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Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Posted by Julie on 11/22/02 at 03:01 (100878)

I apologise to Mahatmelissima and Kari for not returning to this topic, raised on the Social board, as soon as I said I would: I didn't have the time to do it properly before this morning. Here are some thoughts now, for you two and for anyone else who is interested. I'm starting a new thread so that you'll be sure to see this post, and putting it on the Treatments board where it seems more appropriate.

There's much we can do to undo the muscular tension and stress that worsen pain. As I said in my short post the other day, practising relaxation techniques will help, but you've got to practise them daily and that takes time. Most people who are in pain, though, are sufficiently motivated to do that, so it's a question of learning the techniques. You could look around for a relaxation class, or for a yoga class that emphasises relaxation rather than dynamic postures (not all do, by any means). You could learn biofeedback or autogenic training. Both these have their roots in yoga, and both are effective. Or you could use a relaxation tape. I've made one, and would be glad to tell you about it if you like - you can email me.

Breathing is the key, especially breathing out. We think that breathing in is the important bit of the breath cycle, but breathing out is equally important, partly because full, relaxed exhalation leads naturally to full inhalation which brings in an an optimum supply of oxygen. When there is a need to release tension, it's even more important, because it's the exhalation that calms the sympathetic nervous system and helps us to let go, both physically and mentally.

Most people curtail the length of their exhalation at least some of the time. If we're under tension, if we're stressed, if we're in pain, we probably do this most of the time. Cutting short the exhalation leads to incomplete inhalation, creating a vicious cycle of rapid, shallow breathing, which worsens tension and increases pain.

Check in with your breathing often, and if you find that you're not breathing out fully, sigh the breath out a few times. This will help to restore a fuller, freer breath cycle. This will be temporary at first, but eventually it will become more habitual.

This is the key to releasing tension, and it's something simple that you can do all the time whenever you think of it. You just have to think of it, and make sure you do it from time to time.

The most effective relaxation techniques use the exhalation to trigger the 'letting go' of muscular tension. One, which only takes 5-10 minutes, is a short journey around the body, taking your awareness to different parts of the body as you breathe in, letting go as you breathe out. It's on the tape. There are many others: it's a matter of learning and using them.

Simple breathing and stretching exercises have a profound effect on the mental and emotional state. You could try this one. Standing comfortably, raise your arms forward and up as you breathe in; lower them as you breathe out. Co-ordinate the movement with the breath, and repeat 5x.

The breath, and awareness of the breath, are also the foundation of meditation practices in all the major spiritual traditions, and meditation techniques have been found to be very effective in dealing with pain. There have been many books on this topic - Ainslie Mears's Relief Without Drugs is the classic.

The common response to long-lasting pain is to reject it, to hate it, to be angry at it, to wish it wasn't there. This is natural and we've all been through it. But these emotional reactions increase tension, and therefore intensify the pain. I don't have time to go into this in the depth it needs, but the truth is that if we accept the pain, open to it, and let it in rather than try to push it away, the resulting relaxation of body and mind lessens the pain and makes it easier for us to deal with it.

Summary. Anything that increases tension will exacerbate pain. Anything that releases tension will lessen pain. Learning breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques will be of help. They won't do away with it, but they will lessen it (physiologically) and help deal with it (emotionally and mentally).

A final word about sleep for you, Kari. Of course lack of sleep will make things much worse. I'd like to suggest - I hope your life and work will allow it - that you not 'wait for bedtime' but try to snatch an hour or so of sleep whenever you can, as mothers with little babies do.

I hope all this is helpful.

Re: Thanks

Sharon W on 11/22/02 at 08:27 (100887)

Thank you, Julie!

This is such an important topic, because it has the potential to help nearly everyone in one way or another -- and noone could explain it better than you just did!

Sharon

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Kari B on 11/22/02 at 12:47 (100914)

Julie,
Thank you so so much!!! That was awesome information. I am definitely starting today to implement the breathing and taking little naps as often as I can. I was under the impression that if you can't sleep at night then you shouldn't sleep during the day because it can do more harm to the person not sleeping at night... but after reading this, I got a 'light bulb'.... obviously if I can sleep sometime during the day then it should relieve some of the stress I feel about not being able to sleep which should in turn (hopefully) relieve enough stress to reduce my pain and let me sleep at night! I didn't even think about that before, but it certainly makes sense! So, my plan is to start today with the breathing exercises and pay atttention to my breathing and my body... if my body tells me I can sleep, thats where I am headed. I am lucky in this way as right now I am off work and all my kids are in school... so as long as I am able to pick up my youngest on time then I should be able to sleep anytime I want to! So,again, thank you for the advice! Take care!
Kari

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/22/02 at 15:41 (100921)

Kari

I'm glad you like the idea and glad it's possible for you. I think it makes sense and I hope it will help. Let me know how it goes.

A herbal relaxant tea may help too. And if you know a relaxation technique, it would be a good idea to talk yourself through it, in bed, before you go to sleep.

Re: Thanks

Julie on 11/22/02 at 15:41 (100922)

Thank you, Sharon.

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Jim C. on 11/22/02 at 17:02 (100924)

Hi Julie,

Great post, I have praticed the type of breathing you described for many years, that, coupled with guided imagery and some relaxing music can have a very positive impact, not only on the mind but physicaly!

I couldn't help but relate this to my experience with anti-depresents. I was prescribed paxil when I went through my divorce and have since taken a very low 'maintanence' dose. Admittedly, I have often not taken it regularly. But I did find early on that if I kept up my dosage my feet felt a whole lot better. Perhaps if one takes good care of the mind the feet will follow!

Jim

Re: alcohol

sandy h on 11/22/02 at 18:56 (100938)

Now I'm not suggesting that everyone get plastered, but when I've had a beer or two the pain goes away. But be warned. Don't get carried away and damage yourself as you will still feel it the next day. Is it because alcohol is a relaxant or a pain killer or what?

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/22/02 at 20:43 (100952)

I don't normally drink, but I noticed that too after getting 'plastered' on one glass of wine, which is what happens to me if I drink.

It relaxed me, and dulled the pain. Remember, in the Old West surgeons used to give patients hard liquor before doing surgical procedures since other anesthesias were not generally available.

Another effect that seems to help is that it makes my mind wander and distracts me from pain.

I am glad that you cautioned people to be careful not to damage themselves. Often people have impaired judgement when drinking.

Carole C

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/23/02 at 03:09 (100966)

Good morning, Kari. I hope you got some sleep yesterday.

Here's something simple for you to try in bed to help you get to sleep. It works best if you can lie on your back.

Rest your hands on your lower abdomen. Have your thumbs at navel level and your fingers pointing in a triangle towards your pubic bone. Breathe naturally, and be aware of your breath.

Let your abdomen be soft, and feel its movement: rising gently as you breathe in, sinking gently as you breathe out.

No strain: don't 'push' the breath out or 'pull' it in, just let it come and go, and make sure that you're not cutting your exhalation short: let it complete its journey. Let your inbreath take care of itself: you may find it gets deeper, but don't 'try' to make it deeper.

With each out breath consciously let go of your whole body. Feel it sinking into the bed.

Continue for about ten minutes, or for as long as it's enjoyable (and if you're still awake!)

