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Gwen’s January Challenge: Dryanuary

My challenge this month was taking on Dryanuary: aka zero alcoholic drinks in the month of January.

The intention behind this challenge was to live healthier, as well as trying to save a few dollars that I would’ve otherwise spent on alcohol.

My original plan was to put a coin or a post it note in a jar every time I thought about drinking to be able to track how much money I saved. I quickly realized that this system would be unsustainable for me as I was travelling quite a bit and knew I’d forget, so I cut myself some slack there and purely focused on not drinking.

Here is a glimpse at my experience:

The Beginning: I honestly felt exhausted the first week. I was definitely detoxing from alcohol, but also from excessive eating and sugar over the holidays. It was also the first week back to work which always take a bit of energy (I mean, way more than sitting on the couch). There were a couple of opportunities to drink that week. The first and perhaps hardest time was the day after I got back from a trip to NYC. I was pretty exhausted, and my go-to when I don’t have plans on Saturday night would be to chill out with a glass of wine. Well, no wine this time – I got kombucha instead. The second week I had SEVERAL great opportunities to drink (while out for dinner with a guy friend and a girls’ night at a beautiful Italian restaurant).

The Middle: I started to gain confidence. I no longer craved alcohol, but started to lean on sugar as my go-to when life got a bit stressful. Replacing alcohol with donuts totally defeats the health purpose. There were surprisingly fewer opportunities to drink in the middle of the month. Though there was one night where I was celebrating with my ex-co-workers at a local bar (known for their craft beer) that was quite challenging to say no. I ended up drinking probably seven bottles of Perrier over the five hours we were there. Sounds excessive, but I realize that could’ve been beer!

The End: As I write this, I’m in Boston and I’ll be travelling to four cities over the final week of January. I will be alone quite a lot, and there are definitely a ton of opportunities to drink. Today was an especially gruelling day of travel (and I normally would’ve sought out a beer), and yet – I am not craving alcohol. I’m drinking a green juice at the moment, and I feel so excited by the thought that I won’t wake up feeling the slightest bit hungover.

Next Step: Honestly, I want to spend the entire year sober and celebrate on my champagne birthday in December. To ease myself into the entire year, my February challenge will be Dryebruary (wow that sounds ridiculous). My new 30-day challenge is to not drink in February.

Thank you for reading, and perhaps join me on the no-drinking challenge this month?

  • Gwen

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