Falling On the Wagon, Alcohol Free could you do it?

wagon2Yes, that right Starting May 1st, I fallen on the wagon. No alcohol for the next 35 days for me. I don’t recall anytime in the last 20 years that I have gone more then a couple days without a beer, wine, whiskey, or tequila. First off before you go thinking, “What do this guy have a drinking problem?” I guess my only problem is that I’m not going to have any of that nectar of the gods for the next month. So why am I doing it? On June 5th I’ll be testing for my 1st Degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  I know I don’t have to stop drinking for this, but it is a personal choice.

I’ve been practicing Tae Kwon Do several times a week for the last 3+ years. It has been a huge commitment in my life, in my family’s life, and I’m taking this test very seriously. I want to be mentally and more importantly, physically ready for this challenge. It hasn’t helped me that sometimes I consumer 400-600+ calories a night in just beer. Very tasty calories, but none the less empty calories that have not helped my waist line. Do I regret this, hell no, but it is still a fact I can’t overlook.

As I write this, on Day 2, I long for the flavors of a Captain Lawrence DIPA, The Bruery Mischef, or Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot that call me from my fridge, but that is all. It’s not like the irresistible skin crawling cravings I had when I quit smoking , which also made me a bitch to live with, and I suppose that is a good thing. Actually, It has to be good thing sitting down here, by myself, in my office, personal commitment made, surround by 40+ gallons of homebrew and several hundred bottles of exceptionally divine craft beer!

So, whats going to happen with Simply Beer for the next month? I’m still gonna be posting to SimplyBeer.com, on Twitter, and Facebook. I have a couple beer reviews saved up and a bunch of homebrewing recipes to post, but even though I’m giving up drinking alcohol for the month, doesn’t mean I have to give up cooking with beer.  So, I’m going to try and expand my cooking skills over the next month with some of my own creations and others I’ve seen online or on TV.

Would you do this?  Do you think it is going to be difficult?  What I’m the most curious about, will I lose any weight or will I consume the lost beer calories with food at night.  Last night I weighed in at a hefty 221 lbs.


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32 Responses to “Falling On the Wagon, Alcohol Free could you do it?”

  1. Katie Says:

    Valiant effort, and I sympathize because there’s not a night that goes by that I don’t have a glass or two of wine, beer, bourbon, etc. unless I’m gravely ill! But it’s only 1 month, so rather than mourn every lost day, set your sights on the “big day” not only for attaining your black belt, but also for being able to celebrate with a nice cold one :)

    Meantime, you could always do a couple of guest posts here, too. And BTW, if you’d like, I’ll contribute my dark chocolate stout truffles to your recipe list, or if not, my chocolate fluffernutter cupcakes, topped with bacon caramelized in chocolate stout :)

  2. Billy Broas Says:

    Good for you Peter. That’s a very worthwhile reason to give it up. It’ll be tough, but a month isn’t all that bad. Are you going to stick with the TKD 3 times per week or add additional exercising to that? I’ll be interested to hear how the weight changes as it’s something I’ve wondered about for myself. Good luck!

  3. mike Says:

    I could do it, just not this month. In fact, I barely drink beer during the week nor weekends unless there is actually something going on. Good luck & I know you got this!

  4. GServo Says:

    i understand this completely i recently just came of a non drinking period, lost 22 pounds. But honestly is was not cutting out the beer that led to the weight loss it was cutting the sugar. i cut 90% of sugar from my diet, that was hard.

    Ive started eating many small meals through the course of the day also.

    Good luck to you, i think you can do it with out any issues at all

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  6. Simply Beer Says:

    @Katie, I would love to post any beer food recipes you want to share. Feel Free to email them to me.

    @Billy, no a month isn’t bad, it will go by fairly quick, especially with all the practice that I’m doing. 4-6x a week up from 3x. I really think it is going to make a big difference, but time will tell.

    @Mike. Effin, light weight! Just kidding, now get drinking! Thanks Mike, I wouldn’t put it “out there” if I didn’t think I would succeed at this. And quite frankly if I couldn’t do it, isn’t that a sign of a bigger problem?

    @Gservo, congrats on the weight lose. You finding it easy to keep it off? AS the theory goes, less calories more exercise, I should lose weight.

  7. Lee Williams Says:

    I think this is a great idea and kudos for committing even though it’s not required – good for you. I’ve definitely taken similarly dry periods for various reasons over the years.

  8. Bill Bennett Says:

    Peter, valiant and noble. I have gained 25 pounds since I started brewing. It seems that all the research we do to figure out what we like/want to brew, ends up in the waistline. Beer is delicious and good, but, the waistline is a good judge to determine when a break is needed. I have been pondering a very similar move and will be interested to see how quickly you can reel it in, especially since the TKD probably helps you maintain a fair degree of fitness.

  9. Scott-TheBrewClub Says:

    If it makes it any easier, I can stop by and get that homebrew off your hands, or any of the other beer that is calling out to you. This is a selfless act on my part because I want to help.

    Good for you though. I’m pretty sure I could do it because I don’t even drink beer.

    @Gservo – nice!

  10. charlotte Says:

    Good luck and congrats on coming so far already in your Tae Kwon Do practice!

    I’ll send over some cooking with beer recipes I’ve been looking to try, and maybe you’ll give them a go :)

  11. Scott Says:

    Good luck!

    Take the beer out of the Frig so you won’t be tempted. :)

  12. nate Says:

    Very Cool Peter. Self restraint when not absolutely necessary builds character, in my opinion. I didn’t know you were in to Tae Kwon Do. I have been considering putting my oldest boy (7) in some sort of martial arts for the discipline he’d learn. I myself have never taken a class, though I do love me some MMA.

