We live in a world where pouring that first glass of wine or other drink of choice has become all too easy. Whether it’s to unwind after a long workday, relax on the weekends, or finding the courage to navigate social situations, alcohol can seem, at times, to be the solution to soothe the rough edges of life.
Unfortunately, some of us have discovered that what once seemed like an innocent occasional indulgence has gradually transformed into a daily necessity.
In today’s episode, Colleen Kachman, host of the Recover with Colleen podcast and a recovery-certified Master Coach will take us on a profound journey through her personal struggle with alcohol and how she found a way to break free.
As she embarked on her path to recovery, she discovered that true sobriety wasn’t solely about abstaining from alcohol; it was about achieving emotional sobriety and confronting the underlying feelings that she had been numbing with alcohol.
I invite you to join us as Colleen shares her inspiring story and imparts invaluable insights into the steps she took to reclaim her emotional well-being. Through her own experience, she now guides others towards discovering healthier coping mechanisms and learning to face their emotions head-on instead of seeking refuge in alcohol.
This episode promises to be an eye-opening and transformative conversation that will inspire and empower us all. Together, let’s explore the path to emotional sobriety and embrace a future that is fueled by self-awareness and resilience.
What are you waiting for? Put down that corkscrew and come on in.
Register for Colleen’s FREE masterclass to learn her Accelerated Recovery Process. Learn how to be emotionally sober so you can trust yourself-with or without a drink in your hand. Get a $100 credit for attending live.
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Rita Black: Does it seem just a little too easy to pour that first glass of wine? Or maybe it's something else. A vodka, soda, whatever the drink of choice is. It just seems like the thing to soothe our nerves after a workday or to relax on the weekend, or to give us courage when we're feeling socially insecure. Many of us leaned into alcohol during the pandemic and have not found a way to cut the cord or have found that once innocent and fun seeming habit has become a bit more of a daily need. In today's Thin Thinking episode, my guest, Colleen Kachmann, tells us a story of how she was trapped in her own relationship with alcohol during her own journey of recovery. She discovered that getting sober wasn't about cutting out the drink as much as it was learning to become emotionally sober, dealing with the feelings that she was using the drink to numb. Please join me today to learn the steps that Colleen took and how she now teaches others to learn how to deal with emotions rather than drinking over them. So put down that corkscrew and come on in.
Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental. That's right. The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi there. I'm Rita Black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, best-selling author, and the creator of the Shift Weight Mastery Process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long-term weight mastery, I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the Thin Thinking Podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long term and live your best life.
Rita Black: Hello. Hello, hello. And happy, happy post Memorial Day weekend to all of you and to you, Canadians, happy post, post three day weekend to you, cause I know you had a three-day weekend before us. And I would like to thank all of our veterans who have served our country from the bottom of my heart. Now, do you ever use guests coming to stay with you as a way to get things done around the house?
Rita Black: You know, like my son, his graduation is in less than two weeks. Oh my God. And my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law are coming. So we are hurrying and scurrying and getting the house ready. Oh my gosh. I was telling my monthly membership about what we're doing in our backyard. Our backyard looked, it looked, used to look many years ago. Well, pre pandemic when my husband was in charge of it. If any of you remember the sitcom Sanford and Son, it used to look like a junkyard. It used to look like a whatever. My husband likes to throw things and have things and gets very emotionally attached to junk during the pandemic. We cleaned it up though, and now we're continuing our journey and it's, you know, my garden. I mean, we've changed it around. It really is a beautiful and tranquil place to be.
Rita Black: So we're busy getting that ready. We're busy getting the house ready. I'll tell you super quick story, but this is kind of funny about getting things ready. So the same mother-in-law and sister-in-law back in the day, they, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are amazing and they're amazingly generous. And when they come, my mother-in-law is now 87 years old, going on 88 with energy of a, I don't know, a 35 year old. And the mind match, she's amazing. She's British. And she, when my husband and I were living in England, we lived in this top floor. We lived in this big old house in an area of London called Golder's Green, which is a very old area, and it's near a beautiful big park called Hamstead Heath. So those of you in England probably kind of remember like, and in England, or at least in London, the Times, and this was the early nineties, we lived in this house.
Rita Black: And they would subdivide the houses because they're huge into, you know main floor, middle floor, top floor, and then the attic. And so my husband and I lived in the attic apartment. So we would go flat, I should say, and we would, you would have to go up this stairwell, you know, staircase that was within the house to the top end. So you could see literally, I mean, if the door was open to our flat, you could see into the kitchen and you know, that was the view you had. So I remember my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law were coming to visit and I think the last time they came or something, my mother-in-law, whenever my mother-in-law comes and my sister-in-law comes, they clean like, whatever we do, they clean because they like to contribute. They go out and buy things.
