Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I drank 763 beers last year. how many did you drink?

As 2009 came to a close, out of nowhere, I had this thought: “I wonder how much beer I drank this year?” Too many, probably, I guessed. A day or two after I had that thought, I happened upon this article detailing how heavy drinkers, as well as just moderate drinkers of beer, have significantly higher risks of developing multiple cancers, such as esophageal, stomach, colon, liver, pancreatic and lung. Sobering, to say the absolute least:
“In general, the odds increased in tandem with the men's lifetime alcohol intake…with several cancers, men who drank at least one beer per day tended to have higher risks than those who drank on a regular, but less-than-daily, basis….when it came to esophageal cancer, for instance, men who drank one to six times per week had an 83 percent higher risk than teetotalers and less-frequent drinkers, while daily drinkers had a three-fold higher risk.”

Just one beer per day? A six-pack per week? Whoa. It’s not like I want to live forever, but I’d prefer to maximize the one life I have on this planet (if it’s not too much effort), and spend my old and alone years suffering in as little pain as possible.

“So,” I thought, “It’s simple: I’ll cut down in 2010, keep track of how much beer I actually drink, and then at the end of the year, I’ll take stock. If need be, I’ll cut down even more, in 2011.”

The very next thought I had was, “I need an easy way to keep track of every beer I drink in 2010. Perhaps there’s an app for this?” Sure enough, there was. Took me 4 seconds to find it. It’s called “Beer Counter.” Brilliant!

So in the first several minutes of 2010, with the press of a finger, I tapped on miPhone, entering the first beer I drank that year. Then another. And another.

I kept track of every single beer I drank last year, whether I was at home, out for dinner, at a rock show, a sports event, out of town, or hanging at a friend’s house. Every single one.

I finished my 763rd beer, as the clock struck midnight, ringing in 2011. That’s an average of 2 beers a day; 15 beers a week; or 64 beers a month. It’s roughly 32 cases a year. I also took pictures of every case of beer I bought. Here are just a few:

A few days into this year, I decided it would be awesome if I could decrease my beer intake from last year, by around 25%. This seemed like a do-able goal, I thought, and I’d be building on the previous year’s decrease.

Well, I’m just finishing my 47th beer right now, 31 days in. That’s just 1.5 beers a day – right on target!

I’ll check in with y’all this time next year for an update…

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