Psychologists love to tell us that New Year's resolutions will usually fail.
These "learned men" have failed to note the obvious: People make resolutions when they are loaded! Anything looks easy when you're looking at it through the rosy tint of your sixth Manhattan. But in the cold light of day, when sobriety rubs your nose in the noxious filth of your own vanity, you realize—despite what you said about giving Taylor Lautner a run for his money—that instead of a shimmering six-pack, your abs shall forever look like a bloated jug of souring milk.
Do not despair. You cannot soberly approach a declaration that was made in inebriation. You must fulfill your promise while remaining quite sauced.
What follows is an exercise program to help you reach your goals without giving up your drunkard's lifestyle. We all know: Drunk, you are Superman. Sober, you are Clark Kent.
Consult your physician (or in this case, your bartender) before beginning this exercise plan. Performed without the right preparation or forethought, any exercise program, especially this one, could lead to injury or death.
Weight loss is friggin' simple. You need to move more and stuff your fat face less. To that end, consider implementing "meal replacement" along with your exercise program. The average American eats 700 to 1,300 calories in one sitting. Do that three times a day, spend your remaining hours watching Two and a Half Men marathons, and you're well on your way to joining the obesity brigade (one of the least effective of all brigades—unless you're using them as a human shield).
The drinker's solution: Replace one meal with a cocktail hour. Since a Martini only contains roughly 150 calories, you can have three in one sitting and still come out ahead. You'll also be happier and relaxy-er.
Keep in mind that the more crap you add to your cocktail, the more calories it will contain—there's up to 340 in one Margarita glass. Still, unlike the Ho Ho you're cramming in your mouth, most cocktails contain no fat.
Your Gym; Your Local Bar
You don't need a gym membership and a personal trainer to reach your goal of optimal health. You simply need a good bar and a better bartender. Most of the following exercises and activities that can be done while drinking can be started, performed at, or completed in your neighborhood bar. They may not have showers—but is anyone going to notice? Not at the places you drink.
I don't mean stretch. There is absolutely no reason to stretch. Knocking a couple back should be enough to limber you up. You'll flow easily from one exercise to another, run faster, jump higher, and avoid the strain that can often lead to injury.
It's also likely that "limbering up" will actually increase your endurance, build up your gusto, and otherwise get you prepared to show your body who's boss.
As an obsessive runner and a heavy drinker, I've made some interesting observations about running under the influence. Unless you're actively chasing someone, most people do not look askance at a drunken runner. It's a matter of perception. Most people see someone trotting down the street decked out in running gear and think, "There is the picture of health." Does it matter that you're lumbering along like a brain-damaged chimp? No. In fact that reinforces the image of health. The thought becomes, "Look how hard that person is working!" By running drunk, you become an inspiration.
There are a few considerations when running sauced: Stay hydrated. Go slow and easy. Change up your routine. Always start with a vodka soda? Try whiskey. Always run around the block three times? Run around a different block three times. Variety will keep things interesting.
Cops: If you taunt them, they will chase you. Being chased by a cop is great motivation to increase both speed and endurance.
Dogs: If you taunt them, they will chase you. However, unlike cops, they tend to lose interest if you can keep up a good pace.
Sobriety: If you're having trouble getting started, begin your run at a point well away from the nearest bar and run toward the alcohol. The brutality of sobriety will drive you on like a horse feeling the whip.
Lower Body: Roundhouse Squats
You'll need to find a partner—hopefully a trusted drinking buddy. Begin standing face to face with your partner, a little less than arm's length away. On a predetermined count, your partner will throw a roundhouse punch at your face. Before their fist hits you, bend your knees and move to a squatting position. Quickly pop back up to a standing position. Your partner will then throw another roundhouse with the opposite fist. Again, squat to avoid being struck. Try to develop a fluid motion. Repeat until exhaustion or until someone loses a tooth.
Variations: To add an upper-body element, hold a 40-ounce beer (about 2.6 pounds) in each hand. After popping up from the squat, curl the 40 up to your lips and sip before the next roundhouse.
Upper Body: Cocktail Pushups
This is a more challenging version of the normal pushup. Simply place a rocks glass filled with your favorite cocktail and a stir straw on the ground. Assume the pushup position with your head directly above the glass. Lower yourself down and sip your cocktail through the straw before pushing back up. Repeat until drink is finished, or you pass out and lacerate your face on the broken glass.
Arms: Growler Curls
Growlers are generally gallon containers that hold beer. Most brewpubs in the area sell and fill growlers. Because they weigh around eight pounds (give or take) they make a perfect workout tool.
Find a growler that has a small circular finger hole near the neck. Loop a six-inch-long length of rope through the hole to create a handle. Fill the growlers (with beer, of course).
Find a sturdy barstool to sit on, facing away from the bar. Loop your right hand through the growler rope loop and bend forward slightly at the waist, resting the right elbow of your straightened arm on the inner thigh of your right leg. Now "curl" your forearm upward so that your fist stops just below your chin. Lower your arm back to starting position. Repeat 15 times, sip from the growler, and alternate with the other arm. Pro tip: Kiss your bulging bicep while curling for added motivation.
Abs: Barstool Crunch
Most bars have a brass rail below the bar on which to rest your feet. For this exercise, scootch forward on your bar stool, hooking your feet underneath the rail. Lean back as far as possible. Cross your arms across your chest. Now raise your chin to the ceiling, tightening your abdominal muscles. Crunch at least 20 times. Drink. Repeat.