Rita Black: They, I mean, you know, if I'm very, very lucky to have my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, but so here's my humiliation story. I tell my husband. So as we have already established, my husband is a mess. Messy. He's not a mess, but he is messy. And when I go away and I come back, he and my son now you know, we, we could have cleaned the house before I left. It could have been pristine clean. When I come back, it just looks like a hurricane. Hit it, right? So my husband, this was pre-son you know, we were living in this flat and I had to go away on business. And I knew my mother-in-law were and sister-in-law were coming in. I said, Hey, hey, hey. You know, I called him from Birmingham where I was on business and I said, Hey honey, you know, I'm taking the train home today.
Rita Black: I know your mother and sister are coming. Please, please, please clean the house. And me and my husband, you know, he was, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no problem. I've got it covered. And I didn't make it clear to him. I said, you know, you're not cleaning the house for you. You are cleaning it for me because it's embarrassing. I don't know, call me old fashioned. But I was just like, it looks, I think it reflects more poorly. I mean, they know my son is, their son is a, you know who he is. But, you know, I was the new, at that point, we were, you know, married only a couple of years. So I was the new daughter-in-law and I didn't wanna get a bad rep. So anyway, I was coming back, I was like, okay, Simon's cleaned up the house and I walk up these stairs, as you know, and that front door was open.
Rita Black: And I see my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law on the kitchen floor on their knees scrubbing my kitchen floor. My God, I don't think I have ever been so embarrassed and horrified in my entire life. And I definitely think I have some PTSD. I mean, I went in the house and there was my husband sitting in the living room and I was like, what did you do? Why are they cleaning the kitchen? What, what? And he was like, well, they like to clean. Oh my God. And they made us a beautiful dinner as well. So this is so, so, even though it's been 30, 32 years since that incident, you know, anytime they come calling, I'm like, okay, the house is going to look beautiful. I have to, I have to come over my end again. They never said a word. They were so gracious, but it was my own inner freak out. Oh my gosh.
Rita Black: Okay. So anyway, now enough of that. So that was stressful. And now if any of my listeners have been wondering to themselves, am I using alcohol a little too much to manage that stress or party down at night or to reward myself after a long day of work? Has it gone from something that was special for a time to a real need? And sometimes this can also as we know cause weight gain, either from the additional calories from drinking or just from the mental attitude we get when we have a couple of drinks in us. Like, eh, who cares? You know, I'll start again. I'll be good tomorrow. So if you have been wondering, if you have been thinking about this, if you have been struggling just a little bit, then you are gonna love my interview with Colleen Kachmann. Our discussion of this unique approach that she uses called Emotional Sobriety. Colleen is the host of the Recover with Colleen Podcast, a recovery certified master coach and author of the book, Life Off the Label, A Handbook for Creating Your Own Brand of Health and Happiness. She is a certified professional recovery coach and holds a MSE in coaching a BS in education and a woman's functional and integrative medicine professional certificate. Colleen developed the accelerated recovery process using evidence-based strategies in neurophysiology psychology that have been scientifically proven to help people change.
Rita Black: Well, welcome Colleen to the Thin Thinking podcast. It's really awesome to have you here.
Colleen Kachmann: Thank you, Rita. It's good to be here.
Rita Black: You have such a great energy. And Colleen and I met at a leadership conference actually. And we got to talking and I was like, oh, I have to have you on this podcast because what you do is really fascinating. And I know a lot of you guys are gonna be really into how she works with people around alcohol bed, around really what you call emotional sobriety. Correct, Colleen?
Colleen Kachmann: Yes. I think alcohol is the symptom and it's, you know, we have multiple addictions in our life, and I think our society, we tend to really try to diagnose and categorize people. And alcohol would be a perfect example that, you know, if you have a drinking problem, it's because you're an alcoholic, right? And alcohol is the problem. Then sobriety is the solution. And I just look at things from an upstream point of why are you drinking too much? Which I'm sure you look at the same thing when you deal with weight. Why are you eating too much or you know, what's really happening? And what I have found is that ultimately, when you're engaged in something that's addictive, and that includes thought processes too, that your dopamine in your brain gets off. And so you're not drinking because you want to drink or eating because you want to eat.
