If you would have told me in December that I would have gone the whole month of January and not have a sip of alcohol I would have laughed in your face. But in a nice way, because you know I am polite like that. But seriously, I didn’t think I could do it. I’ve been contemplating cutting down on the alcohol for quite a while. I’d buy “just enough” wine to have on a particular night, whether that would be finishing off a box of wine (no one can see how much you drink through a box!) or finishing off one of my favorite bottles Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, you know because I was having shrimp for dinner so didn’t it make sense to stop by the store and pick some up to pair with dinner?
I am sure I’ve mentioned it to you before that neither Hannah or Jacob drink. If anything, Hannah has a wine cooler about once every four months, drinks two sips and ends up pouring the rest down the sink after it’s gotten to room temperature. So it’s not like I was bringing home wine for anyone else but me.
I would leave for work the following day, knowing that today was the day that I would stop drinking. I would go through the work day, all confident until it was time to drive home and I’d pull into the CVS or Walgreen’s (um, never the same place in a week, duh) and tell myself “not today” and throw another bottle of wine in my cart.
You see for me, alcohol (or so I thought) would keep at bay all the emotions I had about anything. About work, about living my life without Tony, adjusting to have two kadults in the house and those two cute little pups. At a certain point in the evening and it would become “wine time” and that was that. I wouldn’t be productive. I didn’t do a load of laundry. I didn’t talk to my Mom, sister or brother on the phone. You see, I was busy – busy drinking.
I didn’t reach rock bottom, whatever that is anyway. I never missed a day of work, woke up late or missed any important event. But if I did have to go somewhere at night, I’d think to myself “I wonder when I’ll get home and have my wine.” If there was a party, I’d worry about how much I might drink, and would be all “I’ll stop at this second glass of wine, thanks!” when asked if I wanted another. Because I knew I could just go home and drink by myself and no one would judge.
I think the proverbial straw that broke my camels back was when I was at my Mom’s house for Christmas dinner with my sisters family. Now anyone who drinks will usually bring alcohol with them – maybe as a hostess gift but it was also a back up just in case there was no alcohol. I remember driving to my Mom’s house thinking to myself “should I stop and bring some wine?” But I thought – that’s silly, I know my Mom will have wine. I got to my Mom’s house mid-afternoon that day. Too early to ask if I could have a glass of wine of course. After my sister and her family arrived, I thought “okay, now is the time to ask my Mom about the wine.” My Mom pulled out a single bottle of half empty pinot grigio and proclaimed that was all she had. What? Only half a bottle of wine – for the whole evening? To say I was disappointed was an understatement, which is so stupid for me to think like that when I recall it. So I poured 1/4 of the bottle into my tiny wine glass and said to myself “I guess this is all you are having tonight.”
Of course, I’d already forgotten that I bought my Mom a bottle of wine in her Christmas bag I gave her and I thought to myself “I can just open that because I can always buy her another bottle the next day. “ And when she opened another bottle of wine from someone else, I thought “cool, this is going to be okay.”
I never did end up opening those two extra bottles of wine my Mom got, but just that I had the safety net that they were there in case I needed them, that was all I needed to know.
As I was driving home that night I was wondering to myself “what does even having enough wine at home even mean.” I guess it can be akin to a smoker checking their pack of smokes on the way home looking to see if they’ll have enough for the evening. An addiction is an addiction, no matter what it is.
As luck would have it, my step-son, his wife and I declared that we were going to ditch alcohol for the month of January. Cool. I could try that. If you remember NYE was on Thursday night, so my first test was starting my life alcohol free was starting on a weekend. Talk about trial by fire! Saturday morning I woke up and felt . . . good. Not that I ever drank enough to be hung over (okay, so maybe an occasional weekend I would over indulge if I am completely honest). But I did it. And the second weekend I did have a few thoughts thinking “a glass of wine would be nice now” but quickly dismissed the idea. I could have easily stopped 100 times during the month to pick up some wine, but I didn’t.
Turns out drinking my wine isn’t going to bring my husband back. I think I’ve cried more last month in a long time because I miss him. I miss our life. I miss the future we were going to have – retiring in a lake so he could fish all day and I’d bake bread and make jelly for our neighbors. That was the plan.
But I know life is a roller coaster and has it dips and makes a super fast turn when you least except it, you just have to hold on until the end.
So for now, my wine is going to stay at bay for the foreseeable future, and I am totally okay with it. Just don’t ask me how I feel about that when we have our first nice day outside and I am grilling outside! Ha!
