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To think Dry January is not all it's cut out to be?

(144 Posts)
Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 08:13:07

Ok I've only done a week (obviously as it's only a week into Jan!).

I feel fine, not struggling.

I drink a lot usually - 4 bottles of wine a week, then the odd blow out if we've got a party or dinner etc. So probably three times recommended limits? Not good.

I don't feel any different. Sleeping 'better' but only as in more heavily. But otherwise feel the same as before.

I'm going to carry on as need to change my drinking habits on a permanent basis. I'm an old bird and I don't want to create unnecessarily health problems so that my poor sons have to look after their old soak of a ma.

But anyone do a few weeks last year and feel a spring in your step, brighter eyes, brighter disposition?

I'm not asking all you peeps who don't really drink btw! I'm asking people who have a regular habit like me.

Titsywoo Sun 10-Jan-16 08:19:17

I did a whole year and aside from the lack of hangovers felt no different. But I'm sure it was good for me internally. Alcohol is technically a poison so there's no way giving it up makes no difference whatsoever even if you don't actually feel it!

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 08:20:39

Yuck yes - thinking of my old, rotting innards now!

Did you go back to drinking after a year and were you more moderate if so?

Asskicker Sun 10-Jan-16 08:47:34

If you were going to feel any different it would take more than a week.

I rarely drink and can't say I feel any different to when I used to drink more, tbh. But that's not why I cut down.

I did it because I hate waking up feeling groggy and because it wasn't good for me.

I drink when I go out (about 4/5 times a year) and can only have a couple, before it effects me now. So save loads of money too grin

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 10-Jan-16 08:50:32

I'm doing dry january, and I feel worse than normal. Sleeping terribly, looks haven't improved, energy is rubbish. I'm still waiting for all the short term benefits to kick in.

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 08:55:00

Were you drinking a lot before Through? I am sleeping better but not feeling rested. Am waiting for the glossy hair and brilliant white eyes really <shallow>

JarethTheGoblinKing Sun 10-Jan-16 08:56:25

I did two years, and felt much clearer, brighter, had loads more energy, lost weight. Fitter, happier, more productive wink

chrome100 Sun 10-Jan-16 08:56:34

I was tee total for years, now I drink. I don't feel any different.

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 08:58:21

Actually it's not I'm not feeling rested, it's I feel more groggy in the mornings. Anyway still glad I'm doing it, psychologically if nothing else.

TheBestChocolateIsFree Sun 10-Jan-16 09:02:03

Should help your sleep. Also that's a lot of calories saved if that's relevant to you.

I've read research (not full on detailed double blind stuff, but with blood tests on participants) in New Scientist saying that it does give your liver a proper break and has measurable medical advantages.

Also psychologically it gives you the space to redefine what you choose to drink. So in 20 days time you might think that actually you could cut down to two bottles a week and that would be much easier starting from a clean slate than if you were entrenched in your previous pattern.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sun 10-Jan-16 09:02:11

I'm doing dry January, I was a booze hound and Gin is my drink, I could easily knock back a lot of it, most nights too.

I feel a lot better and dry January was the kick start I needed. I'm sleeping better, I looked ok (to me anyway) before but now I look much better and I need to lose weight ( I'm off work with a broken foot) and can't move far so no exercise.

VivienScott Sun 10-Jan-16 09:03:13

I'm doing dry Jan, I'm not a heavy drinker, sometimes I creep above the guidelines during the week but not regularly. I am a regular drinker though and before the start of this hadn't had more than about 4 dry days at a time for years.

I've had itchy skin, which can sometimes be a side effect, insomnia and feel shattered, but the worst at the moment is feeling constantly like I've got terrible PMT, I'm so ratty. I can't say I'm feeling any of the benefits, but to my mind that's the reason to keep going. If I'm still feeling this rubbish, I'm still withdrawing. I don't consider myself properly detoxed from booze until the withdrawal stops.

hollowlegs Sun 10-Jan-16 09:04:08

Probably not what you want to hear, but
I'm doing dry January and I'm feeling good so far. I am combining it with healthy eating which also helps.
I rarely used to drink in the,week but had a habit of going overboard at the weekends and that's why I'm mainly doing it, I got fed up with having hangovers on a Sunday and Monday - it was wasting the whole weekend.
I agree with the person who said you really need to wait more than a week to feel any real benefits.
At the moment your body is going through an adjustment phase and your mind is trying to trick you into giving up.
Stay strong! It's only one measly month.
You can do it. smile

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 10-Jan-16 09:05:11

I would say I drink 3-4 bottles of wine a week normally, but more in December OP. Had a few sessions of 2-3 weeks of being dry throughout the year. I'm hoping to see the benefits soon!; I'm also trying to go beyond January, at least to mid feb when Dh and I are away. Finding it easy so far, but yes, not the results I was hoping for yet.