As I mentioned yesterday, the exhalation is the part of the breathing cycle that relaxes us, helps us to let go. It calms the sympathetic nervous system (the part that prepares us for 'fight or flight') and activates the parasymnpathetic nervous system (the part that lets us know that all is well).

So, watching your breath in this way, you may just drop off naturally and have a more relaxing sleep. But even if that doesn't happen, you'll be increasingly letting go of muscular tension, and that should help with the pain.

Try this for a few days and let me know how you get on.

Re: alcohol

Julie on 11/23/02 at 05:19 (100967)

Alcohol is a relaxant. It is also a depressant. Both effects are due to the fact that it slows down the action of the central nervous system, which is why it dulls pain. Nothing wrong with a unit or two, but the risk of becoming dependent on it as a pain-reliever, for anyone in severe and/or chronic pain, is obvious.

Re: alcohol

Kathy G on 11/23/02 at 07:47 (100975)

Interesting observation, Sandy. And now that we know that a glass of red wine can be so beneficial, a glass would not only help them to relax but also naturally ease their pain. I, however, am allergic to alcohol and become violently ill when I ingest even a small amount. (No torte cakes or the like for me!) But for those who are able, small amounts of alcohol might be a viable option to help them to relax and fall asleep at night with less pain.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

Sharon W on 11/23/02 at 10:18 (100988)

Julie,

Good point, about not becoming dependent on alcohol as a pain reliever.

It is also not a good idea to use as alcohol as a sleeping aid -- it does indeed help one get to sleep, but it also interferes with the normal sleep cycle so that a person awakens feeling rather sluggish, rather than rested. (My husband has sleep apnea and, although he rarely drinks, sleep specialists always warn him about that effect of alcohol on the sleep cycle and then add that alcohol can also make sleep apnea WORSE.)

Sharon

Re: alcohol

john h on 11/23/02 at 11:05 (100992)

Carole: that is what they all say 'I don't normally drink'. You got plastered an dulled yours sense-duh! Your mind wanderd! I bet it did! where you? In some sleezy bar! I gorget my pain also under those conditions but then I have other pain.

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/23/02 at 13:41 (101006)

John, John, John! (giggle) I drink only 1-2 glasses of wine per year, honestly! And, I have not been in a bar for at least 30-35 years. At least, if I have, I don't remember it. :)

You'd believe me if you were around when I drink. NOBODY gets as drunk on one glass of wine as I do.

Carole C

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

wendyn on 11/23/02 at 19:06 (101014)

A friend of mine had a best buddy with very bad sleep apnea. He went out and had a fair bit to drink one night, and he never woke up. (He was in his early 30's)

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

Sharon W on 11/23/02 at 23:35 (101021)

That's SCARY!!

Sharon

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Kari B on 11/24/02 at 00:57 (101024)

Julie,
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I slept great! I did use the breathing like you said, and as I was laying there, I would focus on one part of my body and as I exhaled I would picture that part of my body becoming relaxed... I did this, starting at the top of my head (instead of my feet ) and only made to my neck before I was asleep. That seemed to work well.... I woke about 4 am and did it again to get back to sleep and didn't wake again until 8 am. So today, I am very rested and feeling wonderful. I will try your other method tonight because as I was just reading it, I felt sleepy and could imagine just how relaxing that method would be. Thank you so much!!!! You are wonderful spending your time helping so many of us on the board! Again, thank you and God Bless!
Kari

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/24/02 at 01:32 (101025)

Kari, I'm delighted to hear that. Thanks for your feedback, and I hope you're having a good day.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep? -- and to dull the psychological pain of pf -- bad news!

nancy s. on 11/24/02 at 10:02 (101036)

i'm glad you mentioned this wendy, awful as it is.

it's worth pointing out too that anyone who is in chronic pain and who is getting depressed over it can also become dependent on alcohol as a way to try to escape the depression. this happens despite the fact that alcohol IS a depressant.

i've been a moderate drinker for much of my adult life -- a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. after a year and a half of pf and the other stuff that came with it for me, and an increasing clinical depression that crept up on me, i graduated to martinis and then slowly started sipping at them earlier in the day in an attempt to anesthetize myself.

i ended up in the hospital for three weeks with a severe major depression. maybe this would have happened anyway, but i'm not at all sure. if i'd done something more constructive about my psychological pain, such as what julie suggested at the beginning of this thread, perhaps the worst of all that could have been avoided.

now i can have my two glasses of wine in the evening again if i want them, but i sure don't recommend alcohol as a route to relieving any kind of pain, physical or psychological.

nancy
.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep? -- and to dull the psychological pain of pf -- bad news!

Jim C. on 11/24/02 at 14:29 (101043)

Hi,

As a recovering alcoholic, I couldn't help but add my two cents to this thread!

Alcoholism is a devastating disease that has killed millions of people and can have dire consequences for those close to the alcoholic, such as family members and fellow drivers on our nations highways.

Unfortunatly alcoholism, as alot of mental illnesses, is viewed as a lack of will power or as 'a condition of low moral character', not as a disease as it truly is. An alcoholic can be viewed as simply a allergic reaction to alcohol, such as a person allergic to peanuts. An alcoholic has a drink and it has a major negative impact on their behavior and physical well being.

Ironically, the solution is not about will power or trying to control one's drinking but to give up and surrender 'stop trying to control it'! To accept that if you have just one drink the allergic reaction sets in! This can be extremely difficult for most people, not only is there a strong social stigma of being an alcoholic but it is very hard to admit loss of one's mental faculties 'or control', and part of the allergic reaction is a very powerful addictive quality.

I you have ever wondered if you are an alcoholic, you could very well be! After just one or two drinks do you normaly stop?, does it have a effect on you behavior or do things you wouldn't normaly do? Black outs or brown outs? Have you ever embarrassed yourself when drinking?

If your still wondering check out AA in you local phone directory, go to a meeting. Even if you not an alcoholic, the meetings are very educational and fun. Nothing like a room full of sober drunks to liven up the moment!

Jim

Re: Alcoholism test

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 15:57 (101050)

Jim, thanks for an interesting and helpful post!

Gee, now I'm wondering!

I've hardly ever done any drinking, and I always stop after one to two drinks and only do that once a year.

BUT... it does have a big effect on my behavior (and strangely, wine and beer seem to affect my behavior more than hard liquor? I really don't understand that at all).

I don't have black outs or brown outs.

BUT...I would definitely embarrass myself when drinking if I had a glass of wine at a party with people from work, for example, so I restrict my drinking to situations when I don't mind acting stupid. New Year's Eve either alone or with a boyfriend and/or other friends that I know really well has fit the bill most years.

It's not hard for me to say no to alcohol. I just tell people that I don't have anything against their drinking, but that I don't drink usually since my brother is an alcoholic. That shuts them up. :)

It's not hard for me to stop after a glass or two of wine. I start spilling it on the table and pouring it down my shirt! LOL And then I know that's enough for me until next year.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 16:04 (101051)

P.S., I think I'm probably not alcoholic because I don't feel the addictive properties of drinking. I've never felt any craving for alcohol at all.