Colleen Kachmann: You are, you are reaching for substances or behaviors because your nervous system is dysregulated. And because your brain chemistry, when you're engaged with an a addictive substance, the more you engaged with it, the lower your baseline dopamine levels get. And so you're just constantly in this deficit that you're trying to offset. And it's very subtle. It's not a conscious decision. But that's how, like I always make an analogy where you get your shoe lace wrapped around your bicycle pedal, you know, each time you go around it gets a little bit tighter and tighter. But I think people too often blame that it's the substance or it's a lack of willpower when in truth, okay, it is a lack of willpower. But why, why? Because most of us that with that perfectionistic mindset, we have tons of willpower in other areas of our life. What's going on?
Colleen Kachmann: Well, the answer is, when you're stuck in a state of chronic stress, you don't have access to your willpower. Right? And so learning to diagnose the state of your nervous system and what's happening with your brain chemistry and look and learn how to read your own body language instead of worrying about what everybody else thinks and says all the time, like learning how to read your own body language, take care of your body, that when you start doing that, your levels of stress come down and your willpower magically returns. And then the other thing I work with people on is to actually identify, you know, where they are and where they wanna go. So often we're just on autopilot and we're not living with intention. And that goes a long way.
Rita Black: Yeah. Well, tell us how you got started with helping people in this way. Like, tell us what in, you know, what intrigued you or how did you come to this kind of work? So, it sounds fascinating.
Colleen Kachmann: Yeah. So I was a health coach. I worked with people, weight loss, I did, I was a specialist with plant-based nutrition. And so I helped people get more fiber in their diet. You know, I used to have a program called Eat Yourself Thin, where you don't focus on what you're giving up, but if, hey, if you can get 60 grams of fiber every day, then you know, you don't really, you won't have time to chew much else, you know? So I worked with people on diet and at the time I had been a daily drinker for a long time. And then when we went into COVID I basically, what happens with a lot of people who are suffering from addiction when the boundaries or what is keeping you from going off the rails when those things are gone?
Colleen Kachmann: I basically just lost control of myself. And I didn't really even realize it, but I was drinking more and more every day. And I just woke up one day and I was like, I can't do this anymore. And so I quit drinking and I went the AA route, because that's all, you know, if you're not versed in the sober community, then you think, well, I have a drinking problem, I'm an alcoholic and I have to go to AA. And I found wonderful people and a supportive environment there. But right from the get-go, because of what I know, let's just say about nutrition, I knew that not all of the advice was good. Like on day one, my sponsor said, or my temporary sponsor said, get yourself a bag of candy and use the to soothe your urges for. Well, I knew that wasn't true.
Colleen Kachmann: So fast forward through the first year I stayed in the alcohol com or in the AA community because there was kind people, there was support. I knew not to take all the guidance and I knew that there were beliefs that I didn't agree with, such as I'm an alcoholic. You know. My first question with the drinking was, how can I be an alcoholic now that I quit drinking? Like that doesn't even make any sense to me. And so, but I stuck with it because it was kind of like going to church. You, sometimes you say things that you don't agree with, but you're there for the community. Well, about a year into my sobriety where I'm a hundred percent sober and I'm marching to the club rules and, you know, identifying as appropriate, I realized I still felt hungover. I still felt emotional dysregulation.
Colleen Kachmann: I was low, low energy and low motivation. And I had been a marathon even when I was drinking. I was a marathon runner and like the perfectionist of all perfectionists. And I have seven kids and I am a yoga teacher and I'm a coach, and I do all the things all the time, all the right stuff. And I had no motivation. It felt like life had been easier when I just, all I had to deal with was a hangover because I felt like dealing with myself was a full-time job and it wasn't really getting better. There is something with alcohol use disorder when you're in recovery called post-acute withdrawal syndrome. And I educated myself about that, but it wasn't getting any better. A year later. I still can hardly get out of bed. On some days I'm still suffering from emotional dysregulation, zero to 60 and off, you know, with very little trigger.
Colleen Kachmann: And I just didn't feel good. So I started diving into brain health and traumatic brain and injury recoveries. I also dove into some spiritual work with Don Miguel Ruz and Michael Springer. And I just kind of came to the realization, as they say in day one of AA, this isn't a drinking problem, it's a thinking problem. Well, that is true. And so, how did I come to it? I I became my own healer And I realized that, well, I'll tell you the pivotal moment. I think it was Michael Singer or, it was a blend. I don't, I don't really know where I got it, but it was something where I realized that, that whatever is happening, the situation, that's not the problem that's stressing me out. It's my thoughts and feelings about the situation that's stressing me out.