Titsywoo Sun 10-Jan-16 09:05:40

I did go back to drinking and for the first 6 months was very moderate but over the last 6 months I slipped back to my old ways so I am off it again now. Alcohol is so addictive. I think if you struggle to moderate it you may be better off stopping entirely. 1 month will probably make no difference I'm afraid.

justwondering72 Sun 10-Jan-16 09:05:58

I think it's a bit like breast feeding. You won't necessarily see any difference happening in front of you. All you can do is trust the statistics and the research that tells us that drinking x amount of alcohol per week increases your risk of heart disease / cancer / stroke etc. public health authorities tend to big up the personal, immediate gains of choosing to reduce alcohol / FB a baby, because that's what they think people tend to respond to.

So I think YABU. You might not feel all sparkles, but you are reducing your risk of developing a whole range of conditions and illnesses, whether you feel it or not.

NapoleonsNose Sun 10-Jan-16 09:10:13

I stopped drinking for around four months a few hears ago after I had an abnormal liver function test showing my liver enzymes to be over the accepted limits. It scared me and I stopped drinking completely. Coupled with healthy eating, I lost around 2 stone in those few months. More recently my drinking has crept up again, so I could easily drink a bottle of wine at least three nights of the week. So I'm doing Dry January and so far I am sleeping better, have more energy and I'm hoping to lose some weight. I get palpitations if I drink, so those have stopped too.

SmellsLikeMiddleAgeSpirit Sun 10-Jan-16 09:11:38

Alcohol is a poison. No way is giving it up not good for you, however unchanged we feel.

Read this article:

And I think it gives us daily boozers a chance to reconsider and reset our relationship with booze from a position of greater strength.

SaucyJack Sun 10-Jan-16 09:13:09

I'm also doing dry January, and I'm not feeling any different except missing the buzz from the first glass.

I've only been doing it since Monday tho, but have yet to see any benefits. I'm tired, not sleeping better, and am retaining so much water my socks are leaving marks.

But it's easier than I thought it would be. The less I drink, the less I want to. And am enjoying being clear headed enough to tackle all the books I couldn't be arsed to read last year.

Petal02 Sun 10-Jan-16 09:13:56

I'm doing dry January. I cut back drastically last year, around Feb 2015 - I previously had at least one generous glass of white wine per night, more at weekends. I decided to try 'dry weeks' and only drink at weekends. After the first two nights, where I didn't sleep well without my ''night cap' the difference was significant. I slept better, felt fine the next day, looked better, my eyes were less puffy and my face looked less 'raddled.' I noticed that I still looked and felt relatively OK by the end of each day too, rather than a knackered mess. So that was a big enough motivator to stick with Dry Weeks. I'll go back to this once Dry January is over, I want an alcohol free month, just to prove to myself that I can do it.

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 09:14:05

Such interesting and thoughtful replies, thanks.

I really don't think I will give up, as I'm not struggling.

My aim is 4 non drinking days a week from Feb. Then simply not going overboard the other days (weekend I suppose).

I am fully aware that even saying that makes me a problem drinker as 'normal' drinkers don't have to plan their drinking week - they either have a drink or they don't and they don't overdo it!


Do you know what, if I drink spirits, especially with a mixer, I feel rotten. Heart hammering, not sleeping well. I guess a combination of a strong drink and the caffeine and chemicals in tonic?

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 09:14:21

I mean I really don't think I will give up Dry Jan

G1veMeStrength Sun 10-Jan-16 09:16:53

One lent I gave up alcohol caffeine and chocolate- by Easter I was so run down I got ill and needed antibiotics for the first time in a decade. I'm not cut out for cold turkey stuff like this.

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 09:17:38

Saucy grin @ your sock analogy. Ooh I am also reading more books. Finished two this week! Though another interesting 'no difference' point - I did think that my wine consumption was making me forget what I'd read the night before. Nope, it's just me and my ancient brain.

Throwingshade Sun 10-Jan-16 09:18:57

Givemestrength - you gave up too much! I love coffee. I mean really, really love it. I am never giving that up <looks around wildly at anyone coming for my coffee mug>

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