Drinking when trying to conceive: Alcohol the effect it has on your life & fertility with Michelle Kapler Part Two

podcast Jun 03, 2022

“Whatever anxieties and self-doubt you have, whatever inner turmoil you’re carrying with you, you’ll just take it into parenthood.”

Topics Discussed:

🦩 The mommy-wine culture and it’s harmful messaging.

🦩 Stop labeling yourself and shift your identity.

🦩 The importance of working with a coach on your struggles. 

Are you aware of the negative effects that alcoholism and other addictions have on your life and fertility? The inner issues you’re trying to cover with alcohol and overconsumption are what you need to work on, to excel in other areas of your life.  

Download your FREE Guide: Top 3 Steps to Maximise Your Fertility That Your Doctor Isn't Talking About

In this episode of the Finding Fertility podcast, we speak with Michelle Kapler a Certified Life Coach, specializing in overdrinking and alcohol freedom. She works with individuals who identify as women who want to live an alcohol-free or alcohol-reduced life... She is on a mission to create a modern conversation around drinking, alcohol culture (especially in motherhood), and how we think about using alcohol to cope with stress.

Listen in to learn how to work on your inner issues and mental health before moving on to parenthood or other important areas of your life. You will also learn why you need to shift your identity and stop labeling yourself an alcoholic or infertile.

“Nobody outside of yourself should tell you what to put in your body and what not to put in your body.”

Episode Highlights:

  • [2:54] The importance of working on your inner issues before moving forward with parenthood.
  • [4:22] How Michelle helps her clients get over their alcoholism pain and learn resilience skills.
  • [7:32] All the things you have to work on and solve after you stop drinking.
  • [14:14] How to stop labeling yourself as an alcoholic or infertile and shift your identity.
  • [22:48] Why it’s okay to question things without labeling yourself.
  • [24:47] Start hanging out with people you resonate with plus get a coach to help with your struggles.

Listen here: Drinking when trying to conceive: Alcohol the effect it has on your life & fertility with Michelle Kapler Part Two

🌺 Download your FREE Guide: Top 3 Steps to Maximise Your Fertility That Your Doctor Isn't Talking About

🦩 Get Steps Closer to Getting & Staying Pregnant with EIGHT FREE DAYS within the Fertility Formula

Full Transcript: 

Hello beautiful and welcome to finding fertility. I'm your host, Monica Cox from finding fertility.co And I created this podcast to help get you to start thinking outside of the box and realise that your infertility might have nothing to do with your lady bits rooted in functional medicine and personal experience. Finding fertility is all about looking at the whole body and finding the root cause of your infertility. Finding fertility does not diagnose, prescribe or treat any issues of infertility. But what we do is take a holistic approach and improve your diet and your lifestyle to get you steps closer to creating your dream family. Just by being here with me listening to this podcast, you're already going down the right path to making your dreams come true. Let's do this together. Happy Friday, all welcome back to another episode of finding fertility. Today, we

have the second half of me and Michelle's conversation about the struggles of giving up alcohol but other things as well, because I think you can tie it into your diet to shopping, to scrolling on social media to watching too much Netflix. So I'm really hoping that you're finding the value in this because I think we all know that alcohol, and these things are necessarily the best things to be doing when we're trying to conceive. So just getting into more of the mindset of it all. So without further ado, here's today's episode 10. And

we're also told that once you achieve this, once you have the babies, you're going to be made whole, you're going to be considered a whole human, you're going to be considered to have had the full life experience. But like you were saying, the truth is that it's not better than it is here. It's just a whole, like you're kind of choosing your difficulties, no matter what you're either having difficulties getting pregnant, or you're having difficulties parenting, because whatever anxieties and self doubt that you have whatever inner turmoil that you're carrying with you, you'll just take it with you and to parenthood, you're just gonna take it there. And then you're also going to be responsible for other humans. And that just kind of magnifies the problem. Yeah, so doing that work right now is everything. And that same thing can be said for any kind of achievement, not just having children, I mean, any endeavour that you want to have, whether it's getting a promotion, or making a change, or moving somewhere else, or I don't know, getting a new partner, or whatever your current goal is, it's not better there than it is here. What you want to do is self your self worth issues now, and then you can move forward and ever direction in whatever direction you want to.