Carole C

Re: the lucky ones

sandy h on 11/24/02 at 17:18 (101055)

Sounds like you and me are the lucky ones as I always start feeling sick after two or three drinks. That is a good thing surely. It just means your body is working properly and telling you that you are poisoining yourself if you take more.

Re: the lucky ones

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 17:22 (101056)

I think you are right, Sandy. I know I'm really lucky for another reason, because my brother being an alcoholic was like a big WARNING that keeps me from taking alcohol lightly.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Jim C. on 11/24/02 at 17:49 (101060)

Hi Carole,

By what you have desribed, I don't think so either! There are some people who are very predisposed but never become alcoholic because they simply don't drink. When I went through treatment, there was this sweet little old lady who hadn't had a drink in her life until her husband died...She literaly detroyed her life in a few short years! So be careful!

Alcohol effects people in different ways. For me, I could always handle my booze, my personality changed very little, you would never see me falling down drunk and could stop any time I chose to.(I was very good at quiting I just never stay stopped) As the years past, I found it harder and harder to stop and I was drinking large amounts everyday but still maintained all my responsibiltys. But I could see the symptons progressing, that, along with a perputual hang over, I decided enough was enough and sought out help.
On the other hand, I was the desinated driver for some college aged friends of mine and we ended up at this party. There was this young man who was very drunk, he was loud and boistrous, knocking things over, I was embarrassed for him. He was carrying this bottle of wiskey and dropped it and it broke all over the floor, he started crying and got down and started licking up the broken glass. We had to take him for stitches. Obviously this person had no busines being around alcohol, as it affected him very negatively!
In comparison, I never came close to acting like that in all my years drinking...go figure!

So enjoy your wine, but be very aware that it could become a horrible problem. I will just stick with my diet, caffiene free pepsi's :-)

Jim

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 21:08 (101068)

Jim, thanks for your wise perspective on all this.

I will be really careful about it. I do have a tendency to think I need something to lean on now and then, but alcohol never seems to come to mind. My battle seems to be with overeating.

I can't imagine that guy licking up broken glass. How embarrassing for him! I've never been quite that bad off, luckily. Once in college I did end up loudly and enthusiastically quoting poetry by Blake and Shelley and carrying on for quite a while about how wonderful various poets were, for quite a while to a few friends who had been drinking wine with me. That was very embarrassing the next day, when they 'innocently' asked me if I liked poetry! They thought it was funny. At that age I normally didn't tell people that I liked poetry, classical music, ballet or opera, because these things were not considered to be especially cool. That's why it was embarrassing for me.

I really do like poetry, classical music, ballet, and opera. It's wonderful to be in my fifties now, old enough so that I really don't give a hoot if anybody knows what is to my taste in music and writing! :)

Carole C

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

john h on 11/25/02 at 09:57 (101086)

I went to some of the old time Chiropractors who promised to cure the common cold. They were indeed charlatins. There are still some out there. Having said that you will find Chiropractors on the staff of some prestigeous institutions/hospitals these days. I think there are some with the Texas Back Institute which is one of the more famous back institutes in the world. Like many things you just have to be selective.

Re: Alcoholism test

john h on 11/25/02 at 10:20 (101089)

As a young Air Force pilot we all drank to much and had many wild parties. I could drink 4-5 martinis and keep on ticking. Of course I did not fly this way. By the time I got into my 40's if I were to drink 5 martinis I would be ready for the hospital. I found that if I was happy alcohol wouuld make me even happier but if I was sad alcohol.would make me more sad. I have never found it to be a real pain killer and over the years my tolerance has dwindled to where one martini or two glasses of wine is about it. I think we are predisposed to alcoholism and some people can become addicted with little effort. As long as i thought an ice cold glass of milk was always my favorite drink (add a little overtine) I knew I must me in good shape. I still like my glass of wine on a special occasion will have a martini (shaken not stirred). Hey! I read that glass of red wine is good for the heart and maybe even the soul.

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 11:48 (101098)

I heard that a daily glass of red wine is good for the heart and I heard that it increases life expectancy, too.

Actually this thread is very timely for me. Last week a friend suggested a daily glass of red wine to me for appetite control and I have been mulling this idea of hers over all week. I have been thinking of trying one glass after work every day to see if that would help me not overeat and help me lose more weight.

It's not worth it to me if it turned out to be just trading one excess for another, though, especially since I have seen what alcoholism can do and I want nothing to do with it.

I guess that's why I've been reluctant to try my friend's idea.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/25/02 at 13:18 (101108)

I have no words of advice on this subject, Carole. So many of the posts have struck a chord with me. My two sisters are alcoholics. One pretends the problem doesn't exists, has a wonderful job and drinks herself into oblivion every night. The other has not had a drink for two years and stopped drinking at the time that she finally went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed as Bi-polar. She's doing better and I'm so proud of her for taking her meds regularly and not drinking. The one who's still an alcoholic also has depression problems and I suspect her drinking is a symptom of that disorder.

My family background is loaded with alcholics. My mother's sister, my father's brother, my husband's father. My mother was never actually diagnosed as bi-polar but I think she was and she occasionally had bouts of alcoholism.

When I discovered I got sick from just one drink, I happened to be working for a psychiatrist. I asked him if he thought my physical symptoms were psychological, that maybe deep down I was afraid to drink because of my family history. He said it was a good theory but my symptoms were so clearly those of a person who lacks the enzyme to break down alcohol from its poisonous state, he didn't know. Besides, I was nineteen years old, going to college and naturally wanted to drink like everyone else! I also used to get sick from cough syrup back in the old days when it had alcohol in it.

I consider it a blessing that I have my own built-in Antibuse and have never missed not drinking. I eat grapes and hope I get some of the benefits associated with red wine!

Re: alcohol

Nancy N on 11/25/02 at 16:05 (101125)

Carole--

I was going to challenge you on your claim that nobody could get as drunk as you on a glass of wine, but I'm not sure that I would actually get drunk. No, a glass of wine renders me 'the person sleeping in the corner,' long before I have a chance to get drunk!

Re: A glass of red wine

Julie on 11/25/02 at 16:37 (101128)

Carole, in my experience alcohol in any quantity makes me throw caution to the winds and care less about the amount of food I eat. I am much more likely to overeat if I drink, even one glass, and much more likely to maintain control and eat sensibly if I don't.

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:48 (101129)

Nancy, you crack me up! Somebody is missing out on a great party by not inviting me and you and providing wine. While you slept in the corner, I could spout poetry! They could sell tickets to the side show. :)

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:54 (101130)

That's interesting! I thought it might calm me and lessen the desire to munch. I would try it and find out, but the more I read in this thread the more I'm thinking that I would be foolish to tempt fate by drinking regularly.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:57 (101131)

Kathy, I have read your post several times and with alcoholism being genetic, and so much of it in your family, I just thank heaven that you haven't been able to drink at all. You are right; it is truly a blessing.

