Is “intuitive drinking” a thing?

This past weekend, I got a DM from someone who was curious with how drinking alcohol fits in with this whole intuitive eating journey.

We’ve talked about this in HELD (my coaching community) this summer and I think it’s an important part of the intuitive eating conversation! With everything I encourage you to do, I hope you’ll lead with curiosity (and today’s email will help you do just that).

But before I dive in, a few reminders:

It is not only OK but so important to reach out and seek support if you think you may be struggling with alcohol addiction. There is NO shame in struggling and so much freedom in getting qualified support.

Also, if you have chosen to be sober because of past struggles with alcohol, a family history of alcoholism, trauma, religious reasons, or something else, then I hope you’ll continue to honor that choice that is right for YOU!

I’m in no way telling you that you should drink. Please skip today’s email if it feels triggering in anyway.

For those curious about what an intuitive relationship with alcohol can look like, then this email is for you!

If I had to boil ‘intuitive drinking’ down to a single idea, it would be freedom to drink (or not drink) an amount of alcohol that adds fun / pleasure without increasing pain or interfering with you showing up for your life.

Typically, the way we do one thing is the way we do everything.

So, if you have an “all or nothing” relationship with food, you might also feel like you struggle with an “all or nothing” relationship with alcohol (and movement and a lot of other areas of your life).

As you begin to eat more intuitively, other areas of life will start to shift, too. Including alcohol!

Today, I want to share some helpful questions you can ask yourself to help you honor yourself more deeply in your relationship with alcohol.

What would my ideal relationship with alcohol actually look like?

If you didn’t feel social pressure or diet pressure or any other pressure for it to look a certain way, what would you LIKE your relationship with alcohol to look like? Take a minute to think, reflect, and write what comes up for you.

Did I eat enough?

It’s a lot harder to feel well drinking when you’re drinking on an empty stomach. If you’re afraid of the calories in alcohol or the sugar or carbs, then you might find yourself restricting to ‘make up for’ the drink(s).

Plus, alcohol inhibits the hunger hormone, so once you start drinking food may sound less appetizing (which means more alcohol on an even emptier stomach).

Make sure you’re keeping your body fed!

Why am I choosing to drink right now?

Is it to impress someone or to “fit in”? Is it because you’re struggling with feeling awkward in this moment? Or, is it because a drink actually sounds really fun and delicious?

If it’s for someone else or to soothe discomfort, ask yourself what it would be like to make a different choice (i.e. honoring your body even if it’s different than your friends or take a moment to process through your social discomfort and / or feelings).

How will this make me feel in this moment AND tomorrow?

Intuitive eating (including drinking) is about making loving choices for ourselves in the moment — yes. But, it’s also about making loving choices for our future selves.

Will this help me show up more or less fully in my life?

This is one of my favorite questions of all time to ask myself. Here’s a blog post I wrote about it awhile back, too!

If I’m at a beautiful Italian dinner, a glass of wine might feel lovely to pair with the meal — making it a more satisfying experience (more fully).

If I’m at a party and feeling pressure to take a shot of tequila even though I don’t want one, then taking it would mean being untrue to my own needs (less fully).

Just like with any food, what works for your body and what feels best for you is going to be different in different moments, days, and situations. It will also likely be different from the people around you.

Practice dropping the judgment and getting CURIOUS with yourself instead.

What might it look like to honor yourself as you drink (or don’t)?

Just sit with this question for a moment and notice what is true for you.

xo, Sim

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