Yeah, exactly. So what with your clients? What do you think is the main reason they want to shift away from alcohol? Maybe in the beginning, does it like does it change? Do they come to you for one reason, and like see the light at the end of the journey? Or?

Well, it's interesting, you say that, and I'm gonna kind of answer that in a two part, a two part answer. So the first thing that I would say is that the reason why people come to me and it's the same with any change that basically you have to get to this point where the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing or the effort of staying the same becomes greater than the effort of changing. So it's going to be painful, either way, you're just ready to, you know, it's going to be difficult either way, than the person is just ready to have it be difficult in a different set of circumstances in a different way. So they've kind of crossed that line between like, It terrifies me to think of not having alcohol as a crutch. And maybe they've moved into a space of it terrifies me to think that I might stay like this for the rest of my life. So that's kind of the place that they they end up in. And then I was gonna say something else. Oh, right, kind of the trajectory of our work together. And it's interesting, because I think that life coaching principles tend to be applicable across the board. So my clients tend to come to me because they have an issue with their drinking. And they either want to reduce the amount that they're drinking, or they want to quit completely and just live in alcohol free life. And so we start with that. And the great thing about working on kind of that big issue that's in the forefront of your mind is that you'll learn skills, you'll learn skills on how to process emotions, you'll learn skills on how to be resilient, you learn skills, and have different relationships with the people in your lives. You have to you have to do all of these things in order to be able to create sustainable change. And the cool thing is, is that you can take that and apply it to any area of your life. So normally what happens is somebody will come to me and we'll spend, I don't know a couple of months working on their drinking and then they're like, Whoa, I did that. I feel like I could do anything and then that's what we do. We just work and other areas of their life, whether it's, you know, their professional goals, or their relationship goals or their money goals, or wherever it happens to take them next. So these skills that you're building in this context are applicable anywhere else in life as well.

Yeah, exactly. Do you find that when people get sober around people who aren't sober, start picking up on? Like, maybe relationship issues, you know, within the family? I mean, friends are easy to drop, right? Like, let's just face it. Like, I know, it sucks. But it is easy just to do that. But I know with my family, because it is a drinking culture still, and especially with my mom, when I was sober. I started getting triggered massively, because I was sober, right? Like I was now seeing the patterns that through my childhood, I saw and saw the language and different things. How do you help people cope with people that they literally just can't get out of their lives? And they don't want to like, I don't want my mom on my life. I love her. I think she's amazing. Yeah. But yeah, like, there's issues right, like deeps of subcultural subconscious issues.

Yeah, for sure. And what I will say first is that there is an opportunity to choose to look at it as kind of an arena to do this work in a, really a tangible and obvious way. And what I mean by that is, if you've spent years using alcohol to be able to tolerate your mother, or your mother in law, or your brother, or whoever it is, in your family, if you've spent years kind of medicating over the experience of being with that person, by drinking wine, or beer or cocktails, or whatever your your alcohol of choice is, then it means that you haven't actually given yourself the opportunity to do any kind of internal work on those relationships with people. And so what it does when you take alcohol out of the equation is that it kind of forces you to look at all that stuff. And long term that really is the healthier solution. But that's why working with a coach is so powerful is that, you know, when you come to me every week, and we have our meeting, it means that we can work through all of those things together. Because at the end of the day, it's really not about not doing the thing anymore. It's not about just not putting alcohol into a glass and ingesting it. It's all of the other stuff that comes after you stop putting alcohol into a glass and ingesting it. It's like, oh, wow, it looks like I'm gonna have to work on my relationship with my mom now. Okay, now, what do we do? So it's all that or like, your boss, or, you know, your your kid who has this thing that you can't stand, you know, you have to face all of that when you don't no longer have this ability to kind of Medicaid through that experience. So I think that you know, long term, it's a good thing. In the moment, it's really hard. It's really hard. But there there are solutions, and a lot of it comes down to acceptance at the end of the day.

