Saturday, May 14, 2016

When Surrender Leads to Triumph


Letting go of sugar was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Cutting out grain was the next step I had to take in order to overcome my compulsive overeating, and the end of the hunger, bloating, and joint aches it was causing came as quite a shock.

I wish giving up sugar and grains had been enough, but there was one more truth I had to accept.  In order to keep all of the benefits of healthy eating, I would have to let go of wine as well.

Ah wine, my old friend.  When I think of lovely days gone by, how often wine is there.  I remember sunny lunches with Mom.  Relaxing hours on the back porch resting in the knowledge that the work of the day was done, and the taste of chardonnay was like liquid sunshine warming my spirit, and letting me feel that everything was going to be all right.

Are you one of those people that has a haunting feeling fluttering in the back of your mind that disaster might strike?

Does an insidious voice whisper to you that you have left things undone.? Does it call you selfish, possibly lazy, and does it insist that one day everyone is going to find out and abandon you?

Does wine make the voice shut up and get lost?

It does for me.  Through one glass and the second the voice is quiet.  Then a new voice pipes up.

This new voice tells me to eat.

You see, as I approached age 50 I became more and more sensitive to alcohol.  Now when I drink, my stomach gets upset, and my heart starts to beat faster.  Even after just a glass or two, I wake up with headaches and a tight throat in the morning.

How many half bottles of wine have I poured down the drain to insure that the pain doesn't come back?  I just poured out another one.

As a personal trainer and weight management coach, I am regularly asked,

"Is wine OK?"

For many women and men it is.  If it fits in with your macronutrient goals (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) you can include it in your eating strategy and still lose fat.   The liver is a vital organ in fat loss, and I has to process alcohol first, so that fact can slow fat loss down.  Still, for many people a glass of wine is life enhancing if it doesn't lead to over indulging.

For me though, a little always leads to too much: whether it's too much wine or too much food.

To triumph and stay lean, young, and energetic, I have to surrender sugar, grains, and wine.  Day by day I need to remind myself that a clear head and a clear conscience feel far better then the brief freedom from self-criticism I get from the fist sip, or two.

With every year that passes I can look back on more evidence that my days without wine are so much richer, more fulfilling, and joyful.  I think of days when I surrender and leave out the foods and the drink that hurts me as pearls that I string together to create something of beauty and value.

Today is pearl one.  Today I pray for a beautiful life.

One pearl at a time.