Monday, May 31, 2010

Drink It In

I used to enjoy exercise.

No, really.

Until the arrival of some time-sapping pseudoparasites* I was keen on squash, a regular gym bunny and could often be seen cycling hither and yon, sometimes via thither.

Then, things of a procreative nature occurred*.

Suddenly your gym membership lapses and you don't renew it, your cobwebbed bike gets put in the garage and gradually retreats further behind the mower and miscellaneous boxes of gardening and DIY detritus, and Ol' Thunder the squash racquet gets mounted on red velvet in a glass case and hung above the ornate fireplace in the main hall, alongside the swords of your ancestors, the blood-stained notches on it's handle the only clue to your past conquests.

And you get porky.

Despite your being permanently tired, parenthood comes with the irritating side effect of apparently using up no calories whatsoever.

I am now usually awake for about 18 hours in every twenty-four, so one might presume I'd have time to get super productive. Time not just to clean, feed and entertain tiny humans*, but also to enjoy myself, maybe play a bit of sport, socialise with people so they don't forget who I am, maybe finish my spoon.

But no.

Those long hours of wakefulness are like the most volatile of substances, sublimating into the ether like dry ice in a pop video from 1985. The minutes gurgle rapidly and unstoppably down the temporal plughole of reality whilst the tadpole of life swims against the current of fate in the bath of futility, desperately hoping to avoid the dragonfly larva of destiny.

You have to schedule in a poo and a cup of tea three days ahead.

Regular exercise is not an option at the moment, which leads to the dilemma of how does one lose some of that excess chunk?

The ugly spectre of Dieting rears it's skeletal head and winks a sunken eyelid at me.

Which is a shame because I like food even more than I like exercise.

So, if I must, how to go about it? Do I want to join Weight Watchers? No, because it sounds like a specialist porn site for chubby chasers. Do I want to count calories? No, because that sounds more boring than the history of plywood. Do I want to be organised about it? No, because that would involve being organised about it.

Food would be more easy to avoid if it looked like evil sci-fi characters. One dunk of a Dorito in some guacamole and Shazam! :

Jabba the Dip stares at you accusingly, as if telling you that this was how he started.

In general, I just need to cut down on some stuff. Be a bit more aware of unhealthy things I'm choffing and not choff them quite so much. With this in mind I poured myself a lager, sat down and had a think about what to give up.

Chocolate? I eat a couple of bars a week. Dips like Jabba up there? More of an occasional treat than a bad habit. Puddings? Not that many. Takeaways? Had my first curry in three and a half weeks a few days ago, so not much help there. I took a swig of Kronenburg to help me concentrate.

Ah . . .

Lager is quite calorific. My favourite beer is currently Poacher's Choice, which sends both my taste buds and my liver into little shivery tremors of joy. I presume the liver tremors are joy anyway. This beer is fairly hefty both in terms of booze content and calories.

I suppose I could . . . cut . . . down . . .

Oof! No no no. Let's not go down such avenues of desperation, I thought. Draining my glass, I decided it was time to get some help, and referred the subject on to the wife, who is wise in the way of food. She was in her cushion room, making fans and doilies, possibly.

"No exercises. Too fat. Make better." I explained.

She nodded, always approving of brevity in explanations. She got the gist, realising that I might conceivably benefit from losing weight, but without doing exercise, so what could I possibly give up to facilitate such a transformation.

Don't say beer, I thought at her.

"Well," she said, looking at a small cheese and tomato sandwich I was predating for my lunch. "You do actually eat fairly healthily."

"I do." I agreed, thinking don't say beer, don't say beer.

"So we need to look at something you maybe do have a bit too much of, don't we?"

"S'pose." I concurred magnanimously. Don't say beer. Do NOT say beer. Beer in this context is not what I want to hear.

"You could perhaps cut down on . . ."

Doritos? Mars bars? Lettuce. Oh sweet baby Moses let it be lettuce.

"B . . ."

Burgers? Boursin? Bite sized Shredded Wheat?

." . .Be . . ."

Beans? Benecol? Beastiality? Wait, none of them are fattening.

" . . . Bee . . ."

Beetroot? Bee vomit? That's honey? I could give up honey I suppose. As long as it's not . . .

" . . . Beer?"

Oh cock.

I gave her my most vitriolic of glares, and she asked if I needed some Preparation H, so I flounced off as she retreated back into the cushion room, shaking her head.

The trouble is, she's right.

So, the iron rod of reason smacks down onto the simpleton's forehead of resistance, ensuring the contra-coup injury of realisation results in the persistent vegetative state of acquiescence.

I have to cut down on beer.

There is no sad faced emoticon sad faced enough to depict how sad faced the emoticon I want to put here is but, take my word for it, it's pretty sad faced.

I reluctantly agree and come to the conclusion that, if beer's not there, I probably won't drink it, so I'm not buying any for the house.

The beer cupboard can go back to being called the fridge.

Despite my sacrifices and my general spurning of all things hedonisitc, I am not, as many people have wondered, an ascetic monk. Beer has been with me for a long time. It stands to reason that I'm going to need something to reduce the separation anxiety. With this firmly in mind, I went to the supermarket and examined alternatives.

