The drink less support thread.
I know this forum is about celebrating the glorious goodness of beer, and I am one who celebrates that glorious goodness on a daily basis.
And I will continue.
However, it is clear to me that there are some downsides to daily consumption, and especially of daily consumption at my level which is often 4 -6 per day.
That's not enough to get me drunk, or turn into an abusive dick, or ruin my work performance, but it adds fat to my waist, not only from the calories but from the alcohol induced laziness. It has a negative impact on sleep, and on exercise plans that go down the drain when the late afternoon beer takes priority over the gym or bike.
But it is sooo tasty!!!
I can see a big, if not huge, benefit to a 2 beer per day average compared to whatever I have now, maybe 5. It seems reasonable, but not always so easy.
I thought a thread like this, where you could post the goals you have, your struggles, your daily consumption, tips for success etc, might be good. I got the idea from the Livestrong website actually, but the community here seems stronger and it seems it would be a better discussion among friends who discuss bicycling related issues as well.
Anyway, lets see how this goes.....
Weekends are tough. I had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off last week. Normally my weekends are pretty active early, and then relaxing with beer later on. but last weekend I did no hiking or biking and started with the beers around noon to 2 pm. I think a key is to start later if you are going to start. Get your exercise or work out of the way. If you start early, the total is bound to go too high.
For me it was 6 on each of those days. That, on top of no activity, got me a bit disgusted with myself. So Monday I had no beer and 2 glasses of wine. I noticed a difference in how well I slept, and how I felt in the morning. Yesterday a crash on the freeway kept me stuck in traffic for 1.5 hours, which frazzled me enough to drink 3 beers and a glass of wine.
2 a day as an average is a goal, with a free day perhaps on Saturday.
I went thru a lite beer phase after I stoped drinking hard liquor. I have spent many weekends just sipping lite beers, sometimes going thru a case, no need to get drunk. Its was more like being mildly tranquilized. Never got much accomplished either.
Take it from a long time heavy drinker. A six pack a day may not be getting you drunk but it is effecting you.
I gave up smoking but I doubt I could ever give up drinking.
I gave up drinking 3 years ago and must say of course I miss it sometimes, but the pro's far outweigh the cons. More money in my pocket, overall better feeling throughout the day, more motivation, other people say they enjoy being around me more, the list goes on.
I think not browsing a forum dedicated to beer would be a good start. There's plenty of temptation in just reading about the stuff, especially when people are describing in detail the specifics of the beer, many times with pictures to go along.
If you can limit yourself to just weekend drinking, good for you. I couldn't so I had to cut it out all together. In the beginning it was difficult, now I have no problems going to bars with friends and being the DD. Though, most of my friends don't drink to the point that they're stumbling to the conversation is still enjoyable the entire night.
steve - if its an consolation i have a similar affinity for the malted hops as you! always have done. i only drink "decent" beer, i'd rather have water than bud/miller light [although i did admit to drinking coors on here a while back!]. i don't have an addictive personality [don't drink liquor, i have never smoked, never was into drugs, gambling etc] and i haven't been "drunk" in a long time but i do drink pretty much every day, usually only 2-3 beers, maybe 4-5 on the weekends. i try to ride early in the day so i can be around to do stuff with the wife and kids but come late afternoon/early evening, a beer just fits in so well! fortunately my wife isn't a big drinker at all because if she was, i would probably be in trouble! i think of it as my only vice other than riding which i don't do as often as i would like. i work hard, look after my family, haven't taken a vacation personally in years... a few beers isn't really so bad.
however, the biggest draw for me, other than saving money is i know if i stop/cut back i will lose weight. i don't need to but wouldn't mind shedding a few lbs. however, its a lot tougher than it sounds when its a part of your daily routine. my best suggestion is to reward yourself with something if you attain your goal. not beer though!
For me the first beer usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. So as to not "waste" the day away I make it the prize. Get my hard workout in, play with the kid, knock a couple things of the to-do list, etc.. then have a couple good beers. I've cut back the quantity because I was finding that anymore than 4 beers was making me feel crappy the next day. I've vowed to not be hung over again.
So what's your status now Joe? Still on the case a day with no hard liquor?
Originally Posted by GambJoe
A case is a lot dude. Like you say, you must be tranquilized all day long. How does it effect your normal functioning? What are your plans? I know what you mean by not being able to imagine life without drinking, but at a point, it seems the choice is to cut down, or quit, if the current path is unacceptable.
They say some people can't cut back, so have to quit completely. At the level I'm at right now, it doesn't seem I'm out of control, so I'm hoping cutting back is going to work.
I'm curious how much you were drinking that motivated you to quit. Also, what was your process of quitting. Cold turkey seems impossible to me right now, but I really don't know any other way.
Originally Posted by Tillers_Rule
It sounds like we have some things in common, but my consumption is a bit more than yours.
