Dry January. Oh God You Can’t Make Me.

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Dry January is some campaign by someone or something to make us stop drinking in January. Alright already shut up. Okay okay….I will if you will.

By Nicole Buckler

Why are all these people trying to take my wine off me? WHY?

Anyway some people who are deeply worried about my liver and probably yours as well, are asking us to give up alcohol for 4 weeks during the first month of the year. They think this might encourage drinkers to change their habits for the long-term…feckin do-gooders selflessly worried about my organs WHATEV.

With only days until the start of Dry January, are you ready? That means no body shots, no tequila slammers, no sneaky 11pm wines, no lunchtime G&Ts and probably no cough medicine.

During your godawful dry January, if you give up alcohol for one month, you can even be smug about it by raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation. Is the world now run by goodie-goodies? I THINK YES. GOODIE GOODIES WHO HATE BOOZE IN ALL ITS GLORY!

In the UK, more than 2 million people managed to reduce their January alcohol intake in 2015. And Irish do-gooders want the same here. It is expected that 2016 will attract even more people to the cause. Except makers of booze. Their marketing staff will probably need some body shot slammers to cope.

alcohol-428392_960_720The campaign has dug out a woman who went dry in January last year. The poor thing. She previously was drinking several glasses of wine every night. But she climbed up on the wagon and then reported back to the meanie headquarters afterwards.

She says, “…After two weeks the cold turkey wore off, and the first benefits kicked in. I was in bed snoring shamelessly before 10 and was awake before the alarm at 6.15am. My skin was looking better. I had more energy, and was proud of myself for sticking at it. Although weight loss wasn’t a decisive factor for me, I lost 5lbs (2.3kg) in the first month and I have now lost nearly 10lbs and banished three inches (7.5cm) of muffin top from my waistline. Like many other people on Dry January’s page, my problem was the inexplicable desire to replace my evening dose of wine with snacks in front of the TV. Yet in the long run, less wine meant less nibbles. I realised how alcohol opened up my appetite and made me reach for those salty nibbles…”

Joanna’s weight loss is solely down to the fact that booze is stacked with calories.

-A pint of 4% beer equates to about 182 calories and 2.3 units of alcohol, rising depending on alcohol strength.

-A small glass of 13% wine (175ml) equals 159 calories and 2.3 units, varying depending on the strength of the wine (this can be anything from 11% to 16%).

-A bottle of beer (330ml) contains about 159 calories and 2.3 units.

-A pint of 4.5% cider is 216 calories and 2.6 units of alcohol.

-A single 40% spirit (25ml) has 61 calories and 1 unit. However, in Northern Ireland, a single measure comes in at 35ml and in 1.4 units. YOU DODGY NORTHERNERS!

flies-161350_960_720So here are some ideas to stop yourself hooking in to your granny’s sherry at that next forced visit.

Avoid temptation

Avoid situations where alcohol is involved. Persuade friends to meet up for a trip to the cinema or bowling during January instead of the usual drink at the pub. Yes you will be the group buzzkill, but hey your liver will be having a rather nice deep-clean. You can boast about your liver cleanliness and people will be jealous (said no one ever. But still).

Clear the house

Put the booze up in the attic. For the love of Christmas don’t throw it out, you aren’t mental. Just put it in the shed for a bit. Nobody during Dry January wants to come home from a stressful day at work and see alcohol staring back at them. It will be saying to you, Come, drink me, I’m lovely, I will make you feel warm and convince you that you have great dance moves and top romantic banter… trust me I’m a 75cl bottle…

Encourage a friend

Being the only one in a social circle that isn’t drinking for the first month of the year can make you feel like a prize dag. Make a friend do it with you, one that you don’t like very much. That way if you fight because you haven’t had a drink, then it doesn’t matter if you fall out. And you can take their booze off them and drink it if you fail halfway through.

Tell Others

I think perhaps we should say here WARN others. Warn others that you might be acting like a cut snake and will be impossible to deal with. They can put on their diva protection shields and throw you a Snickers, hopefully hitting you on the head and knocking you out so you don’t annoy them any more.

Treat Yourself

With a zero spend on booze comes more money. Treat yourself to something entirely stupid like an impromptu like a weekend trip to Amsterdam or London or to Athlone, depending on how much you would usually spend on booze. I mean there are those that drink Moët & Chandon and those that drink Dutch Gold. It’s all relative.

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This is all written on the understanding that like me, every now and again you drink too much and end up coming home missing one shoe and with a sore arm you can’t explain entirely, with the exception for reviewing the CCTV from your front gate the next morning and seeing that you attacked your own mailbox.

But if you are of the other variety of drinker, then there is an alcohol dependency treatment called Selincro which can get you off the booze for good.

So are you ready for sherry-free trifle? I am ready, willing and waiting. And I like to surprise my liver every now and again with water, just to see if it is paying attention.

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