The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 244 to 251 – Red Wine R.I.P? 17 October 2008

Many times in this blog I’ve talked about my love affair with red wine.  It is, by far and away, my favourite drink in the world.  I can drink it until the cows come home … well, I can drink it until my teeth are stained black, my tongue doesn’t work properly and I collapse in a heap.  I adore the stuff.  I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know my Shiraz from my Rioja and my Malbec from my Cabernet.

And the sad truth?  I can’t drink it any more.  Well, of course I can still literally drink it.  I’ve not developed some weird allergy to it (heaven forbid) but what I’ve discovered is that I can’t drink it like I used to.  This really came home to me over the weekend.  We were in York for a long weekend with some of the Boy’s university friends.  As you can imagine, there was a significant amount of drinking going on.  Now … I try to be measured these days.  I’m not the booze-swilling, chip-scoffing, snack-hoovering lunatic that I used to be.  I went away with the intention of eating as sensibly as possible (more on that in a moment) and drinking at a gracious pace rather than guzzling pint after pint with the boys.  So on the Friday night I sipped steadily at my red wine … and what happened?  I had to leave the pub early because I felt drunk and, frankly, sick.  This was not after three or four bottles of the stuff, but after three or four glasses!  Unheard of, in my world.

Sadly this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me since the diet.  I’m slowly coming to the realisation that I can only drink a fraction of what I used to be able to (a good thing) and that red wine is the one thing I really have to be careful of (a bad thing).  I know that wine is lethal for people watching their weight, not least because measures are huge and you’re pretty much drinking neat sugar, but for the first time in my adult life I’m having to make a decision led by my waistline rather than by my heart.  I guess I’ve finally grown up!  I just wish it wasn’t the wine that had to go.  It also leaves me with another problem.  What on earth do I drink when I go out?  I’ve only ever really drunk Guinness or red wine (hmmm … can you see how I got so big?!).  Am I now consigned to a life on the Gin and Slimline Tonics?

Before you think I am actually a raging alcoholic and should stop my whining, I will shortly be giving up booze altogether for another stretch.  For medical reasons a friend of mine will be stone cold sober between now and the end of December.  I’ve agreed that when I’m back from my holidays (New York in a week’s time, yay!) I’ll join him in his sobriety for a few weeks.  I never thought I’d hear myself say these words, but it wasn’t actually that bad to stay on the mineral water during the diet, and it goes without saying that the effect that alcohol has on your weight is enormous.  So I’m cutting it out again … although I have reserved the right to have a few glasses of something inappropriate at our Christmas party.  I’m not a martyr 🙂

Tonight is the long-awaited Moulin Rouge ball.  I spent an amusing half an hour last night while the Boy endeavoured to wrestle me into my corset, with reasonable success.  Unfortunately he won’t be there this evening to help me get dressed and I’m relying on a friend of mine.  I hope for both our sakes she’s feeling strong!  I also have a sneaking suspicion that after the ball the Boy will do his usual trick of falling asleep as soon as he walks through the front door and I’ll end up sleeping in the damn thing.  That could be grounds for divorce, frankly!

Thanks to all of you who emailed or posted after the last post.  I’m very flattered that some of you have used this blog as the inspiration to start lighter life or as the motivation to continue with it.  It means a lot to me, and I really want to wish all of you the best of luck.  I’m sure you’ll all be very successful indeed.

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