6 Things I Learnt From Dry January

Champagne Saturday's in The Mailbox!

Last month Joe and I decided to take on the booze busting challenge of Dry January. We do enjoy a drink in our house, good quality cocktails, wine, ale and of course lots of gin – while we don’t ‘binge drink’ we very rarely head out for a meal without a bottle on the table or sit in on a Friday night without a glass of something. Like a lot of us this Christmas was a rather boozy affair and by the time New Year’s Eve rolled around we felt ready to cut back, so we each put £50 into a money box and pledged to go booze free for a whole month or lose it all to charity!

As we had a few very important events in January we pre-arranged a free pass for Dad’s Birthday , The Blogger’s Lounge Awards  (glass of bubbles essential!) and a big night out with friends and vowed to carry those over into Feb to make sure we got our full lot of torture! But now it’s all over here’s what we learned from a month without the good stuff – I for one was really surprised…Lost & Found Birmingham Afternoon Tea Review (7)

Cocktails All Round at The Lost & Found

1. I’ve Never Slept Better

I struggle to sleep on the best of day but I didn’t realise just how badly booze was affecting my sleeping patten. Most people use a glass of wine or a tot of whiskey to help them drop off which may well work, but after a few more it can really effect the quality of your sleep. Even having less hours under my belt during Jan thanks to busy work schedules I still feel even more rested than before and once I’m asleep I’m dead to the world until that alarm goes off!

The Rotunda Birmingham Review

Toasting to a night in the clouds at The Rotunda Birmingham

2. I Lost Half a Stone

I’ve been ON IT with my fitness regime since January started – it’s amazing how much you can do when you’re not waking up with a headache on Sunday morning! In the past 4 weeks I’ve lost over half a stone (8lbs in fact) by healthy eating, moving more and not drinking. Joe and I have started using MyFitnessPal to track our calories and if you’ve never looked you’d be shocked at how many calories a glass of wine or a bottle of beer takes away from you! You can easily destroy a whole week’s hard work with a takeaway and a bottle of wine on a Saturday night, so moving forward I’ll certainly be taking more time over drinks or mixing them up with zero kcal soft drinks in between to space out the calories because getting back into shape is feeling SO GOOD right now!

Perfect Margarita Recipe

How to mix the PERFECT Margarita

3. I’ve Got Money Left At the End of The Month

Joe and I are really good with our money and always make sure we save, but this month I’ve seriously noticed a bigger chunk of moolah left over when the first of Feb rolled around. It looks like it’s not only calories Dry January has saved us this year!

Bill's Birmingham Review

Bill’s Birmingham Review

4. Life Is So Much Easier When You Can Drive

Usually when we head out for lunch or dinner at the weekend it involves taxis and trains so we can enjoy a drink or two and still get home safely, but this of course limits us a little on when and where we can go. Being booze free meant a lot more car journeys and money saved on expensive taxis to and from the station along with visiting restaurants and places a little bit further out – it’s been great to try a few new things!

On The Blog Today | xameliax.com | A New Year's Eve Showstopper Cocktail - The White Cosmopolitan!

My Show Stopper Cocktail – The White Cosmopolitan

5. Restraint Is A Word Back In My Dictionary

Before Dry January we would have easily gone out for dinner and picked up a bottle on the way home to enjoy in front of a film as well. But now (especially as we’re counting the calories) if we enjoy a drink out and about we keep it there and know when to stop. Although we never really got drunk at the weekend it’s super easy to sink a few more units than you should when spaced over a steady few hours in the afternoon or evening.

Pizza Express Autumn 2015 Menu  (11)6. I Appreciate It All A Lot More

Before Dry January we would often open a bottle of wine mid-week if it was a stressful day or take drinking for granted because we could essentially have a drink whenever we wanted. During January knowing we only had a couple of occasions where we could have a drink it made us really appreciate those nights even more. And did we go crazy and down the entire bar on our ‘free nights’? No. In fact both times I’ve had a ‘free pass’ during Dry January I ended up having two Gin & Slims and stopping because I felt satisfied – completely the opposite!

Pizza Express Autumn 2015 Menu  (8)

You can’t beat an Irish Coffee…and Salted Caramel Profiteroles

We made it through with a lot of lessons learned along the way and even better we get our £50 back to put towards something nice, but don’t worry, we’ll still be donating to charity for our days carried over to Feb! We’ll certainly be cutting back moving forward but I can’t lie, that first glass of vino is going to taste SO DAMN GOOD!

Have you taken on Dry January this year? What did you think?

Leave a comment below or tweet me @xameliax! #dryjanuary