Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last Call For Alcohol?

I used to drink beer. A lot. Well, maybe not often but when I drank, I drank.

I was responsible, though, and tried my hardest not to put anyone in a position of danger or anything like that. I've never had a DUI, God forbid, or anything like that.

Still, I enjoyed knocking back a beer or eight when the time was right. I drank a lot in high school. Yeah, I was pretty irresponsible back in the day. When I lived in Mexico at 17/18, I drank a beer with dinner quite often and didn't really think nothing of it.

Now, it wasn't like I used to keep an 18-pack in the fridge at all times, but when I had beer around, I drank it. And I could drink. I could hold my liquor quite a bit. One Super Bowl, I think in 01 or 02, I drank about 13 beers and wasn't passed out or anything.

Don't get me wrong, I've passed out before. Last time was in October 2007. It was never fun but it wasn't something that prevented me from drinking.

How much did I enjoy beer? Check out this slideshow I made out of some pictures I took in August 2006, during a family trip to Mexico. One of my goals before the trip was to take a picture with as many different types of beers as possible.

If you watched it and didn't understand it, the song is basically saying "I was born a drunk and I'm going to die a drunk and what fault do I have that I was born this way."

Anyway, you'll notice that I've been speaking in past tense here.

I think I'm coming to some sort of crossroads. Or maybe I'm making too big of a deal over something minor. Not sure yet.

What I am sure is that beer affects me quite a bit more than it used to.

Eight beers before and I'd feel it. Eight beers now and I'll black out.

Eight beers before and I'd probably have a little headache in the morning but I'd be fine during the day. Eight beers now and forget about functioning at or near 100 percent the next day.

Actually, I can drink three beers and not feel good. I can drink one beer and feel it the next day. That was unheard of for me a few years ago.

But throughout this weight-loss journey, I've had some changes. Things affect me more now at 185 pounds than they ever did at 300-plus pounds. Alcohol is one. Medicine too. I used to have to take a double dose of a cold medicine or whatever just to have it work. One aspirin before was akin to taking a skittle to try and combat a headache.

Now though, I can take the suggested dosage of medicine and feel it working.

And I can drink one beer and feel it working through my body.

And I hate that.

I hate alcohol-induced headaches. They are really annoying because they render me useless. I can do things around the house I suppose but forget about working out. Forget about something that requires a lot of walking, like a trip to Disneyland.

That's totally taken the fun out of drinking. Having a few beers, maybe not eight but say two or three, used to appeal to me. But now, when I'm around beer the only thing I can think of is how I'll be hurting the next day.

The last time I drank was in Mexico City, and the next day I paid for it. I was sick and had a raging headache. Now, part of that was because of the altitude and travel and such, but the alcohol played a role in that as well.

I think the previous time I drank before that was in Montreal in June. I had a couple of beers in Costa Rica as well.

It's just not fun anymore. But does that mean I'm going to give it up altogether? Am I going to make it official and not drink ever?

Probably not. But I've had the chance to drink a few times since Mexico City and have passed them up, and really I haven't felt bad about it. It's not like when I go out to eat with people and they all get burgers or some other greasy food and I get a salad. The most difficult thing is the peer pressure and the "Aw come on, you can drink one" replies I get. But usually I tell them that I'm going to run in the morning and don't want to drink because of that, and that works. And if that's not good enough for others, screw 'em.

I never really thought I'd be to the point where I could not drink alcohol anymore and be fine with it. I don't dislike it, don't look down on it or those who drink responsibly, but it's just not important to me anymore.

And if you're wondering about hard liquor...

I drank almost a whole bottle of tequila by myself on New Year's in 2007 (Dec. 31, '06) and since then the smell of tequila pretty much disgusts me :)

I've never been into wine or champagne.

A bad experience with Schnapps at age 16 completely turned me off to most other hard liquors.

I've been pretty much a beer-drinker my whole late teen/adult life.

Until now.


5thsister said...

Thank you for this honest post. I've been working on trying to let go of the hold red wine has on me. (I have begun to like it way too much) See? Your blog can be inspirational in more ways than one!

Lissaloo said...

It's amazing what a difference things like that are to different body types, it sounds like you have it figured out for you. Alcoholism runs in my family and I always have had that in the back of my mind, so I have always been very careful with it.

Amanda said...

Alcohol just doesn't taste the same to me anymore, but I also have less of a tolerance for it since losing weight and just not having it as much as I used to.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

This has actually been on my mind lately, I'm glad you brought it up. I was a hard-partying drinker when I was younger. My half-Irish blood must have been the culprit, but I could drink more than guys twice my size and only ever got pass-out, puking drunk once. But I had my daughter when I was nearly 22, and I stopped drinking then, except for the very rare night out. I haven't had very much alcohol recently, since I've been either pregnant or breast-feeding for the last two years; I can have a sip of wine or beer when breast-feeding, but those are my last choices when drinking. I finally had a whiskey sour (my fav drink) the other night and I actually felt it- never happened before, but I guess my tolerence is wearing thin!

ChristineM said...

I don't think I'd ever give up my rare glass of wine or even rarer mixed drink, but I also can't understand what was going through my head when I was younger and every night out seemed like a drinking contest...one that I usually lost!

I guess I look at it like at least I can say I know what it's like to be drunk, I know what it's like to have a hangover, and I know my limits today!

Thanks for sharing!

Angie Eats Peace said...

I definitely agree!
For the most part, instead of thinking how great a drink would be, I think about how bad I will feel the next day.
I sort of designated Fridays as my drinking night, since there is no running/work the next day, but that has decreased a whole lot, since there is so much I need to get done on Sat. and having that drowsy headache does not make me very productive!

Willoughby said...

I suddenly feel like that "bad influence" friend your parents didn't want you hanging out with in high school!

In all seriousness, I don't drink beer very often, but I like a glass of wine or a mixed drink. We never drink enough to get drunk and we never drive if we've been drinking. It's all about being responsible. That being said, if you don't enjoy it, there's really no point in having a drink.