Grapes are great! And, who knows. Maybe they are just as good. :)

Carole C

Re: alcohol

Nancy N on 11/25/02 at 17:09 (101132)

Oh, Carole, you don't know the half of it! It's well known among most of my friends that I have a non-existent tolerance. This is why I've never experienced drunkenness, because I'd be too tired and zonk first. Also, I'm not wild about wine and can't stand beer. Now, talk to me about a white russian and that's another story! But again, it's also wipe-out time. I went to NYC last month with some friends for my birthday and got a white russian at dinner. This was a serious drink, especially for me. The friend who ordered it for me had to leave before he saw the results, namely me trying desperately to stay awake on the train coming home. The rest of my friends had a great time laughing at me and saying 'What were you thinking???!' One even swore at me in newly-learned Russian, calling me a total s---head!

So yes, you and I would be a great sideshow act. John can sell the tickets, he would enjoy that the most, I think!

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/25/02 at 21:49 (101153)

I always heard that wine was supposed to increase one's appetite but I have no idea if that's an old wives' tale or not. If I were you, I'd try a larger salad! Maybe with wine vinegar and oil dressing??:)

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/25/02 at 22:26 (101158)

I would not use alcohol as any part of any weight loss program.

It's empty calories. (and quite a few of them from what I understand)

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 06:21 (101168)

One glass of wine is only two weight watchers points, so that would make it about 100 calories.

Reasons for overeating can be so complex. If my overeating were due to emotional overeating, I can see how a glass of wine might not help.

I do think it might be of some assistance for nervous overeating. Sometimes at the end of a work day, I'm pretty wound up. That's the most 'dangerous' time of day for my weight loss efforts. When I come home from work it's not time for dinner and sometimes I'm bouncing off walls.

Nervous overeating will probably be less of a problem for me than bored overeating once I retire, but that is many years off since I need to pay off my house first.

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 07:29 (101173)

Carole, how many calories in beer - do you know?

I suppose 100 calories in wine isn't that much, but about 20 minutes on the bike only burns around 150 (I think).

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 07:43 (101174)

Wendy, I don't usually drink beer so I don't know; it's probably on the label (isn't that required in the U.S. by the FDA?)

You're right; 100 calories isn't much. I just had a couple of boiled eggs for breakfast and that was more caloric than a glass of wine (but more nutritious, too).

I guess I'd have to bike that much longer to burn up the calories from my two boiled eggs than I would to burn up the calories from a glass of wine. I'm not sure what the point of that is, though, except that the direct calorie burning benefits from exercise are pretty trivial compared with the other benefits.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 10:14 (101179)

I think any alcohol wine or otherwise that lowers our inhibitions will make you throw caution to the wind and munch much more. I also think their is scientific evidence that alcoholism can be an inheirited trait. I still like a glass of red wine when dinning out. Science has identified the substance in red wine that is good for the heart (in moderation).

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 10:16 (101180)

Wendy a Miller Light is less than a coke. I think around 98 cals. Your Moulson is another story.

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 20:15 (101214)

I checked today and the bike read 250 calories after 25 minutes...so I guess it burns more than I thought (that was moderate biking).

I guess the point being _empty_ calories in wine. If I was trying to watch my weight, I think it would be the first think I'd give up.

Doesn't weight watchers only allow something like 15 points in a day (it's been a while since I've heard anyone talking about it).

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 21:26 (101219)

you must have been moving along rather well Wendy. Walking a mile in 15 minutes is about 120 cals for the average guy probably 100 cal for someone your size. Do you know what pulse rate you maintained. Guessing at your age you probably need a pulse rate of around 120-125 to be in the fat burning range. When I could run I had a watch that gave me my pulse reading. On a steep hill I would get into the 160-170 range and on a stairmaster at level 10 I could go for 45 minutes and keep the pulse over 140. All this has past with PF. Now I am just happy to bike and stay over 125. I often wonder what kind of pulse rate the athletes in the Iron Man are maintaining. I noticed at least two over 80 years of age this year in Hawaii. What kind of shape they must be in. I could not row a boat as far as they swim.. .

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 22:11 (101224)

No, Wendy... Weight Watchers points depend on how much you weigh. You can eat 35 points if you're 300 pounds, 33 points if you're 250 pounds, 29 points if you're 200 pounds, and 23 points if you're 150 pounds or less and still stay in your points range.

Two points probably are not enough to stay awake worrying about, even for those who are just a couple of pounds over their goal; there are plenty of points left in the day to get in the nutrition you need.

It could be argued that the reason wine and beer have the reputation of being fattening is that so many people will not stop at one glass, and instead will drink maybe five glasses or so. That could be more of a problem if a person did that day after day.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 22:17 (101225)

The weight watchers exercise tool tells me that a 150 pound man would have to exercise for 13 minutes at high intensity, or 31 minutes at medium intensity, to work off two points. That seems about the same as John's values, more or less.

As Weight Watchers points out, exercise is not something you do so that you can overeat. It has other benefits.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 22:49 (101226)

This bike didn't have a heart monitor (so I'm not entirely sure how it calculates calories burned - I guess just by rpm and level. I tend to average around 100 rpm). Judging by effort exerted, I would guess that I worked at a heart rate around 130 bpm for 25 minutes, pushing up to 150 to 160 at one minute intervals about 10 times.

According to the bike computer, for someone my age I need to be at 122 for fat burning, 150 for cardio. I was talking to one of my 'super fit' friends at the gym recently (he's a marathon/triathlete etc). He suggested not hanging around the fat burning range, but doing the interval training instead...pushing up to the 150 to 160 zone throughout the work out.

It's considerably less boring than sitting at 122. I want to ride my bike to work more often next summer, so I have to make sure I stay in good shape over the winter!!!!

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 22:53 (101228)

Thanks Carole, I couldn't remember just how the points worked. I know that my sister in law has done very well on the points program. I think she'd lost about 100 pounds at last count.

I don't think people should exercise so that they can drink (or eat)...quite honestly - I have no idea how many calories are in different foods, or how many calories someone should eat in a day. The only thing I can equate calories to is how much the bike tells me I've burned at the gym.

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 11:28 (101248)

If you are peddling at 100rpm you are definitely getting your pulse and body into the fat burning range and I would bet you are correct in that your pulse is in the 130 range (check the number of heart beats you have in 6 seconds and multiply by 10). Does your bike have a tension adustment that gives you an indicator of the tension you have set like from 1-10?. Interval training is great and with our high tech bikes at the club you can just set them on interval and have at it. During my two years in Vietnam I rode a bike the entire time. I really loved riding the bike to work and everywhere including my late night rides to the Officers Club. I even brouhgt my bike home with me but eventually
decided that riding a bike in the states was as dangerous as Vietnam. People throw bottles at you and see how close they can come to you.

My adventure story of the day: There was a motor made for a bike you could self install ($75) made by Whizzer in the late 40's. I installed one on my bike at about age 12. Two of my buddies did the same thing. Going down hill we could approach speeds of 65-75mph. One night we were having a race down a hill at midnight (no lights). A car turned in front of us and I hit him broadside going around 70. Never touched the brakes. Flew across the top of the car and down the highway at least 40 yards. My bike knocked the rear finder off the car and my bike was in small pieces. No helmet no nothing. The driver took me to the hospital and I only had minor abrasiaons from sliding down the road (youth will be served). I got a ticket for speeding, no lights, and no license. The car driver had a new pontiac and got a ticket for no driver's license. I went through two more bikes and big time wrecks and survived. I guess i was destined to be a pilot or race car driver. There were no drugs around during my youth but we had our own way to be crazy..

