Dry January is in the Rear-view Mirror

Wine is bottled poetry.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I’m half Sicilian/Italian and my European ancestors owned a vineyard. Wine flows through my veins like blood. It is my birthright; how can it be unhealthy, right? Not so fast!

For those of you who aren’t glued to your social media, Dry January consists of not drinking alcoholic beverages for all of January. And after all the celebrations and parties from the American Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, I thought it would be a good idea to give my liver a break. My husband and I decided to partake in this strange, yet potentially healthy fad. Let’s just say January was one LONG freaking month!

So what did I learn? Well, for one thing, I learned that it is more fun doing a dry month with someone, instead of by myself. Last year I did dry May and dry September. It was no fun watching my family and friends have a rip-roaring good time, while I sat in the corner, unamused at their spirited shenanigans.

Here’s my summary of a month-long of self imposed “dry dock.”

Better Sleep

My sleep quality was markedly improved. I went from getting 4-6 hours per night of sleep to 7-8 plus hours. I saw a huge improvement in all the heart and breathing sleep gages, as recorded by my Fitbit.

I almost doubled my REM and deep sleep cycles and woke up less during the night. If I did wake up, I had no problems going back to sleep.

My heart rate variations did not bottom out and I did not have any breathing episodes, which occur frequently when I drink wine before going to bed.

Increased Energy Level

I woke up every morning refreshed and clear-headed. I did not feel like I needed as much coffee to get me going in the morning.

My ability to focus seemed to improve. I became more productive and accomplished my daily goals.

Household chores did not seem to drain me, and my exercise level improved. I had increased stamina.

Weight Loss

A 5-oz glass of red wine has about 125-140 calories. For someone drinking 2-4 glasses every other day, this can certainly add up to a lot of extra calories.

In addition, it’s easy to break healthy eating habits with a little wine on board. Midnight snacking or what I like to call “something to soak up the wine” was problematic.

I lost 10 lbs in January, but I also followed a strict intermittent ketogenic diet regime that just happened to coincide with the dry January experiment.

My experience with Dry January was fun, but there were a few times when I almost had a glass of wine. My sisters and I like to have long telephone and video chats while we imbibe. But I found that I still really enjoyed these chats, even while sober!

Now that Dry January is in the rear view mirror, I plan to start enjoying a glass or two of wine at dinner time. But my new goal is to try not to overindulge. 🍷

Hurray! Dry January is over!

Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)

Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.

From 2015: on the iced-over St. Lawrence River


  1. So glad you were able to experience some of the many benefits of not drinking alcohol. Your photo of The River frozen definitely brought back memories as a kid.😊

  2. I don’t consider myself a drinker. As anything else in life, I do it because I like it and it tastes good. The problem is, things that taste good cost a lot of money hihihi, so I actually drink very little because I won’t drink what I don’t like, and I don’t like a lot of alcoholic drinks lol. A good glass of wine (by my taste) cost like my dinner. Luckily, there are some black beers out there that I absolutely enjoy that are affordable and some herbal heavy liquor that I am almost religious about.
    Congratulations on making it through Dry January! 💚

  3. Congratulations- look at all those benefits! Plus the money you saved too. I’m a non-drinker most of the time except for special occasions and VERY expensive champagne… I reckon I’ve saved a fortune over the years (55 now) ✅

  4. LOL you were more successful than I in your Dry January. But I too lost weight 5 lbs but I did have three days where I did have some wine. But like you I am cutting back. Keeping busy is the route for me. Not that I have a drinking problem but it unhealthy if you drink too much too often. Anyway. Now if I could just stop drinking my true addiction Diet Dr. Pepper. I go with out it for a while and BAM back to it…I love it!

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