When I stepped on the scale for the first time after getting back from vacation, it showed me up around 10lbs. I know this to be at least partly water weight - to gain 10lbs in 10 days I’d have had to consume 35000 additional calories over and above maintenance. I’m a good eater, but that would be a challenge even for me. But it was disheartening, to be sure.
I’ve been considering what I’m calling a Juneopause, in homage to the “Janopause” my in-laws do in January some years. The idea is that for the month after the indulgent days of Christmas they refrain from drinking, and eat particularly healthy (I’m told there’s lots of cabbage soup involved). While I don’t think cabbage soup is in my near future (I’m told my wife hates the stuff), I am considering putting a pause on my drinking for the month of June.
I’ve thought about this before but always run into road blocks. There are certain activities that are, for me, very associated with a drink in hand. Having a relaxing bath on the weekend after my gym session. Sitting down with my wife to chat about the weekday. And my most pleasant of activities, sitting on my porch out back in the warm weather with a glass of something cold, reading, writing, or gaming. When I start thinking about cutting back on drinking, I always make exceptions for these moments.
But that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We get into these habits certain activities become so associated with certain indulgences. We can’t go to the movies without popcorn. We can’t go out to dinner without having dessert. Things like this come up again and again, and they do hold us back, I think.
As I’ve said before, I often resist temporary things like this. I’m all about finding reasonable, measured ways to change my diet to lose weight and be healthier, and for me, cutting out drinking entirely just isn’t in those cards. The joy of the unique flavours of wine, tasting a local craft beer, sampling a well-aged scotch, these are joys I have no interest in giving up entirely, as I think they can absolutely be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
But it may be time to try and break some of my bad habits, and see if I can have a relaxing bath or read outside without a drink in hand. I’m still not fully committed to this idea. I was in the liquor store yesterday and saw a new variety of rose that looked lovely and thought, well, I can’t have that for a month, and immediately felt disheartened. But I also know looking back at my food logs, if I dropped drinking entirely for 6 months I’d probably be at goal weight, given my otherwise healthy eating habits.
There may still be exceptions. One of our wine clubs is having a special blending experience, for one. And I don’t know if I’m ready to give up a month of a glass of wine and a good book on my patio (considering I usually only get 3 of those a year). But I think it’s time to try and break some of those habits, or at least take a long, hard look at them. I’ve been stuck in neutral with my weight loss for 6 months now, and have even backslid a fair bit. And I’m ready to shift back into drive.