One Year Alcohol Free

Last week, I celebrated 365 days since I quit drinking- one entire year of being alcohol free! Yay me! I also started my new job that same day of my first “soberthday” so very distracted with new yoga job, I made little fanfare the actual day of. Got a cake. Lit a candle. Applauded myself. Ate said cake. It was glorious.

It is important to note I did not eat the entire cake, I cut it into 4 pieces and delivered a slice to each family member. When I told them what the cake was for they responded, “Aw, that’s awesome! Good job!” and went right back to doing what their previously cake-less selves were doing. And all that was perfectly okay with me.

This one year of not drinking, in the grand scheme of things, is truly no big deal to anyone but me and that’s just the way I like it. I am happy that this date was just that, a date, and only important insofar that I crossed a calendar finish line that means… nothing. I did it and I will keep on doing it and that one year mark was a typical day-in-the-life, only made special with a slice of chocolate cake and not some random date on the calendar.

Just as it should be. My sobriety is now the norm and it feels fantastic.

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Top News in Alcohol: 12.27.22

Alcohol and Running
Came across this article on RunnersWorld.com and as a former marathon runner who drank all through my running days, I was happy to see this story finally being told to such a large audience! I wrote about this in posts prior as the topic hits very close to home: the act of doing something healthy paired with alcohol was my go-to for many years and I am not alone in this! The virtuousness that is exercise “deserves” a drink and as runners, this is proven by the fact that most races offer a beer or glass of wine upon crossing the finish line. Most races also start very early in the morning. Most races, therefore, make it completely acceptable to drink before breakfast as well as send the message that only with alcohol can we celebrate our accomplishments.

Races besides, it is also the community running and drinking create. The largest running group in my city is called the East Bay Beer Runners, at over 6,000 members strong. They meet at a different local bar weekly, run, then drink and socialize. Another group, the Running Lushes, I was a member of and even though it’s a smaller group, most members are very well known in the Bay Area Running Influencer circles (because yes, that is totally a thing). Even I led a mommy running/drinking group for many years called the Cocktail Moms.

“… the benefits Americans attribute to alcohol—that it is good for the heart, helps you sleep, eases pain—are false… The truth is, there’s no safe amount of alcohol, not even one drink a day… blithely telling yourself beer is a recovery drink because it has carbs and your Tuesday night run ends at a bar? Not so much.”

Society tells us that alcoholics drink in the morning or on the weekdays. Society also tells us that “responsible drinking” does not include slamming pints after we exercise. Then, are runners who grab that congratulatory drink after a race at 8am irresponsible alcoholics?

Both lifestyles are enmeshed and this is the first, I hope of many, articles calling out the oxymoronic nature therein. I also hope that race companies will start to seek more NA partnerships thereby offering at least more than water NA options post-race. Money is the driver here as always but read on for another article that shows a distinct uptick in the consumption of NA beverages in 2022.

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Top News in Alcohol: 12.7.22

Alcohol and the World Cup
According to a recent article posted on CNN.com, “… no alcohol would be sold at the eight stadiums which will host the tournament’s 64 matches. Alcohol will only be served in designated fan parks and other licensed venues around Doha, FIFA said in a statement.” This is not a new rule as the same applies in France, Spain, Portugal, and Scotland, where no beer is allowed in stadiums at all- if those countries can survive without a drink for 3 whole hours while watching a match, why can’t the U.S.?

Reuters covered this same story in a different light, reporting that female fans feel safe at Qatar World Cup thanks to reduced alcohol consumption. As noted in the aforementioned article, intoxication due to the overserving of alcohol at sporting events and the link between public disturbances and violence has been of great concern and we already know that several studies (just a few here, here, and here) have linked major sporting events to an increase in reports of domestic violence, “It is well known that incidences of abuse and violence increase when teams lose, but there are also more reported incidences when they win.”

Then is stands to reason, why is masculinity and sports fueled by alcohol? Al Jazeera even posed that question with their recent article, “Beer, Sport, Men: Inside the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Alcohol Marketing” which states that the link between the 3 and the violence towards women that results is truly led by the desire of the markets and the money to be made therein. Thankfully, the urge toward decoupling the worlds of alcohol and sports is on the rise, with profit motives now leaning toward inclusivity and a shift away from the more “toxic” and violent elements of the culture.

Continue reading “Top News in Alcohol: 12.7.22”