Colleen Kachmann: And that realization cracked open a perspective for me that allowed me to realize that my behavior is being driven from my thoughts and my feelings. And so the real work that I needed to do was not more alcohol research and promising to stay sober for the rest of my life. It was to become emotionally sober where I take full responsibility. If, if I'm feeling something, it's because I'm thinking something or experiencing something in my brain with brain chemistry and to stop diagnosing the problem as me being a, low moral no character sort of person. Or that life is just too overwhelming and there's never enough time or money or space. But actually to look at my thoughts and beliefs and that's how then my program was born.
Rita Black: That is amazing. And how so, so you, first of all, I have to say you have seven children.
Colleen Kachmann: I have four of them outta my own body, and then three with my husband. Yeah.
Rita Black: So, you guys are kind of like the Brady Bunch, huh?
Colleen Kachmann: Brady Bunch plus one. We are, we're, yeah. Yeah.
Rita Black: You guys are supporting more kids than the Brady Bunch. That is so cool. And what are the age ranges of your children? Just quick and then we'll get back into emotional sobriety stuff.
Colleen Kachmann: Well it's hilarious. So buckle up. Because four of them are 25, because my husband had triplets with his wife.
Rita Black: No way. Okay.
Colleen Kachmann: And then I had 25, I have 25, 23, 20 and 18. So we had, you know, we got together in their early teens. So we had four 14 year olds in our first year together.
Rita Black: Holy camoly. And then you put four kids through college at the same time? Or you, I'm assuming -
Colleen Kachmann: Yeah. Bail money, college. I mean, you call it. Yeah. And yeah, and it's no wonder I had a wee bit of a drinking problem, you know? And I still remember to your point with the Brady Bunch thinking, wait a minute, I signed up to be Mrs. Brady, not Alice. And all I'm doing is I'm like the housekeeper and the maid and nobody likes me. And it was like, it was crazy.
Rita Black: Oh my God. Well, I am in awe of you. I mean, I raised two and it feels like and I'm still trying to get one outta the house and I feel like, oh my gosh, I couldn't imagine one more. Okay. So, but I got it now, which means you're incredibly organized, obviously, if you've raised seven children and you are a problem solver. But, so bringing you back to emotional sobriety and the foundation. So walk us through now, because I know you kind of gave us a little precursor before I asked you to kind of, you know, tell us how you came to this. So when you started putting your program together, when you started like putting the building blocks of like procedure together, like how do you take somebody from who's struggling with what you would call like dysregulated, emotional, give me the term again. Dysregulated?
Colleen Kachmann: Dysregulation is one term.
Rita Black: Emotional dysregulation. Okay. So when you have somebody who has a complete emotional dysregulation and they are numbing either with food or with alcohol or both, or marijuana or what have you, what are, you know, like how did you start to put together? Cause I know you have a 12, your program is a 12 week program and it's a, it's called an Accelerated Recovery Process. Right? So, so tell us a little bit about that. Cause I have a feeling the emotional sobriety is part of this, but it's not all of this. Right?
Colleen Kachmann: Right. So basically the litmus test for if somebody wants to work with me, I'm not everybody's cup of tea. You know the difference, as I'm sure you know, between a therapist and a coach, is a therapist provides comfort, they help you make sense of and peace with the past and who you are. And I'm very forward facing therapists provide comfort. I'm gonna push you outta your comfort zone. Right? So I am not everybody's cup of tea. Not everybody wants that sort of approach. So that's kind of a litmus test. When people come to me, like the question, I don't actually ask this, but sometimes I do. And when I do programs and stuff, it's like, are you willing to entertain the hypothesis that you are your own problem? And it's not a lack of time, it's not a lack of money, it's not what your husband said or what your kids did or what your job is or where you live, or the size of your body or your age.
Colleen Kachmann: Like, are you willing to entertain as a working hypothesis? You know, because it's just a framework. Are you willing to entertain that your thoughts and feelings are the problem? And are you willing to accept full responsibility for that? So really just setting that intention. Then, you know, I have a lot of tools, but I kind of marry I marry the approach between cognitive and nervous system. Like I use a lot of polyvagal theory and I teach people how to map their emotional states because what you realize is they're very predictable. You're kind, you know, Monday mornings, you're probably pretty predictable about how you feel and what you think. And, and so we don't even realize because we're, our inside voices are always on. So we think we're thinking, but we're actually thinking pretty much the same way we thought yesterday. And so it's uncomfortable to interrupt those patterns, but that's what you have to do in order to change your behavior. Trying to change your behavior with willpower. That is like, you know, what would be, it's like trying to pull yourself out of the rapids in the river when it's much easier to go upstream to the thoughts and beliefs about what the real problem is. And so I teach people to shift their focus from what's going on in the outside world to what's going on in their minds and in their body. .
