It’s been a while since my last blog post or beer/brewery review. Life has been busy! I have been thinking a lot about how much I love beer, but it just doesn’t seem to love me. I was playing a bit of Tales of Berseria on my PS4, and really wanted a beer. I had already had one, a So Folkin’ Hoppy from Funky Bow Brewing Co in Lyman, ME, and I went to reach for a Ceremony Ale from Baxter Brewing Co when the thought came: “This is another 200 calories and you’ve not exercised today”. I still drank the beer, as I usually do, and as a result over time I have gained about 40 pounds.
Thus we have the battle, the eternal struggle, beer vs fat. For me, this is defined by my sheer joy I get from enjoying craft beers, and my hatred for the weight I have gained that makes it hard for me to do a lot of things. To steal an old slogan from Lay’s Potato Chips, I bet you can’t drink just one! It’s so true, as I tend to drink between 2-4 a night while doing various things like cleaning, watching TV, playing a game or just listening to music. Even when playing with my daughter, I tend to have a beer in arms reach. The old motto “drink in moderation” is a fine sentiment, but when put in practice it just isn’t very enticing. For clarification, I am not just getting intoxicated every day, 2-4 beers in a span of 3-5 hours definitely does not get me drunk, but the beer offers something I think tastes good and that I enjoy to consume.
In 2013, I went 9 months without consuming alcohol. I had other reasons other than weight management to do this, but cutting alcohol from my diet completely made the weight just fall off of me. In that nine months I was also doing the Nintendo Wii Fit for modest exercise which helped me loose 90 pounds. I was tipping the scales at 300 pounds at the time, and cut all the way to 210 (I am 6’5″ for context). I pulled myself close to being in the the healthy BMI range, I felt better and was much thinner. Since that time, I have gone back up to 245 and have developed a gut again. I don’t feel good about my appearance – but that’s the struggle – I just am not ready to stop drinking beer. I have a beer podcast that I co-host, and most social activities that I attend often have beer on hand. I even brew beer which just further reinforces the desire to have a beer.
An additional struggle, which most say I am just using as an excuse, is just that life is busy. I work for 8 hours a day, then have to get my daughter to swim practice, then get her fed, bathed and ready for bed. I can’t leave once she’s in bed since she’s only 5, and the reality is that by then it’s 8PM and I am exhausted from the day’s activities. I know what I need to do, cut down beer during the week and work out on the weekends, it’s just time to do it, and the time is now.
So, here I am today, with a shiny new membership to the local YMCA. I have a plan for using the treadmill and swimming regularly and a solid motivation to do so. The struggle is real though when the time comes to cut back on beer intake. All of that exercise will all be for not if I continue to pull in 400-1000 empty calories a day from beer. However, my mindset is improving and I think I may be ready.
wish me luck.
-Written by Jesse White. Follow him on Instagram: @LuckyBeerCamper.