Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Party Girl Confronts Her Past

In addition to this being Day 3 of my weight loss journey, it is also the third day that I am abstaining from alcohol. I plan to avoid booze for at least 30 days to get this weight loss started the right way. Since I've made it forbidden, I'm naturally jonesing for a drink to wind down.

I don't hide the fact that I like to drink. I really, really, really like it. I like wine, champagne, sparkling wine (no, it is not the same as champagne), light beer, vodka, tequila, and the occasional glass of whiskey or bourbon. If I didn't have my son to look after, I would probably drink every day.

I can't say when this love of liquor developed. I was born in the 70s and, prenatal care being what it was, my mother drank a little when she was pregnant. And when she was nursing. Alcoholism runs in my family, perhaps the taste for booze is buried somewhere in my genes. I got drunk for the first time at the wedding of my mother & father when I was six-years old. Can you imagine? A drunk six-year old. Of course, the next morning I was a hungover six-year old and everyone put together why I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to party with the adults. No, no one was serving me Stingers. I had simply asked for a cup of punch, champagne punch, from every guest. Everyone figured that one cup couldn't hurt and gave it to me. Looking back, I wonder if anyone else even had a sip of that delectable nectar.

I generally hate pack-rattery, but one benefit is that you run across all sorts of useful stuff. I ran across four 12-week food journals that I kept when I initially was on Weight Watchers. I lost just over 30 pounds when I was on the program, so I eagerly perused my journals to see if I could gain any insight to my weight loss.

Talk about an eye-opener!

I discovered that I abstained from alcohol during only one week out of the 48-weeks I tracked. One week out of 48! Another week I only consumed two vodka tonics in the entire week. Sounds pretty good, right? Wrong. Those were the only two weeks that I didn't drink like a fish. Let that sink in. I enjoyed a modest amount of alcohol in only two weeks out of 48.

One week I consumed nine total drinks, a mix of wine, beer, and liquor. And I wrote, "Awesome," next to the tally. That's more than one drink a day and I hardly think it's awesome today. And it gets much, much worse. One week I consumed a total of two bottles of wine (that's bottles, as in five glasses are found in a bottle), 2 beers, and 2 "diet" margaritas. You know, is the diet really that important to you when you are drinking BOTTLES of wine?! I wrote, "Good Job," next to that one. Really, MrsHashBrown, that's a good job? WTF would be a bad job? Well, I soon found out!

I figured that the absolute worst week would have been when we were out of town or at a Jimmy Buffett concert or something. Nope. It was just a random week as far as I can tell. A week that I consumed 41 alcoholic beverages. Forty-one! That's like having six freaking alcoholic beverages every single day of the week. I had the good taste to write, "Not Good," next to that one. No kidding.

The really crazy thing is that on binge-drinking days I would horde my daily points by eating a lot of vegetables. Some days I damn-near drank all of my points. And, yet, I somehow still lost weight. Oddly enough, my weight losses and gains do not appear to correlate with my alcohol consumption. I think that it was only my dedication to exercise that allowed me to lose any weight at all. Frankly, I'm not surprised that I never hit my goal weight with that kind of piss-poor dedication to the program.

I knew I was a pathetic, falling-down drunk when I was married to my ex-husband. I was miserable and just wanted to drink myself into oblivion when I was married to him. But I had no idea that I was still drinking so much after I married my husband. I'm wild about my husband, why do I still need to drink so freaking much?

I'm amazed that one person can drink so much and still have the ability to track their drinks. I'm amazed that I lost any weight at all. After reading the booze consumption on some days, I'm amazed that I have never had alcohol poisoning. Seriously, I think I could drink damn-near anyone under the table back then. Talk about a party girl!

Now, I haven't been drinking so heavily in recent times because I have a little boy to look after and he wants his love & care whether Mama has a hangover or not. But it is scary to me to read just how over-the-edge I was. And it's impossibly easy to go from one drink to two drinks to three drinks to out of control.

I think it's a very good idea that I lay off the liquor this time around. Hopefully my dedication will yield the results I'm seeking.


  1. Heather,
    It probably is a good idea. Since alcoholism does run in ur family and you do enjoy drinking those two things can be a deadly combo for you or at the very least a very bad life ahead. I enjoy the occassional drink and in my younger pre kid days I would have my fair share. Mind you I had my first kid at 20 almost 21 so I was not even legal then. I am very happy to see that you know that u have responsibilities to adhere to so u limit urself.

    I am sure that you can do it. Maybe you will find other ways to "wind down" instead of a drink. =)

  2. Yes Heather, smoke a fatty LOL

  3. Stacey - I've been winding down the last few evenings by doing a little light reading.

    Anonymous - Gimme a break! You must not know me very well to make such an absurd suggestion.