The first thing one usually does when confronted with news like cancer is to spiral into a confusing array of emotions. Soon enough, however, the sane individual slows down the pace and begins to recognize that this is the verdict that comes for all of us at various times in our lives. With that, a kind of peace comes—except when it comes to my daily wine!
Weeks before I found out about my prostate cancer, I had grown tired of my puffy paunch. I know it’s a sign of aging, but I also know that it doesn’t have to be. I decided to shed some extra weight. The decision was confirmed as a good one on the day in late October that I went to see my GP for a PSA blood test. I weighed in that day at 180 pounds. Even after I subtracted the five pounds my shoes, clothing and pocket change must have registered (for some reason, the medical profession seems to have done away with stripped down weigh-ins) 175 pounds was an all time record for me, and for my frame, it is 20 pounds more than I should be carrying.
In November, I embarked on a weight loss campaign, which was quite simple: I calculated the calories I took in each day from wine and decided to cut them in half. At an average bottle a day, that meant about 450 calories daily out of my diet—more than 3000 calories fewer each week. I figured that I had to lose weight.
I was right: in eight weeks, I shed nine pounds. Last week at the oncologist’s office, I weighed in at 171 (with boots and clothes, etc. that’s about 166). As a bonus, I’m saving a little money, too, what with buying fewer cases of wine (I always buy by the case; it’s stupid not to, as it is the least expensive way to buy wine).
The paunch is retracting and just in time, too. I’m told that along with potential hot flashes, the testosterone-reducing shot I am about to get might cause my muscles to turn to fat and so I must be extra diligent about maintaining weight and tone.
My problem now is this: having cut back to a minuscule half bottle of wine a day, that avenue of cutting back is closed to me. I’ll have to come up with one or two new directions—maybe have to cut some foods out or increase exercise.
For many years, I’ve walked no fewer than two miles each day—often more. It looks like I shall have to get the bicycle re-conditioned and get back on it and add some miles that way. Of course, I can’t do that right now, as we yet again are in the grip of a global climate change nasty cold winter in the Northeast.
Come to think of it, I have more than one problem. The expense of co-pay insurance is already eating into my wine budget. That has meant a dumbing down of my wine selections. But I am lucky in one way. I am more focused on perusing the wine shelves and have been truly surprised by the volume of solid, decent wines from Europe at reasonable prices.
I find that wines produced on this side of the pond at low prices often do not measure up to the wines of Europe at comparable prices. I wonder why that is the case.
It’s been hard, I admit it, but each evening I savor the no more than three glasses of wine that I allow myself. It makes each sip taste even better!
Copyright Thomas Pellechia
December 2010. All rights reserved.
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