It’s the 29th December and today is the first day in approximately two weeks when I haven’t had a drink. That really does sound like the opening line to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The thought of raising another glass of prosecco to my lips is quite stomach churning. Christmas, you’ve beaten me. I’m done. So it may come as a surprise that I’m not partaking in dry January.
For the last couple of years I’ve felt the same at the end of December; completely fed up with feeling hung over, tired and like a furred up kettle on the inside. I also know a handful of friends that have done dry January and love the effects it’s had on their bodies and minds but 2017 is not my year; I’m not going to do it, not because I can’t but because I don’t want to.
During the month of January I already have a few events in my diary where I know that I’ll want to have a drink: a black tie dinner, a close friend’s birthday and numerous catch-up meals with friends who I haven’t seen for a while. I can sit here, one day alcohol free and say that I won’t drink at those events; that I’ll abstain and feel all the better for it, but the truth is, I won’t. Because of this I’m doing a damp January instead. I’m going to avoid drinking during the week and cut back on alcohol as much as possible, but at the weekend I’ll allow myself a drink if I feel like it. On those occasions though, I’m going to limit my intake to just two glasses.
The reason I’m opting for a damp January is because it’s achievable and therefore I’m likely to see better results. If I go into January all dry-guns-blazing then I’m going to fall at the first hurdle and likely drink as much as I normally would. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a controlled drinker and my binge-drinking days are (largely) behind me but I want to set a new lifestyle habit, become healthier, sleep better, work out more and lose weight in the process. By embarking on a damp January, I’m hoping that February, March and beyond will also be a little less wet.
So let’s raise a glass to a healthier 2017; albeit a glass of soda and lime because it’s a Wednesday and I do have some modicum of self-control.