3 Lessons I’ve Learned from Dry January

dry january f word to live by fwordstoliveby Feb 01, 2023

From my years of experience working with women in the fitness and fashion industry, I’ve concluded that you can transform yourself from what you Eat & Drink, Wear and Think.

In 2018 I found the online fitness program the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. I remember when I first started the program being so devoted and following all the pillars to success. It completely changed my life. Not only did my health improve but my complexion and overall attitude as well.

In 2019 I loved the program so much I became a coach. Over the years I’ve cemented several habits such as their workouts, intermittent fasting, drinking half my body weight in ounces of water, carb cycling and occasional macro tracking.

It’s a fact that alcohol consumption increased during the pandemic. And because I am so social, I found alcohol easy to reintroduce back in my routine.

Last year I tried Dry January and failed miserably. This year has been much more successful with so many lessons along the way. Today I want to share three of those lessons with you.

  1. You can do hard things. At the beginning of 2022 I decided to track my alcohol intake. Nothing improves unless you track it. I currently track my food, water, steps, so why not my alcohol.

I must say – it was a bit alarming to me. I come from a long line of German drinkers, so I’ve always paid attention to my drinking but never tracked it.

To give up wine for an entire month at first felt sad. I love the taste of wine. I love having a couple of glasses after a day of creating in my office. Or while watching a movie. Or with a great dinner.

And then…not drinking began to feel like a routine. Instead of staying up too late watching a movie I was going to bed earlier. I have slept more than I ever have. Wow – what felt impossible last year is so much easier this year. I can do hard things. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. But why this year? It’s because of lesson #2.

2. It’s not Willpower but Whypower. Deciding “why” you want to accomplish anything is a game changer. This WHY needs to be in the forefront of your day to succeed.

I had a very strong WHY for Dry January. One of my best friends was undergoing a procedure that was supposed to have her in the hospital for one month. I can’t even imagine what she was going through besides walking through hell. I figured if she could endure that – my lack of a glass of wine is a cake walk. She was on my mind daily. Her courage and strength have been my fuel to stay dry. I would dream of the two of us having a glass of wine together when she was out of the hospital.

On January 22, my friend lost her fight to melanoma. My why vanished. I drank the night she passed but there was no amount of alcohol that could numb that pain. I also drank at a couple of her celebrations of life. However, I am determined to take the GRIT she had in life and apply it to my health. So, I’m going into February with a new attitude. Not being dry but damp.

Anything that seems challenging needs a strong “why” to succeed.

3. I can’t be told – I need to experience it.

I’m the first to tell anyone in the FASTer Way that alcohol tends to have appetite-stimulating effect, and that it can increase osteoporosis because it damages the pancreas which is the organ responsible for absorbing calcium. How it can cause dehydration, fatigue, weight gain, depression, and sleep problems.

I’ve preached this and I know it. But this month I have experienced it.
Sleep has never been a problem for me. But during January my sleep has been different. I often say I feel like a bear in hibernation. Wow – never knew I could sleep that much and even harder than I usually do.

My creative juices are flowing. I wake up in the morning ready to get at it. There is so much I want to share and create.
The increased energy during the day is amazing. And I don’t feel guilty stopping at 5:00pm and making a healthy delicious meal.
Even with the setbacks, I’m happy with my accomplishments and improvements with my life.

As to the million-dollar question about drinking on the FASTer Way program. There is one main answers to that:

This is not a deprivation diet. As long as you track it in your macros you can enjoy an occasional glass of wine or cocktail. But…if you want maximum results, you should do your best to avoid drinking. Alcohol can actually stop your body from burning fat properly, negating all the hard work you’re doing in the gym and in the kitchen.

If you are interested in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, my next round begins February 20. But as soon as you join you have access to the app and can be on your way to a healthier and happier life. https://www.fasterwaycoach.com/#chrisfulkerson