I hit up the gym on Friday night, and it didn’t even take a whole month for the place to be a ghost town. I was there for over an hour and I only saw one other person in the gym for about 10 minutes, and when I left to go to my car – the only one in the lot! Still loving my Kutting Weight tank – it’s so nice to run without being all jiggly.
One thing I’ve done this past month is get outside my comfort zone. I talked about doing hot yoga for the first time and loving it. So this past weekend I signed up for a 8:00 a.m. spin class.
I wasn’t worried about the hour long class as much as how my blood sugar would be. I normally walk in the morning and need to take fast acting insulin because exercise in the morning acts like food to my body. But I was afraid of taking too much insulin, and with a demanding class like that, I erred on the side of caution. After eating an English muffin with a tablespoon of almond butter my blood sugar was 208. I gave myself 7 units of fast acting insulin and an hour and fifteen minutes after the class began, my blood sugar was 180. Perfect! I just adjusted it with my breakfast later with more insulin to bring it down to a normal number. I was also very happy to see that everyone in the class was my age or early 50s!
I did something else on Saturday too. I rejoined WW. I told you my sister rejoined at work, and instead of me trying to help her come up with meals, etc. without having all the information, I just decided to rejoin myself. On January 1 I was 177.9. On January 15 I was 174.1. This morning (Monday is my new WI day on my WW app) I weigh:
Minus 5.1 for the month! Not bad for January! I ditched my wine, readjusted about not eating more because I wasn’t drinking wine, exercised more, got outside my comfort zone, and now I’ll dial in the food this next month. I have to be honest, I’ve never really paid attention to the saturated at in any of my food or recipes, so this will be interesting. And granola, holy balls is that super high in points! I’ll really have to be sparing on my parfaits this month. I ate really good food this weekend though!
Top left: Party Pizza Friday – duh. This combo – pepperoni and banana pepper with goat and Swiss cheese on a poppy seed crust. Amazeball combo by the way. Top right – Roman helping me meal plan on the computer – so cute! Saturday morning I made Canadian bacon egg white stacks – I used the top of a Mason jar to get the perfect circles. Just put the jar lid in your pan, spray it with Pam, pour in the egg whites, salt and pepper and flip the whole thing after about a minute or so. Hannah took the middle picture of my breakfast, which turned out to be 7 Smart Points. Middle right – my buffalo chicken chili is 7 points – yes! I paired it with a purple carrot and Trader Joe’s avocado salsa. Love that stuff. Bottom left: a delicious burger! I met Tony’s best friend and his wife out for dinner. It was the first time I can ever remember drinking a glass of iced tea at a bar! I ditched the bun, ate half the burger and ordered seasonal veggies as my side. I had 14 points left for the day and considered it a wash. Bottom right: ahi tuna stir fry. I had to stop by the Fresh Market and pick up my cut fruit that I love – total time saver and worth every penny.
As I was passing by the seafood counter, I saw that they had tuna steaks on sale for $6.99 each. I couldn’t decide whether to buy it or not. It was already late in the afternoon – I had been to the gym and was hungry. But then I thought to myself, I couldn’t even buy a Jimmy John’s sandwich for that price and with leftover brown rice in my fridge and a container of Trader Joe’s healthy cut veggies already at home, this was put together way quicker than stopping by JJ, and my whole bowl was only 6 Smart Points. For the record, a Pepe JJ (which is my fav) would have been 13 points, and I can’t get a JJ sammie without salt and vinegar chips, which would add another 5 points. So my 6 point lunch was perfect. Just took a tiny bit of convincing myself that was the healthier option.
I did a lot of meal planning for the week and prepping food for my bosses dinner party next weekend. By the time dinner rolled around, I wasn’t feeling the crock pot French dip sandwiches I had made for dinner. I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 4:00 p.m., so I decided to save that for leftovers for lunch and had a bowl of cereal. Totally hit the spot and fit within my points for the day. This bowl is 10 points (5 for the cup of shredded wheat, 4 for the 2/3 cup honey bunches of oats and 1 for the cup of unsweetened almond milk (I still had 3 left for the day!)
I’ve lived out loud on this blog for so many years, it only seemed fair to include you on this “wine free Biz” era we are stepping into. Thank you for sticking with me all these years though everything I’ve been through – you truly are dear friends that I’ve never met (and some I have!) and couldn’t imagine my life without you. Shelley – t-minus 37 days until we meet!
Make it a great day!