I become lighter, until finally I make it to the top, and stop to breathe, feeling as light as the air.  A feeling of success.  All the while (this go around) taking the time to pay close attention to what lie below in every direction.  Making note of the other mountain ranges, valley’s, forests, and pools of water waiting to be experienced.   What I notice from up here; is there is no straight line to anywhere.  There is no shuttle to the top of any of the mountains.  There are no Sherpa’s to show the way.  We have no wings to go straight to the source of desire by flight.  Every step has a certain drudgery in it, as it is work, but this work is personal and only you can do it.  Every time you step forward you learn a bit more, you become more attuned to the rugged journey.  Occasionally the seasons and scenes change, but you just keep keeping on.

At least, that’s what my internal Cheer Leader is telling me.

Hello, lovely readers!  Thank you for all the likes and shares and wonderful messages I have been receiving!  You All are a bunch of wonderful specimens of life!  Keep up the wonderful participation, and I can’t wait to hear more!

Feel free to click the links below for more in my Dry July series and feel free to send suggestions for a series of blog posts that you would be interested in reading about.  Until then, folks “Always look on the Bright Side of Life”  😉  !

Dry July-Day 21~Unintentionally Committed?

Dry July- Day 17-19~ First Steps

Dry July-Day 16~Replacing Rewards

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

 

Dry July-Day 21~Unintentionally Committed?

My friend and I were talking, and he asked, “So is this going to roll over into Dry August?”  And I thought about it for a moment, and this was my response;

“I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I don’t know that I want to drink any more.  I thought maybe I would just wait until my birthday in September, but then it’s like, why throw away two and a half months of abstinence for one night?  I know I won’t feel great the next day, if I do.  My research has pretty much grossed me out.  My hormones are still out of wack,and even a small amount of alcohol acts as a hormone disruption. “

I went on to talk about my research into whether or not the body bounces back quicker if you have been fit in your life before, and indeed, studies show that muscle memory kicks in when you restart a routine that exerts your body on a consistent basis.   I mentioned that my trap muscles are really popping from even modified push ups.  I am noticing where my body is losing fat and looking to conform to the underlying muscles.

My friend says something profound, “ Drinking is sort of that way too.  Kind of like muscle memory.  If you start drinking again, it’s easier to just make room for it in your life again.”

We let our lives conform to it being there, consistently.  I am 21 days in; it’s hot out, and I haven’t craved alcohol at all.  I haven’t touched the four Lagunita’s IPA’s sitting in my fridge. (One of my favorite beers.)

Besides water, coffee and tea, I have decided maybe I will be a seltzer water snob.  I mixed some Q lavender seltzer with Q Ginger Spritzer, and topped it off Mountain Valley Sparkling Spring water; which created a delightfully light and bubbly beverage with a hint of zing, the essence of lavender alluding to a non existent sweetness and a dry finish.  The mouth was left feeling quite clean and refreshed.  So… I don’t know, it seems like something I could get into, creatively.   I have had one a night for a couple of nights, almost like a very clean night cap/ guilt-free dessert.   Honestly, even I find it fucking weird to be imagining flavored sparkling water recipes in lieu of cocktails.  And yes, frozen berries in the waters is an extra good treat.

I am still not sure how I am going to handle social outings.  If maybe I need to just bring my own glass and a bunch of bottles of sparkling water I intend to mix up and drink.  I mean, I think I could get down on that, but I am not sure how that works at, say, a bar.  We do have a new joint called the Ballroom, and they are all chi-chi with their drinks.  Perhaps if I show them some of my water mixers, they can carry what I need, then they can market the mixes with various alcohols, and like a margarita I will ask for mine to be prepared virgin?  I mean, if they started to carry a whole slew of amazing varieties of sparkling waters with flavor, I could go gung- ho on that, especially if they made their own with out sugar or sweeteners.

