Retrospection on Dry January

These days all I want to do is drink wine! I polished off four bottles in the last week alone, and even for me that's a bit too much. While anything in moderation is good, my problem is that I can't stop at one glass.

Yesterday when I woke up with yet another hangover, I started thinking about my experiences with doing Dry January earlier this year.

I had two weeks off for the holidays and I was hoping to accomplish some projects that had been on my list for a while. Unfortunately, I found that I had a hangover most of the time and zero incentive to get started on anything. I realized that drinking had a lot to do with my lackadaisical attitude. I wasn't just having one glass of wine at home, I was having a couple. And forget about when I went out or had friends over - it was easy to have multiple bottles in one sitting! At that point, I decided to do my version of Dry January - most days, I did refrain from drinking. There were times however, when I went out for dinner (oh those were the days!) and instead of resenting not being able to drink, I stuck to one glass of wine. It wasn't easy. There were times when I was sick and tired of my alternatives - sparkling water, caffeine-free tea or decaffeinated coffee (which tastes AWFUL.) I found I was bored when I wasn't drinking and that took some adjusting to. I joined a DJ Facebook group for support and downloaded a drinking app (yes, they exist!) I did make it through the month with minimal drinking and stress and I felt great! There were so many perks to moderating my alcoholic intake:

  • Money saved. While this is not a current problem because of social distancing, I saved a lot of money not drinking. A good glass of wine is at least $10 when you go out and that adds up. Throw in an Uber ride back and forth and it's not beyond reason that you save yourself at least $40 in one night. Never drink and drive.

  • Motivation. I woke up clear headed. It was easier to face my day and any projects on my to do list. Another plus was I could roll out of bed and go straight on a walk with my dogs instead of lying in and grabbing my laptop to watch Netflix, nursing a wine induced headache.

  • Happiness. Yes, I think I was happier when I moderated my drinking. My productivity was higher, so I didn't feel like I was letting things fall through the cracks. I was working out more so my endorphins were happy.

  • No bloat! This effect should not have been surprising to me but it was! I realized my face was puffy because of drinking, but I didn't realize how it was affecting the rest of my body. Three weeks after moderating drinking my stomach was flat and I was fitting into clothes that I had stuck in the back of my closet for a few years. Check out the picture!

So fast forward to today. It's Friday, March 27th and I'm bored with my daily life. We're practicing social isolation and I'm on my computer most of the day, working on Compete2Beat, taking an online Italian class, tackling small projects and counting down the hours till 5 PM when it's rationally acceptable to drink, and drinking for the rest of the evening. Not enough to get drunk, but enough to feel run down and tired the next morning, zero motivation, and an expanding torso. Now is a great time to take advantage of tackling all those home projects which in the past were low in priority, but should be done. It's a good time to get into shape by making healthy home cooked meals and exercising. It's a great time to evaluate life goals and make them happen. A really good start for me, is to drink less alcohol!

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