Backin’ Off The Booze

Look on social media these days and you can easily find plenty of personal trainers and fitness experts showing you a variety of exercises and routines to help you to get in your best shape and stay that way – even during a pandemic. All good. Fabulous. Exercise is important for sure, but don’t kid yourself – in terms of keeping weight off, what matters most of all is what you eat and drink.

Yes, I exercise at home 5-6 mornings a week, but other bad habits became apparent to me, and that can outweigh any amount of exercise: too much alcohol which leads to too much snacking. Even if my jeans still fit now (ok, a tad bit snug), over time they will not. Gotta nip this in the bud!

Like many others dealing with the restrictions of the pandemic, one thing to look forward to at the end of the day is a cocktail and/or a glass of wine…or two. (Who’s counting when you’re at home?) Every night? Oh, gosh, no. Just six nights. Haha! :-0 Too much! And don’t we all know that once you are drinking you lose your self-control and out the window goes your ability to resist the Stacy’s chips, the guacamole, the cheese and crackers, the ice cream…am I right???

My current plan is to cut back on alcohol by 50%, with a 3 night per week max! Because it’s not easy to break bad habits, I have written lists for myself and posted them at home in clear view as reminders of why this is important to me. Such as…

  • Feel better – no doubt about it, you feel physically better when you don’t drink, partly because you…
  • Get a good night’s sleep! Nothing more annoying than when you wake up at 2am from alcohol and have trouble falling back asleep.
  • Better sex – ok, maybe one drink may lead to fun in the sack, but have a few and you might forget what even happened!
  • More energy to do fun things – drink less and you can stay awake to enjoy a book, a movie, or tackle a home project. Better quality of life.
  • Clothes will fit better, weight loss over time – this is #1 for me, vanity still rules at 62.
  • Beach body for 2021 – by next summer, I plan to be on the beach again and I want to look my best. It’s habits that you follow NOW that will have an effect on how you look months from now.

Those are some motivating factors, now here are some tips:

  • Stay away from alcohol on nights at home without guests – better to save the drinking nights when socializing with others…yet, on the other hand…
  • You don’t need to drink just because others are – you are more likely to be a better hostess when you aren’t drinking.
  • Keep in mind that you can have plenty of fun without booze – some of my best times in the past were going to swing and tango dance events where we only drank water…
  • Continue to enjoy non-alcoholic drinks in pretty glasses, aka mocktails! This way you can still participate in happy hour! :-) (And instead of high calorie snacks, make a batch of blistered shishito peppers!)

Here is a festive non-alcoholic drink that tastes good with barely any calories: fill a champagne glass almost to the top with plain seltzer water, then add a splash of Ribena blackcurrant concentrate (sold in supermarkets)…you only need a tiny bit of the blackcurrant, use even a smaller splash than I did here and the color will be pink – looks as if you are drinking a sparkling rosé…trust me, it’s a very good substitute!

So that’s my current fitness plan – pretty simple and not too restrictive, which is a key to longterm success. How about YOU? Has the pandemic affected your fitness habits? Whether the answer is yes or no, it doesn’t matter. Today you can start afresh and by the time this damn pandemic is over you can look better than you did before it started!

What ONE thing can you change to be on track for fitness in 2021?

Stay well. Live well. Enjoy the NOW.

PS I started this ‘3 day max’ on November 8th. Today is December 4th and I am proud to report that I have stuck to my plan 100%, even through a holiday week! It feels GREAT.

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  • My fitness plan is walking 2 miles cross country 7 days per week. In the summer (when we had more daylight) I was up to 4/5 miles per day. I even do it when it’s cold (anything below 40 is COLD for a southern girl). For food and drink – it’s an iced chai latte which I make at home with non fat milk, a salad with grilled chicken at my desk every day and no alcohol or dessert except on the weekends. We’ll see how it goes during the holiday. :(


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