Sunday, September 6, 2009

Accountability Time

It's no secret to anyone who's paying attention to the large font at the top of the page that I love (lovelovelovelove) wine. White, red,'s allllll good.

However, something a little distressing has come to my attention: I have lost a lot more weight than usual.

And I think it's because I stopped drinking for about two weeks.

Let me 'splain this. I had family here for the first week of August. We dined out, walked a lot, and drank a lot. I gained 2lbs -- even tho' I tried to watch what I ate and did make it to the gym a few days during that time. But I didn't go enough, apparently.

No sooner had the famn damily (damn family) left, then I got hit with a whopper of a cold. I am not one of those people who can't eat when they are sick. Au contraire, mon frere. I usually overeat in a misguided attempt to make my body feel better faster. In some twisted way, I guess I'm seeking comfort and rapid healing -- but I usually just end up feeling bloated and full, along with achy, sneezy and coughy. Doesn't stop me from overeating tho --- it's an old, bad habit. But generally, I overeat on good stuff -- whatever is in the house, or leftovers from my healthy meals. I was too sick to go out and get the crap food I really wanted to pig out on.

So I did some damage, but not too much. I also had to keep working through the cold, because I was sent on an assignment to Martha's Vineyard. It sounds fun, but believe me when I say it WAS NOT. The good news again, though, was that I was too sick to find the hotel bar for a late night glass (or carafe) of wine.

This cycle of not working out and not drinking wine has continued for almost three full weeks. Somewhere in there I lost the 2lbs I gained with the family visit.

After the first week I started feeling better (but not 100 percent) and so backed off on the overeating. I returned to my usual habits of about 1500 to 1700 calories a day. But without regular workouts, that normally doesn't shift much weight for me.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got on the scale at the gym (which tends to be about two pounds higher than my 'official' weigh-in scale) yesterday and discovered that I'd lost another 2.5 lbs. Whoa!!!

I was thrilled, but also a trifle disconcerted. You see, I had NOT been eating perfectly these past few weeks. There were a few binges. Small ones, but definitely binges. Just yesterday I ate one serving of vegan carrot cake and a walnut brownie. Ummm..and a small asparagus quiche. Er...and a salmon sushi roll. And I've already blogged about my turkey-meatball-pesto-tortellini incident last week.

I mulled this over for quite a while and was about to chalk it up to the unknown mysteries of bodies and weight loss. And then it hit me. It was the wine.

Actually, it was the lack of wine in my diet. Despite crazy eating and no workouts, I had managed to lose weight in the last three weeks. And I wasn't drinking anything. And that, my friends, is what I suspect to be the key bit of info here.

It's a bit of an eye opener, because I've tried to tell myself I can still enjoy wine and lose weight. But there have been weeks when I've worked out a lot, eaten really well, and only seen a nominal loss -- many weeks like that. And although I've accounted for the calories in my wine intake, I'm starting to think it may have an impact beyond mere calories. It may trigger me to overeat a bit more (forget the 'may' -- it definitely does) and the sugar in alcohol may screw me up in unforeseen ways.

Aarrrgh. That's a tough bit of reality to choke down. It's harder to swallow than my recession-special Gato Negro $3.99 wine.

True to my usual form, I'm not going to jump to any rash conclusions. But this deserves more study and possibly more experimentation. It could have been a fluke, or it could be a signal that my wine intake is not as controlled as I think -- or is just not as compatible with weight loss as I am determined to believe.

Now, let me tell you about the damage I did last night, before I woke up with a hangover and zero desire to go to the gym.

I had a friend over who I'll call the Finicky Frenchman. Very funny guy, and like me, he does enjoy his wine. We were having fish, so I went with white. And of course he hates anything that has floral and/or fruity notes. It has to be dry as the Sahara to please him.

I ended up going with a 2008 bottle of Sancerre that was lovely and light, and full of sharp mineral notes.

But the real winner of the evening was the second bottle (er..yeah, we had two bottles over dinner, but there were three of us, if that helps make me look like less of a lush). I'm still tasting the distinct tangy bite of the Graves Grand Vin de Bordeaux. Oh man oh man oh man. It was YUUUUUUMMMMY!

Maybe if I stopped eating carrot cake and brownies every two weeks (the usual cycle of my splurges) I can still indulge in the vino and come out on the right side of the scale? Or am I totally delusional?

I dunno the answer to that yet, but I do know this: if someone wants to lose 30 more lbs before Jan 1 (and that someone would be me) the wine gulping probably has got to go.

(This wine wasn't part of my Saturday night bacchanalia, but me likey -- and me drinkey all too frequently.)

1 comment:

  1. Weight loss is a funny thing, isn't it? Sometimes a simple change can make weight start coming off again. The body really gets used to doing the same thing all the time and shaking things up can be very helpful.