Monday, August 31, 2015

Downsizing production and consumption

This year I have brewed almost all five gallon batches. As a result I have more beer than I know what to do with. I know, talk about a first world problem. Judging by how my clothes are starting to fit it is also time to downsize beer consumption as well as beer production.
Beer everywhere! It is like Ace Ventura with his pets.

I am old enough, and dare I say mature enough that I am not drinking in excess almost every night. I'd say 2-3 times during the week I'll have two or three beers. Then I will indulge further on the weekends. Honestly food is probably a bigger problem for me than beer. As a beer lover I love bar food. I could live off of burgers, fries, pizza, subs, sandwiches, and bagels. On top of that I also love sweets.

As long as I can remember my weight has fluctuated. As a child I would put on weight, grow into it, and repeat. By the time I reached high school I was given an Adderall prescription for Attention Defecit Disorder. Just taking a small dosage as prescribed by my doctor sped up my metabolism and caused my weight to plummet. By the time I graduated high school I probably weighed around 145 pounds and my dosage was lowered to only 10 MGs.

After high school I stopped taking Adderall. Once I turned 21, transferred to a four-year college, and stopped working on my feet full-time, I slowly started to gain weight. I tried different approaches to manage it with moderate success at best. By the time I hit my mid-to-late 20s, I was fat.

It was then I joined the CrossFit gym around the corner from my apartment. It was the perfect place for me because contrary to what you see on ESPN the program is scalable, so even somebody with conditioning as bad as mine was could do the workouts.

I really liked that the program promoted health as opposed to counting calories and obsessing over a reading on a scale. A fit appearance was the result of a healthy lifestyle, not the other way around. After a year I had lost around 30 pounds, but had started to plateau. Then, almost on a whim I started on a paleo-like diet. I wasn't eating eggs my backyard chickens had laid, but I did eliminate most of the sugar and grains (beer on the weekend excepted of course) from my diet. I looked and felt the best I ever had in my entire life. I exceeded all expectations I had for myself. People who hadn't seen me complimented me on how I looked. Being single at the time, I certainly noticed women we're looking at me differently.

That was four years ago. Then I slowly stopped doing what had worked before. The how and why don't matter. I don't have a reason, I just wasn't doing what I know I needed to do. There was an 18-month period where I didn't really work out at all. I went back to the gym for a year with no consistency at all, and for the past eight months my only exercise has been the occasional street hockey game at work. My diet is as bad as it ever has been. I was in my cousin's wedding this month and looked awful in all of the photos. It's time to start taking care of myself again. At least I still have my hair.

The major part of taking better care of myself is the aforementioned diet and exercise. I will also limit my beverage intake to the Thursday tastings at my local bottle shop and one day during the weekends.

Going forward I will brew mostly one-gallon batches. That will enable me to still brew a variety of styles and recipes without having my apartment overloaded with beer. Even the way I have been drinking up to now, I was brewing too much beer. I can still brew the occasional full 5-gallon batch at home, especially if it's for an event or club meeting. I'll still brew full batches with Andy every two or three months as well.

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