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Booze Free January: 1 Week In

You read that right, Booze Free January is a go, and it’s going.

I didn’t write anything about it before because I wasn’t 100% sure I would do it, but right before leaving for France for Christmas I decided that it would be just what I needed to start off the new year. I wouldn’t say I have a drinking problem by any means, but I was starting to feel bogged down by the holiday drinking, happy hours, and casual wine with dinner all the time.

Trying to limit drinking to just the weekends failed for me in the past – there were Wined Down Mondays (a gathering we had with friends where we would share wine, bread, and cheese at our old apartment), Stressful Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays, and then of course Friday is basically part of the weekend…

You can see where this is going.

So for this month, I am not drinking any alcohol of any kind. No beer, no wine, no drinks. None. No exceptions.

I decided that if I was really going to cut back, I needed to make a 100% full-stop commitment. I decided one month was a reasonable amount of time, and January would be perfect because not only is it the start of a new year, but I’m also committed to running a half marathon later this month, so it would be a good time for being extra kind to my body.

To be honest, I’ve also gained some weight 1) since starting my desk job almost 2 years ago and 2) since the remodeling project took so much energy and I got into that habit of eating more take out and unhealthy food than usual. I know that wine, my drink of choice, is not exactly light on the calories and sugar, so cutting out all alcohol is bound to help me regain my trimmer physique.

Another factor of my choice was the gastro-intestinal problems I’ve been having for the past couple of years. I’ve been getting upset stomachs more and more easily lately, and I’m sure drinking doesn’t help.

I also tend to sleep poorly after drinking a small to moderate amount, especially of wine. I fall asleep no problem, but then wake up an hour or two later with a pounding heart and the sweats. I have a lot of trouble going back to sleep after these episodes, and I have noticed a definite correlation between them and drinking.

Finally, I just wanted a general reset. We’re in our new house (not 100%, there have been some very exciting plumbing issues lately, but more on that in another post), we’ve almost finished unpacking, it’s a new year, and after all the stress of the remodel and putting that project first and my health second, I’d like to just give my body the chance to reset itself.

So the reasons for Booze-Free January are:

  1. General health reset
  2. Better sleep
  3. Better performance in half marathon
  4. Weight loss
  5. Gastro problems

What I’ve Noticed So Far

It’s only been a week, so it’s hard to say for sure, but I definitely have been sleeping better for the past week. I know that some of it can be attributed to exhaustion and jetlag, but for me the problem was getting asleep and staying asleep. That hasn’t been a problem this week.

Once again, since it’s only been a week I can’t say much, but I do also feel svelter. Not sure if I’ve actually lost any weight, but I feel better about myself. I also have found that I am more energetic in the morning and feel more alert in general early in the day.

I’m really thankful that Anna decided to join me in the challenge, because it’s much easier to avoid the after-work wind down wine and the Saturday afternoon beer when she’s not partaking, either.

I’ll check in again with more updates as the month progresses. So far, Booze-Free January is a success.

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