Friday, March 17, 2017

LAKE PLACID DIET: Having a dry St. Patrick's Day 2017

Start date (Dec. 22): 480
Last week: 450
This week: 452
Total lost: 28 lbs.

Yes, I want a drink today, but I've decided not to indulge.

Although I only made one New Year's resolution this year — to survive — I also made one big promise to myself. I would not drink alcoholic beverages in 2017.

This promise is being put to the test this week in a big way. St. Patrick's Day my favorite holiday of the year, as I've made it a tradition to have some Irish whiskey and Guinness stout with my corned beef and potatoes, listen to the Clancy Brothers and watch "The Quiet Man" to help celebrate my Irish heritage. Plus, this week's nor'easter — dumping about 3 feet of snow in my driveway, which I am still trying to remove — makes me want to drink even more.

Alas, I've been a good boy. I've refrained from succumbing to the temptation of the drink since New Year's Day, knock on wood. Yet with weeks like this one, I can tell it's going to be a long year.

"But you don't have a drinking problem," one person said to me.

No, I don't. I like to have some beer and liquor once in a while (I'm not too keen on wine), every couple of weeks, but I rarely get drunk. In my 19 years of marriage, I've been drunk less than a handful of times. At 47 years old, when I have a couple of drinks, I'm usually ready for a nap.

I may not have a drinking problem, but I certainly have an eating problem, and drinking alcoholic beverages makes my eating problem worse. Alcohol makes me hungry, and I can't control my hunger after a few drinks. That's why I've decided to stay away from alcohol this year.

My challenge is to find ways to deal with everyday stress and periodic celebrations in a different way, other than splurging on alcohol and junk food and overeating. I've found it's a great exercise, one that I hope can carry over to help deal with my eating problem. Since I am a stress eater and love to splurge on junk food when I'm celebrating — holidays, good news, etc. — there are correlations between alcohol and junk food. I've found that the triggers are similar, if not the same, and the fact is I don't really need either one to survive. I need to eat and drink, but I don't need to eat junk food or drink alcohol in order to stay alive. I hope this is a good learning experience for me, one that will have positive lasting effects on my relationship with food.

Meanwhile, I visited the Adirondack Health Wound Center for the last time on Thursday. After five weeks of treatment, my open wounds are healed! Although I'm glad to finally take a shower after three weeks of "bird bath" washing (the Unna boots on my legs could not get wet), and I'm happy that I'm finally healed after eight months of open wounds on my legs, I will miss visiting the Wound Center staff ever week. The nurses, receptionist and doctors are amazing. I even got a chance to meet a couple of registered nurse students. Overall, my Wound Center experience was extremely positive and I have no complaints.

There is one lasting effect on my time at the Wound Center. I will have to continue wearing compression stockings on my legs to keep them from swelling, at least until I can get my weight down enough to where it is not an issue. There's another motivational factor for my weight-loss program.

As far as my gout, it finally cleared up in time for the big snowstorm. With no chance of exercise during my 10-day gout attack, I now have plenty of exercise on my schedule. I began shoveling snow Tuesday night. As of Thursday morning, I had dug out Dawn's car and my car was still buried in the driveway. Once my car is removed, I still have to shovel a path to the backyard, shovel the dog's yard and rake the roofs I can reach.

I my not be having my whiskey or stout on St. Patrick's Day this year, but at least I'm getting a lot of fresh mountain air.