So, You’ve Decided To Do ‘Dry January’

Okay, firstly I’m not going to lie: I have ceased drinking for the month of January. I’ve decided upon it for a number of different reasons of which I’ll list for you:

  1. I need to save money.
  2. I’m desperately trying to get rid of my beer belly.
  3. My exercise regime is being upped, and I think I’ll set myself back if I constantly “get on it”.
  4. That fucking beer belly.
  5. What harm could it actually do, anyway?

I’m not being a prophet and trying to make anyone else feel bad, it’s not like I’ve gone vegan or started Crossfit training (I’ve just finished off a litre of WHOLE FAT milk, stick that in your pipe, preachy). I just felt that if I had one month away from drinking alcohol then I would be able to further enhance the exercise i’ve been doing and would cease to look like the withered tubby slob that I am. Then once February comes along BAM, a big old celebration to congratulate myself on this great achievement i’ve managed to pull off.

All of the major players in Dry January promote what such a good thing it is. They all talk about how this will improve your life and you’ll feel healthier and you’ll start sleeping better and you’ll start concentrating more at work and every dream you’ve ever had will come true.

I fear everyone, including myself, may have been mislead.

Yes, there are obvious benefits to taking a month off from alcohol, many sites list them in the fullness, they range from SAVING MONEY (like, honestly, it’s pretty fucking obvious that if you don’t buy alcohol you will save money), apparently your sex life becomes better, you ‘might’ lose weight, and you won’t look hungover all of the time.

Okay, so far those benefits cannot be argued with, everyone wants a better sex life, failure of success and all that (See LV, WE ARE FRIENDS AGAIN) although I mostly have alcohol to thank for providing me with a sex life, so…

BUT, and like Sir Mixalot that is a big but, the cons of taking part in a ‘Dryathlon’ could and do greatly outweigh the pros. Experts the world over have said that cutting out one month of drinking and then continuing to carry on your normal drinking routine instantly negates your health benefits and can even make your health worse – what with your body being all like “oh hey, no alcohol, let’s celebrate OH SHIT here’s so much alcohol we don’t know what the fuck to do anymore”.

A lot of experts say that feeling like you’ve achieved something by committing to one month without alcohol is a deeper sign that you have drinking problems (shit, go back and forget everything I said at the start). The people that are preaching about this, could be the people who desperately need your help. That’s dark.

That fella from “Embarrassing Naked People Who You Can’t Help But Laugh at” talks in full about how Dry January is nothing but a scam designed to make people feel better about their next 11 months of getting rat-arsed, I’ll leave a link to it at the bottom. He seriously sets out to make people feel like idiots for even thinking about doing it.

You’ll lose all of your friends. Seriously. All of them. No-one wants to join in with your alcohol abstinence, why would they? “You don’t need alcohol to have fun” that is certainly true, but fuck does it make you do stuff that can be construed as being more fun – Hashtag We Promote Responsible Drinking.

Plus, no-one is taking into account the effects this will have on the businesses that actually need you in order to survive. I won’t go into too much detail about this because there was an AMAZING post on Facebook that perfectly sums it up without any need for my ham fisted words:

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.56.22
You Can Check Out Tryanuary Here. CRD: John Wilkinson/FB

On top of all of this, I checked out a few “Dry January” groups on Facebook. Despite all the usual “AREN’T WE BETTER THAN EVERYONE? LOOK AT US GO” there’s so many people complaining about how their bodies are actively going through withdrawal symptoms. They’re experiencing headaches, their bodies aren’t coping well and they’re experiencing so many cravings for absolutely everything else.

To top it all off they’re being encouraged to ‘push through it’ and also give up sugary snacks. They have to give up sugar and enjoy ‘satisfying non-alcoholic drinks such as tonic water’. I’m all for encouraging people to reach their goals, but don’t fob them off by saying that the only good example of a non-alcoholic drink without sugar that you can find is Tonic Water.

Surely this is saying a lot more about our society than just a “Giving Up Craze”? People are having to take counter measures to deal with the fact that they’ve only gone less than FIVE days without alcohol.

“We get that going cold turkey from your addiction is horrific, but think of all the money you’ll save, and you’ll ‘probably’ lose weight too.”

I get that there are people that are doing this with the genuine aim to raise money for Cancer Research and that they really do believe they are doing good. Fair play to them. No-one can take a dig at cancer research fund raisers – except maybe cancer – and no-one should.

However, the only sensible option here is that if you truly wish to cut down on your alcohol for January as a health benefit then you need to have a long term goal of sorting out your entire drinking habits. One month just…doesn’t do anything.

So fuck this, I’m going for a pint.

Of Tonic Water.

JK. Gin baby. Gin.

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Main IMG: Iwan Gabovitch | Flikr

The link to that nice man from the telly’s article. (Sorry, it is on The Daily Mail).

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