Monday, January 19, 2015

My great abstinence experiment

Isn't this pretty? Black rice in my emperor roll with a shrimp tempura roll behind. Also, not pictured, sweet potato roll and tofu roll  A friend treated me to dinner last night
By abstinence, I mean not drinking alcohol and for extra fun, not snacking on various goodies like Belgian chocolates and salted caramel gelato. The usual meaning of abstinence wouldn't do anyone here any good.

Prior to January 1, 2015, this has been my routine: come wine o'clock, have a glass of red wine and then maybe another and then maybe another. I'd try to make a bottle last 3 days. In summer, I'd substitute gin and tonics or margaritas. After my Italy trip (and especially during it), I'd have my Aperol aperitivi (yep plural). The following are the probable consequences:
  1. Before 9, I'd nod off to sleep only to wake around midnight and then spend the rest of the night in fitful sleep and awakenings.
  2. Alcohol is known to stimulate acid production and thus increase my Prilosec dependency. I've been able to wean myself to every other day taking it. I was prescribed this stuff when the Red Devil eroded my stomach lining (or blocked my body's replacement of it).
  3. Aperitivo is derived from the Italian word to open as in to open ones appetite. Yep let's bring on the food! Also it makes me forget my resolve not to be a pig
  4. Makes me want to pee all night thus interrupting sleep
  5. Drinking introduces lots of empty calories (despite that orange wedge in my spritzi). During my thin days, did I drink so much? Can't remember but probably not as I was dealing with kids
  6. Excess alcohol consumption is associated with several types of cancer, notably breast cancer. For instance, alcohol interferes with the enzyme responsible for metabolizing estrogen, especially exogenous estrogens (such as found in replacement hormones) leading to huge spikes in blood levels. Estrogen (natural or otherwise) is a breast cancer growth factor (not clear in my case as I had hormone negative). Every time I show up for a mammogram and an oncology visit (so that would be twice in one day) they make me fill out some minisurvey on when did I have my first period and how many drinks do I have each week. To the latter, I lie. I once was forced to fill out a very comprehensive health survey that is in their computers. Why must they make me fill this out twice a year? I assume it is for some research project, without my consent. And I feel blame again for my BC.

So clearly alcohol is not doing me any favors except making me happy and relaxed for the moment. And I am tired of my body which after almost 9 years, seems to be my new normal. No more drinking during the week except in social situations. Gone is the wine glass next to my bed. Steve must have noticed this but has not remarked upon it at all nor have I shared with him my plan. I don't want to hear
 I thought you said you wouldn't....
Not that he would. That is a big plus in the asset column for him. He does not nag about that (he does about some little things, drawers left open, coffee spilt here). Not that nagging would do any good (if it did, we'd all be thin). I had this boyfriend once who would monitor what I ate complete with commentary (you don't need that brownie! I would respond by taking another..Dear Reader, I was thin then!!!). The only nag would be Josh. Last week Julie offered me some wine (I hadn't shared my plan with them or anyone). So I am given a glass with an inch of wine; Julie's glass had 3-4 inches in it. Yesterday I asked Josh (Julie wasn't here) WTF! Why did she do that? He said he was the one that poured the wine, not her.

It's been 3 weeks now. I've had wine on 4 occasions with friends including last night but none the other days. I've stopped the snacking of sweet things. I've gone to bed hungry. I am hoping my stomach will shrink and I will want less food. I am still fat, still waking up in the middle of night , still have heartburn if I don't take the Prilosec. Maybe I need to give it more time. Maybe I need to make more adjustments.

Today is the only day I haven't scheduled something fun. Meanwhile my nails are a mess and my roots are showing.......time for a mani/pedi? And so much is left undone in the packing department though I hear Steve downstairs soldiering away.


Elephant's Child said...

Good luck.
I have a glass of wine most nights. And it is only a glass. My mother's alcoholism is the very best brake on my drinking. Always.
Now I need a brake on my eating...

Caroline said...

My plan is to stop eating all the empty calories at work.... So far the scale has gone in the right direction. But I do consider red wine a quality of life issue. A glass of zinfandel always seems to help me. But some days I just don't. If I asked my doctors, I would never drink. But I am sick and tired of my health sucking all the fun out of my life.

But red wine in moderation is my indulgence. And if someone could invent the way to shrink my stomach so it demands less food and suck the flab out of my body.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Red wine is just so tasty isn't it EC and Caroline? It is very hard for me to not have that glass though I will drink it when with friends. My parents and their parents never drank alcohol so I doubt I have any genetic component. Steve's family was chock full of alcoholics yet he has managed to stop drinking all together. He won't let himself take even a sip. Totally dry since June 2010.

The brake on eating is much harder. I am trying to eliminate stuff around the house that would tempt me. We'll see if that works.


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