Dry January – The Aftermath


First off I want to say a big thank you to everyone who sponsored me for Dry January. I didn’t quite hit my target but I did raise £103 for Dementia UK – you can still donate if you’re feeling generous!

So it’s officially February and I have completed the Dry January Challenge – hoorah! It’s truly amazing what a month of not drinking does to you. Whilst I spent most of it with this horrible, malingering cold, I did still feel the benefit of feeling mentally sharper, less bloated and ended the month with a few extra pounds in the bank.

I didn’t think that I would struggle over January but as a habitual drinker I didn’t think I would find it so easy. The worse part of it was having to think about what to drink when out or over the weekend when it’s customary to cwtch up with a glass of red and a takeaway. That and finding activities to take part in the didn’t involve drinking (or sport!).

The money aspect was probably my favorite part of the experience. I found that because I wasn’t buying wine I didn’t need to go to the supermarket. Now, I’m one of those people whose a marketers dream. I pop in to a supermarket for a bottle of wine or to get something for tea and come out considerably poorer, with things that I don’t need.
Since I still needed to buy food (I’m rubbish at getting organised and doing weekly/monthly shops) I turned to my local shops! So as well as giving my liver and purse a bit of a rest I also helped support my local community (if anyone needs me this weekend I’ll be at home, polishing my halo).

Losing weight is also another good factor to consider when giving up booze. I failed on that score as anyone who tuned in to my audio diary on BBC Radio Wales will know. Over the month I managed to finish off the Christmas chocolates and found a new appreciation for hot chocolate. But I did feel less bloated…I never really realised how bloated alcohol made me until about a week in when the difference was VERY clear, I felt great and my clothes fitted better.

Overall the month was pretty easy. I AM looking forward to settling down tonight with a cold glass of wine and a meal sourced from my local shops but on the whole I think I will be cutting right back on the amount of alcohol I consume. Not only in the week but on the weekend too. I’ll also be keeping my new found habit of shunning the supermarket in favour of smaller, local stores.

Now it’s time to quit the hot choccy and start the post Christmas diet!

I kept an audioboo diary which you can hear here: audioboo.fm/rachaelphillips