This has got to be one of the stranger posts I’ve put out there.  But, for whatever reason, I think this idea is going to get hip in a year or two.  And you can be like, “Oh yeah, that is old news.  Mandie, was doing that like two years ago.”  Artisan water shops will open up, really, it will be HUGE!  Just you wait and see.  😉

Thanks for tuning in again! As always, like, share, and comment.  Let me know if you want to help me start the Seltzer Water Social Club…LOL.

For previous posts click the links below, and have a wonderful rest of your weekend!  Tally-ho!

Dry July- Day 17-19~ First Steps

Dry July-Day 16~Replacing Rewards

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

Dry July- Day 17-19~ First Steps

” The First Steps are the hardest, but once you take them, the path will magically appear.” -paraphrase of some lady on the internet, I don’t know personally.

Whether it be the first steps out of bed; into a new job, the gym, an AA meeting, or outside our own front door; first steps can be really, really fucking hard for some people.  Usually first steps mean walking into an unknown future.  It can bring about anxiety or fear.

Did you know that your body produces the same physical reactions during excitement and fear?   Both are nervous reactions managed by the Limbic system,  and stress reactions controlled by the Hypothalamus gland.

Psychology Today 

“studies have shown that if you learn to anticipate fearful situations then you actually activate the nucleus accumbens, which is the reward center of the limbic system (Klucken 2009). Thus knowing you’re about to be scared is actually somewhat enjoyable. But if the fear is unpredictable then it doesn’t activate the nucleus accumbens. So fear activates the hypothalamus in the same way as excitement, and when it’s predictable it activates the brain’s reward center as well. And that really gets at the heart of the matter. We don’t like fear per se, we like predictable fear. It gets the limbic system fired up, making us feel more alive, but we don’t have to worry about actually dying.”

There is a technique used to over-ride anxiety, tricking yourself  into excitement,  and actually it is pretty easy.

Imagine the “WORST CASE SCENARIO”.  I mean, THE WORST.  At first you may think “worst case scenario is no one likes me”, or ” people act like I am invisible.”

I say, go further.  “Worst case scenario is every one hates you, and is actively taking measures to try and kill you in some gory and painful way.”

Now, ask yourself, “How likely is that to happen?”  You will most likely respond to yourself, “That isn’t even logical.  So it isn’t likely to happen at all.”

Now compare the unlikely worst case scenario to what ever you were fearing about walking out the door.  How likely is it, that those fears will be reality, and even if they are, is it going to kill you?

Fear and anxiety are biological reactions toward self preservation in their most basic form, however when acknowledged with our conscious mind, they can serve as amazing warnings that trouble or duress may be afoot.

Have you ever met someone who immediately made your guard go up?  You may have even felt like removing yourself from this persons presence as soon as possible.  And you may say to yourself, “I don’t know this person.  Why do I feel such an aversion? ”  You let it go, and basically take no effort to build a relationship with this individual.  You may even avoid situations or events where you know this person will be there.  You silently decide, “you just don’t like their vibe.”  Years later you may find out that this person was abusive in their relations to people, and it’s like your internal guidance systems knew something your conscious mind was unaware of.

All of those same chemicals were working, but having some self awareness as to why your body is responding with those chemicals in a seemingly ordinary situation, helps us to observe what is an actual threat to our survival, and what is our fearful imagination running in over drive.

The more we are able to calm ourselves in stressful situations, the easier it is to differentiate fact from fiction.

So, when we go back to the idea, that first steps are the hardest, it’s best to take a retrospective and see how many first steps we had to take to make it to today.

We were all babies once, and I am sure we all fell down often when we were beginning to walk.  We had to fall down, and get back up, in order to build the muscles necessary to hold ourselves up for long periods of time.  We had to strengthen those muscles in order to walk long distances.  We had to strengthen them even more to run.

We’ve all had to walk into a room full of strangers at some point; unknowing if any of those faces would be our friends.

Life is uncertain without our participation.

