I left off in my last blog wondering what I would look like and indeed how it would be possible to take off another 7 kg from my present body weight of 60 kg, which by the way was down from 68 plus kg in 2014 and which I have been working rather hard to maintain at such level. When the young doctor cavalierly asked me whether I was satisfied with my present body weight, I was about to say yes, but he cut me promptly to read me from the chart which said 52 something kg. I was speechless. A brother responded to my last blog and promptly said, equally cavalierly if not more, that I could easily shed 7 kg in a month, adding he achieved more than that last Christmas or something, to which I asked as promptly, why.
During my consultation with the dietitian in 2014 – who by the way was extremely satisfied with my performance at the time and who had called me her star patient and advised me not to return to her for further consultation unless I put on more weight – I learnt that alcohol is classified by dietitians as nutrients, neither carbs, proteins nor fats, which means that alcohol intake would add more calories and hence slow down weight loss. That is not exactly rocket science, but in the real world, it may be more difficult to follow an alcohol free life style, unless one has the motivation.
Now, Su’s homemade food often calls for wine pairing, and lately she has taken to Japanese sake of the quality types which provide more calories than champagne or whiskey, which does not help. But through my exercise regime I have managed to stay between 59 and 61 kg all these years, and I have been rather pleased with myself. The young doctor’s advice therefore had come as a rude surprise.
My obvious quixotic and defensive response to what the doctor asks is that I don’t need to live by those charts as long as I feel healthy and as long as I feel good. I have never attempted to be the perfect person anyway. More importantly, I enjoy my drinks, my wine and whiskeys. I had taken to enjoy whiskeys when I was a young undergrad. Whiskeys were then cheaper than brandies. I didn’t particularly enjoy beers unless it was steaming hot, say after a long run or some matches, or unless I was in the company of beer friends. Black label on the rocks was my signature drink for a long time and I used to down many drinks each evening with friends at our favourite bar and restaurant on Percival Street until it moved to Wong Nai Chung Road. I still enjoy my scotch on rocks which I regard as a casual drink which can be taken on all occasions particularly at the beginning of a meal or a party. I have since switched more to single malts because they offer more varieties in tastes and different shades and structures to the senses. I would have at least one or two drinks a day; and on a good day, I could be drinking from breakfast till dusk or later, which I realize is probably not best practices or what the doctor would advise, but the doctor doesn’t run my life.
Two days ago I found myself on my own for most of the day after my gym session. I did not have much for lunch and in the evening I had an ultra-light meal comprising mainly oatmeal mixed with some heath food in powders and three small slices of Kobe beef raw. I did not take any alcoholic drinks for more than 24 hours and I didn’t feel hungry. The next day, I weighed nearly two pounds less. Was it simply weight fluctuations and could it be sustainable. As the day progressed, however, I had two drinks after breakfast before I had gym, followed by a dim sum lunch. In the evening we went to a gala dinner and I had plenty of martini type drinks followed by champagne and red wine. The dinner was good, and I did not take any whiskeys because the hotel did not offer the brands I like. I went to bed a happier person. Today, I did not have too much for breakfast and lunch, and had a nap in the afternoon. I woke up feeling refreshed and weighed in at 59 kg, no gain or loss. I wonder what Su would make me for dinner, but I have quietly decided to give myself a few more days to abstain from alcohol. And we’ll see.