I’m a lemming, a sheep. Forty plus years, and I’m still as impressionable as that ten-year old kid who loved to ride his red Baja bike around the town square of Fairfield, Iowa. I, for lack of a better term, am a weak-minded dimwit.
Why? Because I’ve chosen not to drink this month after reading this stupid blog post by Ken Layne over on Gawker.
It wasn’t so much Layne’s words that moved me to action (although his tale of passing up the Firestone Walker tasting room did make me well up a little), nor was it the tales of alcoholism and personal struggles in the comments below the article.
No, it’s mainly because I’m fat. As I told my wife the other day, if I don’t lose some weight, I’m going to have to start fending off a new group of female admirers – chubby chasers!
You see, there’s a period of time that begins in mid-October and ends in early January that I, like many others, give up on eating and drinking like a sensible adult.
It starts when the Halloween candy hits the store shelves and you stock up on a few bags that are gone long before anyone’s screaming “trick or treat” at your door. Just about the time that sugar crash is ending, Thanksgiving comes along, and suddenly you find yourself in the Holiday pipeline, which is candied with feasts and beer and cookies and beer and treats (and beer) enough to make you contemplate switching to elastic waistbands for good.
Some years I fare better than others, but this year was a doozy. I enjoyed myself, and many, many glassfuls of Troeg’s Mad Elf along the way – I worked through roughly four cases from its release in October to New Year’s Day.
So now I’m bloated. Puffed up. Rotund. Portly.
If I’m going to shed my winter rolls, I have to start with cutting out the beer. Doing so not only eliminates the hundreds of non-essential (it hurt to type that!) calories a day, it also eliminates the pantry grazing that inevitably follows the enjoyment of a couple of tasty brews. Dropping this single (delicious, marvelous, satisfying) thing from my diet for a bit will provide just the kickstart I need to undo my unhealthy fourth quarter inflation.
I was thinking about just cutting out weekday beers before I read Layne’s post and realized that no-drink January is a better option. I can cut out the calories from the beer and the snacks altogether without having to manage my impulses through a cycle of wet weekends and dry weekdays. I’d likely screw that up pretty quickly and decide to hell with it, I’ll just try to sip more slowly every evening.
Instead, I simply have to lay off the beer and booze until the Super Bowl. It seems so doable, so straightforward. And by then my habits will be reset, and a no-beer-on-the-weekdays program will be easier to manage.
I guess I’m not really one of the “Sheeple” that neo-con trolls and conspiracy theorists love to call folks on Facebook, I just stumbled across an attractive solution to an issue I was wrestling with at that moment. But still, it makes me feel silly to jump on a bandwagon that someone else built.
So far I’ve managed one full no-beer weekend that went pretty well, right up until last night when I was cooking up a bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin – I was jonesing for chef’s little helper. But I persevered and managed to make it through the prep, the meal and the clean ups without an IPA or two to help grease the skids.
Now I just gotta cut out some of the other problematic things in my diet (like bacon-wrapped beef tenderloins!).
What about you – are you being extra good this January, or is it full Steam (or California Common) ahead? As always, let us know below.