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 11:30 (101249)

A typical 150 guy doing just average amount of activity should consume around 2200-2500 calories depending on what you do.

A whopper: bad Toffu: good

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/27/02 at 11:43 (101251)

Tofu, blech. A whopper, mmm.

Well, until getting on the scales the next day. :)

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/27/02 at 11:45 (101252)

You got a ticket for doing 70 on your bike? I'll bet you were the envy of all your friends at school. What a status symbol! :)

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/27/02 at 13:47 (101260)

I guess it's no surprise that you went on to become a pilot, judging from some of the pilots I know! You must have driven your parents crazy!

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 18:18 (101283)

Kathy: this should give you great comfort the next time you fly when over the speaker comes the calming voice 'This is you Capitan'! Do know somewher along the way he/she liked living on the edge. Facts are that most airline pilots are ex military pilots. Since it cost over 2 million dollars to fully train a jet pilot the airlines have always acquired most of their pilots from the military. A number of my buddies left after about 10 years in the Air Force to go on and be Captains with the airlines making about 4-5 times more in salary and no one shooting at you.

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/27/02 at 22:48 (101300)

John, most of the bikes at the gym have a heart rate monitor...so I don't even have to count.

If I set one for cardio, it adjusts the tension so that my heart rate always stays around 150.

Those are the good bikes, no thought required.

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/28/02 at 07:27 (101315)

Wendy, that is really cool! :)

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/28/02 at 09:26 (101322)

If you are staying around 150 you are tough!

Re: Thanks

Sharon W on 11/22/02 at 08:27 (100887)

Thank you, Julie!

This is such an important topic, because it has the potential to help nearly everyone in one way or another -- and noone could explain it better than you just did!

Sharon

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Kari B on 11/22/02 at 12:47 (100914)

Julie,
Thank you so so much!!! That was awesome information. I am definitely starting today to implement the breathing and taking little naps as often as I can. I was under the impression that if you can't sleep at night then you shouldn't sleep during the day because it can do more harm to the person not sleeping at night... but after reading this, I got a 'light bulb'.... obviously if I can sleep sometime during the day then it should relieve some of the stress I feel about not being able to sleep which should in turn (hopefully) relieve enough stress to reduce my pain and let me sleep at night! I didn't even think about that before, but it certainly makes sense! So, my plan is to start today with the breathing exercises and pay atttention to my breathing and my body... if my body tells me I can sleep, thats where I am headed. I am lucky in this way as right now I am off work and all my kids are in school... so as long as I am able to pick up my youngest on time then I should be able to sleep anytime I want to! So,again, thank you for the advice! Take care!
Kari

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/22/02 at 15:41 (100921)

Kari

I'm glad you like the idea and glad it's possible for you. I think it makes sense and I hope it will help. Let me know how it goes.

A herbal relaxant tea may help too. And if you know a relaxation technique, it would be a good idea to talk yourself through it, in bed, before you go to sleep.

Re: Thanks

Julie on 11/22/02 at 15:41 (100922)

Thank you, Sharon.

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Jim C. on 11/22/02 at 17:02 (100924)

Hi Julie,

Great post, I have praticed the type of breathing you described for many years, that, coupled with guided imagery and some relaxing music can have a very positive impact, not only on the mind but physicaly!

I couldn't help but relate this to my experience with anti-depresents. I was prescribed paxil when I went through my divorce and have since taken a very low 'maintanence' dose. Admittedly, I have often not taken it regularly. But I did find early on that if I kept up my dosage my feet felt a whole lot better. Perhaps if one takes good care of the mind the feet will follow!

Jim

Re: alcohol

sandy h on 11/22/02 at 18:56 (100938)

Now I'm not suggesting that everyone get plastered, but when I've had a beer or two the pain goes away. But be warned. Don't get carried away and damage yourself as you will still feel it the next day. Is it because alcohol is a relaxant or a pain killer or what?

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/22/02 at 20:43 (100952)

I don't normally drink, but I noticed that too after getting 'plastered' on one glass of wine, which is what happens to me if I drink.

It relaxed me, and dulled the pain. Remember, in the Old West surgeons used to give patients hard liquor before doing surgical procedures since other anesthesias were not generally available.

Another effect that seems to help is that it makes my mind wander and distracts me from pain.

I am glad that you cautioned people to be careful not to damage themselves. Often people have impaired judgement when drinking.

Carole C

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/23/02 at 03:09 (100966)

Good morning, Kari. I hope you got some sleep yesterday.

Here's something simple for you to try in bed to help you get to sleep. It works best if you can lie on your back.

Rest your hands on your lower abdomen. Have your thumbs at navel level and your fingers pointing in a triangle towards your pubic bone. Breathe naturally, and be aware of your breath.

Let your abdomen be soft, and feel its movement: rising gently as you breathe in, sinking gently as you breathe out.

No strain: don't 'push' the breath out or 'pull' it in, just let it come and go, and make sure that you're not cutting your exhalation short: let it complete its journey. Let your inbreath take care of itself: you may find it gets deeper, but don't 'try' to make it deeper.

With each out breath consciously let go of your whole body. Feel it sinking into the bed.

Continue for about ten minutes, or for as long as it's enjoyable (and if you're still awake!)

As I mentioned yesterday, the exhalation is the part of the breathing cycle that relaxes us, helps us to let go. It calms the sympathetic nervous system (the part that prepares us for 'fight or flight') and activates the parasymnpathetic nervous system (the part that lets us know that all is well).

So, watching your breath in this way, you may just drop off naturally and have a more relaxing sleep. But even if that doesn't happen, you'll be increasingly letting go of muscular tension, and that should help with the pain.

Try this for a few days and let me know how you get on.

Re: alcohol

Julie on 11/23/02 at 05:19 (100967)

Alcohol is a relaxant. It is also a depressant. Both effects are due to the fact that it slows down the action of the central nervous system, which is why it dulls pain. Nothing wrong with a unit or two, but the risk of becoming dependent on it as a pain-reliever, for anyone in severe and/or chronic pain, is obvious.

Re: alcohol

Kathy G on 11/23/02 at 07:47 (100975)

Interesting observation, Sandy. And now that we know that a glass of red wine can be so beneficial, a glass would not only help them to relax but also naturally ease their pain. I, however, am allergic to alcohol and become violently ill when I ingest even a small amount. (No torte cakes or the like for me!) But for those who are able, small amounts of alcohol might be a viable option to help them to relax and fall asleep at night with less pain.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

Sharon W on 11/23/02 at 10:18 (100988)

Julie,

Good point, about not becoming dependent on alcohol as a pain reliever.

It is also not a good idea to use as alcohol as a sleeping aid -- it does indeed help one get to sleep, but it also interferes with the normal sleep cycle so that a person awakens feeling rather sluggish, rather than rested. (My husband has sleep apnea and, although he rarely drinks, sleep specialists always warn him about that effect of alcohol on the sleep cycle and then add that alcohol can also make sleep apnea WORSE.)

Sharon

Re: alcohol

john h on 11/23/02 at 11:05 (100992)

Carole: that is what they all say 'I don't normally drink'. You got plastered an dulled yours sense-duh! Your mind wanderd! I bet it did! where you? In some sleezy bar! I gorget my pain also under those conditions but then I have other pain.

