I was thinking about a handsome friend of mine this morning. He used to be a bartender and knows how to enjoy a good cocktail or two. I've caught him embarrassed in corners of buildings smoking a cigarette that he apologizes for, but he can't quite get his head around why I would choose a cookie over a delicious drink.
Part of the reason is purely physical. He's stockier and muscular, think appealing yang guy. I'm leaner, longer and far more yin. Alcohol is yin. Sweets are yin. Drugs would be extreme yin. (While I don't do the latter, there is a once month Advil or two...) When you go too far in either direction, yin or yang, the consequences are usually a problem.
If I pile the yin on, I get sick, and often that includes horrible skin eruptions that take weeks to heal to where they are not noticed. I'd rather sit out the drink and not suffer later. Alcohol affects the liver. The emotion of the liver is anger. I'm so darn sensitive that it doesn't take much to also be suffering mood swings. I like living calmer and having more fun and natural highs. (Like just getting near this guys sexy arms lets say...)
It's all a choice and we choose many times unconsciously to eat things that support our personal constitution and condition, or identity. His constitution can handle alcohol better, and it can even be a tonic for his yangness, making him more relaxed and feeling better. He isn't me and that is a good thing to keep in mind when we look at the choices others make. Let go of the guilt, shame, blame and start being more curious as to why someone makes the choices they do. In his case, his enjoyment also seems just as healthy as my abstinence. If I change my condition, I might choose differently. If you've been trying to get a friend to be more something or another, just be a healthy example and remember He/She's not you.