Unexpected Weight

I quit drinking almost a year ago. I realized I’d been trying to find some peace and happiness at the bottom of my wine glass and it just wasn’t working. I was unhappy. I looked forward too much to the moment when I could acceptably pour myself a glass. Things just weren’t working.

I quit cold turkey, and while the first month or so was a bit difficult, I can’t express how much better my life has become since giving up alcohol. I feel things more acutely. I spend better time with my kids and am more aware of what is going on in their lives. And I lost roughly 50 pounds (about 22 kilos).

I didn’t make any other significant or conscious changes to my life that would explain this weight loss. I do think a lot of it has to do with the fact that instead of a glass of wine, I always have a cup of tea in my hand. I drink liters of it.

I’m not really one for taking pictures either, so while I noticed early on I needed new clothes, I hadn’t seen the changes so sharply until more recently. I saw a picture my mom took of me during the holidays and was shocked. Was that really me? I’ve always been a bit more on the plush side, so seeing cheekbones, my jawline sharply, it was something I haven’t seen before.

I get ready in a hurry. I’m often rubbing on moisturizer by the kitchen table instead of in the bathroom since there are usually 2 or 3 people trying to use the one space at a time. I wear loose fitting clothing most of the time too, I like to be comfortable. So this very big change to my appearance did sort of creep up on me.

It has its pros and cons. I can finally buy clothing in Japan (sometimes) that fits decently. I still have my big swimmer’s shoulders that will prevent me from fitting into most tops here. But right now in January I wish I had a little more padding. Without central heating, I’m sitting here in 3 layers of fleece and two pairs of socks. I miss having more of a butt too. I feel so bony now.

I still think giving up drinking was the right choice for me. I’m definitely a lot healthier, and with my bad knee I know being at the lower end of a healthy BMI is in my best interest as well. Hopefully in another year I’ll recognize myself better. Hopefully I’ll still be doing a good job with this. I don’t want to be complicit or jinx things, but I do want to be more open about things like this.

As a former “wine mom”, I think this is an issue that can be overlooked. It was easy to hide my drinking since I’m home alone. It was easy to pretend I was doing fine since dinner was still getting cooked, the laundry got washed, and we were doing “okay”. It’s important to discuss issues like these more openly so people know they aren’t dealing with their problems alone, or even just to take the first step and acknowledge there might be a problem in the first place.

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