If we shy away from first steps, we will never know where those paths lead.  If we allow fear to dictate our decisions, we will stay frozen in one place.  It is our personal responsibility to build a friendship with the Unknown.  To step into what we do know, which is that “nothing changes for the better, if we never venture out into the unknown” and “you never know until you try.”

Life begs our participation, and to participate you must over ride fear and step forward.

 

Side Note:  I apologize to my readers for taking a few days break from writing.  I was feeling blocked in what to write about, so I didn’t force it.

Tomorrow marks 21 days… am I on my way to breaking an old/ building a new habit?  We shall see.

I appreciate all the positive and encouraging comments this series has received.  I love the conversations some of these posts have provoked, and suggestions that have been shared.  Keep them coming.

As always feel free to share, like, comment and follow along on the Madge Midgely blog.

May your day be splenderific.  Links to past posts below!

Dry July-Day 16~Replacing Rewards

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

Dry July-Day 16~Replacing Rewards

I went ahead a got a month long trial to Audible.com because I wanted to listen to a book entitled “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business” by Charles Duhigg, that keeps popping up in my research into habits and addictions.

This book is fantastic because it relates how our habits are more than just personal decision making as an individual; in fact it blows the idea up into the macrocosm of Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks, and how their business model and positive practices are actually designed to trickle down into the personal lives and decisions of their employees.  Or a company like Target, that uses high tech algorithms to predict shopping habits of their patrons, and can go so far in their predictions to know when a woman is pregnant, all based off data collection.  Even National Sports team coaches use habit strategies to create award winning teams.

The Power of Habit talks about experiments in brain function, and takes us further into the understanding of why we do, what we do.  It is a topic that can be related to every aspect of living. Even mundane things, we never think twice about.    For instance, I never realized most people put on their shoes the same way every day.  Usually, right foot first.

 I usually just jam my foot into which ever one is closest, or seems easiest to get my foot into.

I mean, think about it.  What shoe do you usually put on first?  Is it intentional?  Most likely it goes back to when you were first learning how to tie your shoes, and most likely you had an adult there trying to help you make sure you had the right shoe on the right foot.  Most likely because “right” is a direction and a side, you were programmed to put the right shoe, on the right foot, first.  Thus began a pattern, a muscles memory, a ritual, and ultimately a habit you no longer think twice about.

The book says that you can not just eliminate a bad habit, you have to replace it.  Habits stimulate reward receptors in our brains.  If you get the right shoe on the right foot, the reward as a child, is your adult telling you “good job!”,  the reward once we actually learn the difference for ourselves, is not having painful feet.

Chemicals like alcohol are a bit more complex with their reward triggers due to how the chemical of alcohol directly influences the chemicals in our brain.  When we look forward to that drink after a hard day at work, we know it will help us relax, but it isn’t the alcohol in and of itself that creates that feeling.  It is the fact that drinking stimulates dopamine produced in the brain, and dopamine feels great. Alcohol also blocks stimulation in the frontal cortex where our decision making and inhibitions originate, making it easier to “shut off” what we don’t want to think about.

We can get our bodies to release dopamine in ways much healthier than drinking.  So ideally, in cessation of alcohol, it is good to figure out what our perceived reward is, and to replace that behavior with a healthier habit that triggers that same reward feeling.

For me, I am trying to get addicted to being sweaty.

I am working out every day.  I think I have only taken two days off in the last three weeks.  Every week, I am pushing myself to go further, faster, longer.  I am training myself to wake up to look forward to it, because I am starting to see subtle changes, and I am curious enough, at this point, to see where I can go.

Learning more about how the body, mind and chemicals keep us going, helps me to motivate myself.  It gives a purpose and a first hand knowledge to the process of change.  It takes my mind off of wanting a drink, and snaps it into wanting to know more about all the reasons I logically and physiologically do not need to consume alcohol.

