Lyssa’s off the sauce: life as a booze-free gal

I’ve never been a huge drinker. When I do drink, my friends and husband find it comical that after just one glass of wine or one hard cider, I already have the boozy pink glow and the sillies. One time, my best friend and I finished off two bottles of Gewurztraminer between us and the night ended with me dancing in a pair of dutch-clogs on the patio in my bathing suit. Ah, memories. I always thought that alcohol for me was one of those “Eh” type pleasures in life — I enjoyed it, but not often, and  have been seriously “drunk” only about 10 times in my life. Don’t get me wrong; at Christmas time, I love nothing more than an icy glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream, with a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top. I also love a fine glass of really full-bodied red wine, the kind where the tannins drench your tongue in all those fabulously dark, fragrant whiffs. I’m not a regular beer gal, much to my father and husband’s dismay. (Fun fact: did you know at our wedding, my dad actually gave my husband a dowry? Not kidding – my dad brewed my husband a custom beer called “My Daughter’s Dowry”) However, in the past few years I’ve grown to love hard cider, especially Angry Orchard. It’s refreshing and light but still packs a buzz-bangin’ punch. I also got into a bad habit of a weekly lambic, a sweet fruit beer that’s like candy that makes you drunk. It’s AWESOME.

Because of my new medication for my PCOS, I can’t have alcohol. Actually I can, but my doctor told me that with my insulin resistance problems and body type, each time I drink, I’ll have to accept that my weight loss will stall for the next few days. Bummmmer. Not to mention my liver is thoroughly pickled, apparently not from my once-a-week libations but just from life in general. Hopefully I’ll get the results to that this week. Anyhoo, I didn’t think I’d miss booze until after a week without it had passed, and I realized how much I missed a chilled glass of Moscato in the bath tub at night. I didn’t realize how much I used alcohol to unwind every now and then. A couple of ciders on the weekend, a glass of wine at night, a glass of red with Italian food for dinner. Probably not the best de-stress technique in the world, but I wasn’t harming anyone, definitely not overindulging and would never get behind the wheel in my buzzed state, so in my book, a little buzz at home to take the edge off? Why not? (I used to work on my thesis with a good buzz going, and yes, I graduated! Grad students, I highly recommend it. Thesis writing is unpleasant, so if you’re a wee bit inebriated, it dulls the pain of big words like “hegemony”.)

Enjoying some champagne at a friend's wedding

Enjoying some champagne at a friend’s wedding

Dinners out with friends are super hard, when the alcohol is flowing and the conversation is going and I’m in the corner with my glass of water. A few nights ago my husband and I cooked dinner at home and we ate our grilled chicken and vegetables on the patio, savoring the dusky glow of Los Angeles. I swigged a sip of his red wine and was overwhelmed at how rich and sweet it tasted, how the grapes filled my mouth with notes and aromas like a sherbet sunset in Napa valley.  I was going to try to be 100% clean n’ sober for the duration of my weight loss activity (which is like, omg, forever), but I decided that special occasions are worth the splurge, so tonight at Monique’s beautiful wedding, I participated in the champagne toast and enjoyed every sweet sip. Will my weight loss stall? Probably, but what else is new? Plus, if nothing is happening, nothing can stall anyways, right? Hahaha. I shouldn’t say nothing is happening because it’s very possible I’ve lost weight, I just haven’t had the chutzpah to get on the scale in the last two weeks. Scale PTSD, much?

So now it’s out in the open. I miss booze. It had a more important place in my life than I thought it did. Sniffle, tear. It sounds like I’m an alcoholic when I say it had a place in my life, but you don’t realize how much you like something until it’s gone (except for PMS, aforementioned thesis and the Chicken Pox.)

What’s your attitude towards booze? Something you don’t even think ab0ut? Do you refrain? Do you overdo it? Is it average? What’s your fav drink? For the record, a peche Lindeman’s Lambic is probably my favorite booze on earth. Crap. Now I want one….instead, amuse me with your drink of choice! Cheers, folks. It’s 5:00 somewhere.

Reality Check

Today, I got a reality check. When I weighed in at the gym three weeks ago, I wasn’t happy about what I saw. Today, I REALLY got a reality check at my first Weight Watchers meeting at work. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I gotta keep it real, because that’s my promise to you, reader. That’s what blog is for. I’ve gained about 9 pounds back out of the 12 I’ve recently lost. Ugh. It sucks. But I can’t sit here and whine and pretend that I don’t know why it happened. It happened because I celebrated the end of my semester with delicious things like Bailey’s Irish Cream, and because I ate gooey brie cheese on top of triscuits at midnight while playing Monopoly. It happened because I took a break from the treadmill in favor of my couch, and because I got so wrapped up in buying gifts and taking finals and traveling and sleeping and this and that, that I forgot about the real goal.

What’s the silver lining? The silver lining is that it’s never too late to start over – and today, I started over. I am committing to you, to this blog, and most importantly, to myself, that next week I will have lost some weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s half of a pound or four, but next week, the scale will be ticking downwards. It has to be. There’s no better time than now – while I have the support of my co-workers as we all battle the bulge together, and while I have the clean slate of a fresh new year

. I’m going to be tracking my points on my iPhone, and working out at least three times a week. I’ll use my little sticker calendar plan to chart my work outs, and I’ll drink more water. I’ll try to avoid snacks as a remedy for stress, and more than ever, I’ll use this blog as an outlet. I have to do this, because I realized with some remorse the other day, that every year, my resolution is the same. To lose weight. Next year, I don’t want the same resolution. I want to do this now, while I’m young and sparky. Several of my more “mature” friends have warned me that it’s a million times better to shed the weight now, so I gotta do it. I must. I can. I will.

What was the last reality check you had about something you’ve been avoiding, ignoring or had just plain forgotten about?