It felt like #DryJanuary was all the rage this year. Maybe it’s always a thing, but this year is the one where I noticed it, and also the year I decided to drag Shawn into doing it with me. Over the course of the month I’ve tried to pay attention to things happening inside my body, as well as around me, to see if there were any changes.
Before I dive in, I must confess that we did have a celebratory drink on Shawn’s birthday. However, we were realistic when we set the goal of dry January in the first place, and built that night into our overall plan. (If you recognized that idea from a previous blog of mine, GOLD STAR for you!)
*Disclaimer:* The benefits you’ll see from not drinking will definitely vary by how much and how often you drink! (Also, I feel inclined to say that if you drink SUPER heavily, talk to a profesh before stopping cold turkey, as this can be dangerous!)
Below are a few things I’ve noticed over the last couple weeks:
Your problems don’t go away.
I tend to wonder if anything would be different if I never drank anything, period. This is especially prominent after a weekend where it seems like every event we go to includes alcohol (weddings, holidays, going on vacation…or doing all of those things back to back!)
I build it up in my head to be this fantasy land where everything is prettier, shinier, and easier. “I’ll be happier! I’ll have more energy! I’ll be more productive!” Well, Dry January showed me that there are still crappy days, and there are still amazing days! It’s just, on the crappy days, you can’t have a glass of wine to take the edge off.
This is good, because you can practice regulating your emotions, but also frustrating...because you have to practice regulating your emotions. (This is a joke, you should always try to regulate your emotions on your own instead of turning to a substance to help!)
My skin looks AMAZING.
For real. My bags are less baggy, my skin feels tight and hydrated, and there’s less redness. It’s a sad reality that even a couple of adult beverages on a weekend can wreck your skin. NOT FAIR.
I look forward to food
…but not just in the regular way. I’m talkin’, I LIVE for good meals on the weekends. Instead of wanting a glass of Pinot to wind down on a Friday, I’m eyeing Margherita pizzas and becoming best friends with the Pho guys around the corner.
It’s also led to us being more inventive in the kitchen. For example, one night we made chicken cordon bleu (LOL, it was DELICIOUS), and as I type this Shawn is making some sort of concoction with Israeli couscous, shallots, and… I think I just heard him say peanut butter?…I better go check on him.
Other than the above points, everything else has pretty much stayed the same. I realize this has only been 30 days, and if we did it for longer we would see other benefits, like saving money, having more energy, meeting our fitness goals, etc.
I’ll still take that Pinot…
Will I drink again? Yes. I enjoy wine. I enjoy cocktails with friends. In fact, I probably will get a cocktail this weekend when Shawn and I go to Harry Potter World. (!!!!!!!) In the end, though, I’m glad we did it. It felt good to give my body rest, and accomplishing goals is always good for the ole’ self-esteem.
Am I a different person? No. Do I have more motivation? Not particularly. Does the skin on my face look like that of a toddler? YAS HUNNY!
Honestly, the whole ordeal reminded me that moderation and balance is really the key to most things in life, whether it be alcohol, exercise or Pho consumption. You gotta live your life, but you gotta be doing so with your physical and mental health in mind first.