  13. Mike - MikeLovesBeer.com Says:

    It’s odd that my brother chose this month to do the same exact thing and his name is Peter too. Cue the Twilight Zone music. But I do know someone that did this in February and he lost about 15 – 20 pounds from it. So good luck to you Pete.

  14. Gservo Says:

    Thanks, I’m trying to looses 100 pounds quater of the way there.sOs the weight hard to keep off ? No, I’ve made enough changes to sustain where I am at now. I’m going crazy with the workout thing too.

  15. Gservo Says:

    I’ll be happy to drink a beer for you now hahah, Scott may need help

  16. Simply Beer Says:

    @Lee, thanks bother! this will be my first and probably not my last.

    @Bill, I’m up about 60lbs over the last 7 years. Mostly to much work, kids, and lack of sleep. It would be nice if I could get back to my fighting weight, but I don’t expect that to happen over the next month; a start would be nice.

    @Scott (Brewclub), Your selfless suggestion is duly noted and if it becomes a problem, you’ll be the first to know!

    @Charlotte, I would like to try some. Please email them to me.

    @Scott, The tempation isn’t to bad yet. I may have to have Mike@leafygreen drink them when he comes over to bottle beer tonight.

    @Nate, thanks Nate. I know you id something similar for lent. How did you fair? I highly encourage parents putting their kids in TKD. both of mine are. They love it, have made some good friends and the instructors are positive influences.

    @mike, Erie… I would be thrilled to lose that much, but I’m not counting on it.

    @Gservo – keep it up! It can only help you and your family!

  17. GServo Says:

    actually, on the financial front, food has been cheaper because i eat less and measure everything out. It amazing how much you eat when you DONT think about it

  18. nate Says:

    Yeah, I did it for lent. It was a good experience, but towards the end I was dreaming in beer. The first brew after the fact was delicious.

  19. The Beer Wench Says:

    Peter, you are a VERY very brave man.

    I, like most everyone in our lovely Internet beer community, have at least one drink a day … and I have been living this way for years now. The proof is in my waistline. 40 pounds in 3 years — 30 of which were put on in the last two years. It is rather pathetic and depressing, but at the same time I do not regret it. After all, I am the one that decided to devote my entire life to craft beer.

    A few weeks ago, I returned from CBC an absolute wreck. I tried giving up alcohol for 3 days … and it drove me insane. At night, I would just sit on Twitter reading everyone else’s comments … going absolutely mad. I did get healthier, though. Which is important because I am unemployed and I do not have the luxury of visiting a doctor.

    Good luck!



  20. The Beer Wench Says:

    And good homebrew is a sad thing to waste. I will drink it for you! Send it on out :)

  21. Simply Beer Says:

    NOTHING, I repeat nothing will go to waste, it’s only 30 days! Ashley, email me your address and I’ll send you some homebrew. No Peanut Butter porter right now, but I do have a Black Cherry Stout that is quite tasty! So far 3 days and I’m doing fine, I just home I can lose 20% of the 60 lbs I gained the last 6-7 years…

  22. Michael Reinhardt Says:

    Kudos to you for the restraint. I think I could do it but I really have no reason to do it at this point. I’ve managed to have my cake and eat it too. Plenty of running, walking, and moderate eating have helped me not pick up weight. I’m sure you can do it…but it seems incredibly hard after years of a habit.

  23. Simply Beer Says:

    Thanks Mike. I wouldn’t have done it either had I not had a very good reason…

  24. Simply Beer Says:

    Just realized another problem with my plan, I’m rapidly running out of storage space for my beer. 8 bottles of beer cam in the mail today, only 2 went out. guess it isn’t a bad problem to have, but still my desk is rapidly being filled by luscious goodness!

  25. GServo Says:

    sounds like a legendary beer tasting at your beer club, in the making

  26. Simply Beer Says:

    :-) what are you hinting at?

  27. GServo Says:

    insert halo here

  28. Wile Europe Says:

    Hold tight to the goal, Peter. I just happened upon your site when I couldn’t sleep…I am also on a 30 day sabbatical from alcohol to help me quit smoking. Yep, they say chances are better. But, my first batch of homebrew, an IPA, is in it’s second fermentation, and should be perfect by June 7th, on day 31. A break has been good for body, soul and mind…and lungs.

  29. Simply Beer Says:

    @Wile – Keep it up! I’m on day 18 of no alcohol, down about 13 lbs and feeling good. But damn do I miss the beer. Been over 8 years since I quit smoking, keep at it. It gets easier every day until one day you can’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke. Let us know how your homebrew comes out! We love homebrew here, I have a Belgianish DryHopped IPA I’m kegging and a Sour Wit that I’ll be bottling this weekend; hopefully I’ll also be brewing.

  30. Ryan Rogers Says:

    More power to you man… I sometime feel the need to prove to myself that I’m not addicted to drinking… But it usually entails taking of Monday-Thursday. Fixing to go into a weightloss competition w/ the mrs. so I’m going sans alcohol 6 outta 7 days a week… More power to ya good luck on the rest of your journey & on your black belt… That’s awesome.. Congrats

  31. Simply Beer Says:

    Thanks Ryan. It has been 24 days now and if I wasn’t surround by a couple hundred bottles a beer for 18 hours a day I wouldn’t be thinking much about it. But I have been able brew and bottle some beers. Not to mention I’ve lost over 15lbs. It’s worked out pretty well so far and it proves to me I don’t have a drinking problem :-)

  32. Alcohol Free Beer Says:

    Nice one! The weight loss is a great side effect too. Will you be doing it again next year?

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