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/23/02 at 13:41 (101006)

John, John, John! (giggle) I drink only 1-2 glasses of wine per year, honestly! And, I have not been in a bar for at least 30-35 years. At least, if I have, I don't remember it. :)

You'd believe me if you were around when I drink. NOBODY gets as drunk on one glass of wine as I do.

Carole C

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

wendyn on 11/23/02 at 19:06 (101014)

A friend of mine had a best buddy with very bad sleep apnea. He went out and had a fair bit to drink one night, and he never woke up. (He was in his early 30's)

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

Sharon W on 11/23/02 at 23:35 (101021)

That's SCARY!!

Sharon

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Kari B on 11/24/02 at 00:57 (101024)

Julie,
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I slept great! I did use the breathing like you said, and as I was laying there, I would focus on one part of my body and as I exhaled I would picture that part of my body becoming relaxed... I did this, starting at the top of my head (instead of my feet ) and only made to my neck before I was asleep. That seemed to work well.... I woke about 4 am and did it again to get back to sleep and didn't wake again until 8 am. So today, I am very rested and feeling wonderful. I will try your other method tonight because as I was just reading it, I felt sleepy and could imagine just how relaxing that method would be. Thank you so much!!!! You are wonderful spending your time helping so many of us on the board! Again, thank you and God Bless!
Kari

Re: Tension, stress and pain: breathing, relaxation, meditation

Julie on 11/24/02 at 01:32 (101025)

Kari, I'm delighted to hear that. Thanks for your feedback, and I hope you're having a good day.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep? -- and to dull the psychological pain of pf -- bad news!

nancy s. on 11/24/02 at 10:02 (101036)

i'm glad you mentioned this wendy, awful as it is.

it's worth pointing out too that anyone who is in chronic pain and who is getting depressed over it can also become dependent on alcohol as a way to try to escape the depression. this happens despite the fact that alcohol IS a depressant.

i've been a moderate drinker for much of my adult life -- a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. after a year and a half of pf and the other stuff that came with it for me, and an increasing clinical depression that crept up on me, i graduated to martinis and then slowly started sipping at them earlier in the day in an attempt to anesthetize myself.

i ended up in the hospital for three weeks with a severe major depression. maybe this would have happened anyway, but i'm not at all sure. if i'd done something more constructive about my psychological pain, such as what julie suggested at the beginning of this thread, perhaps the worst of all that could have been avoided.

now i can have my two glasses of wine in the evening again if i want them, but i sure don't recommend alcohol as a route to relieving any kind of pain, physical or psychological.

nancy
.

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep? -- and to dull the psychological pain of pf -- bad news!

Jim C. on 11/24/02 at 14:29 (101043)

Hi,

As a recovering alcoholic, I couldn't help but add my two cents to this thread!

Alcoholism is a devastating disease that has killed millions of people and can have dire consequences for those close to the alcoholic, such as family members and fellow drivers on our nations highways.

Unfortunatly alcoholism, as alot of mental illnesses, is viewed as a lack of will power or as 'a condition of low moral character', not as a disease as it truly is. An alcoholic can be viewed as simply a allergic reaction to alcohol, such as a person allergic to peanuts. An alcoholic has a drink and it has a major negative impact on their behavior and physical well being.

Ironically, the solution is not about will power or trying to control one's drinking but to give up and surrender 'stop trying to control it'! To accept that if you have just one drink the allergic reaction sets in! This can be extremely difficult for most people, not only is there a strong social stigma of being an alcoholic but it is very hard to admit loss of one's mental faculties 'or control', and part of the allergic reaction is a very powerful addictive quality.

I you have ever wondered if you are an alcoholic, you could very well be! After just one or two drinks do you normaly stop?, does it have a effect on you behavior or do things you wouldn't normaly do? Black outs or brown outs? Have you ever embarrassed yourself when drinking?

If your still wondering check out AA in you local phone directory, go to a meeting. Even if you not an alcoholic, the meetings are very educational and fun. Nothing like a room full of sober drunks to liven up the moment!

Jim

Re: Alcoholism test

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 15:57 (101050)

Jim, thanks for an interesting and helpful post!

Gee, now I'm wondering!

I've hardly ever done any drinking, and I always stop after one to two drinks and only do that once a year.

BUT... it does have a big effect on my behavior (and strangely, wine and beer seem to affect my behavior more than hard liquor? I really don't understand that at all).

I don't have black outs or brown outs.

BUT...I would definitely embarrass myself when drinking if I had a glass of wine at a party with people from work, for example, so I restrict my drinking to situations when I don't mind acting stupid. New Year's Eve either alone or with a boyfriend and/or other friends that I know really well has fit the bill most years.

It's not hard for me to say no to alcohol. I just tell people that I don't have anything against their drinking, but that I don't drink usually since my brother is an alcoholic. That shuts them up. :)

It's not hard for me to stop after a glass or two of wine. I start spilling it on the table and pouring it down my shirt! LOL And then I know that's enough for me until next year.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 16:04 (101051)

P.S., I think I'm probably not alcoholic because I don't feel the addictive properties of drinking. I've never felt any craving for alcohol at all.

Carole C

Re: the lucky ones

sandy h on 11/24/02 at 17:18 (101055)

Sounds like you and me are the lucky ones as I always start feeling sick after two or three drinks. That is a good thing surely. It just means your body is working properly and telling you that you are poisoining yourself if you take more.

Re: the lucky ones

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 17:22 (101056)

I think you are right, Sandy. I know I'm really lucky for another reason, because my brother being an alcoholic was like a big WARNING that keeps me from taking alcohol lightly.

Carole C

Re: P.S.

Jim C. on 11/24/02 at 17:49 (101060)

Hi Carole,

By what you have desribed, I don't think so either! There are some people who are very predisposed but never become alcoholic because they simply don't drink. When I went through treatment, there was this sweet little old lady who hadn't had a drink in her life until her husband died...She literaly detroyed her life in a few short years! So be careful!

Alcohol effects people in different ways. For me, I could always handle my booze, my personality changed very little, you would never see me falling down drunk and could stop any time I chose to.(I was very good at quiting I just never stay stopped) As the years past, I found it harder and harder to stop and I was drinking large amounts everyday but still maintained all my responsibiltys. But I could see the symptons progressing, that, along with a perputual hang over, I decided enough was enough and sought out help.
On the other hand, I was the desinated driver for some college aged friends of mine and we ended up at this party. There was this young man who was very drunk, he was loud and boistrous, knocking things over, I was embarrassed for him. He was carrying this bottle of wiskey and dropped it and it broke all over the floor, he started crying and got down and started licking up the broken glass. We had to take him for stitches. Obviously this person had no busines being around alcohol, as it affected him very negatively!
In comparison, I never came close to acting like that in all my years drinking...go figure!

So enjoy your wine, but be very aware that it could become a horrible problem. I will just stick with my diet, caffiene free pepsi's :-)

Jim

Re: P.S.

Carole C in NOLA on 11/24/02 at 21:08 (101068)

Jim, thanks for your wise perspective on all this.

