Greetings and welcome to the Muddy Runner Dirty Dozen, the official countdown of my 12 best posts of 2009.
(I'm not actually here right now but rather getting ready to go out on my run or out running; I hope to be done by 11 a.m. my time, maybe earlier).
First up, No. 12.
I did quite a bit of soul-searching on my blog this year. One of the things that I shared with my readers was alcohol and how I've pretty much stopped drinking.
As I explain in this post, I was never a heavy, every-day drinker but used to enjoy and look forward to drinking beer. But now, I don't. Case in point: my last beer was on Aug. 10 in Mexico City. I'm actually going to try and extend that into 2010... we'll see how New Year's Eve holds out.
But if this post has any effect, it'll be a dry New Year's, which ain't such a bad thing for me.
Originally published on Sept. 22
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.