Today is Friday the 29th of October in the year of our Lord 2021. I’ve not had a drink since Thursday the 29th of October 2020. This is the longest I’ve gone without alcohol since I first got inebriated. To say the ability to deny myself booze is a blessing would be an understatement. I almost cannot express my satisfaction.
But I’ll try…
2019 almost ended terribly. Gout attacked my toes. Tendinitis attacked my knees. Anxiety and insomnia put me in misery. And my weight ballooned to over 270 pounds. Life was not fun.
Work was too much. I wasn’t exercising enough. My diet was terrible. And, yes, alcohol was part of the equation.
To make a long story short, a good man in Texas turned me on to the process of ketosis for losing weight. He explained that denying myself carbohydrates would force me body to reaquire the ability to burn ketones from body fat for fuel, as opposed to my body, in its then current state, only depending on glucose derived from carbs. My body’s ability to be in ketosis would help me lose weight. I only had to deny myself the reckless amount of carbs I had been eating.
The results were stunning.
I started in early December 2020. By mid January I’d lost 20 pounds. By April I’d lost 40. By May 50.
I wouldn’t say the process was effortless. I spent $20 for a food scale at Wal-Mart. I downloaded an app on my phone called Chronometer. I weighed every morsel of food I put in my body, and logged this consumption on Chronometer, which allowed me to see my total calories, total grams of fat, total grams of protein and, yes, net carbohydrates consumed. Seeing the numbers, as opposed to guessing, empowered me to make the best eating decisions throughout the day, so I could limit my carbs and calories.
Within ten days into this process, I knew with absolute certainly it would work. That’s because my appetite in the mornings began to plummet. I just wasn’t as hungry. The cravings to munch were gone.
Of course alcohol is a nemesis to ketosis. Beer is absolutely the worst. But even vodka endeavors to undo the liver’s ability to maintain ketosis, in spite of its small carb count. The bottom line is that my desire to lose weight completely outweighed whatever cravings I had for similar amounts of alcohol in years before. I drank some in 2020. I drank too much with an old friend a year ago – and had a great time.
But no alcohol this past year. None.
I won’t say I’ll never drink again. Perhaps I will, though not like once upon a time. But, I wanna see how long I can go.
Clear-eyed, hangover-free mornings are a godsend. Now all mornings are a godsend. I’ve always felt that there is an optimism to the day before the sun rises that is almost spiritual. Perhaps that’s why Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Regardless, mornings now fill me with a gusto for life that I’ve never had before. “Carpe diem” rings in my mind. As one small example, this blog is evidence of a new way for me.
But there is so much more that is better for me. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Granted, some wine or beer now and again would not undo this. Not at all. “All things in moderation – including moderation,” I’ve been told. Those Lagunitas Coffee Stouts do enter my mind from time to time.
But they don’t really tempt me. Frankly, I wanna see how long I can go without alcohol. Though I’m no longer so dedicated to a keto diet, and have welcomed back more carbs, I don’t see how adding alcohol can further my attempts at optimal health. It fear it could only hurt it, as I know my vices.
Again, I wouldn’t trade this new path of my adult years for anything.
*** Featured photo from