January 3, 2011

Dry January

From the Seattle Times article A Good Time to Dry Up by Nicole Brodeur
Nothing awful happened.
No near-misses or massive hangovers. No things I couldn't remember saying, or shouldn't have said at all.
I'd just like to have a Dry January. Not a drop of wine or beer. Not a single martini or glass of wine with dinner...
I'm not sure how it settled into my head. I have friends who have lost and won battles with the bottle, and there have been times when I have lost count of my cocktails.
It's just that my mind has been pausing on words like "exfoliate" and "vinyasa." I'm turning 50 in a few months, and thinking a lot about aging well. A clear head seems like a good place to start.
My friend, Kerri Harrop, has been having a Dry January for six or seven years...
The first week is always tough, Harrop said, because it forces you to see how much and how often you drink. Wine with dinner. Cocktails with friends. It adds up.
What's hardest is the urging of your peers to have a drink.
"They get so unsettled by you, they almost take offense," Harrop said.
As a result, she said, you will "instantly" lose weight. ("Ten pounds in booze, easy.")
...It also encourages the self-control required, he said, and the sense of achievement that can carry you through the year.
...One guy said he might try a Dry February, rather than January. February, he pointed out, has three fewer days.
But Harrop says stick with January, a quiet time for taking stock of what's ahead.
"I love Dry January; it's a real good thing," she said. "You sleep better, you wake up fresh, your mind is sharper, your jeans aren't so tight.
I have given up drinking for Lent a few times. Like the woman in the article, nothing specific happened then or now, but I like to take a break from drinking now and then, mostly to make sure that I can. I do remember that it was difficult at times, particularly in social situations. but enlightening and worthwhile.

So I am on board for Dry January this year. Well, a nearly dry January. I am allowing myself a visit to the beer garden after my marathon on the 23rd.

It is good to have a gut check once in a while, and I could definitely use the help in losing the pounds I put on during the last two weeks of indulgence. And the discipline habit might help me achieve my other New Year's goals.