Several friends are participating in Dry January, which sounds awful, so I told a friend I’d be doing a modified version I termed “Moist January,” and thought I’d totally made it up. A quick Google search let me know I was not all that original, and that people actually call it “Damp January.” Damp? I think I’d rather be moist than damp.
Time to Dry Out a Bit
After coming off a 10-day booze-soaked holiday cruise around the Caribbean, I felt like I could use a little drying out. I am familiar with the idea of Dry January, where you completely abstain from alcohol for the month. I also know I’d be setting myself up for failure because I’m not great at denying myself things I enjoy, and one of the things I look forward to in the evening is sipping wine while I make dinner.
However, I also know it is beneficial to my health to cut back on drinking, and I could use some help losing a few extra holiday pounds before they multiply. The first step toward a healthier year is getting rid of those empty calories in a few evening drinks that easily add up. It’s a step toward a healthier lifestyle without the punishment and harsh restrictions. Another year can be tough enough without all that!
The Official Rules of Moist January
I’m not sure if Damp January has official rules, but here are the rules I adhere to for Moist January. I’m actually hoping this will last past January, as it’s a good overall lifestyle change. I often find myself pouring another glass of wine when I don’t really need one, and Moist January is all about allowing you to still enjoy alcohol but in a more mindful way.
Rule 1: Up to One Drink a Day
I say “up to” one drink because sometimes you just want something to sip and there’s no reason to force yourself to finish the whole thing. It really is OK to pour half that glass of wine or beer down the sink.
Rule 2: One Drink Means a Standard Size
No cheating with an extra big pour of wine, or a double shot mixed drink. My preferred beer is a strong IPA, often around 8% alcohol, so with those I just pour out the last couple ounces. For the wine, I actually measured out 5 oz. of water in the wine glass first, so now I know how much to pour in each time.
- 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
- 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol
Rule 3: One Day a Week is a Free Pass for 2 Drinks
Life happens. Sometimes you might be at an event, an extra-long dinner, or maybe just really enjoying your drink and want ONE more. So once a week you have the option for two drinks. And remember this is just an option, not a requirement. Bonus points if you don’t use your two-drink pass.
Moist January is all about being able to still enjoy the things you enjoy, but without guzzling alcohol along the way. You’ll sip that drink a little slower if you know it’s the only one you are getting. And you won’t feel like you have to skip gatherings where people will be drinking just so you don’t drink.
Changing Habits Over Time
Drinking is a habit. When I’m cooking dinner, I often like to sip wine or beer. Depending on how complicated the dinner is, I can pack away several drinks. After all that drinking, then eating, my evening is done, and I just want to go to bed. I found that if I pour myself one drink and one glass of water, I can keep sipping all through dinner prep without all the refills. After dinner I’m more awake and actually getting a bit more done, rather than being a bit buzzed and sleepy.
After a successful week of Moist January, I’m feeling pretty good and actually enjoying it. I don’t have to worry getting headaches from one too many and I feel less bloaty overall. I appreciate a good wine and nice hoppy IPA, and I don’t want to give that up. But it’s very easy for it to become too much of a good thing, too often. Going totally dry just isn’t something that works with my lifestyle, but damp I can do.
So cheers to a moist 2023!