Colleen Kachmann: Awareness is the foundation. Yeah.
Rita Black: Awareness is the foundation. And a hundred percent responsibility also sounds like taking responsibility. You know, they, they have this term or I, I have talked a lot about the psychological term called internal locus of control versus external locus of control. And this idea of when real transformation begins when you start from the inside out rather than, you know, cuz a lot of times, especially with weight management and, and you know, as even drinking a lot of things we're looking outside of us, we're looking for the answers outside rather than really starting to start with the thoughts, the feelings the behaviors. And when people, you know, what I, we, we talk about the hero's journey, like the Joseph Campbell's like, you know, really the, the reluctant hero, but the hero has to take that first step into the new world and it's their journey.
Rita Black: And then, you know, I, so I appreciate that you're, you're coming really at the same, you know, to this at the same pace. When somebody comes to you and they've been drinking, talk to me about, I wanna hear more about your process, but I wanna hear about where they are emotionally. I wanna hear about like how, cause I imagine they have a lot of self shame. They have a lot of interpretations of what their behavior is, cuz I do see it a lot. You know, and that's keeping them stuck, you know, and they don't wanna go to AA because maybe they don't think they're an alcoholic, but they're, they just have a pattern, but they can't, no matter what they do, break that pattern.
Colleen Kachmann: Yeah. Yeah. And that's the biggest, what coming into the present moment is kind of the escape. Because the problem when, when I was drinking every day is the belief that I'm not going to be able to do this. The belief that yeah, but five o'clock on that first day, I'm gonna go right back in. But it's the, it's, that's all happening in your mind. You're, you're thinking about that situation and you're projecting how you've always handled it in the past. So first of all, when people come into my program for alcohol, which almost all of them do, even though some of them have been sober for a while and experience the same thing I did, you know, so they're like, well, I'm sober, I get it, but life sucks. This isn't fun. And, and so they don't need help quit drinking. But just when you realize, education about alcohol is really important or education about your drug of choice and how that's affecting your nervous system and your gut and your immunity.
Colleen Kachmann: Like, so, so the first step is saying, okay, I am going to stop drinking or I'm going to change. And I'm, I know that applies with weight too, but the hardest part of this is making the decision and all the pre-thinking and driving yourself crazy about it. Once you make the decision, then the question becomes, how do I stay sober? And for me, it was enough to have some accountability and somebody to tell me, read these books and do these things and go to this meeting. And that even though I had been a daily drinker for 14 years, that was enough for me. But I do have people where that's not enough from, well, once you've made the decision to stop drinking, then the question is, what do I need to make that happen today? What does my body need to get through that? So you might have to do the hard thing. I've had a couple of clients that had to go to detox and get professional medical support. I've had people who had to change their situation so that they could give themselves the support they need. So the question is, what do I need to make this happen? Not sitting around thinking, I don't think I can make this happen.
Rita Black: Right. Yeah. So you're getting into action and, but you have to assess your situation. You gotta assess, where am I at in this journey or starting this journey from, you know, do I need to detox? Do I need to leave my family for a week to give myself sort of that just isolation -
Colleen Kachmann: I leave alohol outta my house. You know? Or the junk food or whatever it is, you know, because a lot of times he'll like, well, we've got kids, or my husband drinks and I can't get rid of it. It's called, well, your needs matter just as much as theirs and you need to take full responsibility for your needs. Your needs are not negotiable. So that, that's the real mindset usually that we're dealing with, is people won't give themselves permission to do what they need to do. Most of us don't need, you know, I gave myself full permission to get all the alcohol outta my myself. I gave myself permission to go to rehab, but turns out it was fine. Just giving myself permission to do whatever it takes relieved a lot of the pressure because I knew I -
Rita Black: Yes, I agree. Permission is such a huge key. So as people are then getting alcohol out of their system, starting to look at things differently, tell us a little bit about, you know, what you see and how you coach people about their responses. You know? What are the responses that usually come up when you were saying like, you would go from zero to 90 miles per hour, or a hundred miles per hour, like that emotional rollercoaster. Are you having people, I mean, I'm sure there's many ways that you work, like you said, you have many, many tools that people work with, but like, maybe give us a, like an inkling of like the emotional sobriety. What, what, how does that come into play?
