OOPS, I Drank All The Beer
Well, that escalated quickly.
I’m talking about the size of my waistline, of course.
A funny thing happened on the way to our semi-permanent state of COVID lockdown — I abandoned almost every good personal habit that I had. Mind you, I’m not exactly a role model, but I have spent the past few years trying to overhaul my daily approach to work and personal development.
I haven’t gotten the virus yet, but it has managed to kill some integral parts of my daily routine.
It all began so innocently. Back in March, one of my friends who had been at CPAC was told by his doctor to quarantine for a week because of possible exposure at the conference. We didn’t find out about the exposure until we’d all been home for a week so half of the standard fourteen day incubation/quarantine period had already passed. I decided that I would err on the side of caution and self-quarantine. I work at home alone so it wasn’t a real big change in plans.
Those were the early COVID days though. Almost as soon as I was done with my self-quarantine the real panic set in. Less than a week later, the entire country began shutting down. We were gonna slow that spread!
Thus the Zoom drinking era was born.
Suddenly, my calendar was filled with online excuses to drink. Weekly happy hours with colleagues, weekly Zoom hangouts with friends, the Irish side of my family getting “together” to drink a couple of times — on and on it went. I was telling myself that it was important to be available for my extroverted friends who were struggling with being home all day.
Hey, I’m a giver.
All of that was only supposed to go on for a few weeks. By the time we got to the middle of last summer the craft beer supply in the southwestern United States was running low thanks to me. In addition to the social video hangouts, Stephen Green, Bryan Preston, and I had been doing our weekly VIP Gold Live Chat for almost four months, and that was a work-related cocktail hour or two.
Had I merely stuck to keto-friendly alcohol — vodka and whiskey — things wouldn’t have gone off the rails like they did. I love beer though and it’s the centerpiece of my keto cheat days. Those keto cheat days quickly turned into keto cheat months, however, and if I’d gotten an orange fake tan I could have gotten quick work in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
I haven’t owned a scale in years so my first sign that things had gone awry was the fit of my clothes. I was on the threshold of having to invest in loose t-shirts and overalls so I decided it was time to get serious about losing some weight.
I’m a big fan of shaming. In years past, I would have made a visit to my mother to get properly shamed into losing weight. That’s how it all started for me a few years ago when I last dedicated myself to fitness. Alas, visiting the Matriarch during COVID has been impossible because we’re trying to keep her safe.
So I decided to digitally shame/motivate/whatever myself. It is the 21st century, after all. I bought a scale. Not a regular scale, but one that’s connected to my Google Fit and breaks down my body composition into multiple categories. It also provides me with my “metabolic age” based on these categories. I’m currently “Heart-attack probably tomorrow” years old.
I’ve got everything I do physically tied to Google fit now. I know, I know, Google is the Big Bad. I figure that the overall benefits to my health will outweigh (SWIDT?) my anger with Big Tech. I can’t write harsh things about the tech companies if I’m dead on my living room floor and my cat is eating my face.
Now I’m back on my bike. I’m lifting a little again. I’ve even gone full modern times and am keeping track of the daily steps. No matter what kind of workout I’ve done earlier in the day, I’m still trying to get out for a walk every evening. There are obvious physical benefits to that but I’ve found that it’s even better for my mental health. It also clears my head for all of the Morning Briefing work I have to do at night.
I’m sharing this with you, dear VIP readers, for two reasons: accountability and commiseration.
Some of us can take this journey together or you can simply choose to schadenfreude your way through my efforts. Either way, I wanted this out there to give myself some added pressure. There is a milestone birthday looming on the horizon for me this year and I don’t want to be posting Instagram selfies of me in overalls when it gets here.
Now let’s not drink to that.
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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.