Year of the Cougar. Week 2 The Booze Battle

New Year's Eve - a Night for Temptation.

Soooo, New year's Eve is tomorrow night. It's a big party, that means there's a lot of temptations to resist. My 2nd favourite ones are fizzy and they come in bottles with corks that make a loud pop! (My favourite temptations are tall and handsome and dashing, they don't need to be reisisted.)

There is a big problem here, I am not the designated driver for the evening, and I really don't have much self-control. I am that all-or-nothing type, Oscar Wilde said it best, "Moderation is a fatal thing.. nothing succeeds like excess".

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What's the Big Deal? It's Just One Night.

No. No, it's not just one night. I'm in my thirties so my hangovers are terrible. It's a fact of life. I can now have a hangover without actually feeling drunk, and they don't last for a few hours, they'll last for at least a whole day, sometimes two. I don't even drink that much, or that often. I used to think that it was a cruel joke of Mother Nature's, but I've since realized that it's actually a very good prevention measure against making a huge fool of yourself. Being the really drunk girl at the party is fine when you're 24 and all your friends take turns in being the obligatory embarrassing one at the weekend, but at 34 people don't want to know you if you're 'that person'.

Hence these days, if I know that I am going to be drinking, I have to make sure that I eat stodgy filling foods before I have my first drink. Hello calories.

Then there's the drinks themselves. On a night out when I don't have to drive or get up the next day, I'll have up to five drinks. It might not sound that much to a lot of people but that's enough for me. Add up the calories in five drinks. A standard size glass of wine has 85 calories, a party size glass of wine has about 130. So that's 650 calories.

You could try beer instead... shame that the super low calorie beer tastes awful. Light beer is still 100 calories per bottle, and regular beer 150. That's anywhere between 500 and 750 calories.

Okay then, cocktails. I love cocktails! Vodka's my favorite spirit actually, that must be low in calories. Actually yes, only 64 calories per shot - that's 320 calories in five drinks.... I don't think I've ever seen anybody use a measure for pouring vodka at a party, sooo I reckon I'm probably having doubles. Hmmn suddenly I'm on 640 calories. Oh wait I need a mixer... cranberry juice? Oops no, that's 130 calories per serving, five vodka cranberries and I'd be consuming nearly 1300 calories just from liquid. You only need 2000 calories a day in total.

For the sake of argument, let's just say that I drank tiny shots of neat vodka. Alcohol still makes you really hungry, and when you're a bit tipsy your resolve to only eat healthy foods tends to leap out of the window. Suddenly you're grazing at the snack table every five minutes, and then on the way home, fast food with extra helpings of grease seems like a really good idea.

I calculate that one evening of drinks and accompanying munching can easily amount to 4000 calories before you go to bed.

Still, it's only one day, you should be able to balance that out over the next two or three days...

...but it's not just one day if you're not feeling on top of the world the next day.  There's something about hangovers that make me want to sleep, drink water, take painkillers and eat and eat and eat. Funnily enough I never crave lettuce leaves the morning after. No, it's always thing like pizza, big bowls of pasta, bacon and eggs with hash browns - that's the sort of stodgy, fatty, filling food I want. Ooh and potato chips with dips... and bread. Basically, 4 days worth of calories in a 24 hour period.

So Were You Very, Very Bad?

Yes, is the short answer.  'Not as bad as I have been in the past' is the slightly longer, more cowardly answer.

I ate healthily during the day on December 31st, I went for a long walk in the morning.   Then I went to the party and spent four hours standing next to the drinks table using sugary ginger ale as a mixer, and nibbling on meatballs, and potato chips, and something filled with cheese.

Fortunately I had the good sense to fall asleep before I could suggest 2am burger and fries, or nachos.  However I kicked off the 1st day of 2011 with Thai delivery food for breakfast, then a snack on some chinese dumplings, oh and toasted cheese sandwiches, a delicious creamy pasta dish, a 500 gram chocolate bar, and for good measure a pot of hot cocoa... made with full fat milk.

Oh and I didn't exercise because I couldn't quite manage to get out of my pyjamas.

Since then I have done between 30 and 90 minutes of exercise every day, and I've eaten healthily.  I feel good in my current size clothes, and after two weeks with some form of physical activity every day I feel much more motivated and positive about my daily life.  But is it enough?  How much difference am I really making?

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The Moment of Truth.

Start date weight: 167 lbs

After one week: 166.5 lbs

Today, at the end of week two.....

...........165.9 lbs

Hmmn.  I got really excited when 165 bit, but then saw the .9 and realized that in two weeks, I've only lost one single pound.

I can explain it by saying there was Christmas and New Year, but really!  I've actually been jogging , bits of me ache from all this exercise.  I can remember when I wanted to lose weight in my teens and twenties, it wasn't uncommon to lose 10 pounds in two weeks.  Urgh, 30s metabolism.

Well I'm not giving up yet.  I'm going to be the non-drinking designated driver, who doesn't  need hangover munchies, and there are no big stuff-your-face holidays until July 4th.

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