A downside to drinking, and what I’m going to do about it.January 1st, 2011
I enjoy life. I love drinking (that includes good beer and wine), and I love food. I also exercise regularly to keep from gaining weight. But, in 2010, I found myself losing this battle. It was a combination of factors: knee surgery in the spring, lots of travel for business in the fall, the stress of selling our business, a slowing metabolism, rotating beers on tap at home, an endless supply of other great things to drink, and then the holidays and all the parties.
I’m not grossly overweight, but what I always jokingly refer to as the “five pounds of fun” around my waist has now turned into ten pounds of fun. It’s beginning to not be funny anymore. I either have to lose weight or buy a completely new set of clothes. (And I hate shopping.)
So, the lesser (and better) of the two evils is to cut the weight. This isn’t one of those New Year’s resolutions. The timing is mostly coincidental. I just finished reviewing all my whiskies for the Buyer’s Guide in the next issue of Malt Advocate, all those holiday parties are over, and I’m not traveling anywhere until February 8th, when my wife Amy and I are going on vacation. It’s time to right my wrongs of the past year, and then continue my usually balanced lifestyle after that.
So, here’s what I am going to do. I always here doctors say that it’s not healthy losing more than two pounds in one week, so I have set a goal of losing 10 pounds over the next five weeks. That’s 10 pounds by February 5th.
To jump start this, I’m going to do something I haven’t done in a long while: no booze for the first 20 days! Because of my whisky and beer review schedule, there’s only a few times throughout the year where this would even be a possibility for me. There is a break in my tasting schedule right now, and I’m going to take advantage of it.
Why 20 days? On January 20th, I’m going into New York for an editorial meeting with the editors of Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado magazines, and I have this feeling there just might be a nice bottle of wine (and perhaps a good cigar) enjoyed by all before the day is over. That’s something I don’t want to miss out on.
Normally this is something I would just do and not even tell anyone. My personal life is just that: personal. Why spill my guts here on WDJK? Well, if I am dealing with this issue, I’m willing to bet some of you are too.
If so, I invite you to join me.
Which brings me to another topic: my relationship with drinking. Fortunately, I never felt like I needed a drink. (If I did, I would stop drinking.) It’s just something I enjoy and look forward to. I believe it was Steve Beaumont, one of our excellent writers and a guy with great perspective, who likened his relationship with drinking to a appreciating a fine painting on his wall. He certainly doesn’t need the painting, but if it weren’t there he would miss it–and his day might be the lesser for it.
That’s how I’m going to feel for the next 20 days.