Tag Archives: going sober

I Tried It: Dry January

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Have you ever done a dry January?

After a heavy November and December, I decided that I needed to give my body a break and get on the wagon for a month. And what better month than January, when everyone’s skint, partied out and needing a bit more time at home.

I also needed to regulate my relationship with alcohol. It’s easy, especially with the UK drinking culture and in a hectic city like London, to use alcohol to relax and let a quick drink after work turn into 3 or 4. Knowing everything I know about the effects alcohol has on the body, it was time to put all of my knowledge into practice for myself.  Alcohol is a tricky one for the body – it depletes your B vitamins, which can lead to anxiety and depression, it puts stress on your liver and diverts it from other, more important functions and it can lead to weight gain, poor sleep, spotty skin and dehydration. I decided it was time to take the advice I give to clients in clinic and get a grip on my alcohol intake.

On New Year’s Eve, I drained my last glass of champagne and rang in the new year, ready to kick booze to the curb for a while.

The first few days were hard. No glass of wine at lunch, no cold and crisp G&T while watching TV on the sofa in the evenings. But this was where the foundations for all the hard work of the next month started – breaking the little habits that I had developed and putting better ones in place.

I replaced my red wine and G&Ts with lots of warming cinnamon tea in the evening and sparkling water at lunchtimes. I asked M not to offer me any drinks (except tea or water) in the evenings. I talked about my dry January with my mates, so they knew what I was doing and changed plans to lunch and coffee dates, rather than evening meals, so I wouldn’t be tempted.

By weeks 2 and 3, I started to get in the groove and was enjoying waking up without a hangover and fuzzy brain. My skin was clearer and my jeans a little looser. And the biggest plus? My anxiety levels rapidly decreased.

Last Tuesday 31st January felt great. 31 days without alcohol, a clearer head, deeper sleep at night, more money in my bank account and less anxiety. I decided to carry on through to the end of February, as I have a big nutrition exam at the beginning of March and need all the focus I can get.

What comes after that? I’m not sure. I’d love to be able to get to a place that where I can have one drink and have that be enough. Any advice?

Stories I loved this week.

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Have you read Zadie Smith’s new novel, Swing Time yet? I’ve started it and am loving it so far. I’ve enjoyed all the publicity she’s been doing around the novel, including this interview with Lena Dunham and the Proust Questionnaire in Vanity Fair.

We all need this reminder, post Brexit and US election – how to argue fairly.

I loved these tips for hosting a festive dinner in a small space with not a lot of money. Pot lucks are very underrated!

If you’re like me, seeing what’s happening in the world is putting a fire in your belly and now you’re wondering how to direct it. This is a nice piece on simple things everyone can do to make a difference. Call / write your MP and elected representative! I do this a lot and it really does help – promise!

How to navigate a mid-life creative detour.

This recipe for fruit roll-ups looks great. An easy way to get lots of phytonutrients in.

I loved this profile of Jessica Koslow and her restaurant Squirl – her passion for food is infectious.

4 women talk about going sober for a year.