I will be really careful about it. I do have a tendency to think I need something to lean on now and then, but alcohol never seems to come to mind. My battle seems to be with overeating.

I can't imagine that guy licking up broken glass. How embarrassing for him! I've never been quite that bad off, luckily. Once in college I did end up loudly and enthusiastically quoting poetry by Blake and Shelley and carrying on for quite a while about how wonderful various poets were, for quite a while to a few friends who had been drinking wine with me. That was very embarrassing the next day, when they 'innocently' asked me if I liked poetry! They thought it was funny. At that age I normally didn't tell people that I liked poetry, classical music, ballet or opera, because these things were not considered to be especially cool. That's why it was embarrassing for me.

I really do like poetry, classical music, ballet, and opera. It's wonderful to be in my fifties now, old enough so that I really don't give a hoot if anybody knows what is to my taste in music and writing! :)

Carole C

Re: Alcohol to get to sleep?

john h on 11/25/02 at 09:57 (101086)

I went to some of the old time Chiropractors who promised to cure the common cold. They were indeed charlatins. There are still some out there. Having said that you will find Chiropractors on the staff of some prestigeous institutions/hospitals these days. I think there are some with the Texas Back Institute which is one of the more famous back institutes in the world. Like many things you just have to be selective.

Re: Alcoholism test

john h on 11/25/02 at 10:20 (101089)

As a young Air Force pilot we all drank to much and had many wild parties. I could drink 4-5 martinis and keep on ticking. Of course I did not fly this way. By the time I got into my 40's if I were to drink 5 martinis I would be ready for the hospital. I found that if I was happy alcohol wouuld make me even happier but if I was sad alcohol.would make me more sad. I have never found it to be a real pain killer and over the years my tolerance has dwindled to where one martini or two glasses of wine is about it. I think we are predisposed to alcoholism and some people can become addicted with little effort. As long as i thought an ice cold glass of milk was always my favorite drink (add a little overtine) I knew I must me in good shape. I still like my glass of wine on a special occasion will have a martini (shaken not stirred). Hey! I read that glass of red wine is good for the heart and maybe even the soul.

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 11:48 (101098)

I heard that a daily glass of red wine is good for the heart and I heard that it increases life expectancy, too.

Actually this thread is very timely for me. Last week a friend suggested a daily glass of red wine to me for appetite control and I have been mulling this idea of hers over all week. I have been thinking of trying one glass after work every day to see if that would help me not overeat and help me lose more weight.

It's not worth it to me if it turned out to be just trading one excess for another, though, especially since I have seen what alcoholism can do and I want nothing to do with it.

I guess that's why I've been reluctant to try my friend's idea.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/25/02 at 13:18 (101108)

I have no words of advice on this subject, Carole. So many of the posts have struck a chord with me. My two sisters are alcoholics. One pretends the problem doesn't exists, has a wonderful job and drinks herself into oblivion every night. The other has not had a drink for two years and stopped drinking at the time that she finally went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed as Bi-polar. She's doing better and I'm so proud of her for taking her meds regularly and not drinking. The one who's still an alcoholic also has depression problems and I suspect her drinking is a symptom of that disorder.

My family background is loaded with alcholics. My mother's sister, my father's brother, my husband's father. My mother was never actually diagnosed as bi-polar but I think she was and she occasionally had bouts of alcoholism.

When I discovered I got sick from just one drink, I happened to be working for a psychiatrist. I asked him if he thought my physical symptoms were psychological, that maybe deep down I was afraid to drink because of my family history. He said it was a good theory but my symptoms were so clearly those of a person who lacks the enzyme to break down alcohol from its poisonous state, he didn't know. Besides, I was nineteen years old, going to college and naturally wanted to drink like everyone else! I also used to get sick from cough syrup back in the old days when it had alcohol in it.

I consider it a blessing that I have my own built-in Antibuse and have never missed not drinking. I eat grapes and hope I get some of the benefits associated with red wine!

Re: alcohol

Nancy N on 11/25/02 at 16:05 (101125)

Carole--

I was going to challenge you on your claim that nobody could get as drunk as you on a glass of wine, but I'm not sure that I would actually get drunk. No, a glass of wine renders me 'the person sleeping in the corner,' long before I have a chance to get drunk!

Re: A glass of red wine

Julie on 11/25/02 at 16:37 (101128)

Carole, in my experience alcohol in any quantity makes me throw caution to the winds and care less about the amount of food I eat. I am much more likely to overeat if I drink, even one glass, and much more likely to maintain control and eat sensibly if I don't.

Re: alcohol

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:48 (101129)

Nancy, you crack me up! Somebody is missing out on a great party by not inviting me and you and providing wine. While you slept in the corner, I could spout poetry! They could sell tickets to the side show. :)

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:54 (101130)

That's interesting! I thought it might calm me and lessen the desire to munch. I would try it and find out, but the more I read in this thread the more I'm thinking that I would be foolish to tempt fate by drinking regularly.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/25/02 at 16:57 (101131)

Kathy, I have read your post several times and with alcoholism being genetic, and so much of it in your family, I just thank heaven that you haven't been able to drink at all. You are right; it is truly a blessing.

Grapes are great! And, who knows. Maybe they are just as good. :)

Carole C

Re: alcohol

Nancy N on 11/25/02 at 17:09 (101132)

Oh, Carole, you don't know the half of it! It's well known among most of my friends that I have a non-existent tolerance. This is why I've never experienced drunkenness, because I'd be too tired and zonk first. Also, I'm not wild about wine and can't stand beer. Now, talk to me about a white russian and that's another story! But again, it's also wipe-out time. I went to NYC last month with some friends for my birthday and got a white russian at dinner. This was a serious drink, especially for me. The friend who ordered it for me had to leave before he saw the results, namely me trying desperately to stay awake on the train coming home. The rest of my friends had a great time laughing at me and saying 'What were you thinking???!' One even swore at me in newly-learned Russian, calling me a total s---head!

So yes, you and I would be a great sideshow act. John can sell the tickets, he would enjoy that the most, I think!

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/25/02 at 21:49 (101153)

I always heard that wine was supposed to increase one's appetite but I have no idea if that's an old wives' tale or not. If I were you, I'd try a larger salad! Maybe with wine vinegar and oil dressing??:)

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/25/02 at 22:26 (101158)

I would not use alcohol as any part of any weight loss program.

It's empty calories. (and quite a few of them from what I understand)

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 06:21 (101168)

One glass of wine is only two weight watchers points, so that would make it about 100 calories.

Reasons for overeating can be so complex. If my overeating were due to emotional overeating, I can see how a glass of wine might not help.

I do think it might be of some assistance for nervous overeating. Sometimes at the end of a work day, I'm pretty wound up. That's the most 'dangerous' time of day for my weight loss efforts. When I come home from work it's not time for dinner and sometimes I'm bouncing off walls.

Nervous overeating will probably be less of a problem for me than bored overeating once I retire, but that is many years off since I need to pay off my house first.

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 07:29 (101173)

Carole, how many calories in beer - do you know?

I suppose 100 calories in wine isn't that much, but about 20 minutes on the bike only burns around 150 (I think).

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 07:43 (101174)

Wendy, I don't usually drink beer so I don't know; it's probably on the label (isn't that required in the U.S. by the FDA?)