Originally Posted by carlos9
I have the same attitude, "a few beers isn't so bad". I can afford it, but the money I spend is kind of high if you add it up over a month. I'm in pretty good shape, but I could lose fat from waist and I know beer is the problem. It seems kind of ridiculous because my diet is very good, and my exercise level is good, so I think if I didn't drink I would be physically excellent. But beer cancels some of those efforts in other areas, so I have a bit of a belly despite eating well and regular exercise.
The holidays are here!
What's the line from that Airplane movie? "I picked a hell of a time to quit hard drugs..."
Yesterday I had 6. They add up so fast! Some nice hot green chili for lunch at Brewery Bar and 3 beers went down really easily. Then I came home and had a beer while I mounted a speaker on the wall. Then, my wife wanted to go to happy hour! I wasn't really in the mood, but had a beer and a glass of wine. 7 pm, and 6 drinks down.
Oh well, I know this weekend will be one of merriment, and I'm not going to go crazy, and I'm not going to feel guilty about it either. The house is full of tasty beers and wine, and people are coming over later. But I'm going for a quick ride at Rhyolite bike park right now.
Cold turkey is the way I had to quit. Just cutting back was never successful or long term.
Originally Posted by smilinsteve
I had my them wife tell me we were done with alcohol or we were done. Got rid of all the alcohol in the house that moment.
Was not easy, but it stuck. have not touched a drink in 9 years.
I admitted to myself that alcohol had had a hold on me. I personified alcohol and told myself, and it,--out loud-- that it no longer had a place in my life--ever. Said it every time if felt the need to drink or felt the presence of of the need.
Said it a lot at first. Then I said it because it made me feel strong. And I was stronger because no longer under the influence--physically or mentally.
For a while I would drink an occasional nonalcoholic beer.
Tonic water with lime is a satisfying drink and works well at parties to keep people from pushing beer at you.
Now I can not imagine even having a drink. Ever.
Never felt better.
The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common
Cold turkey was easier than I thought. I quit in June because I didn't want my young boys growing up watching me with a beer in my hand. I didn't say a word to anyone, I just quit. Everyone in the house noticed and my kids smile at me when we go out and I don't drink. I drank a lot from the age of 16 to 43. I just think of it as "I've had my fair share".
I already lost 50 pounds riding watching what I eat over the last 3 years. When I quit drinking 10 more pounds fell off in 3 weeks. I'm 43 right now, and I'm the lightest, and fastest that I've ever been in my life. I also started running now that I'm at a good fighting weight and it doesn't seem all that hard.
The positives dramatically outweigh the negatives. Turkey dinner was different without a nice glass of wine, but my wife made a fruit punch that tasted great.
I love beer.....but I would rather ride. My wife is more tolerant of my riding since I quit drinking too.
If you miss the beer....buy another bike. You'll feel better again.
Good on ya!
Originally Posted by .40AET
The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common
I guess I've been pretty lucky. I firmly believe in leading a healthy lifestyle, but I like having fun as well; sometimes there is a conflict.
I've stopped drinking(as well as a couple other things) a few times. Some of the "other things" I've quit for good. I'm in no position to preach, but everybody has a reason why they drink; to stop, you need to find an equally good reason to do so. Plenty of good reasons available; health, legal, family, professional, etc.
It's tough to break long time habits, but it can be done. It is empowering to kick butt on something that may have you in a death grip.
Hey Guys, Like some of you I am guilty of enjoying too much beer on a daily basis. It has become part of my daily routine...6+ beers a night....usually not of the high octane variety, but alcoholic beverages nonetheless. I KNOW i need to cut down or stop.... but I really have not figured out how to do it. I need to lose weight...I need to get healthier... but other things in life are not great and the beer in the evening seems to dull the pain...is cold turkey the only successful plan anyone here has used? Obviously my self discipline is not good... any suggestions of personal success in this area would be much appreciated.
Bloated Cubs Fan
I try not to even look at the titles of threads in this forum, but this one caught my eye. After reading some of the posts from former drinkers, especially on a holiday that would've meant certain drunkenness for me in years past, I'm totally stoked to see other people's success stories, and I'm totally stoked to be sober and feeling great about it. For you guys that can drink and keep it sane, Mazel Tov! It's not in my wiring. For the OP, that much beer will make you fat and gassy! If you can cut it back, I'd do it. Happy Thanksgiving folks!
I started a drink more beer thread. Not because I'm callous or anything, but because there is nothing wrong, in fact, something good about having A beer or maybe 2 each day. But there are certainly people here maybe having too much of a good thing. 1-3 drinks is OK. More than that and maybe you are chasing an amber dragon of sorts. I'm a Libra so I like things in moderation.....
Thanks to everyone for your stories! I find them to be very helpful, so please keep them coming. The cold turkey experiences are especially appropriate, on Thanksgiving weekend!
Maybe cold turkey will be my final solution, and you guys make it sound more possible than I had been thinking previously. But right now, my goal is 2-3 per day, then down to 2 a day, and if I keep it there, I won't have any problem with that.
