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7 Things Dry January Taught Me

Dry january

Dry January is officially over. I confess that I haven’t been completely purist about it. There was the trip to Dubai with Jonathan mid-month, he may well have sent me home on the first flight if I had refused a glass of wine, and besides I didn’t do it punish myself. The reality is I have drunk far far far and away less than I would normally. So despite it not being completely dry it was a pretty good effort. I should say in the interest of integrity that I didn’t do this to raise money, no it was just an entirely selfish exercise in self control.

Right justification over. Here’s why it’s worth doing again, maybe regularly.

1. SO much easier to get up early with the kids. Even one glass can make that early start harder.
2. WAY more patient with the kids. (I think that might make me sound like I’m necking a bottle of Wild Turkey before the school run, which I’m not, but if I were that actually might make me more relaxed, so the theory is disproved.)
3. More energy, obviously
4. More money, obviously
5. Probably a bit nicer (but no evidence to support this, except more people smiling at me)
6. Really bloody appreciated a gorgeous glass of red last night with my Dad and him indoors
7. Oh and less snacking. Without all that sugar running around my body my need for quick energy bursts reduced

However, and here’s the surprise, it didn’t make any difference to my weight. Which is interesting as I’ve also pretty much ditched sugar for the last few weeks. By ‘pretty much’ I mean sweets and chocolate, I haven’t slavishly looked at the labels of granola and soup for sneaky ‘glucose’ or similar, life’s too short. So it must be the exercise, muscle’s heavier than fat so the theory goes.

I’ve been attempting to do speed training recently so I’m doing shorter runs at a faster pace with interval training thrown in. Obviously this isn’t by the book, I read a copy of Women’s Running on the plane to Berlin recently and there was an article on high intensity interval training so I am now clearly an expert… I’m running at near death out of breath pace for about 2 mins and then regular pace for 3. Or thereabouts. It’s highly unscientific, but it works for me and that’s the point about exercise, it has to work for you.

On that note, shorter runs are easier to fit in to my life. Long ones are liberating and good for stamina but it’s not realistic for a working mum of two to take off for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. Plus running in the evenings is hard. Purely from a safety point of view out on the streets in the dark and I’m not going to join a gym just to use a running machine. So I’m continuing swimming in the evenings.

There is a point to this ramble. Getting fit doesn’t always equate with losing weight. And being fit is best achieved by doing a variety of different things so you don’t get bored. I am notoriously bad at getting bored easily, so I need lots of different things on the go at once to keep me challenged. It’s not a great trait but it’s just the way I’m made. It’s most probably why I’m constantly over stretching myself (not in a “wow you’re a superwoman” kind of way, more a “just learn to say no” kind of way).

So if you are trying to get fit or if you are a runner or anything like that then it’s worth mixing it up a bit, just purely to stop yourself plateauing (have I made up a word?). Do anything for too long and it gets boring, not drinking is a case in point. Bored to tears of chamomile tea in the evenings.

So anyway, Dry January is over and I quite liked what it showed me. This is another of those things that my 20 something self would never have thought she’d say, along with “getting up at 6am is actually a great way to make the most of day.”



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