Colleen Kachmann: So I'll just give you a personal example. Okay. But it's, it's the moment you realize you're having an emotional reaction. So think of it like you're, like, when something's on fire or if you're on fire, you stop, drop and roll. The moment you realize your nervous system is on fire, you stop, drop and feel. So for, two examples of what that looks like in my life, my big emotional trigger when I first quit drinking was my marriage. I quit drinking because I thought I was getting a divorce because that guy is a problem.
Colleen Kachmann: So a lot of unresolved, like I had to work through a lot there. So what it became of the moment I realized I was getting upset, boom. I had to put a boundary down. So what that looks like now in, you know, years later is I have to go to the bathroom usually. Leaving the situation and just going to the bathroom. I can, I can handle myself with emotional sobriety in 60 seconds or less. But it used to be like I had to actually move out of our bedroom and move upstairs and tell him, please don't talk to me for six weeks because I don't know who I am or what I want and I don't wanna explode on you. So I had to create space for myself. So we also have a safe word, not in sex, but in fights where the moment one of us says the safe word's really boring, it's safe, the moment one of us says safe, then we both stop talking and we both leave the room. So it's then where the, the priority is, it's like if you are trying to handle your life with emotions on emotions, emotions are filters. It's like having a swollen finger and tugging at your ring. The more you tug, the more it's gonna hurt, the worse it gets. You have to get rid of the emotional inflammation first. So you have to get yourself to, what do I need right now to feel better? Like, a lot of times we think, well I need you to be different. No, no, no. What does my body need in this moment to feel better? Do I need to take a walk a nap? Do I need to give myself space? Am I hungry? Am I tired? All of those things. So learning how to take care of your body in real time, almost from a third party objective. Not buying into your stories, but just like, oh, I think she's getting crazy. What are we gonna do?
Rita Black: It's so interesting. The bathroom is so powerful. I we talk I talk many times about the need, like like if somebody's at a party or somebody's, especially the stimulation, cuz we get overstimulated and then you go to a bathroom where it's quiet and you can center and come back to yourself. I work with smokers too. It's the same. Often smokers will go to a party and you know, their old thing would be they would go outside to smoke a cigarette and guess what happens outside? It's quiet. Nobody's out there bugging you and they think the cigarette is calming them down. But actually the fact that they left the party, the overstimulating environment and they went outside. And so when I say, well, you know, you actually, if you have social anxiety or for you, you get really stimulated very quickly, which a lot of us do.
Rita Black: I went to the bathroom, take a breath, you know, it's quiet in there. And I'm like, I never thought about that. But it's, it's so true. And this, I'll tell you a quick, it's a very funny story. There's a woman I work in a, like a high rise on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, and there is a law office on the same floor as me. And there is a very noisy, a very stimulating law office. And there's this woman who every day I go into the bathroom, you know, and I, I drink a lot of water. So I'm in there often and I go in and I see that she's in there, that she's not going to the bathroom. She is calming herself down. I mean, I know what she's, she's in the bathroom stall on the phone. But, you know, nobody's giving her permission to say, Hey, go take a five minute break. Your brain actually needs to calm down. They're, they're just saying, she's just like, holy crap, let me go and and go to the bathroom and, you know, calm myself down. But probably not aware of the fact that that's what she's doing, she might be, but I just find it so fascinating. That's so great that you, you're, you're tuning in, you are, you are sort of diagnosing and then you're taking action.
Colleen Kachmann: Self-Diagnosed and then you self-coach and you know, the hard thing, especially in early recovery from whether it be eating addiction or what, and addiction doesn't have to say that word, you know, just eating issues or whatever, but if you're over smoking or alcohol or you're trying to change, you know, your eating habits, realizing that in the beginning your bandwidth to handle life, your window of tolerance is really small. So it's not just going to the bathroom for 60 seconds, it's going to the bathroom and asking yourself, do I need to leave? You know? And people are like, I can't get through a party sober, or I gotta eat all the junk at the party, or I'm gonna, well then maybe you need to take your body home.
Rita Black: Yeah.
Colleen Kachmann: And the sooner that you give yourself permission and obligate yourself to do what you need and deal with the feelings about that. You know, and that's where my coaching comes in. It's not like I know what you should or shouldn't do in any given moment. I can barely figure myself out. But it's more about realizing that you're feeling guilty and you're not allowing yourself to take care of the needs you have in the same way you take care of everybody else's needs. And just that radical, you know, they say put your own oxygen mask on, on the airplane. And as, especially as women, but you know, fathers too in different contexts. It, this applies to all of us where we think we have to sacrifice ourselves for somebody else. And do you, that's the hard part.