My knowledge reward centers appear to be stronger than my alcohol consumption reward center.  Hmmm, this might be the only time that being a “know it all” is actually coming in handy.

Have you replaced a bad habit with a good habit?  What was it?  Tell me about it.  Do you have any strange habits with strange origins that trigger your reward centers?  Do you struggle with OCD?  I want to hear about it.  Post your story in the comments, please!  Pass this post around to friends and family, and leave those LIKEs where I can see them.

Click the links below for more sobriety content, and have a lovely day!

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July- Day 15~ Digging for Truth

Well, I am hopping back down the bunny trail, following tid-bits and traces of truth until I pop down a rabbit hole with no end.  It’s fun.

Have you ever had an inkling that something physical in your body is reacting a certain way, because of controllable behaviors, but since you aren’t a biologist or scientist, you just chuck your theory to the corner of your brain with other hare brained ideas that you discarded.  Skip the research phase and then just went back to life as usual?

I have had the exquisite opportunity in my life, to know things, and to pick up information out of what seems to be thin air.  Sometimes it is mathematical formulas, sometimes it deals with biology; sometimes it’s the silent struggle of another human.

I am a magnet for knowledge.

About a month or two before I started Dry July; I started to notice all these short white hairs at the root line of my blonde  hair.  So I pulled a few out to further investigate.  Sure enough, yeah, they are solid white.

“Fuck.  I’m too young for this.  I wonder if I am going into early menopause.”

The thought has been bugging me for two months, but it wasn’t until yesterday, that I did the research.  “Google: alcohol, women, early menopause.”

“In human females, alcohol ingestion, even in amounts insufficient to cause major damage to the liver or other organs, may lead to menstrual irregularities (Ryback 1977). It is important to stress that alcohol ingestion at the wrong time, even in amounts insufficient to cause permanent tissue damage, can disrupt the delicate balance critical to maintaining human female reproductive hormonal cycles and result in infertility. A study of healthy nonalcoholic women found that a substantial portion who drank small amounts of alcohol (i.e., social drinkers) stopped cycling normally and became at least temporarily infertile. This anovulation was associated with a reduced or absent pituitary LH secretion. All the affected women had reported normal menstrual cycles before the study (Mendelson and Mello 1988). This finding is consistent with epidemiologic data from a representative national sample of 917 women, which showed increased rates of menstrual disturbances and infertility associated with increasing self–reported alcohol consumption (Wilsnack et al. 1984). Thus, alcohol–induced disruption of female fertility is a clinical problem that merits further study.”  – National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Further down this article, it says “Recently investigators have provided several insights into the possible mechanisms underlying alcohol’s disruption of the female cycle in the rat model. First, research shows that alcohol–fed rats have a temporary elevation of estradiol (Emanuele et al. 2001). Human studies have produced similar findings (Mello et al. 1993). The effects of estrogen on reproductive cyclicity are complex. In some situations, estrogen stimulates the hypothalamic–pituitary unit (Tang et al. 1982); in other situations, it is inhibitory. This short–term elevation in estradiol may be part of the mechanism underlying the alcohol–induced alterations in estrous cycling. ”

Estradiol is the hormone most predominate in menopause or when a woman has her ovaries removed.

“Estradiol, like other steroids, is derived from cholesterol. After side chain cleavage and using the Δ5 or the Δ4– pathway, Δ4-androstenedione is the key intermediary. A portion of the Δ4-androstenedione is converted to testosterone, which in turn undergoes conversion to estradiol by aromatase. In an alternative pathway, Δ4-androstenedione is aromatized to estrone, which is subsequently converted to estradiol.[45]

During the reproductive years, most estradiol in women is produced by the granulosa cells of the ovaries by the aromatization of Δ4-androstenedione (produced in the theca folliculi cells) to estrone, followed by conversion of estrone to estradiol by 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Smaller amounts of estradiol are also produced by the adrenal cortex, and, in men, by the testes.[citation needed]

Estradiol is not produced in the gonads only, in particular, fat cells produce active precursors to estradiol, and will continue to do so even after menopause.[46] Estradiol is also produced in the brain and in arterial walls.”

