Sometimes I can’t tell what I hate more about my years of alcohol addiction. The years wasted or the fat tire around my waste that remains. It’s hard to say, because this stomach of mine gives me the absolute blues. I’ve tried exercise, personal trainers, dieting and just ugh. Nothing has given me the results I’m after: a flat stomach and slim waste line.

Most days I manage to convince myself that my weight obsession has more to do with my desire to live healthy and very little to do with vanity, but who am I kidding? I may be old(er) but hell if I want to look it! Unwanted pounds have a way of aging you right out of The Gap…which really happened by the way when I got too big for their largest waist size — 38.

I drank for decades. Decades. And I now know that the loads of weight I’m carrying around my waste have much to do with an overworked liver.

When I was in in-patient rehab a few years back I remember discussing the health of my liver with one of the nurses. She exclaimed over what “good shape” my liver was in and how I should be “thanking my lucky stars” that my liver was such a high achiever. All that did was convince me that I wasn’t as bad off as I originally thought because after nine months of sobriety I was back to drinking close to a fifth of vodka almost every night. And for the next four years following right up until I quit for good, my liver suffered severely.

I’m been sober for over two years now. I’ve lost weight. I’ve changed my diet and my overall health has improved. But my waistline has hardly budged.

This week, I’m going back to the drawing board with the Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman. It worked for me years ago, I just didn’t stick with it. I love, love, lovvvvve this book.  The details she offers about the LIVER blow my mind. Every time I read what she has to say about the functioning of this vital organ I tell my baby “I love you with all my liver”.

And in Gittleman’s very exact words…here’s why:

“Each day your liver produces about a quart of yellowish green liquid called bile that emulsifies and absorbs fats in the small intestine. Bile contains water, bile acids and pigments, cholesterol, billirubin, lipids, lecithin, potassium, sodium and chloride. The liquid is stored near the liver in the gallbladder from where it is transported to the intestine as needed during digestion. Bile is the real key to the liver’s ability to digest and assimilate fats. It can be hampered from doing its job because of a lack of bile nutrients, congestion, or even clogged bile-ducts, which hamper bile flow and result in less bile production. If there is not enough bile produced, fat cannot be emulsified.

If you have a roll of fat at your waistline, you may have what is commonly called a “fatty liver”. Your liver has stopped processing fat and begun storing it. Only when you bring your liver back to full function will you lose this fat. Your liver is a workhorse that can even regenerate its own damaged cells. However, it is not invincible. When it lacks essential nutrients or when it is overwhelmed by toxins, it no longer performs as it should. Hormone imbalances may develop. Fat may accumulate in the liver and then just under the skin or in other organs. Toxins build up and get into your bloodstream. Among the signs of a “toxic liver” are:

  1. Weight gan, especially around the abdomen
  2. Cellulite
  3. Abdominal bloating
  4. Indigestion
  5. High blood pressure
  6. Elevated cholesterol
  7. Fatigue
  8. Mood Swings
  9. Depression
  10. Skin Rashes

When your liver is sluggish, every organ in your body is affected and your weight loss efforts are blocked. Blood vessels enlarge, and blood flow becomes restricted. A toxic liver is unable to break down the adrenal hormone aldosterone, which accumulates to retain sodium (and water) and suppress potassium. This can raise your blood pressure. The liver fails to detoxify the components of estrogen (estrone and estradiol) for excretion, so symptoms of estrogen dominance arise. Unable to carry out its activities to control glucose, a toxic liver can lead to hypoglycemia, which can produce sugar cravings, weight gain, and Candida overgrowth. A toxic liver is unable to process toxins, enabling them to escape into your bloodstream and set off an immune response.  with repeated assaults form escaped toxins, your immune system becomes overworked.  Fluid accumulates, and you may develop one or more autoimmune diseases such as lupus or arthritis. A liver overloaded with pollutants and toxins cannot efficiently burn body fat, and thus will sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Probably nothing you do to control your weight is an important as keeping your liver healthy. This means avoiding as many of the damaging elements (like alcohol) as possible while embracing liver boosters. Among the lesser known compromises of liver function are caffeine, sugar, trans fats, medications, and inadequate fiber.”

Key Fat Flush Elements:

Cranberry Water: Drink 64 oz. daily to eliminate water retention, cleanse accumulated waste from the lymphatic system and also to help clean up cellulite. Fill two 32-oz. bottles of water with 4 oz. of cranberry juice and 28 oz. water.

Long Life Cocktail: Take two times daily when you wake up and before bedtime to increase elimination and balance hormones. In 8 oz. of the cranberry water, add one full teaspoon of powdered psyllium husks or one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds.

Before breakfast: Drink an 8 oz. cup of hot water with the juice of 1/2 lemon to assist your kidneys and liver.

Breakfast and dinner: Take supplements rich in fat-burning GLA in a total daily amount of 360 to 400 mg per day.

The Fat Flush will produce amazing results if followed to the letter. I haven’t included the complete plan but you get the picture?

Good. Buy the book here:

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I read “Quitting Alcohol: The joyless vision of sobriety. . .” in last week’s The Guardian. Thank you for all that you’re doing and helping others.


Thank you! Shining a light on sobriety is what it will take to keep driving this movement. Thanks so much for your feedback!


Yes, I will send you the mtg options in an email.


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