You're right; 100 calories isn't much. I just had a couple of boiled eggs for breakfast and that was more caloric than a glass of wine (but more nutritious, too).

I guess I'd have to bike that much longer to burn up the calories from my two boiled eggs than I would to burn up the calories from a glass of wine. I'm not sure what the point of that is, though, except that the direct calorie burning benefits from exercise are pretty trivial compared with the other benefits.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 10:14 (101179)

I think any alcohol wine or otherwise that lowers our inhibitions will make you throw caution to the wind and munch much more. I also think their is scientific evidence that alcoholism can be an inheirited trait. I still like a glass of red wine when dinning out. Science has identified the substance in red wine that is good for the heart (in moderation).

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 10:16 (101180)

Wendy a Miller Light is less than a coke. I think around 98 cals. Your Moulson is another story.

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 20:15 (101214)

I checked today and the bike read 250 calories after 25 minutes...so I guess it burns more than I thought (that was moderate biking).

I guess the point being _empty_ calories in wine. If I was trying to watch my weight, I think it would be the first think I'd give up.

Doesn't weight watchers only allow something like 15 points in a day (it's been a while since I've heard anyone talking about it).

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/26/02 at 21:26 (101219)

you must have been moving along rather well Wendy. Walking a mile in 15 minutes is about 120 cals for the average guy probably 100 cal for someone your size. Do you know what pulse rate you maintained. Guessing at your age you probably need a pulse rate of around 120-125 to be in the fat burning range. When I could run I had a watch that gave me my pulse reading. On a steep hill I would get into the 160-170 range and on a stairmaster at level 10 I could go for 45 minutes and keep the pulse over 140. All this has past with PF. Now I am just happy to bike and stay over 125. I often wonder what kind of pulse rate the athletes in the Iron Man are maintaining. I noticed at least two over 80 years of age this year in Hawaii. What kind of shape they must be in. I could not row a boat as far as they swim.. .

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 22:11 (101224)

No, Wendy... Weight Watchers points depend on how much you weigh. You can eat 35 points if you're 300 pounds, 33 points if you're 250 pounds, 29 points if you're 200 pounds, and 23 points if you're 150 pounds or less and still stay in your points range.

Two points probably are not enough to stay awake worrying about, even for those who are just a couple of pounds over their goal; there are plenty of points left in the day to get in the nutrition you need.

It could be argued that the reason wine and beer have the reputation of being fattening is that so many people will not stop at one glass, and instead will drink maybe five glasses or so. That could be more of a problem if a person did that day after day.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/26/02 at 22:17 (101225)

The weight watchers exercise tool tells me that a 150 pound man would have to exercise for 13 minutes at high intensity, or 31 minutes at medium intensity, to work off two points. That seems about the same as John's values, more or less.

As Weight Watchers points out, exercise is not something you do so that you can overeat. It has other benefits.

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 22:49 (101226)

This bike didn't have a heart monitor (so I'm not entirely sure how it calculates calories burned - I guess just by rpm and level. I tend to average around 100 rpm). Judging by effort exerted, I would guess that I worked at a heart rate around 130 bpm for 25 minutes, pushing up to 150 to 160 at one minute intervals about 10 times.

According to the bike computer, for someone my age I need to be at 122 for fat burning, 150 for cardio. I was talking to one of my 'super fit' friends at the gym recently (he's a marathon/triathlete etc). He suggested not hanging around the fat burning range, but doing the interval training instead...pushing up to the 150 to 160 zone throughout the work out.

It's considerably less boring than sitting at 122. I want to ride my bike to work more often next summer, so I have to make sure I stay in good shape over the winter!!!!

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/26/02 at 22:53 (101228)

Thanks Carole, I couldn't remember just how the points worked. I know that my sister in law has done very well on the points program. I think she'd lost about 100 pounds at last count.

I don't think people should exercise so that they can drink (or eat)...quite honestly - I have no idea how many calories are in different foods, or how many calories someone should eat in a day. The only thing I can equate calories to is how much the bike tells me I've burned at the gym.

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 11:28 (101248)

If you are peddling at 100rpm you are definitely getting your pulse and body into the fat burning range and I would bet you are correct in that your pulse is in the 130 range (check the number of heart beats you have in 6 seconds and multiply by 10). Does your bike have a tension adustment that gives you an indicator of the tension you have set like from 1-10?. Interval training is great and with our high tech bikes at the club you can just set them on interval and have at it. During my two years in Vietnam I rode a bike the entire time. I really loved riding the bike to work and everywhere including my late night rides to the Officers Club. I even brouhgt my bike home with me but eventually
decided that riding a bike in the states was as dangerous as Vietnam. People throw bottles at you and see how close they can come to you.

My adventure story of the day: There was a motor made for a bike you could self install ($75) made by Whizzer in the late 40's. I installed one on my bike at about age 12. Two of my buddies did the same thing. Going down hill we could approach speeds of 65-75mph. One night we were having a race down a hill at midnight (no lights). A car turned in front of us and I hit him broadside going around 70. Never touched the brakes. Flew across the top of the car and down the highway at least 40 yards. My bike knocked the rear finder off the car and my bike was in small pieces. No helmet no nothing. The driver took me to the hospital and I only had minor abrasiaons from sliding down the road (youth will be served). I got a ticket for speeding, no lights, and no license. The car driver had a new pontiac and got a ticket for no driver's license. I went through two more bikes and big time wrecks and survived. I guess i was destined to be a pilot or race car driver. There were no drugs around during my youth but we had our own way to be crazy..

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 11:30 (101249)

A typical 150 guy doing just average amount of activity should consume around 2200-2500 calories depending on what you do.

A whopper: bad Toffu: good

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/27/02 at 11:43 (101251)

Tofu, blech. A whopper, mmm.

Well, until getting on the scales the next day. :)

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/27/02 at 11:45 (101252)

You got a ticket for doing 70 on your bike? I'll bet you were the envy of all your friends at school. What a status symbol! :)

Carole C

Re: A glass of red wine

Kathy G on 11/27/02 at 13:47 (101260)

I guess it's no surprise that you went on to become a pilot, judging from some of the pilots I know! You must have driven your parents crazy!

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/27/02 at 18:18 (101283)

Kathy: this should give you great comfort the next time you fly when over the speaker comes the calming voice 'This is you Capitan'! Do know somewher along the way he/she liked living on the edge. Facts are that most airline pilots are ex military pilots. Since it cost over 2 million dollars to fully train a jet pilot the airlines have always acquired most of their pilots from the military. A number of my buddies left after about 10 years in the Air Force to go on and be Captains with the airlines making about 4-5 times more in salary and no one shooting at you.

Re: A glass of red wine

wendyn on 11/27/02 at 22:48 (101300)

John, most of the bikes at the gym have a heart rate monitor...so I don't even have to count.

If I set one for cardio, it adjusts the tension so that my heart rate always stays around 150.

Those are the good bikes, no thought required.

Re: A glass of red wine

Carole C in NOLA on 11/28/02 at 07:27 (101315)

Wendy, that is really cool! :)

Carole

Re: A glass of red wine

john h on 11/28/02 at 09:26 (101322)

If you are staying around 150 you are tough!