Dry January: giving up ALL alcoholic beverages for a full month. Why the heck would anyone do this? Supposedly this trend got started about five years ago when a company in the UK thought it would be healthy for its employees – a way to ‘detox/cleanse’ your system especially after the over indulgent holidays. It caught on like wildfire and repeats every year, though who knows how many people make it through the whole month…Why did I decide to do it? A few reasons:
1. I love a challenge, I love pushing my comfort zone to try/learn something new.
2. My grand-father (Ginger’s father) was a severe alcoholic who actually died from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 47. Because I enjoy wine/cocktails so much there was always an underlying concern within me – do I have a problem?? Could I easily stop?
3. At least five pounds creeped up on me over the year, and I saw this as an opportunity to lose some weight.
Having made the decision to do this, I was determined to be just as much fun and not bow out of any social invitations. Peter was not participating in this, which made it even more interesting!
- Did I make it through the whole month? You bet your ass I did!
- Did I ever cheat? No, not one sip.
- Was it hard, was I craving a drink? Considering I usually drank 4-5 nights/week, it was remarkably easy and I was not ‘dying’ for a drink.
- Did I avoid bars? Not at all. Peter and I met friends for dinner on multiple occasions, I sat at bars for dinner when away on business, I even went to a concert at a bar in Cambridge.
All in all, this was a positive experience. I am very glad that I did it and would highly recommend it. (And who says it has to be January?) While I have always slept well and had plenty of energy, this took me to the next level of feeling fabulous all the time. By the end of the month, yeah, I was counting down the days to February, but no way was I going cheat!
MY SECRET TO SUCCESS: I fooled myself into thinking I was drinking a glass of sparkling rose. No joke. Being a very visual person, this worked for me – I would order “club soda in a wine glass – no ice – with a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice – no straw – no lime”. I would hold the glass and sip it as if it were wine. Holding the wine glass satisfied me! Once a friend who met us for dinner and arrived after I ordered my drink thought I was drinking wine all night. 😉
WEIGHT LOSS: Hooray! I dropped 6 pounds! Truth be told, it was not only stopping alcohol, I also cut way back on carbs of all types.
NOW THAT IT’S FEBRUARY: No, I am not giving up alcohol, but after this experience I will definitely be drinking less. I have learned how much better I feel without it, and I certainly like how it contributed to me getting in better shape.