Rita Black: Yes, absolutely. And, and that is a huge, huge challenge for most people is to put themselves first and to take that permission. What, do you work, you work primarily with women, is that correct? Or do you work with men and women?
Colleen Kachmann: I have just women in my program, but I get a lot of men that come to my master classes and I do challenges and things here and there and, and I'm open in the future, you know, when the demand is there, I'll open a section in my program for men as well. But up until now, it's just been women. Yeah.
Rita Black: Right. And I imagine women and their relationship with the alcohol sometimes can be a little different than men's relationship with alcohol, would you say? I mean, just in the sense of socially. Maybe not from the look on your face. It looks -
Colleen Kachmann: I don't see it a lot because I do take men as personal clients. So while they're not in my group, I've worked with a lot of men. And I, it's, it's kind of the same thing. You know it, and that's the beauty of it, what you think you're struggling with and it's just you, nah, it's everybody.
Rita Black: So you're saying men have a, the same amount of like self shame about drinking as women do?
Colleen Kachmann: You know, again, going upstream from the drinking, they may or may not. Some women do have shame about drinking. Some women don't. Some, it's more about giving themselves permission. What are they not dialing into? Why are their nervous systems in a chronic state of stress? So if we wanna do stereotypes, which are fine cuz we're not talking about any one person, but a man might be so, in the traditional sense might be so, so workaholism and he can't allow himself to relax, you know, or cause he's putting financial pressure on him, you know, so, so the, the symptoms look different and the feelings may be different, but it's the blocking of feeling our feelings and figuring out what it is that we really need that we're denying ourselves. We are denying ourselves something and we are thinking that alcohol or food or something is making, or smoking is making us feel better. But in truth, we're low end dopamine and there's a reason for that.
Rita Black: So when you call it an accelerated recovery process, what do you mean by that? Just curious cause -
Colleen Kachmann: Well especially when it comes to alcohol. Okay. Because there's stigma and you quit, and you're an alcoholic and now you have to be a hundred percent sober for the rest of your life. And like I said, I was a year sober and still experiencing pause, which they say can last for multiple years. And the truth is, if you can correctly identify what the problem is, which is your feelings and your inability to deal with those and process them, and if you can identify where you wanna go and you're willing to take full responsibility, you can get there a lot faster. Which is why I program 12 weeks because they call it recovery for a reason. You know, drinking, drinking and, you know, fix all of your problems the next day because it's not about the alcohol anymore than it's about the food or the cigarettes.
Colleen Kachmann: And so my accelerated program, I have five components that I, that I incorporate, and it's A, B, C, D, E, so it's really easy to remember. One of them is abstinence. You don't have to get sober forever. You don't have to give up junk food forever. You don't have to give up sugar forever. But the most important initial intervention is a period of abstinence from whatever your drug of choice is. Minimum of 30 days for the dopamine pathways to begin to self-correct. And with alcohol specifically, it's 14 months that's on average before your dopamine firing. You're gonna feel better, but it's a, it takes, so you just gotta get the alcohol outta your system or whatever it is that you are being tempted by and triggered by. That needs to just be taken off the table. So an initial period of abstinence.
Colleen Kachmann: B is bandwidth, like we've talked about. You have to realize that you're in this situation a hundred percent of the time because you're living in a state of chronic stress and your nervous system and your brain chemistry and your blood sugar and your digestive health and your immune system, it's all outta whack. And so realizing that you have to live within your bandwidth, find that window of tolerance and stay in it, and then leave the party or work less or go to bed early, or whatever it is you have to do to take care of your body.
Rita Black: C is community, which shows the fastest and easiest way to change is to consistently meet with other people who are talking and doing the same thing. Gotta get a try. And then D, one of the things that people love slash hate me for is I do kind of discomfort therapy, where you practice leaning into discomfort on your own terms. So not at the end of a busy stressful day when you want the cookie or the vodka, but we do cold showers. 30 seconds of cold showers literally can boost your baseline dopamine by 60%. And or stop, turn your TV off in the middle of a show and just watch your body and practice like, you know, sitting with that disappointment and just watch yourself. So basically switching from instant gratification to long-term gratification, which is so much more rewarding than, you know, cheap, quick hits a dopamine, but we practice that. Take a walk without your phone and watch your body freak out. You know, where's my phone? No, no. Just little exercises like that of leaning into discomfort. So that's the D and then E, the big mountain is the emotional sobriety component where you learn how to separate fact from fiction.
