Our Facebook Expert Q and A with William Porter


William Porter Hello!

Janey Lee Grace Heres a question from a member who can’t be live, she asks Are the affects of alcohol are greater as one grows older? I notice it seems all the negatives (drunkenness, blackouts,etc.) seem to show up on relatively little alcohol now that I’m 65. Also, are the physical affects on the body worse with age?

William Porter Yes they can be. There are several factors. As you get older your metabolism slows down which means the effects of alcohol will take longer to be processed. Also medication (which we tend to take more of as we get older) can affect the alcohol.

Kirsty Lee What are your thoughts on AF beer and wine? Are they still reinforcing the subconscious to associate alcohol with relaxation? Is it better to find something completely different to drink and if so, do you have a go to? Thank you

William Porter Personally I drink af beer. But I see it as one of many soft drink options. I think if that is how you treat it you should be fine. But if you are struggling and not comfortable with not drinking and see them as a replacement for alcohol, it can be an issue. Best advice is if you are comfortable with them then enjoy them, if you are concerned then avoid the There are lots of other options for soft drinks. Funnily enough my main concern with them is my round children. One of the many benefits of quitting drinking of knowing my two boys don’t have a role model (I hope!) that has a drink whenever he wants to relax or socialise. Me having an af beer at the end of the day feels like I am showing them the wrong thing, they just see Daddy drinking beer, they are too young to appreciate its af.

Sarah Leather This is an amazing point of view.

Natalie Afriat Hi William,
Just over 4 months (this time but for good!)
People talk about exercise being an endorphin – but it isn’t happening for me ????
I’ve bought your diet & exercise book – yet to read – but any tips to trick the mind in to get into that frame of mind ?
Hope this makes sense ????????

William Porter Exercise can and should release endorphins, but it’s cardio that tends to do this (ie increased heart rate and respiration, preferably for at least 20 mins. What exercise are you doing?

Natalie Afriat William Porter thanks for replying – if I do any it’s Pilates/yoga, I find I don’t seem to have leg & heart strength to do heavy exercise – but I am very anaemic.

William Porter Natalie Afriat SO that exercise is very good, but not necessarily the ‘endorphin releasing’ exercise. You could speak to your dr about what aerobic exercise you can do. There are lots of options. Swimming might be a nice gentle way to start, it’s not load bearing and you can go as slowly as you need, as long as you are increasing your heart rate and breathing.

Natalie Afriat William Porter thanks – now I know why I’m not getting the release it will spur me on – I was confused why I wasn’t ‘feeling the feel’ ????

Becks Bethechange Natalie Afriat is this being treated?!!!! As in anaemia!

Natalie Afriat Becks Bethechange yes I have had cameras both ways, blood tests every 3 months. 630 mg iron a day ???? which is gross! Talk of iron infusion but it scares the hell out of me because of anaphylactic shock ????

Becks Bethechange Natalie Afriat have you preciously had anaphylactic shock?! Oh dear I know those tests are horrid ????

Natalie Afriat Becks Bethechange no they told me it had to be done in hospital because of the risk and it scares me! Anything medical scares me. Giving blood every 3 months scares me ???????????? such a baby!!

Deborah Michelle Buchanan Do you believe PAWS is a real thing? I hear about it often and it scares me because people say they get it months and years down the road, but I’d hope that within months being sober we wouldn’t be dealing with those symptoms. Especially “years”.

William Porter The symptoms of PAWS are extremely vague and consist of things you would get if you weren’t happy generally (anxiety, insomnia, etc). Also the time frame given is incredibly vague. I and many others have never experienced it. There is no definite answer but it could well just be the fact that often the first few weeks / months of sobriety we are all fired up, then it becomes the norm, then we can start to look back on our drinking more fondly, start to questions our decision, start to fantasise about drinking, then get anxious etc.

Deborah Michelle Buchanan William Porter Thank you so much!

Lesley Jones Have you any suggestions on how to cope with that awful craving that I just get out of the blue when I’m doing so well and think I’ve cracked it, I get this insane voice practically frogmarching me down to the off-licence what is that all about and what are good ways of of dealing with this?

