Friday, February 10, 2012

My Dirty Little Secret...

I am a little confused and a bit frustrated.

Since my mother’s second breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve probably been healthier than I’ve ever been.  Educating myself about this dreaded disease while motivating my Mother to change her evil ways has been great for both of us in many ways. The diet has been pretty fantastic incorporating lots of lean protein with nourishing fresh fruits and powerhouse veggies. We’ve managed to keep the diet pretty clean and organic when possible. My workouts have been pretty consistent starting out in the beginning with four 45-minute cardio sessions. In October, I decided that I needed more of a challenge and so I hired a personal trainer in incorporate weight training four days a week and increased cardio to six one- hour sessions per week. I've managed to do the one thing, I never thought I could... I've become a gym rat.  So why the confusion???  What’s up with the frustration???

After the first 25 lbs. of weight loss, my scale hasn’t moved. With the increased time and intensity added into the daily routine, I simply just don’t get it!  Now don’t get me wrong… I understand that I am building muscle and muscle does weigh more than fat. The truth is, I am seeing changes in the shape of my body.  I’ve been tracking my measurements along with my weight and have noticed a loss of a few inches here and there... but why in the world is my scale not moving down???  Is it broken???

Although the temptation is there in an effort to get the scale moving, I really didn't want to do anything to drastic.  In the past, I would try little tricks, but it is important to me to incorporate healthy eating habits that will be easy for me to stick with.  Starting a “diet plan” that I won’t be able to stick with will just set me up for failure in the long run.  For example, eliminating carbohydrates now, will only cause me to gain back any weight I lose later.  That’s not a move that I am willing to make permanent.  Although I am certainly willing to reduce them, I love my legumes, sushi, steel cut oats, and sweet potatoes too much to eliminate them completely

My dirty little secret really isn't a secret at all, at least to those who know me well.  My non-negotiable indulgence is my love of the red grape.  I can live without chocolate and desserts, and usually do quite often without much difficulty.  I can pass on the martini, margarita or even sake’ all day long.  I've even been know to travel in search of this wonderful nectar of the Gods, and see another trip in my near future really soon. Now that I am cooking more at home, the urge to pair a phenomenal meal with a fantastic bottle wine is sheer bliss. At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic… the wine has gotta stay. Its not just a pleasure, it's more like a passion. 

On a positive note, my guilty pleasure has been studied and is known for its effects for great heart health.  Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics. Many studies to uncover a cause for red wine's effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries.

Now I realize that is a downside as well.  Studies showed that alcohol drinking may increase triglycerides and result in weight gain due to its empty calories, while other also suggested that alcohol consumption is associated with cancer risk. Since the alcohol is more likely to be burned off first, whatever stored fat is in the body will continue to be stored a fat.  It is also a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss, there is also the loss of important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. In addition, alcohol can actually stimulate the appetite. On top of that, research shows that drinking before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state you are more likely to overeat, and any way you look at it...this can't be a good thing.

So knowing what I know... and I have my wine and drink it too???  While I know that my trainer will no doubt say..."HELL NO!", my head and heart still disagree.  Even with moderation, there has got to be a way to allow my guilty pleasure.  For now, I'll just continue to be a gym rat while I figure this thing out. And, if it makes my trainer feel any better, I plan to run my first 5K in several years.  (Check out ).  Besides, my girlfriends and I have already purchased tickets to the Oakhurst Wine Krawl Wine and I am pretty sure I'm not gonna sit that one out!  Care to join us... check out

Happy drinking... and oh yeah...CHEERS!!!  Here's to you!!!

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