Any workout requires a period of cool down after strenuous activity. Make sure you finish your workout as you started: with another drink. Now is the time to reflect on what you've accomplished and visualize the pillar of vitality and strength that you will soon become. Here's to health!
There are plenty of organizations out there who feel that drinking and rigorous physical activity go hand in hand. Consider joining one of them to add variety to your routine.
Drunken running: There is a serious contingent of Hash House Harriers in our fair city. These are self-described "drinkers with a running problem" who often hold runs that involve beer, sleuthing, wild terrain, beer, songs, shouting, sexual innuendo, and beer. Some emphasize drinking more than others, but all welcome new participants. Find a run at oregonhhh.org.
Playground games for grownups: Recess Time Sports League has taken the red rubber ball games we remember from childhood and made them more fun by adding beer. Kickball, dodgeball, ping pong, and bowling: all more fun while drinking. It's something your gym teacher always knew. He'll be proud of you. Join a league at recesstimesports.com
The Urban Iditarod: Just as grueling as its Northern counterpart. The sled dogs are people, the sleds are shopping carts, the four-mile course crosses the city, and the fuel is high-octane hooch. There may be blood. There will be fun. You will get winded. Look for the next run at myspace.com/portlandurbaniditarod.
The Waterfront Blues Fest Brian Wilson Memorial Swim Team: It may look like they're just toppling off their boats and bobbing listlessly facedown in the water. But these athletes are members of an elite drunken swim team willing to sacrifice themselves in the name of physical fitness. May they rest in peace—and health.
A Guide to Doing Different Types of Yoga—STONED
By Marjorie Skinner
GETTING DRUNK AND WORKING OUT is one thing—but a true fitness enthusiast knows that alcohol can seriously take the edge off your athletic prowess, whereas marijuana, in the right context, can increase your enjoyment and capabilities. If you’re an experienced runner, you might find that a couple puffs before you set out enhances the meditative quality of your run. (Do not attempt this if you are not a regular runner, as you will feel every inch of your out-of-shape body’s pain and resistance in unprecedented, exquisite detail.) However, the ultimate way to make your weed work for your waistline (because not everyone who smokes pot is a fat do-nothing) is—and I feel like this is obvious—yoga.
Yet, as anyone who’s ever taken yoga can attest, no studio, or even teacher, is alike. Most blend different practices, some are mellow, some are tough, some are chant-y, or woo-woo, etc. Ultimately the trick is to find a specific instructor who suits your stoniness—but this guide will help point you in the right direction.
Hatha/Vinyasa: If you’ve ever taken an introductory yoga class, chances are it was some combination of hatha and vinyasa practices. They are the garden varieties of yoga, and a relatively accessible, safe way to test the waters of yogic stonage. Yoga encourages you to focus on the heightened tactile, body-aware sensations a stoning can give you, which is perfect for detecting small details in your physical alignment, monitoring your threshold for stretching, and it is generally done in positive, healthy environments in which you are unlikely to bug out. However, if you tend to get fidgety about concentrating on physiology (I recall a period during which wrists were particularly troublesome) after toking up, tread cautiously. Another downside is that being stoned really wrecks your balance, so try to steer clear of teachers who are heavy handed with the tree poses.
Bikram: Never, ever go to your first Bikram class stoned. You’ve probably heard of this practice, in which the room is heated to sweltering—good for your skin as well as your flexibility. It is not unheard of, though, for people to pass out or puke when they attempt Bikram, so try it a few times to see how comfortable you are. I cannot think of anything grosser than a blend of vomit and foot-y yoga-mat scents. If you feel capable, try it, but be extra-cautious if you’re prone to claustrophobia, as the heat can literally be suffocating. And for chrissakes, do not run out of water. The cottonmouth alone will probably kill you. On the plus side, by the end of class you will be more bendable than Gumby, the coolness of which is best appreciated with a little giggle bush.
Prenatal: Okay, I’m not going to judge pregnant women who smoke weed. We all have our theories. But I went to a prenatal yoga class stoned and happily un-impregnated, which involved bullshitting a yoga teacher—for which there is now no doubt a special place for me in karmic hell. Fact: Prenatal yoga, while on the mild side of exertion for obvious reasons, is capable of mystical feats like rearranging the contents of your uterus like it was the living room furniture. If you skip the part where you have to sit around in a circle and talk about due dates and trimesters and hips, hips, hips, as well as a tendency toward load-dropping poses like a wide-legged deep crouch, you can basically expect a low-impact class with the word “baby” standing in for “belly.” The psychological torture of doing so when not actually pregnant, however, during which you will experience paranoia like never before, is obviously not recommended.
Kundalini: I saved the best for last. Of all the styles of yoga I’ve tried, Kundalini has probably provided the most varied experiences. It’s very breath-oriented, and some instructors focus intently on that aspect, resulting in a low-impact, restorative class that will make you feel cleansed and refreshed afterward, a good place to be when you’re shaking off your high. But I like my Kundalini instructors higher up on the woo-woo chart. My favorite Kundalini classes are more aerobic, gradually building movement until the entire class is flailing around at random, jumping and flapping arms like idiots, completely into it, not cracking up or feeling embarrassed. At this point a good Kundalini instructor will know it’s time to crank the music up loud. And as you flap recklessly around the room with a bunch of other organically fed nutbags, on drugs, as “HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE” blares around you, you will feel just like a Charles Manson disciple—without all the unhealthy, murdery stuff.