This is something we rarely see because usually this is what happens in our house:
I decided to start my New Year with a 30-day health challenge: no alcohol for the month of January.
I announced this challenge in an online fitness group that I'm in, but otherwise have not let a lot of people know that I'm doing this.
I love wine, and Wayne and I can be counted on to have some with our Friday, Saturday and Sunday night meals. And honestly, opening a bottle of wine and leaving some of it behind is...difficult. I mean, it's a ready-made portion! One bottle = approximately 2.5 glasses per person when you split it with someone else. Or, 5 glasses if you're on your own. Then you know you're done for the evening.
I'll admit, I've finished off a bottle of wine on my own on occasion. It usually happens on those days when I open a bottle around 3 pm and keep sipping through the afternoon, dinner prep and the dining hour. That could be a beautiful summer afternoon in August with a cool glass of pinot grigio, or in the depth of winter, with a merlot and a fire in the fireplace.
Depending on the type of wine, a glass can range from 110 to 300 calories per serving, or 550 to 1,500 calories per bottle. Those are calories I don't need, even if I enjoy them immensely. Before I make other changes to my diet, I decided I would cut out alcohol to see what difference that would make to my health.
What I've found so far:
1. It's easier than I thought to say "no thank you." I've had dinner out with a friend and gone to a P!nk concert already this month, both events where I absolutely would have had a glass or two. I didn't feel like I was missing out, even though others around me were enjoying their beverages of choice. We've prepared lovely dinners at home that would normally be accompanied by a glass of wine, and yet sparkling water or milk was next to my plate.
2. I haven't dropped any weight of yet. Honestly, if I gave up drinking and lost five pounds like that (snap of fingers), I'd be concerned about my alcohol-intake. I'm okay with that, although I'll be curious to see if there's any change over the 30 days.
3. My skin is clearer. My youngest was kind enough to point out to me this weekend that I don't have any more pimples. Huh, there's an unpredicted side effect that I love. Yet at the same time...dammit.
I'm nearly halfway through this month and feeling pretty good. I'll give another update after the challenge is through to let you know what other revelations I may have along the way.
Wayne has joined me in this challenge, which I greatly appreciate as it makes the journey easier, since there is less temptation around. The wine pictured above is one I opened last night, in order to use 1/4 cup of red wine in a meal I was making. I kid you not, I opened a bottle of wine and dumped some into a dish I was making without even taking a sip! (I did get a noseful though, but I'm pretty sure I did not ingest any calories just by smelling the cork.)
He lamented the opening of an entire bottle of wine, knowing that neither of us are drinking any for this month, and it won't keep for two more weeks.
So...I have an open bottle of red that has only had 1/4 cup taken from it, looking for a new home. Anyone?? You just need to be walking distance from my house, so neither of us risk get ticketed for open container.