Yeah. Yeah, I still to this day, I mean, I go in bouts now. Like, there'll be months where I don't drink at all. And then I'll have a social drink. Like, I feel like I have way more under control, which is nice. But when I'm in my, when I get into those funks, instead of the guilt in the morning, it's like you're not going to drink tonight. And even if I drink, it's that constant, like you're going to do better, you're going to do better. And I do eventually think you will do better, right? If you keep telling yourself I'm going to be better. I'm you know. And the other thing that I've been doing is really focusing in on like sober is a superpower. Like in this day and age, right, like Brene Brown, I think has said it before. And I totally agree with her one because it's super hard to do you like to have superpowers. Like You're incredible, right? Like you have this amazing strength. And it does give you the edge. It really does. Being sober gives you an edge over people who maybe aren't as conscious of their drinking problems, right? Or issues, but I do think it is massively a superpower.

Yeah, 100%. And I think that to kind of talk about it from my own perspective. I personally don't identify as an alcoholic. I don't I personally don't feel like I fit that definition. And so, in that sense, the way I've approached my drinking is that I don't tell myself that I can never To drink again, I don't tell myself that I have a disease and that I have a personality flaw. And that I can't, that I'm just going to be like this for the rest of my life. It's not, it's not the way I want to. It's not the identity that I want to wear. And so what that means is that I actually do believe that now I've done because just to state for all people that want to do this work, I do recommend having a period of abstinence, especially in the beginning, because it just makes things a lot less complicated. But I do believe that if you do this work, you can add the alcohol back in if you want to. And so I believe that I'm in that place now too. And so I can drink if I want to. And I could have, you know, the occasional glass of wine on my birthday or to celebrate something. I'm not interested in drinking to self medicate. Again, I'm not interested in drinking, because I'm stressed out or experiencing negative emotions. That's definitely not a path. I want to go down again. But, you know, could I ingest alcohol? Absolutely. I just don't want to because I feel like, you're right, it is kind of a superpower. Like my brain is just so open and full of space and kind of on fire a little bit right now. And I'm really liking that. And I don't want to, I don't want to not have access to my full brain right now. So that's kind of where I'm at. So to get on the conspiracy side of things. I gotta go here. My listen. Oh, am I on that kind of podcast? See,

it's legal. Right? Yeah. Like, you know, the science is out there. It fucks your brain. So your cognitive health and your, you know, like, you become more of a zombie, right. So you will stay in front of the TV more, you'll do all those things. It's horrible for your health. And yet, we monitor all other forms of substance that we know do the same thing, like, you know, like the hard drugs and things like that. And even smoking, smoking has to have this huge warning label on it now, right. Do you think there's a part of like, the lot larger society, let's just say the government who let's face it controls? Our laws are okay with the drinking? I mean, look at COVID. Like, you weren't allowed to go outside. But you could go to the liquor store. Anytime you wanted, right? Yeah. What are your feelings about the societal? Okay, with alcohol, right? Like it's okay to keep going with it as long as you are functioning, as long as you're a members of society working right?

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I, okay. Just to say, I don't, it's my belief that nobody outside of yourself should tell you what to put in your body and what not to put in your body. So just to say that I don't think like, I don't believe in prohibition, I don't think we need to go back to that place. I'm not, I'm definitely not calling for that. I mean, I'm from Canada, and cannabis is legal here. So a lot of people use pot, where I come from recreationally and medicinally. And otherwise. And so just to say, right off the bat, I don't think that the government should be telling anybody what to do with their bodies ever. Yeah, that being said, there's a lot of money to be made. There's a lot of money to be made from the sale of alcohol, there's a lot of money to be made in taxes. You know, I because a lot of my clients are also mothers, I talk a lot about mommy wine culture, and how that is a multi billion dollar advertising industry, like people who are mothers and want to become mothers, like women who have, you know, disposable income, and they're highly successful, and they have families and, you know, all of their basic needs are met, you know, like they are a prime target for these advertising companies and influences or influencers and people who make a lot of money by selling alcohol culture to these people. And, again, I'm not against people drinking, I'm not one of those people who thinks that should just be, you know, burned and prohibited. And I very much think that people should be able to make their own individual choices for what feels best for them. But at the same time, it's really important to acknowledge that there are a lot of dollars being exchanged.