Rita Black: Right. I love it. Wow. You've put together such an amazing program and I love that you have, I I'm a big sucker for A, B, C, D or acronyms. I love it. That's so great. So we'll tell us, I know you have a free masterclass that people can come to. Tell us a little bit about that.
Colleen Kachmann: Okay, so about once a month, like I'm doing one, you and I are recording this before the podcast will ever come out. So I'll be doing one again next month, but I do a free masterclass that basically covers the accelerated recovery process and helps people identify where they are and look at it and think about it from a completely different perspective. Instead of thinking, I have a drinking problem and I'm an alcoholic, or you know, I am overweight and whatever, I need to lose weight and I'm a problem eater, or I'm a binge eater, or I'm an eating disorder, or whatever it is. Looking at where you are from the state of your body. It's your nervous system and it's your brain chemistry. And then where do you wanna go? And like, when it comes to alcohol, nobody wants to be sober for the sake of being sober.
Colleen Kachmann: That's not very motivating. And so it's more about how do you wanna feel? I wanna feel calm, I wanna feel confident, I wanna feel like I've got my together. Okay, well then the thing is, is the tail wags the dog. The dog wags the tail. You have to learn how to feel that way. Now, what do I need to do right now to feel calm? What do I need to do right now to feel confident? And there are things in the present moment that you can do. And so when you feel that way, you begin to act from that space instead of shaming yourself. You know, the problem with being motivated by shame and fear, which is how most of us roll, is that the better you feel, the more your motivation goes away because you're, when you feel confident and strong and hey, there ain't no problem here, then you're not motivated to do the behaviors because there's no problem. Right? And so, so I help people understand that shame and fear are probably the real problems. And what you, the solution is how do you want to feel and learning how to feel that way on your own without relying on crutches and substances and other people to say the right words and the right money in the account. Know how do I feel right now and what do I need?
Rita Black: Awesome. Cool. That sounds amazing. So anyone listening the link to this masterclass, so whenever you sign up and then you, they'll be able to get into the next -
Colleen Kachmann: And when you go to that link, it'll have the next section that's coming up. You know what I mean?
Rita Black: Amazing. Well, this has been really great. I love the work you're doing. I was like, I said to you and I met you, I said, oh, I'm so glad I found you because I know so many of my listeners have challenges, maybe not huge challenges, some may have bigger challenges than others with alcohol, but this has been really enlightening and I think you and I, you know, are a total agreement on how people are supposed to start to take care of themselves really from the inside out. So thank you so much for all the work you're doing. It's amazing work. So glad I found you and thank you for coming on the show and sharing all of your knowledge with us. It's been really great, Colleen. Thank you.
Colleen Kachmann: Thank you. It's been so good to meet you and get to talk to you and I love your program and can't wait to learn more about hypnosis, so -
Rita Black: Okay, well great. That's the deal.
Rita Black: Wow, Colleen, thank you very much. And my dear listeners, please register for Colleen's free masterclass to learn her accelerated recovery process, learn how to be emotionally sober so you can trust yourself with or without a drink in your hand and get a hundred dollars credit for attending live. And the link is in the show notes. Thank you. I had to think about that for a moment. The link is in the show notes. So go, go get in that training now, and if you haven't yet, please, please, please give us a review. We are in review collecting mode and I don't know if you've ever heard me ask for a review, but this is our protocol and here's what is at stake for you. If you write a review on your podcast platform, not write a review and send it to me personally, but write a review and, and put it, upload it or write it on that podcast platform.
Rita Black: You just find, write a review. Most platforms make it pretty obvious. You click on a link and you write the review and then you take a screenshot of it and you send it to me at ritashiftweightmastery.com. The link is in the show notes and the directions are in the show notes. If you send it to me, then you will be entered into a contested drawing for my upcoming in July brand spanking, new hypnotherapy emotional shift out of emotional eating toolkit. This is gonna be a collection of meditations and hypnosis sessions and coaching to help you shift out of emotional eating. I'm excited that this is coming. And if you get us a review, you get in the drawing for a free a free, a free emotional eating toolkit. And then also, also also you do get a free hypnosis download regardless of if you win or not immediately, or when you send us in that screenshot of your review, you will get sent a link in a coupon to go grab a weight loss, weight release download out of the shift store.
Rita Black: So go write that review and have an amazing week of course. And remember that the key and probably the only key to uncovering the weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it. Have an amazing week. I'll see you here next week.
Rita Black: Do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release? Head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com. That's www.shiftweightmastery.com, where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. And be sure to check the show notes to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking. Unlock Your Mind For Permanent weight loss.
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