What I Learned From Doing Dry January?Categories Wellness
From time to time, I like to examine my habits. Why am I doing something? Is it really in my best interest or am I just doing it because I’ve been doing it? So when A & I toyed with the idea of fasting alcohol for the month of January, I was immediately on board. Originally, the idea was to add in more juices & teas but my pesky stomach issues made it a challenge.
Do I do dry January every year? Nope. To be honest, until this last year I typically didn’t have more than one drink a month. It just wasn’t something I felt the need to spend money on. But with a month of no alcohol behind me, I’ve learned a bit about my habits and I’m ready to make some new ones.
Why Fasting Alcohol?
Growing up, I wasn’t ever a partier or drinker. Alcoholism runs in my family and I’ve never felt the need to test those boundaries. But over the last year, I’ve let myself slip into the social habits of having more than one glass of wine. And instead of cutting myself off earlier, I found I was drinking more due to lack of mindfulness than anything. Fasting alcohol was a good reset and something I honestly didn’t find too difficult.
I was drinking out of habit
Last year was a mix weddings, showers and so many other social events. And while I do enjoy a glass of wine, I think it became more of a habit than anything else. When one of my friends became pregnant, we started discussing how much you don’t miss the wine as much as the habit of having wine with your cheese & crackers. My habits were one of two things: splitting a bottle of wine with a friend at dinner or having a fun drink at a new restaurant. None of these habits are bad but if you don’t keep them in check, they can add up after a while.
I DIDN’T TRULY APPRECIATE IT
I think like any indulgence, you don’t really appreciate it as much if you have it all the time. Instead of having a really awesome margarita or a well chosen cocktail, it’s easy to just order the usual. Going forward, my goal is to be a bit more selective with when I choose to have an alcoholic beverage. When we went to Ollie Irene last year, our waiter was amazing at suggesting pairs for our meals. I’d love to get back to that place where when I’m enjoying something a bit more gourmet, I take in recommendations. It will give me the chance to appreciate each drink more.
I’M MORE THAN FINE WITHOUT ALCOHOL
Now that we’re a few days into February and onto our next fast, I can easily say ditching alcohol was probably one of the easier choices. I’ll happily have a glass of kombucha or a cup of tea instead. And I haven’t exactly been itching to have a drink again. I’ve worked really hard to make sure I respect alcohol as the drug it can be and I hope I always do. But I can just as easily sip on a glass of sparkling water with some fresh lime as I could a moscow mule. And I’m incredibly thankful.
DRINKING IS EXPENSIVE
In case you’ve forgotten, alcohol isn’t cheap. Honestly, if you drink regularly and want to save money, I’d highly recommend fasting alcohol for a while. I think I’d forgotten how much cheaper my bill was when I didn’t drink. And fasting alcohol was the motivator I needed to help me save money this year. Just think about all the shoes you could buy or trips you could take!
SO WHAT NOW?
Over the years, I’ve read a lot of the articles when people have given up alcohol. Some lost weight and others ended up just deciding to quite for good. For me, it’s more about scaling back for my own financial and physical wellbeing. Will I have a glass of prosecco occasionally? Probably. But I think my days of ordering a glass of wine regularly are on hold. I’ve seen the difference alcohol makes on my body, particularly with causing inflammation, and I know the best thing I can do for my health is to step back. I always say it’s about building a healthy lifestyle one step at a time. And sometimes you have to step back to realize you need to change a habit. Fasting alcohol helped me do just that.
PS. If you’d like to join in on the monthly fast, we are fasting coffee for February. Come follow along on insta to see what we are fasting each month.
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