Yeah, that like half of the commercials are or alcohol? Like my son, he doesn't. He loves football. So we watch a lot of football in our house. And he knows what linetime is. He? He asked, he's like, Can I have a bud seltzer? And I was like, Where did you hear that we don't even drink but in his house, and he's like, I'm like, Ah, the commercials, like, they get you, right? And it is they sell you. It's just like, hustle culture. It's just like, boss girl culture. It's all these cultures that sell you this type of lifestyle. But no one's talking about the gaming, right, no one's talking about the balance between it. And it's very easy. If you don't have the right mindset, the right self love the right self worth the right community, the people who you're hanging out with, to fall into some of the darker holes of those cultures.

Yeah, like and to really look at it for what it is, I mean, again, to go back to kind of mommy wine culture. I mean, it's, it's cute. And it's funny, and it looks good on Instagram. But really the message they're sending is that you have to drink alcohol to be able to tolerate parenthood. And to actually look at what that message is, it might make you feel a little bit different, to just kind of look at it and actually get to the bottom of what they're saying.

Yeah, exactly. I like the fact that you stated that you don't identify a certain way. And I think that is a I'm not downing a, you know, what they have done for many, many, many people's lives is amazing. But when you get into this mindset work, and I think a lot of people with we have an issue within the fertility issues community is they identify as something. So when you're identifying as something, I believe that subconsciously it's harder, it's kind of almost putting a block to the other side of not being that. So if you're always identifying I'm in Florida, I'm infertile, I'm referred to a will your subconscious mind is going to be like, Okay, you're in fertile, let's like, make those things happen for you. In the physical world. Where when you're sitting there saying, I'm an alcoholic, I'm alcoholic, what your subconscious mind is like, okay, we're an alcoholic, let's go. So I think there is like a good argument to be had to reef. You know, rephrasing things when you're trying to shift out of your identity, because your egos always trying to hold you to a certain identity, right. So I think it's really important to and I try to use that in my life, I don't try to say, I, you know, I'm a functioning alcoholic. No, that's not who I am. That's maybe what I identified and saw when I was growing up. But I'm someone who and I even have like it written out. I mean, it's so cheesy and woowoo this, like, Monica is someone who can enjoy alcohol on occasions when she desires, right?

Yeah, so yeah, well, again, it comes back to you. And this is going to be the annoying answer of the day. But it's so individual, it's so and I think it really, it really goes a long way to kind of check into how your body is feeling when you kind of make these statements because for some people, it is helpful for them to give themselves a label. And that's also not dismissing that there are medical diagnoses that are rooted in labs and physiology and evidence and that it's like objectively yes, you're not ovulating or objectively Yes, you don't grow endometrium or objectively Yes, Your husband doesn't make sperm like there's a lot of like, yes, it's it's objectively the truth that And the same could be said for how alcoholics identify, it was at one point in time a medical diagnosis, I don't think I think they took it out of the DSM. And it's no longer a diagnosable condition. I think there's now a spectrum of alcohol use disorder that they kind of diagnosed people along. But to kind of get back to my original point was kind of checking in with yourself and seeing how you feel because for some people to say, I am this or I am that it can almost create a feeling of relief in their body. And to me, that might be what that person is needing in the moment to cope with what they're going through and to be able to put one foot in front of the other and move forward in any meaningful way. On the same token, and this can change for a person over a lifetime. Yeah. Yeah. If somebody says, if somebody's like me, because for me the thought of identifying as an alcoholic, and having to live with that label for the rest of my life and to have to go to meetings and to have to just abstain for Ever, that made me feel terrified and frozen and completely uninterested in making a change at all. And so if that is your reaction to it, as opposed to, let's say, relief, then that tells you something that maybe that isn't a path that it that's in your best interest right now. And so I think it's about really checking in with yourself and seeing how you're feeling that day or in that individual moment. And again, I also believe that our brains and our bodies and our minds are highly changeable, and they evolve, and they can go through different stages in life. So at some point, it might be helpful to label yourself as somebody with an alcohol use disorder, or somebody who's infertile. But maybe that stops working for you at some point, and you need to try something else. And that's okay.

Yeah, exactly. Just follow. Yeah, what your body in your intuition is telling you. But I do think it's helpful to have the conversation of, you know, like a diagnosis and a label, you know, can be very limiting. Right? So having the conversation of like, Yes, you are diagnosed with endometriosis. But you can shift the way that is expressing within your body with different modalities. Right. So I don't feel well, when I was going through it, I suppose. I didn't feel like that conversation was ever there.

