Ben Gibbard's Secret to Losing Weight: Give Up Drinking, Take Up Running

Ben Gibbard, second from left, with Death Cab for Cutie.
This afternoon, before a sold-out, last-minute show at Showbox SoDo, I sat down with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard to chat about the band's new record, Bremerton, and the Seattle Public Schools Lunch Program that tonight's show benefits. But I couldn't get over his svelte figure. Here, Gibbard explains what happened:

SW: As Death Cab's album sales have bloated, you've trimmed down. What's your secret?

Gibbard: Well, I don't drink drink anymore. And I run, like, 25 miles a week. About three years ago I stopped drinking and I started running. I lost a lot of weight really quickly. It's not so much the calories in the alcohol, it's when you come back from a night of drinking you eat, like, an entire pizza. That's where it really gets you. And that was how I was kind of rolling for a while. So I kind of made some choices to kind of clean myself up a little bit.

What was the impetus for that?

It just needed to happen. I just felt like I was drinking too much. I wanted to stop myself before somebody told me I had to, if that makes any sense. I had a lost a little bit of control over my alcohol consumption. And, also, going into another tour cycle where you're constantly being fed liquor everywhere you go, I decided that if I continued on that particular path, somebody else was going to tell me to stop, and I just didn't want to have that happen. You just kind of know. I definitely was a very heavy drinker.

Between the time you gave it up and now, you've been married. Was it a life change that opened you up to getting married?

I think the short answer is yes. But I think it's a little more complicated than that. I just feel that you kind of have to get yourself right before you venture off into something as serious as that. So I'm glad that I did.

Did the whole band give it up?

No, just me. Well, [guitarist/producer Chris] Walla doesn't drink anymore either. We're all in our mid-30s at this point. At some point you have to tone down the partying before the partying catches up to you. And we were never that crazy anyway. We were never like Motley Crue or anything like that. It's easy to get carried away when you don't have to drive anymore, and liquor flows in a never-ending river.

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