How completing Dry January helped me Break up with Sugar


(Originally posted as an article in the Here to Health on 10th February 2022)

I’ve not had an alcoholic beverage for 38 days.

It should be 39 days but I had a drink on 1st January so I didn’t quite complete dry-Jan (see stats below).

The aim is to get to 21st June - officially the start of summer - before having my first drink. If I get there, it will be almost 6 months off the sauce.

38 days without drinking is lightwork. It’s easy for me not to have a drink right now because I haven’t had one for so long.

I’ve gotten into the habit of not having a drink and settling for either coffee (in the morning), herbal tea (in the afternoon) or water (throughout the day).

Why am I sharing this with you?

I wanted to highlight a point to you about changing your habits.

Let’s rewind all the way back to 2nd January, my first day of not drinking. That day I’d told myself that I wasn’t going to have a drink before 2nd February (making it 31 days of ‘dry-Jan’) and that was that.

The commitment was made in the morning, and by 6pm I wanted a beer!

When you’ve spent most of December drinking without care, that habit wants to stick around.

Needless to say, I didn’t have one, but the same craving kept cropping up for the next 8-9 days at around the same time.

Then on the 10th day, I started not noticing those cravings started to die down. I kinda wanted a beer, but was happy to go without and turned to water instead.

By days 14-15, those cravings stayed silent because they’d been flushed out by all the water I was drinking, and I breezed towards 2nd February without a care in the world.

Fast forward to today and you reading this email, I’m 38 straight days - no booze.

I’ve had some admiring glances at the cold beers walking past the offices at the end of my road, but that’s it.

So, having come this far, I’ve decided that 21st June is going to be the end goal for this journey.

The lesson I learned from this experience is this - to change a habit, good or bad, you need to acknowledge it first (drinking too much), decide what change you are going to make (stop drinking booze), and recognize what triggers that habit (at 6pm the beer bell went off) and substitute it with a new habit you want to grow (instead of beer, I drank sparkling water)

One of the key ingredients in alcohol is sugar. A positive side effect of not drinking has meant that I’ve also dramatically reduced my sugar consumption - bonus!

Unfortunately, alcohol isn’t the only source of sugar we encounter every day. From the obvious (donuts, biscuits, sweets) to the not-so-obvious (low-fat yogurt, flavored coffee, protein bars), sugar is everywhere!

That’s why I decided to create the 14 Days to Breaking Up with Sugar challenge.

If you’re looking for a new thing to give up after completing dry-Jan, why not try the challenge and change your relationship with food (and booze!) forever.

Once you've completed the challenge, tweet me and let me know how you got on!

P.S. - Humble brag #2 - About 15 years ago I stopped drinking for 10 months. I was trying to get to 12 months, but was derailed on my birthday ☹️

P.P.S - If you’re sure what your relationship with sugar is like right now - why not take this short quiz.

P.P.P.S (last one) - If you already know that you need to break up with sugar, just sign up to the challenge already!