This time last year, I made a big proclamation, and I’m about to make the same one once again: I’m laying off alcohol. Indefinitely.
22-year-olds all over the world are caught up in happy hour culture. Head out after work, grab a couple cocktails and appetizers, you know the deal. I’m not a big happy hour goer since my co-workers are both ~40 years older than me and my friends are all ~2 years younger than me and on a tiiiight budget. But because most (all) of my friends are still in college, I am very much immersed in the culture of “college” drinking.
To some people, drinking like a college student means chasing shot after shot of Burnett’s with a beer bong full of Natty Lite. While I definitely remember a couple nights like that back at JMU, my friends in Charlottesville are much more the “let’s get a few bottles of white wine and drink them all while we talk about life” type. While I might feel all proud of myself for being more civilized with my drinking (although let’s be honest, it’s not really that civilized to drink a whole bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio more than once a week), the effect that my drinking style has had on my health has been no less detrimental.
Let’s back track a little bit: Anyone who has ever successfully lost and kept off weight will tell you that it’s all about lifestyle change. That means change of mindset, change of attitude, change of support system, etc. I made that lifestyle change last summer, and I feel like my mind and soul are still coming from a place of health to this day.
That said, I have let my old lifestyle drinking habit back into my social life. One old habit isn’t that big of a deal, but unfortunately drinking is one of those domino-effect things. Here’s what happens with me and alcohol: Two glasses of wine at dinner–> Lowered inhibitions when it comes to portion control–> A few more drinks at home–> “Okay, I’ll take a shot of tequila if you take a shot of tequila”–> Late night pizza/French fries/Chinese food–> Lethargic mornings–> Hangover breakfast–> Sitting on my ass all day feeling sorry for myself.
All of a sudden I’ve consumed 1,000 liquid calories, even more calories worth of junk food, and made myself feel too crappy to get in a good workout the next day. This has been happening all summer. No wonder I’ve packed on 10ish pounds.
Alex, Annie, and I were talking about the difference between a “drinking problem” and a “problem brought on by drinking” while we were running yesterday. While I by no means think I have drinking problem, my weight gain and lack of focus is a problem that can be attributed (at least in part) to drinking.
So anyway, that’s all a long-winded way of letting you all know that I’m off the sauce for the time being. Now, I’m not going to pass up sips of the fancy craft beer that Alex likes to indulge in once in a while, and I’m not against a small glass of wine if a host is offering it to me. But $3 pitcher nights are turning into $0 glasses-of-water nights, and SYTYCD and wine nights are turning into SYTYCD and sugar free hot-chocolate nights.
What does this mean for my social life? Pretty much nothing. My friends rarely do anything that can’t be enjoyed sober as well, and chances are that if they are going to frat parties or something, I don’t want to be there anyway (top 10 places I don’t belong anymore: fraternity houses). I also found that when I stopped drinking last year, I had a lot of personal time for reading/craft projects/Friday Night Lights, and I LOVED that. So I’m kind of looking forward to that! Especially since (nerd alert) Alex and I just started watching Battlestar Galactica.
So with the situation analyzed, the declaration made, and the excuses squashed… Let the (sober) wild rumpus start!