The biosynthesis of estradiol-like compounds has been observed in leguminous plants, such as Phaseolus vulgaris and soybeans.[relevant? ][47] where they are termed phytoestrogens. Thus, consumption may have oestrogenic effects. In light of this, consumption can be counterproductive to patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer, which usually includes depriving the cancer cells of estrogens.”  – Wikipedia

Not only does alcohol consumption mess with a woman’s menstrual cycles ;it can have negative effects on fertility, encourage early menopause and loss of bone density.

Alcohol has a large effect on our (men, women, children and the elderly) hormone balance, which over a long period of time can create epigentic  mutations in the DNA.  If that doesn’t scare you… I don’t know what to say.

There are a lot of phytoestrogens in alcohol.

” Alcoholic beverages contain not only alcohol but also numerous other substances (i.e., congeners) that may contribute to the beverages’ physiological effects. Plants used to produce alcoholic beverages contain estrogenlike substances (i.e., phytoestrogens). Observations that men with alcoholic cirrhosis often show testicular failure and symptoms of feminization have suggested that alcoholic beverages may contain biologically active phytoestrogens as congeners. Biochemical analyses have identified several phytoestrogens in the congeners of bourbon, beer, and wine. Studies using subjects who produced no estrogen themselves (i.e., rats whose ovaries had been removed and postmenopausal women) demonstrated that phytoestrogens in alcoholic beverage congeners exerted estrogenlike effects in both animals and humans. Those effects were observed even at moderate drinking levels.”  – US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Ultimately, hormonal imbalances can create a lot of internal problems, and make the body more susceptible to diseases like cancer.  For instance, men who are heavy drinkers of beer, over time can  grow enlarged breasts, sometimes referred to as “bitch tits” or “breasticles”.  Potential for breast cancer in these men is increased, because those extra estrogens are not meant to be circulating in the male body.  Add in that estradiol is produced outside of the gonads, and you have a physiological shit show.

I am certain if more men and women understood the chemistry of long term over consumption, and the potential of consumption to feminize the male body as well as increase potential for disease in both men and women; they would probably step away from the liquid poison in lieu of self preservation.

When we think of alcoholic diseases, we primarily think of cirrhosis, maybe kidney failure, and nerve damage.  We neglect the fact that ultimately alcohol effects hormones, and hormones are a huge factor in how we function and feel on a daily basis.  Hormones effect every thing in our body.

I don’t know about you, but I come from a family history of hormone problems.  

Now a days, we all probably have have at least one alcoholic in our family ( and if you can’t figure out who it is, in your family, then it’s probably you.)   Take a moment to think about that person.  How do they look?  Are they overweight or underweight?  Does their skin look distressed or damaged and broken out?  Do they look older than their age?  All of that is due to hormone imbalance provoked by alcohol.  Gross, right?

Just quitting, will not immediately reset your hormone imbalance.  Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, and can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It can take months and sometimes even years, to get the body back in balance.  For some people, who have abused their body for years, the damage is irreversible.  Nerve damage can effect mobility, and a lack of mobility will prevent exercise and weight loss which can help hormones re-balance and purge some of that stagnant estradiol in the fat cells.

We are but science experiments unto ourselves putting ourselves at the mercy of medicine when we’ve abused our bodies beyond their threshold. 

I fear that the next few generations are going to crash and burn earlier than they would otherwise, for the abuses they’ve self inflicted.  Hopefully these blogs reach those who need this information right now.  I believe knowledge is not only power, but empowerment.

Is this series inspiring you?  Have you noticed the degrading effects of alcohol on your own biology?  Tell me about it in the comments section, (if you are brave enough 😉 . )  Please feel free to share this post with friends and start the conversation of conscious consumption.  Please hit the like button if you gained some insights from this piece of writing.

