How's your dry January going? Mine's going swimmingly (if dryness can be swimming, that is) - albeit after something of a false start. You see, I delayed my start 'til circa the 3rd. So actually now I think about it, I'm really not doing that well at all...
In the past, I've stoically avoided the whole dry January thing. This is partly because I don't think I really drink enough to warrant the challenge. But I suppose there'll also be an element of worrying that I might fail. Which - even as I type this - I realise is ridiculous.
So this year, I'm challenging myself. A month without alcohol. How hard can that be?
I'm beginning to find out. This week has been London Fashion Week Men's, AKA the hardest part of my (admittedly quite short) dry January thus far. Whereas Women's Fashion Week tends to be dominated by shows, the men's version has way more presentations. And presentations always have a drinks reception. And the reception tends to be champagne. Twice I caught myself auto-piloting towards the (very pretty) champagne waiters, only to remember my pledge, about turn, and head for the soft drinks instead. I'm a sucker for champagne, you see. And does't free champagne just taste even better?
I guess the main problem is that, since getting back into my health and fitness regime, I'm a complete sugar-phobe, and have also shunned artificial sweeteners (they're just as bad for your waistline, as they still cause the spike in insulin and affect your glucose stores). Which means that unless I have booze, I'm stuck with water. The other day, I sat through a session with a bunch of friends and out of desperation began drinking fizzy water with a concoction of lemon, lime and cucumber slices. Surprisingly good, actually.
Trouble is, the moment you know you're not allowed something, it makes you want it even more. So here, fellow dry January-er, is my advice to you. Incase you're struggling. And if I'm honest, I kind of hope you are. It can't just be me... cut out and keep. Preferably stuck to the liquor cabinet.
1. Distract yourself - I mentioned last week that I'd been hanging out with my Australian friend Jaimee. Well, she came in as a handy distraction this week - in lieu of a typical bottle of red, we tasked ourselves with sorting through her wardrobe last night, and I am consequently now a proud fan of a bunch of Australian brands. Keepsake is my favourite. Just FYI.
2. Wrap up warm - maybe it's just me, but I always find myself more inclined to drink when I'm cold - a warming Irish coffee is just so the one for numb fingers. My solution? Don't get so cold. Basically. I am pretty attached to my Parajumpers coat, and there's loads of high street ones in the sales, too. Get one slightly too big so you can layer-up underneath.
3. Carrot not the stick - rather than seeing it as a booze ban, I'm trying to think of the positives. Like how much easier it is to get up early to train at Duo Chelsea or get my hair done before a shoot at Neville's. Silver linings etc.
4. Change your routine - obviously going to your favourite pub / bar / whatever is going to sting slightly when you order that indulgent soda water. So take the opportunity to try somewhere new. Brother Marcus has added some fun, tongue-in-cheek mocktails to the menu. I had "Papa Don't Preach". Still not sure what tasted better - the papaya or the smug satisfaction..
How many days have you managed? Let me know in the comments below x