Yesterday, for the holiday, I had 3 beers and 3 glasses of wine. With a house full of people drinking all day, I knew I'd be up around that level. I will try to keep to the 2-3 for the rest of the weekend.
Tips: If anyone has some ideas for ways to keep things under control, I'd be interested. Here are a couple of things I have observed:
1. Posting on this thread is helping me. I just said I want to keep it to 2 or 3/day this weekend, and I don't want to come back and post that I failed. Reading others stories also helps. Knowing I will post today's consumption tomorrow stays in my mind.
2. I try to start motivating myself for a low consumption evening early in the day. If I don't think about it, then my internal alarm clock kicks in and tells me its beer time. Throughout the day, I think that being clear minded and energetic will be nice. That I don't want to sit on my ass while my family sees me drinking, that I can wait for my reward of 2 beers when dinner comes around, etc.
3. I'm trying to make it a rule that I get a glass of water with every beer. I have found that a lot of my beer drinking is related to just having a glass in my hand, or just to quench thirst. With a big glass of water in front of me, I drink beer more slowly, and the craving for another one often goes away.
Originally Posted by gticlay
Ha ha, I'm with you!
For most of my adult life I never had one bit of guilt about drinking, and was thankful that I was one of the people who could drink in moderation. There are lots of studies that show benefits of 2 drinks a day, so I agree with you. But even though that was my level for years, it slowly creeped up. I'm 50 now, and realizing that my moderation isn't so moderate. For some people, drinking a little causes them to crave more, and they quickly become alcoholics. For others, the increase in craving can be so slow that you barely notice it. It happens over a period of years, so that is just something to be careful of.
hmmmmm, this is turning into an interesting thread. it has made me think about things in a slightly different way. for those of you that have given up drinking completely, did you do it because you were "addicted" or just because you felt alcohol had an unwelcome effect on your life? i don't plan my day around having a beer, if its not happening its not a big deal. but more often than not it is appropriate and i do it as much to relax and unwind as anything. so what is it that makes one feel guilty? is it the "taboo" of drinking every day must mean you have problem or the guilt of doing something i enjoy on a daily basis? as stated above, moderate drinking can have some health benefits. i guess i'm struggling to understand why i feel the need to cut back on something that isn't really hurting me, i enjoy and in the big scheme of things is pretty tame compared to what a lot of people do.
like i mentioned before, i haven't been drunk in years, i haven't been to a bar [excluding with my family for lunch/dinner] with the intention of drinking for even longer than that. i don't ever drink liquor, only occasionally drink wine and try to stick to good quality beers.
oddly enough i find it draws a parallel with mountain biking... i only do it when its reasonable to do so, the health benefits seem to outweigh the negatives but both can be bad for you if done without care [based on my 2 trips to the er and subsequent medical bills in the last 4 months since i resumed riding!]
or am i rationalising something so i can continue to do it and not feel guilty?! now i'm confused...!
There's no need for guilt, necessarily. For years I was comfortable drinking beer, and saw the downsides as very minimal or negligable. But as I get older, keeping a good body has become more difficult. I mentioned to my wife my newest strategy for diet and exercise, and she bluntly told me, "it isn't diet or exercise that is your problem, its beer."
Originally Posted by carlos9
It got me thinking about how I can't lose weight no matter what I do. Figure 150 calories per beer x 5 per day is 750 calories per day. The math is clear. Subtract 750 calories from my daily intake, and I would transform from a 50 year old in pretty good shape and a bit of a gut, into a super stud.
So its a matter of being honest with yourself. If you don't think there are any negatives to your drinking, or think that your health, energy, activity, and relationships are all in good shape, then drink up, and forget the guilt.
For me, beer isn't ruining my life, but my life isn't in perfect balance either. I came to the realization that my calorie intake, and money output for beer is too much. Then I realized that changing things wasn't so easy, and that's an indication of a problem. So I'm trying to address it.
Last edited by smilinsteve; 11-26-2010 at 11:12 AM.
Reread what I wrote bro, not a case a day, but over a weekend. Not drinking to get impaired or high, but to relax and cut back on stress.
Originally Posted by smilinsteve
I haven't shown up to work hungover in years, also I rarely drink during the week. Socially, I'm pretty much an a-hole with or without it.
Guys my age or older say they gave it up for physical reasons. I'm in my fifties and I'm begining to see their point.
I have quit several times, once for a year, but I always came back to it. I certainly don't drink like I did in my twenties but would like to stop. The stuff can't be good for you.
To be honest, I don't think you will get a handle on it until something personal or professional devastates you as a result of drinking. This is coming from an alcoholic who was a daily drinker who rationalized and made up new excuses to drink daily.
I'm no expert in this area but...
Originally Posted by AC/BC
...I'm wondering if it's a good idea for people with excessive alcohol consumption problems to be visiting a beer forum. I'm not trying to denigrate anyone's efforts to improve their lives but maybe it's best to avoid the topic altogether to avoid the temptation and obsession.