WARNING: Rant Ahead
So I’ve been at this fitness thing for years, right? I’ve played sports, was always an active child, and well-educated on nutrition my entire life. I like it, it’s my “thing,” I guess some could say. You know what else is my “thing?” Bartending.
Recently I was nominated in my city as “Best Bartender,” which is pretty cool if you ask me. I’m certainly NOT the best bartender, but I’m the best I know how to be. Surprisingly, this nomination came shortly before my competition diet began round II, and I am slightly shocked by this because it’s become apparent to me that I’m actually a better bartender sober. Not only do I have more patience, a higher tolerance for the drunken zombies, and faster work rate/higher quality drinks, but I’m more me when I work; I’m nicer.
I like people, believe it or not. And liking people makes my job a lot easier because drunk people aren’t always people. I know some of my customers read this, so don’t think I’m pin-pointing anyone in particular, but the drunk people I’m referring to are the aforementioned ‘zombies.’ There comes a point of intoxication when people are no longer themselves and, to be frank, they get annoying. They turn into this sloppy mess of a person who doesn’t realize his/her own inebriation, who orders 8 more rounds of shots for the group, then stumbles for 4.5 minutes trying to maneuver a debit card from their wallet which has now become some sort of Japanese finger trap. But, being sober and logical, I can easily rationalize that, “Hey, we’ve all been there; here’s some water and I’ll still love you tomorrow night when you’re back at it.”
Since I’ve been tending bar sober for a month now, however, I’ve heard so many different opinions from people.
- I’m “more fun” when I’m drinking. FALSE. Though you might think I’m more fun, I’m just more focused on doing my job and doing it correctly. Also, I’m trying to get 8 hours of sleep each night and still function as a normal member of society. So “getting in and getting out” is the motive for now.
- I think I’m “better” than everyone else because I’m “fit.” FALSE. I don’t care if you drink, smoke, snort, dip, chew or shoot; you do you, I’m going to do me. We’ve all got a drug of choice and we’ve all got faults. Drinking doesn’t make you any less of a person, just as sobriety doesn’t make me any more. Trust me, once this is all said and done and the GOALS that I’ve set for myself are achieved, I will be throwing back quite a few beers.
- I can’t do anything because I have to go to the gym. FALSE. I do a lot of things, they just don’t revolve around drinking, which is a perfectly acceptable and normal pastime for the citizens of Lafayette, so by all means, continue to do so, and don’t feel obligated to exclude me just because I don’t imbibe. I paint, I read, I go see movies, I lay out at the pool, I go shopping, I take my dog to the park, I go bowling, I write, I consult other people on their diets. I have a life outside of fitness, this is just goal #1 for the meantime.
I want people to understand the concept of balance. You can have your cake and eat it too, but cake doesn’t fit my goals for the next 7.5 weeks; chicken and rice is where it’s at. I’ve learned a lot through this whole prep. I’ve learned who my true friends are, how much I don’t need alcohol to take the strain off of social situations, and I’ve learned that food doesn’t have to be the center of social gatherings. I’ve also expanded my list of hobbies and talents as I’ve had to find other ways to occupy my time.
Now, that being said, I’ve also experienced the other side of that spectrum. I found myself at a concert last week and had to remind myself that people weren’t staring at me because I wasn’t drinking. I had to continuously sip from a bottle of water just to occupy my awkwardness. I found that I didn’t know what to do with my hands and I couldn’t fully enjoy the music or the atmosphere being one of the only sober people in the building. I also continue to take shots of water or SF Redbull at work, just to join in on the party or to connect with my co-workers/customers.
So when prep is done and I begin to reverse diet I think I’ll continue to remain sober most of the time, not because it makes me a better person than you, but because it makes me a better person than I used to be. It doesn’t mean I won’t indulge or let loose from time to time, but I’ve learned the value of it and the “time and place” for it. Everyone is a critic and everyone has critics, but nobody’s hands are clean. I don’t write in this blog for anyone in particular, I don’t post my progress pictures to “flaunt,” and I don’t hashtag for attention. I write because it keeps me focused and motivated, I’m proud of the work I’ve put in and the results that I’ve produced AND I enjoy sharing it with likeminded individuals. I don’t complain about the number of “party pics” or shots anyone takes, so unless someone is supportive of my goals, they shouldn’t be concerned with my ‘fitspo’ posts or food craving tweets.
Live and Let Live.