Why I Quit Drinking

Today is Saturday, December 7, 2013. It is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is also my Uncle Dano’s birthday. Happy birthday, Uncle Dano! Today is also the day that I quit drinking alcohol. And, this post is more for me than you. This post is a reminder, this post is a marker. Most of all, this post will help keep me to my word.

Enough today crap… Let’s talk about why I quit drinking. I’ve actually thought about this long-and-hard for quite some time. I rarely leap into such a serious life changing event without careful calculation and planning. This is no different. It’s just time for me to make another identity shift (I’ve done dozens of them in my adventure that I affectionately call “life”). Most of you know that I’m extremely fond of the Japanese philosophy, kaizen. And, I work hard to improve myself on a daily basis. This is one of those steps.

Instead of chatting about my reasons, I thought I would simply hit some bullet points. Suffice it to say that I did pros and cons and the cons FAR outweighed the pros… Some of these reasons for quitting drinking might ring true for you. Then again, some may not. You might also have additional ones that I didn’t even list… However, these are the main concerns that I’ve thought of for me (in no particular order):

  • Creativity I dunno about you, but drinking really puts a dent in my creativity. Because I consider myself a creative thinker I feel like alcohol kind of dummies me down and takes away one of my talents.
  • Waste of Usable Time While I’m under the influence of alcohol I feel I’m wasting my time. I’m constantly looking for ways to add time to my days… Well, stopping drinking is a perfectly suitable way to add time to my day (IMHO).
  • Sleeping In One of my pet peeves is sleeping too long and letting the day waste away. When I drink I often have turbulent nights where I do not get the proper sleep. My drunken sleep is interrupted and rough at best. Also, I tend to sleep in after a night of drinking, and this KILLS me! Time (as you know) is tough to come by. By eliminating drinking, I will add time by getting better (healthier) sleep and by waking earlier ready to leap out of bed!
  • Workouts Suffer Some of my lifting is extremely intense. I am unable to do my HIT (high intensity training) workout after a night of drinking. Not only am I weaker, but I get sick (even if I’m not hungover).
  • Hangovers SUCK Speaking of hangovers… They suck!
  • Depressant Alcohol is a depressant. I’m an overly positive person and I work hard at knocking depressing things out of my life. Removing alcohol from my intake is an easy improvement!
  • Saving Money As a social drinker who doesn’t drink every night, I figure a low-end guess is that I drink around $60 worth of alcoholic drinks each week. This number may well be conservative, and I’ve been known to spend more than that in one night (especially on a nice bottle of wine). That is (at a minimum) $3,120 per year. Considering that I could easily get over this figure, you can see just how much it could potentially cost on an annual basis!
  • My Behavior Quite often I imagine my behavior is fine while drinking… However, there is that once in a while where I’m a complete asshole or asshat. If I had my druthers, I’d avoid being an asshat whenever possible. ‘Nuff said.
  • Weight There are 154 calories in an average can of beer. If I drink four beers that is 600 or more calories. Think about that one for a moment. No nutritional value at all, yet I could easily fatten myself up with it. Why would I?
  • Driving Drunk I’m not a fan of this, but I am guilty. Well, I have children, family, and friends. I do not like to think about the horrible emotions I would put folks through if I died driving (or riding) drunk. Even worse: What if I killed someone else? I can’t think of anything worse!
  • Injuries This one might not affect everyone, but I can tell you as a hemophiliac that I am much more prone to injuries when inebriated. And, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably agree on this one.
  • Bleeding Episodes Another one that doesn’t create a problem for most clotters (non-hemophiliacs), but it does affect us easy bleeders. Alcohol is actually an anticoagulant… In other words, it has been proven to thin the blood. YIKES!
  • Immune System This probably doesn’t need to be said, but alcohol can hurt your immune system. In my case (dealing with HIV) that can be very bad for me. However, it really is bad for everyone if you’d prefer to stay healthy and fit!
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    I will not knock people for drinking or not drinking (and I never have). I’m still the same old wild and crazy guy. And, I’m still the inspirational life fighter. This will not change. I’m simply entering a new stage of my life, and I have put plenty of thought into it.

    Feel free to pick on me if you see me drinking a soda water with a lime in it, but don’t bother with peer pressure, because I don’t fold.

    I have a question for all of you: Assuming I can handle it (which I can), is it acceptable for me to keep alcohol in my house for guests? What’s your opinion about this?

    If you drink (or did drink), have you ever considered stopping? Please feel free to share your story here!

    My final question: Do/will you all support me with this latest life choice?

    Love you all,
    Vaughn

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    How to Fit in Fitness

    We’ve all been there… Each and every one of us über fitness nuts have brief stints where we fight internally and struggle to get a simple workout in. I’m fighting that battle on a regular basis. So I thought I would put some of my thoughts down to share with some of you.

    It seems tougher and tougher to get a workout in these days. My job is busier than ever. I am working more hours than ever. Especially nowadays with the advent of smart phones. I even find myself working at 2 a.m. when I wake for no apparent reason and then check my e-mail while lying in bed. I get up at 5:01 a.m. to get ready for the work day and usually don’t get home until 7:31 p.m. Once home, I crack open the laptop and sit on the couch and get back to work. Before I know it, it’s time to put the kids to bed and I am winding down… Where did my day go??

    On top of work, I keep up with two blogs, personal forum, writing my books, reading books, and studying fitness magazines to see the latest trends in getting bigger, stronger, and faster! Did I forget to mention the Facebook? Ahhhh… Love wasting time communicating with people in the virtual world.

    Lest we forget family. I juggle a wife and two kids. And, Trinity, who is eight years old, takes piano lessons and gymnastics. Guess who takes her? (well, actually we normally take turns on this one, but you get the picture). Now she talks about karate and dancing. Holy dump!!?? I haven’t even mentioned Xander and his karate, t-ball, lacrosse, and soccer!

    So… Where do I find time to squeeze in exercise? Wait… we aren’t done. Before talking about how to do it, let talk about one more thing. Even when I’m in the workout groove (as it were), I usually get hit with something that takes me out physically. Like right now, it’s allergy season. During the winter it’s colds and flu’s. Do you feel me? Stop me if none of this sounds familiar. *crickets*

    We all know that daily they prove how important rest and sleep are. So, how can I possibly get enough rest and do workouts too? I’ll tell you… Actually, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I cheat. That’s right folks… You heard it straight from the straight shooter. I don’t listen to that crap being spoon fed to me. Eight hours sleep my ass! I know that something has to bend. My work ain’t gonna bend (at least not on a regular basis). My family won’t bend (and I would not ask them to). Daily grind stuff won’t bend, because it is all necessary. And, taking time to eat will not suffer, because my body will not let me. That leaves one thing. Sleep. I steal from the sandman. I know that I’m going to get some boo’s and a few hisses after that statement. C’est la vie, baby! I’m not saying you have to do it. I’m just telling you what I do. Life is too short to worry about losing a few zzzzz’s. You snooze, you lose. The early bird catches the worm. And, my favorite, I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead!

    So, what does all that mean? You ask. It means that I set my alarm for 4 a.m. (an even number? WTF?) Okay, I really set it for 4:12 a.m. I wake up early and I bang out my run or my bicycle ride (depending on the day).

    Got a better idea? Post a comment and let me know.

    If you manage to squeeze in tough workouts despite the craziness of life, I salute you! Keep up the great work!!! And, please chime-in with your secret!

    See you at 4:12 a.m. sprinting down the empty, dark, and chilly road!

    -Rip

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