Click the links below for my previous Dry July entries!  Cheers!

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf

Dry July- Day 11~ Where is the Energy?

Dry July- Day 10~ Compounded Ball of Stress

Dry July-Day 9~BandAid

Dry July-Day Eight~ Truth or Fiction

Dry July- Day 7~ One Week Summary

Dry July- Day 14~ Dry Friday

How the hell does one “enjoy” social outings, as an adult, without a head shift and a fist full of beer?   They don’t.  They leave the social gathering and go to Ross an hour before they close, where they spend the money that they didn’t use on alcohol, on some random cosmetic products.

Yep.  That was my Friday night.  I went and spent money on stuff I don’t really need, in lieu of drinking.  You know what?  Drinking is actually far more fulfilling to me, then shopping.  I think I might be more grossed out by the senseless consumerism of people, than I am at my own drinking.  And yet, I’d rather be in a store with all those mindless consumers, then being sober hanging out with drunk people.

On the way home, I said “I’d actually rather spend my money on drinking, then buying stuff I don’t need, and probably won’t actually use.  I know exactly what I am getting with alcohol.  I know exactly what I spend toward it; the worst part is taking out the trash.”

The only real draw back to drinking is how horrible it is for internal function in longevity.  Oh, and those people who turn into raging idiots when they drink, they are a draw back too.

A person doesn’t have to be around others to drink.  Solo drinking is definitely a thing.  It’s slightly cheaper, and you don’t have to deal with the bar scene or potential drama.

You can drink at your own pace at home.  ( I can easily drink a six pack over six or seven hours and never feel anywhere near drunk.)  That is my speed of drinking.  Browse the internet, leave some kind messages.  Play a game, go read my blogs to my grandma. Paint a picture, dance in the back yard.  All those thing pair well with any spirited fluid of my choice.  There is rarely drama, and since I am already at home, I don’t need to drive anywhere.  Risks are basically managed, and if something dumb does happen; I only have myself to blame.

When you add more people into the mix, you have a potential for what I like to call “competitive drinking.”  One person finishes their drink quickly, and wants another,  and asks everyone else if they need another; then it snow balls into people buying rounds and shots and shit like that.

Home drinking with a “competitive drinker” is THE WORST.  Competitive drinkers at home, do not drink beer or wine, and they do not use glasses.  They rarely pick their poison by quality, rather by price point and measured volume for maximum impact.

Competitive drinkers ARE ALL ABOUT getting drunk.  That is the prerogative.  They want to get drunk quickly, most often you will see them drinking straight from a liquor bottle.  They are the first to be sloppy, and often times the first to pass out in an uncomfortable and somewhat compromising display.  In their sedated state, sprawled and limp, it’s hard not to be disgusted.

Fridays are a weekly holiday for Competitive drinkers.  I call it, “The Amateur Hour.”   After being responsible all week; why not act like a bumbling fool come Friday night?  Take a load off, and whatever you do, Don’t drink any of  the water someone is bound to offer you!

Late night Friday, I am up and writing.  Sirens are coming and going every half hour or so.  It’s definitely a busy night for law enforcement.  The idiot parade is at it again.  Not my monkeys not my circus.

I fell asleep around 1:30-2:00 am, grateful I wasn’t out, or on the road, or in the company of those who lost touch with reality hours ago.

I guess it’s those small gratitude’s that matter.

 

A Thank You and an I Love You,  to all my dedicated readers and new followers! Thanks for continually showing up,  I hope you are enjoying this series.  I would love to hear about some of your worst nights out.  What happened?  Spill the deets in the comment section!  I am always grateful for thumbs up and likes, so don’t hesitate to press that button along with the share feature!

Have a great rest of your weekend!  Cheers!

 

Links to previous posts below….

Dry July- Day 13~ Recycle Cycle

Dry July- Day 12~ Handle ThySelf