William Porter Remember the thought process. A craving is essentially you fantasising about how nice it would be to have a drink. That’s how it starts and that’s all it is, a ‘fantasy’, and the best antidote for fantasy is reality. What you will be thinking is how nice it would be to have a drink, how you will is tthere content and happy on cloud nine and life will be perfect. But that’s not the reality is it? The reality is (in this order) a foul tasting sugary poison, a slightly dulled feeling, feeling of failure and guilt, a poor night’s sleep and day of tiredness and anxiety all the next day.

Lesley Jones William Porter love that description William. Thank you, I’m going to try and remember that next time I get that crazy craving.

Shauna Hoey Hi William
I have watched your craving videos with Janey and in one of them you mention coffee having similar effects as alcohol from a stimulant point of view. I feel I am drinking too much coffee. Is this something I should think about giving up also or just cut back.

Deborah Michelle Buchanan Shauna Hoey Good question. I’d like to know about this as well. ????

William Porter The downside with coffee is that too much can leave you feeling anxious, it can spoil your sleep, and it can increase your appetite. If none of these are an issue then I would say don’t worry about it, but if any of these do factor in your life then you may want to cut out or cut down on caffeine. Also I find in life you deal with one problem (like drinking) and after a bit of time your mind then turns to the next thing (like caffeine). We deal with problems in order of magnitude. If you’ve stopped drinking for a bit and now you are naturally turning your mind to the next thing you feel isn’t giving as much as it is taking then go for it!

Shauna Hoey William Porter thank you. I am now AF for just over 8 months but of late feel like my coffee consumption is creeping up on me so I am going to try and cut back.

William Porter Shauna Hoey I used to drink a lot of coffee now I drink green tea, it’s a far gentler ‘boost’ and pretty hard to OD on caffeine with green tea!

Jane Ardron Hi William. I’m interested in how long it takes for the liver to return to a more acceptable level of function?

William Porter I’m going to have to plead ignorance here, I have no idea. If you have a problem with your liver, or any concerns about it, I would see your dr as soon as possible.

Lesley Jones I would love to have a liver test but I honestly don’t want my GP to know how much I have drank over the years.. I’m just hoping that in time it will return to normal.

Janey Lee Grace William Porter and Jane we are doing more on This – will post a great informative vid later today and meanwhile listen to the audio interview with Dr Linda Lancaster

Jane Ardron William Porter o no problem but by nature of the fact that alcohol is the first thing the liver detoxes because it’s a toxin. In order to have weight loss the liver has to recover …

Jane Ardron Janey Lee Grace thank you. It’s not a liver disease question, more when things settle after stopping

Janey Lee Grace Jane Ardron sure I realise that – the liver is good at repairing but it can take a while – there’s are things you can do to help it including lots of dark green leafy veg – check nutrition and fitness section of the site later and dr Linda’s book suggests a do at home gentle liver cleanse

Jane Ardron Janey Lee Grace ????

Janey Lee Grace It’s 10.30 unless there’s anything else pressing .. thanks so much William Porter

William Porter Thank you everyone!

John Drage Hi William Porter I see that you have been AF now for 5 years. Do you still get the trigger though on occasions ? I’m only 3 months in but I get them and I find them quite unnerving although I do brush them aside

William Porter I don’t really to be honest, but after 5 years I’ve done everything alcohol free at least 5 times (Christmas, holidays, birthdays etc). I was on holiday recently and the thought kicked in about how nice it would be to have an ice cold beer, but I kicked back (now virtually automatically) that it would definitely be nice to have an ice cold drink, but if there was alcohol in it, it would leave me feeling slightly dulled and confused, would ruin my sleep and leave me feeling tired the next day. So yes I still get triggers, but countering them is second nature now. The more you do it the better you get at it.

William Porter I’ll be checking this thread intermittently over the course of the day so any more questions please do post them.

Natalie Afriat That was excellent!
Reading other people’s questions and then the answers helps to reinforce so much!
Thank you ????

John Drage it certainly was
Amanda Butterworth Good to catch up and read – thank you ????


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