Happily, they had exactly the thing to take my mind off beer:


As long as I have a decent bottle of single malt in the house, I shall not want for more calorific beverages, so this is practically a new diet plan all on it's own.

I might market it and call it the Proprietary Innovative Sure Slim Ethanolic Diversionary technique for weight loss.

It has a catchy acronym so I should make a killing.

* Children.


  1. (nicked for the talisker site)...
    Robert Louis Stevenson mentioned it in a poem, 'The Scotsman's Return from Abroad' in 1880,

    The king o' drinks, as I conceive it,
    Talisker, Islay or Glenlivit.

    it could be worse, sugar! good luck. xoxoxox

  2. *sigh* i meant from, not for...

    anyway, there y'all have it. btw, we decided we'd stop having wine with lunch, unless we were out, to help count calories. xoxoxox

  3. Beer would be the last thing I would give up. I imagine I could get a bit of weight loss from having a digit or two removed, or perhaps that pesky liver that seems to whine at me when I drink my beer.

  4. Savvy - Loving that poem. Heartily concur. And well done on giving up lunchtime wine, although it's a slippery slope to cutting down in the evening as well, and before you know it you're a teetotaller! I've seen it happen. On telly.

    SkylersDad - I think my priorities need a tune up. As long as I've got at least a couple of fingers and a thumb to grip the glass, I could stand to lose a few as well!

  5. Sorry to hear about your beernundrum...

    Whenever I want to lose about 30 lbs, I just switch to Absolut Raspberry and Coke Zero.

    Luckily, I don't need to lose 30 lbs all that often.

  6. Hahaha, very nice.
    "Do I want to be organised about it? No, because that would involve being organised about it."

    I have a similar relationship with soft drinks. I really eat pretty healthily except for the insane amounts of fizzy sugar water that I drink, but I just can't seem to kick it. Oh well. I'd rather be squishy and happy than lean & miserable, I guess.

  7. Why not make your own! this would involve walking/cycling/running to Kent for your hops and barley malt then lugging it back.

    Then you have to generate the heat to mash the wort, (I envisage a bike rigged up to a generator).

    Then there's the bottle washing, filling and capping and then crate stacking then the long wait for it to mature sufficiently.

    Hope that helps to reduce your calorific footprint!

  8. Jabba the Dip. :-) You weirdo.

    I laughed out loud when you reasoned that it couldn't possibly be the bestiality making you heavier, as it has so few calories...

    You amuse me no end, Gravel Man.


  9. Eric - It's a tragedy and no mistake. Not sure I could go down the cocktail route though.

    Soda and Candy - Squishy and happy? Sounds like a winning combination to me.

    Urbane Warrior - Was totally going to do exactly what you said there, until I read "long wait".

    Pearl - How do you make calling someone a wierdo seem like a compliment? Glad you lolled!

  10. What about that nettle beer the River Cottage folk gave you on your survival weekend? Is that full of calories too? (That could also explain the liver tremors)

    Just remember, banging your head against a wall for an hour burns off 150 calories.

    Maybe you could even do one of those DVD's? (I'd get in quick though, before Kerry Katona finds out about it)

  11. With this in mind I poured myself a lager, sat down and had a think about what to give up.

    A bit of dry humour there, eh?

  12. There's always the Dysentry Diet. I used to have a girlfried who looked upon bouts of food poisoning with a glad eye.

    We didn't marry in the end.

  13. You shouldn't weigh while holding the beer. That should help.

  14. The whiskey seems to agree with your post. Im off to buy some whiskey ....for weight loss purposes of course!

  15. GTChristie - Ha. And there too, methinks.

    Girl I - Nettles actually burn off calories because of all the dancing aruond looking for dock leaves you do, so I presume the beer does the same. Might be useful, because my head is hard and my walls are soft.

    Jon - She sounds like a keeper! Dysentry's all right, but you wouldn't want it to run on.

    Robynn - Good point. I shall down it quickly before I step on the scales.

    Tempo - I'll write out all the steps in the programme for you, and you can post the fee to The Gravel Farm, c/o The Internet: Step 1) Buy whisky. Step 2) Drink whisky. Step 3) Look like a slightly slurring Adonis.

  16. I lost a lot of weight when I tried this stuff called "wine." It's a little pricey though, and not very thirst-quenching.

    I have a lot of uncles and grandparents who did the whiskey diet. All of them were quite thin and young-looking (well, young anyway) when they died. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

  17. 1.Check, 2.check,!

  18. Apparently a G&T has the least calories and rather nice in the summer. Might be worth a whirl?

  19. Beta Dad - Better than dying young and looking old. You don't want people nodding sagely at news of your demise and saying "Well, it was a release, really wasn't it?"

    Tempo - Go back to step one, repeat another 12 times then go and look in the mirror.

    Judearoo - I can hadnle a single G&T before dinner on a summers day, but after that I start to get twitchy on the quinine.

  20. I couldn't be happier to have just stumbled across your blog, you big hootenanny, you. What you have going on with beer is exactly what I have going on with both wine AND beer, except I'm a bit more unwilling to turn my booze cabinet back into a fridge just yet.

    Maybe I'll develop a liver problem that pushes for the change. But 'til then, you just do the work for both of us, eh?


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