No way. It's like, no, no, either. Your alcoholic or your normal? Yeah, there's nothing in between. Yeah. And I think people are existing on much more of a spectrum. Now, I think there are a lot more people who are out there talking about how, no, I'm not somebody who needs to hit rock bottom. I'm not somebody who's that like Hollywood stereotypical representation of somebody with a drinking problem that just because you're not that and just because you're not quote normal, doesn't mean that there isn't a place for you or something that can be done to change what's going on for you right now. Yeah,

exactly. What's your like, number one tip, just to get people started when they are ready to live an alcohol free alcohol free life for a certain period. Right, especially with our women dealing with infertility, they know they need to stop. What's kind of your number one takeaway?

So I think first first, first, before we get into any actions, what I would say is, it's okay to question things, it's okay to ask yourself, it's okay to kind of go there in your mind. And it doesn't mean that you have to do anything about it, it doesn't mean that you have to quit drinking forever, it doesn't mean you have to take any action whatsoever. It's perfectly okay to just question things in wonder, you don't need to label yourself, you don't need to do anything, you can just ask. And I say that because I spent 10 years, like a good decade, drinking a bottle of wine a night, and being terrified to ask myself those questions. Because I thought if I asked myself those questions, that it would mean that I would immediately end up in this place where I'm like, an alcoholic forever. And I just want to say that it's okay to question things and not do anything yet. So that would be my first piece of advice. And the second thing is, if you feel like you do you have a relationship with your drinking that you don't think fits in with the results that you want to create in your life, if you don't, if you think that your drinking is kind of at odds with some goals that you have, or just a general sense of how you want to live your life, then what I like to recommend that people do first off is just to find people who are talking about it, and doing it in a way that resonates with you and just hanging out with them for a bit like read their books, listen to their podcast, follow them on Instagram, there's so many people now that are doing this in a really positive and uplifting way. And so just kind of hanging out with them for a bit can make it feel maybe a little bit less daunting to go down that path. And then if you're ready to really make a change, I highly recommend finding a coach and working one on one with them. It has been life changing for me and the clients that I work with, say the same thing. So that would be you know, the next kind of tangible stuff that I would recommend for people. That's three things sorry, you asked for one.

No, they are all great. No and especially the last one I mean, you could do it alone. It is absolutely possible to do anything alone. But I know in my experience working with someone just makes it a faster and easier. So therefore saving you time and money. Yeah.

100% Yeah, cuz I mean, there are amazing books out there. Alan Carr wrote a book on how to quit smoking. But he also wrote a book on how to quit drinking. And I know a lot of people who have used that any grace is great. She does this naked mind, she's got an alcohol experiment that you can do. But if you're looking for something that's super efficient to solve the problem as quickly as possible, definitely working with a one on one coach is what I recommend.

Yeah, exactly. Where can the listeners find you?

Yeah, so there's a couple of places that I like to hang out. If you're into podcasts, which you probably are, since you're listening to us here, you can find me on my podcast, which is called the alcohol Freedom podcast. And you can find that on any of the major players. You can also go to my website, Michelle kappeler.com. And you can listen to the podcast directly on there. I also have a couple of freebies that are available to people and one that your listeners might be interested in is I did a little mini course. And it's free, you can go on my website and download it. And it's called how to relax without your nightly glass of wine. It's about 45 minutes, and there's lots of really good tips. And again, it's totally free. So you can go to my website and download that. And then if you want to chat with me directly, I hang out on Instagram at Michelle kappler. And you can DM me there if you have any questions.

Perfect. We'll put all those in the show notes for easy access. Well, thank you so much for coming on and talking about this subject. I really enjoyed our time together. And yeah, thank you again.

Amazing. Thanks so much for having me.

Thank you once again for tuning in to the finding fertility podcast. If you're loving this podcast, please leave us a rating and review and let us know how this podcast is supporting you to get steps closer to creating your dream family. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and we will see you next Friday for another episode of the finding fertility podcast. 

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Anything written or said about health and diet are my opinions, that I have formed over the years, through trial and error, study, reading, listening and observing. What worked for me may not work for you. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or dietician and all medical advice should be gotten from a qualified professional. Product recommendations are based on what I used during my infertility journey or wish I had.


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