Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series, today I’m chatting to Lizzie founder of Munch.
Lizzie is a PR expert and the founder of Munch, a public relations agency based in East London that delivers big agency thinking with a boutique approach for big brands, small businesses and solopreneurs.
A Londoner through and through, she’s also lived in Hong Kong and Bali and is a gym, yoga and surfing fan who lives clean and squats deep – and has been alcohol free for a few years!
Read on for her not drinking diary …
Name: Lizzie Earl
1.Tell me a little about yourself …
I’m a 30-year-old Londoner who loves life, feeling fit, working hard, being positive and spreading good energy. I was born and raised in West London, but lived my adult life East, however, I think I was meant to have been born on an island (actually, I was – my parents lived in Bermuda but moved after I was conceived… annoying!).
As a real Pisces baby, nothing makes me happier than being by the sea and in the water, or at least out in nature using my body in the way it was meant to – walking, climbing, jumping and lifting!
2.Tell me a little bit of your drinking story …
I don’t really have one to be honest. Up until four years ago I was just like everyone else; out on the weekend, partying, brunching, enjoying myself. I actually always knew that one day I would not drink, I used to say it and people would laugh.
But then it just happened, I started preferring being ‘not drunk’ more than I liked being tipsy and so I stopped.
I found it so easy, because it wasn’t something I wanted to do. There was no feeling of ‘missing out’. Far more challenging is dealing with other people’s issues.
Some people can’t get their head round it. They think that because they want to drink, and can’t not drink, then therefore it must be the same for you and that for some reason you are withholding fun, enjoyment and pleasure from yourself, ergo – you’re BORING.
This is really not the case! I just have fun without it. It’s so empowering to know I don’t need to rely on something, someone, anything else to feel confident, talk to strangers or have fun. I honestly have fun everywhere I go.
3. What led you to think differently about drinking?
When I met people that didn’t drink, or who didn’t drink in the way that was expected, I was always secretly impressed. Because it went against the grain and I knew that they were being their true authentic self – but was I?
I knew that, actually, I would rather be in their shoes, so I suppose I was inspired by other people – shout out to my #dryspo Michael, Baz and my mother Deanne!
4. How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
Alcohol is cool, it’s great. If someone wants it and it works for them, go forth and guzzle. It’s all about being true to who we are and living as we really want to, even if that’s a bit weird or ‘boring’.
So long as people are truly happy with their own relationship with alcohol, then I am truly happy for them.
5. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
People who don’t understand and who think they can comment. There’s a strange pressure put on teetotallers that’s not put on people who are lactose intolerant, vegetarian or who don’t like coffee.
And some people think you don’t want to go out anymore – the two aren’t linked people! You can still have fun at bars and clubs, so long as you’re a fun person and can find the fun in life.
6.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
The most interesting thing is when I’m at an event or in a room on my own with a load of strangers and need to make conversation, my mind-set is so different now. I see others reaching for a drink to help themselves navigate it all in the same way I may have before.
But now, rather than worrying or thinking about myself (“I’m nervous” “what if no one speaks to me” “how can I get involved in conversations” etc.) I am instead focussed outward, on the experience itself and on other people – who they are, what they do, what they’re talking about – that it’s easier to be in the moment and actually put other people at ease instead, as they’re probably worrying about mingling themselves.
I’m totally happy just standing on my own, in my own space and in my own silence if I need to.
So what if you’re flying solo? So what if no one talks to you for the first 15 minutes? They will eventually. That’s how these things go.
I’m much more clear and able to just watch and observe how things pan out.
7. What benefits of cutting down on alcohol or stopping drinking have you experienced?
More time. More energy. Every moment is productive.
For running my own PR agency, this is extremely helpful.
8. How do you start your day? Are there any resources that have helped you to cut down or stop drinking?
The day always starts with checking emails and eating eggs.
9. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Exercise. I have to exercise. And massages whenever I can. I work really hard and I train really hard, so I use the money I would have spent on big nights out on things like massages instead (and lots of Uber).
10. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free & not drinking) at the weekend?
I love my weekend routine. My office is 30 seconds from my door in Lo
ndon Fields, so I get up early, pop into the office and work on some tasks I want to do for Munch outside of our client campaigns (this is fun for me so don’t worry!).
Then I hit up the gym. On a Saturday I make sure I do 100 squats on the squat rack as part of my routine. I get home and shower and it’s still before midday sometimes. Then the day is mine, to see friends, family and enjoy the city.
11. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
A great question! I would say surrounding myself with inspiring and wise people. I’m lucky to have some great official and unofficial mentors in my life at the moment and I a
m grateful for each and every one of them.
I am also forever trying to play the guitar too. Something creative and physical like that is the best thing to do when you come home from a day in front of a screen.
12. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
Cuticle oil and getting away to the British coast to surf whilst the weather is good. I’m
very much improving still, but lived in Bali for a few months so was very spoiled and could do it every day. Last time I went to Devon there were dolphins splashing around and enjoying their freedom in the ocean. It was magical.
13.Any go-to people we should follow for inspiration? (Health, Fitness, Life, travel you name it!)
Absolutely. My client and top life coach Michael Serwa has a fantastic and no-BS view on the world, and his blogs and posts on LinkedIn should be a go-to resource for those who want to achieve great things without limitations. He tells it like it is, so be warned.
14. And finally, thinking differently about your relationship with alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
There’s more of us than you think. We’re just not as loud or visible, but we’re here. Ordering the soda and fresh lime. Asking for the tea menu.
Follow Lizzie Earl on Instagram, Twitter and check out Munch here!
Be sure to explore the other Not Drinking Diary interviews where people open up about their relationship with alcohol. There is a new Not Drinking Diary every Tuesday.