The weather sucks and I wanted to sit down and write about another of those little old life lessons I have come across through my training and weight loss journey.
Let me take you back, many many moons ago. I was a younger man back then and life was much simpler. I ate and drank what I wanted, when I wanted and didn't think too much of it. As a result of this, I developed a super power! I could party! I loved nothing more than heading to the pub/club/party/anywhere serving booze and spending the evening sinking as much alcohol as I could get my hands on! I remember one of my most impressive performances was a 20 schooner (what people in NSW call a 425ml glass of beer) afternoon for a friends birthday. My standard drink of choice was a bottle of Bundaberg Rum which I drank straight from the bottle with no mixer or anything. I prided myself on my ability to skull a beer (I am still pretty good at it) and how many shots I could do (I cannot still do this!) Even once I finished uni and moved down to Sydney to start being a grown up my drinking did not stop. It certainly eased up, but I was still going through probably 2 cases a week and having a huge Friday and Saturday night. Life was good! Or at least I thought it was until I went through my 'little change.'
One of the methods I used to drop my weight was I cut right back on alcohol and in fact basically went dry for 6 months. I didn't set myself a goal or anything but it just sort of happened that way. In that 6 months I lost around 30kgs and had started to train, A LOT! It was around 6 months later that I went out for my first proper night out in a while. I don't remember feeling any anxiety or issues about having some drinks. When we got out it was amazing how quickly I slipped back into my old habits. Shots, beers, wine. I may have been smaller, but I could still party like I used to... Or could I? I realised I had passed the point of no return too late. I was much drunker than I should have been so early in the night and I could not understand what was going on. Needless to say that night ended up with me asleep in the bathroom. Reflecting on that night out I assumed I had just drunk more than I was used to and didn't think too much of it.
The problem was, this kept happening. On the rare, and I mean rare occasions I would settle in for a big night with friends I would get horribly drunk and end up cuddling the toilet bowl all night. I kid you not, this happened a good 10 times over maybe 2 years before I really started to work out what was going on. I had become the thing I had worked so hard to avoid (and at the same time become ironically). I was a lightweight. It is a little bit ridiculous to think that after all the changes I went through and how I was able to turn my life around, I was actually upset that I was now a lightweight. Maybe it is something about being Australian and what we consider 'manly' but I was and to this day am now a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. I cannot do shots, I cannot sink 20 beers in an afternoon and while I can still skull a drink very quickly, I will pay the price for it.
When I was bigger was when I got married and obviously celebrated my bucks party. The story of my bucks is an absolute ripper. The short version is all the guys were putting shots of vodka in all my beers, my brother tried to warn me, I didn't listen and was asleep with my face in the kitty litter by 10pm. I famously rose from the ashes like a glorious phoenix and the night continued until about 6am the next day. Now for those playing at home, my brother got married a few weeks ago. I'm not saying we had a bucks party, but it is customary. Im also not saying that I helped organise and attended that bucks party but if I did I would have been determined to have an amazing night out with a top group of blokes and try and ensure the night was as good as my own.
Ok, lets drop the pretence, on my brothers bucks party, knowing full well that I am a lightweight I did everything I could to prepare. I am dead serious that I treated this like a race. I was upping my electrolytes, carbo loading and making sure I stayed well hydrated. But alas, old Tim made a reappearance and just like on my own bucks I was asleep (this time minus the kitty litter) by 10pm. I did manage to get myself together and continue on for the night but there was no 6 am effort. By 2am as hard as I tried, I was just too physically tired to continue and had to call it a night. I think it was the final straw.
It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson because quite frankly, I really do enjoy having a drink. But what I have learned is that I do not like to get drunk anymore. Being fit means I spend most of the time with a headache and the next day is never fun. Instead, I much rather enjoy just having a few drinks with dinner and that being the end of it. The problem I have is that because of how I used to be, I drink very quickly. So I have been working on ways to slow myself down. I train very hard and when I do have a big night I feel like I have taken a huge step backwards. This also isn't me making a cliche statement that I am never going to get drunk again. I inevitably will. But when I do know I have learned the hard way that I need to pace myself and not think I am a 125kg drinking machine. It is not something I ever expected to be an issue from my weight loss but when you think about it, it isn't that surprising.
I am a lightweight and I am not embarrassed about this anymore. I am much happier and content then before. While alcohol has never been an issue for me, I am very well aware of the role it played in turning me into what some people call "Fun Tim." Now I am working to show people I am still just as fun, just a hell of a lot more healthy! It goes back to one of the things I really believe in. If you want to change your lifestyle it means permanent, long lasting change. For me that has meant I rarely go to the pub anymore, I meet my friends for dinner or breakfast and I am a happier, healthier version of myself for doing so.
So I think I have finally learned a lesson, it only took me 7 years!
Hopefully it isn't raining too much where you are, everything is good in moderation and remember to TRI!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.