7 Things I gained from Dry January-and why I might not wait a whole year to do it again.

Hi! Happy Late New Year! I hope this year has been nothing short of amazing and goal crushing as we hoped it to be a month ago. Is everyone still on track with their New Year’s resolutions and intentions? If at this point you still are sticking to them, Congratulations. You are part of the small percentage that is still going Strong.

One of my most important short-term goals that I had on my mind for recent years has always been to complete a whole month of no alcohol- aka Dry January. Every year I set my mind to it at the beginning of the month, then end up forgetting about it as I finish my 3rd margarita halfway through the second week. So how did I follow through with it this year? What was different this year from the other years was my new mindset on my health. For many years and mostly all throughout my 20’s, I fell into the “It’s been a long week. I need a drink”, “The kids drove me crazy this week, I need a drink”. Not that I was a regular throughout the week drinker, but it was something that became somewhat of a habit on Friday nights. 2 or 3 drinks at home to celebrate the end of week while late-night binge-watching Netflix. Those occasional 2 or 3 drinks would cause me to not be my best self the following day. I want to share with you the changes I documented that I noticed both physically and mentally and how cool it was to see myself evolve.

I saved Money.

Surprisingly, I saved money. I never even thought about this but drinking alcohol can add up! I never realized how much additional money we spend eating out because of drinks. Like we can pretty much grocery shop with that money spent on drinks if I added up a month’s totals. Eating out is already expensive as it is but add 2 or 3 alcoholic drinks at around 16 dollars each and that’s already an extra 48 dollars on top of your bill per person. Multiply that by 2- or 3-times a month and that can come out to over $100.00 dollars on a couple of drinks. It felt nice to have those extra funds in my pocket.

My bloating went down, my face puffiness went away, and I lost inches on my waist-

Beer, Margaritas and Palomas are my go-to for drinks, but they also unfortunately make me feel and look very bloated after I drink them. After the second week of no alcohol, I felt leaner, and lighter and my jeans fit looser at the waist. I tend to overeat when I am drinking and by not drinking, I did not eat more than I needed too, and I was able to lose some pounds as well this month.

I CRUSHED my Saturday morning workouts.

This is one of the main reasons I really wanted to try Dry January. I always try to get in a workout on weekend mornings but when I was having a couple drinks the night before I was waking up unmotivated to work out in the morning and having a lousy workout later that day. I would dread getting it done because I wasn’t feeling myself. During January, I woke up at my regular early time and I dived into my workout feeling strong and full of energy. I gave it my all, then I had the rest of the day to run my Saturday errands or lounge around.

I was more present-

Going back to another reason why I wanted to complete dry January- I was tired of not giving my best version on the weekends. Maybe it is my age, or that I have 3 kids so I don’t get a break but long gone are the days where I could have drinks and not feel gross the next day. Now I have two drinks and wake up with a puffy faced, with swollen eyes and feeling like I partied all night. Being alcohol free allowed me to wake up with so much energy to start my day started. I was waking up hungry for healthy nutritious food, thirsty for water and ready to tackle my morning before the rest of the house got up. My productivity improved and I was noticing less of a brain fog that I would after drinking. My mornings are already early ones but now I don’t just lounge on my couch waiting for the coffee to kick in. I was noticing that I wasn’t dragging because I had a headache or felt lazy or sick. I was ready to tire my kids out.

Better Sleep-

My sleeping has been so good! It started to regulate around end of the second week of January. My body has naturally adjusted to a sleeping schedule, and I don’t even sleep any longer than before. If anything, I sleep less but wake up more refreshed and no desire to get back in bed at all in the mornings.

Drank More Water-

Not drinking any alcohol made me thirsty and I wasn’t going to be reaching out for sugary drinks, so I reached out to water. I started drinking even more water than before and it made me feel GOOD. Food digestion became better, and I this of course helped with the bloating.

I liked it.

I genuinely LIKED choosing not to drink. Who is to say one can’t go voluntarily without drinking for a long period of time? Or that one has to be pregnant to not, sick or on a diet? Why would it be so weird to go out and choose water or an iced tea over a cup of alcohol and not have people think its lame? There is so many other benefits that come with it like better skin, improved eye heath, less acid reflux and the list goes ON And ON.

Lastly – I just want to say drinking is still soooo much fun (In moderation, of course). I am usually and before this January accomplishment, never one to turn down a drink but now I will consider it more of a treat. I would definitely want to try another dry month later this year and I encourage you to give it a try if you’ve ever wanted to attempt it. You’ll be AMAZED at the small changes that can happen in a month. No need to wait until next January! Find a friend and join the challenge.

Have a great rest of your week and let me know in the comments if you have or would want to try a ” Dry Month”

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