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#MWWC33: Once Upon A Time
*This post is an entry for Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #33. You may vote through June 19 at this link.*

Once upon a time, I sat down at my computer to publish another post when I realized, “Oh crap, #MWWC33 (Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #33) is due! I have no idea about what to write!” I finished my original post and while doing so, I realized I have something weighing on my mind and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now.

As some of you know, I have lost 75 pounds and eight clothing sizes, as of this post, since September 12, 2016, by working out five or six days per week at Fit Body Boot Camp Napa and by following a meal plan outline. Alcohol is not a part of the plan, of course. I also recently began a new website, Boot Camp Babe, to share my experience and to inspire others. There, I wrote a post entitled, About the wine…, which chronicles my history with wine, its integral part in my life, and its correlation to my weight gain these past eight or so years.

During these past nine months, I have cut my wine consumption tremendously. Prior to this, I was one of those people who came home from work and opened a bottle of wine a few nights per week to accompany my dinner and to relax. I also work at a winery in the Napa Valley as a wine club and social media manager, so wine is my career. I used to attend many wine and food events, accept lots of wine samples, and went wine tasting often. Now I only drink wine occasionally, such as when I am celebrating a special occasion, when I go out to a nice dinner (not always, but sometimes), or have a friend over. I maybe have wine a couple of times per month. I taste wine sparingly, spitting and dumping most of it, and I am being more selective regarding acceptance of wine samples. It’s not that I don’t enjoy wine, but frankly, I feel amazing without it. At my annual physical in April, my vitals and blood work results were outstanding. I love how I feel after a workout. Before, I was consuming hundreds and hundreds of calories in wine and now I prefer my calories to be solid, not liquid.

Interestingly, I think my palate is changing as well due to both my dietary changes and decreased wine intake. When I do indulge, my go-to wines are Champagne and sparkling wines. I also lean towards crisp, clean, preferably unoaked or neutral oak aged, higher-acid whites and rosés. Heavily oaked, higher-alcohol red wines feel and taste too heavy.

One final observation is that I feel somewhat disconnected from my wine writing and social media peers because I no longer participate frequently in virtual tastings, nor do I post lots of wine photos and reviews like I used to do. I’ve even had someone tell me that I am not as fun anymore. I have to admit, that hurt. I am still the same person inside, but with less weight and wine in my life. I am not denying myself anything, I am making dietary and workout choices that make me a better person in every way, inside and out. I have also broadened my connections and friendships to include fitness-minded people like me. I am healthy, happy, strong, and yes, fun.

As you can imagine, this poses a dilemma for me. Am I still qualified to write about wine if I don’t taste or drink it as often? Do I continue this website? I hope that you will help me answer some of these questions in the comments below.

Cheers!
Beth

15 thoughts on “#MWWC33: Once Upon A Time

  1. Congratulations on your hard work and new life! My husband and I have done the same thing and he feels so much better. I think it’s finding a balance in life.The Bible says wine makes the heart merry but there are a million other things as well so being healthy and loving the fact you feel good out weighs the wine. As far as writing on wine, the most interesting parts are the stories behind the vineyards, the winemakers and vintages. Many of us, including myself haven’t the knowledge to distinguish one descriptor from another but the story behind a wine we like gives us a real connection. Often it’s the experience of when, where and who we were with is what we actually remember. You have the knowledge, experience and ability to tell a good story and that’s really why I read your blog. So thank you for telling a good story!

    ~ from another BootCamp fanatic 😉

    1. I completely agree! I much prefer writing about the experience, history, stories, and people behind the wines I taste, which is why I enjoy writing for American Winery Guide. Originally I began as a travel writer in 2008, moved into wine in 2011, then combined the two, so maybe there’s another transformation on the horizon where I can focus on a “whole lifestyle” approach, including fitness.

  2. Beth, sometimes life changes course and all we can do is go with it. Sounds like you are doing what you need to do by putting your health first, and no one can fault you for that! Whether your contributions are regular or sporadic, the wine blogging world is lucky to have you 🙂

    1. Hi Mel, Thank you so much for reading and for your input. I also believe firmly that we can have multiple passions in our lives and right now, being healthy is important to me. If I could only put into words how much better I feel having lost all of this weight!

    1. I find it interesting that many don’t think that I have found balance because I am not drinking as much alcohol or eating as much food. I still love them both, but I was missing the fitness and the healthy food choices. Now I finally have balance.

  3. I love that you’ve invited us along on your journey. Life constantly throws challenges at us, and your posts are such an honest reflection of where you are and what you’re experiencing. My guess is that your path resonates with a lot of us, with or without the wine!

    1. I hope by writing this post, I will perhaps inspire others. My choice may not be for everyone, but it sure works for me. Thank you for both reading and following.

  4. I felt best when I was having only 1-2 glasses of wine a week, so I can relate. Now that I’m a passionate wine geek, I try to keep it to 7 glasses/week, because that’s what’s recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is one of those hard things, even though it seems healthy in spirit, any excess of wine is not great for you. I remember gaining 10 pounds when I first got into wine, and it’s still not off!

    I love that you have the discipline to spit when you are tasting, as that is something I’m trying to learn to do. Love hearing about your journey. Inspiring!

    1. Thank you so much! Since I live alone, I never was fond of sipping alone, so having wine with friends on special occasions works better for me anyway.

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