Clickbait is fun, isn’t it? Oh. Here’s the answer: none.
We are exactly one month away from the first official day of summer. If you live in Florida, there’s a chance you just muttered an obscenity. If you live anywhere that dips below 60 in the winter, you’ve likely already turned the blender on and are halfway through your second margarita…
But wait…what’s that? In between sips, you stop scrolling through Instagram…your eyes are glued to the screen. There in front of you, defiled with a big red ‘X’, is a picture of a margarita posted by a fitness guru with a caption that explains just how many calories you’ll have to burn in order to enjoy this summertime staple. You look down at your drink and sigh. It is “bikini season,” after all, and you MUST look your best for all of the #SUMMER17 pics you’re gonna be ‘gramming this season.
Is ‘gramming slang now? I don’t know. I just figured out the other day how to speed up a video on my phone.
Guys, I have something to say and a lot of people aren’t going to like it: you can live a healthy life AND drink alcohol.
“NO, SHE DIDN’T.”
Yes. I did. Jesus f’ing Christ. I am absolutely baffled by the number of posts I see on social media from trainers, gyms, fitness models, etc., regarding how if you want to look a certain way, you can’t drink. It’s poison. It’ll give you cancer and kill your firstborn. It’s the devil in liquid form. If you drink it after midnight, you’ll turn into a Gremlin.
I’m literally getting wrinkles because of the amount of posts like that where I can’t help but make a super unattractive (yet, mildly impressive) frown. WHY do we all need to feel guilty if we just want to have a damn beer? WHY do we need to run five miles and do 214 burpees in order to have a goddamn piña colada when we’re at the goddamn beach??
I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here so people don’t get all Millennials-who-like-to-bitch-in-the-comments-section on me: obviously, if you’re a competitive bodybuilder, athlete, alcoholic, or someone that simply doesn’t like drinking, there are good reasons for saying, “I’ll pass, but feel free to toss me a La Croix.” Further, I’m not suggesting we should all be drinking like we’re sorority girls at a fraternity party circa 2010 where one of us may have ended up napping under a car. I’M NOT SUGGESTING THAT. What I am suggesting is to chill.the.hell.out a little bit with the constant barrage of posts demonizing alcohol.
Do you know how shitty that makes people feel? When you tell them they CAN have a drink, but “it’ll cost ‘em!” No, it won’t. I eat a relatively clean diet. I exercise. Typically, I stick to only drinking on the weekends with the occasional beer or glass of wine during the week (and I rarely go past 2 drinks in one sitting because anything over two destroys me hangover-wise). I reserve liquor for special occasions: weddings, holidays, birthdays, hanging out with friends that I only get to see a few times a year, etc. This is a LARGE improvement from my pre-2013 days where I drank every single day. I was a tank. It was kind of gross…but mostly awesome. I get a lot of questions sometimes about how I dropped my college weight and, honestly, most of it was just cutting out liquor and only buying quality beer and wine. Life is too short for Franzia and Bud Light. Beer and wine, when made well, are both forms of liquid art. Treat them as such.
Because I reserve liquor for the times in my life where I know I’m going to want a good, quality drink, I allow myself to simply enjoy it. I love margaritas. My last margarita was in March. My next margarita will likely be in July at a bachelorette party. Guess what I won’t be doing the day after my 2 (or possibly 3…it is a bachelorette party) margaritas? Burpees. Sprints. Squats. or whatever other bullshit exercise I “need” to do in order to “earn” my alcohol. Goooo fuck yourself.
“Omg…she said fuck. I’m unfollowing her.”
My top-shelf marg, guac, and tortilla chips will be ingested guilt-free because I know that come Monday, I’ll be hopping right back on the wagon. This is not The Oregon Trail, guys. You don’t have to spend all day every day riding in the back of a rickety wagon, sad and sober, wearing a smelly bonnet. It’s okay to get off every now and again and enjoy some alcohol (or cake, or cheese, or brownies, or whatever other food/drink is out there that you’ve been told you have to earn in order to eat). You won’t get dysentery (most likely).
We need to stop putting a figurative price tag on the things that we consume. Instead of scaring people into submission with headlines like, “This Is How Many Burpees It Takes to Melt off That Margarita/Beer/Cake/Delicious Chicken Salad Sandwich,” how about we work on trying to remind one another that anything can be consumed in moderation. Hell, anything can even be consumed in excess on a special occasion…or, you know, a random Friday when you’ve just had it up to HERE with Comcast.
Look, I like to kid around, but I’m not a complete tool. I know that nutritionally speaking, I’d be better off grabbing some water than a beer from my local brewery. However, to me, life is about more than trying to ward off cancer, get and keep abs, and live to 110. 80% of the time, I’m doing just that. However, we have to remember to plan for the future a little less and to experience the present a little more. For me (notice that I said ME. I’m not suggesting this is right for YOU), that means downing a margarita at a bachelorette party, brewery-hopping with my husband, or picking up a bottle of wine to welcome the weekend. If you don’t drink, awesome; just remember not to condemn those who do (and vice versa). It is possible to be a healthy human being and to still have an affinity for a dirty martini (with blue-cheese-stuffed olives…because duh).
In short, this summer, be smart but don’t deny yourself the joy of a good drink every once in a while. The only thing you should have to earn this summer is, you know, a living.
[Photo: “Soltado Margarita From Nox Cocktail Lounge–Rochester, New York by Vicky Wasik Photo”]