I arrived home and it was staring at me.
A single, solitary bottle of wine given to me as a holiday gift from my assistant. It has been sitting, alone, in my wine rack for a month, almost begging for me to crack it and savour its deliciousness. However, I have abstained, because this year, I attempted (and succeeded) my first ever Dry January.
I’ve known about Dry January for years; I can’t remember when my dad started, though I can’t remember a time when he didn’t do it. Mom started up a couple of years ago. This year my brother, my cousin and the hubs and I (independently) decided to give it a try. Each of us had our own reasons, mine being no more inspirational than my competitive “if you can do it I can do it” streak. My brother and cousin wanted to detox. The hubs thought it sounded like a good idea. Whatever our reasons, henceforth we went: 30 days (January 2 is my anniversary) with no alcohol. While my husband, brother, cousin, and even parents failed (some worse than others*), I stuck to it. And really, it wasn’t very hard… I actually kind of loved it.
* By January 15th my brother, cousin and husband had all failed (miserably in some instances). My mom and dad made the decision to stop on January 28th because they were having a party.
The good was the money. Those who know me well know that I am frugal. I LOVE saving money. In a regular month, the hubs and I drink about 3 bottles of wine a week at home, and have drinks when we are out with friends or at work functions. We don’t buy super expensive wine, but I wager we spend about $65 a month on at home drinks plus the money we spend going out. So out the gate, $65 in at home wine dollars in our pockets. And the hubs was very good about only drinking at work functions, so who knows how much more we saved. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to $100. (I may have negated our savings with some sweet Etsy purchases, oops!).
The really amazingly good was the weight. The pounds just melted away while I sat on my butt all month.** So, how many calories did I save? Using the power of the interwebs I discovered that there are about 25 calories in an ounce of red wine. Google then informed me that there are 25 ounces in my 750ml bottle of wine (I’m Canadian… I don’t know what an ounce is). I then employed my mad math skillz to learn I was drinking about 900 calories a week in red wine. Adding in a few extra calories for good measure, I figure in an average month I drink about 3600 calories in alcohol. January? Zero. Boom. Even though 5000 calories is only about 2 lbs, the mirror tells me a different story; I look bitchin’.
** Seriously, I went to the gym twice and once was for yoga.
The surprisingly good was going out for drinks. What could be worse than being that person when you go out for drinks, right? Well, I have to say, it really isn’t that hard. I think it helps when you are a girl and everyone just assumes you are pregnant (until the end of the month, at least, when you are noticeably skinnier, haha on them and their assumptions). I actually found it surprisingly easy to do the mocktail thing in groups. Even one-on-one drinks are different. Friends feel awkward drinking if you aren’t, so after one or two alcoholic drinks, they’ll abstain too. You can have some great conversations over soda water with lemon!
The not so good was that I was really really busy being a lawyer this month. On a couple of 14 and 15 hour days the only think I wanted in the world when I got home was to have a glass of wine.I almost cracked last week after a particularly hard day.
Somehow, though, I managed to abstain. And so today, February 1, I walked home with a hop in my step and arrived in my apartment … and there he was.
And I have no desire to drink him. Zilch. Instead I felt like working on this blog post, and getting ready for a photo shoot I have planned this weekend. I felt like falling asleep in an instant and waking up with not an ounce (30ml for us Canadians) of a headache. I’ve grown quite fond of my 9:30pm cup of herbal tea. I don’t feel any desire to have a glass of wine for the sake of having a glass of wine. Maybe on Friday I’ll stop at the LCBO and pick of a bottle of my favorite bottle of wine and have a glass to celebrate. Until then, I think I’m good.