We spoke to Tony about his Dry January experience...

I decided to give up drinking for January on the spur of the moment last New Year’s Eve. I realised that despite exercising regularly I had put on quite a bit of weight since the summer. I had heard about Dry January on Facebook, so I decided to give it a go and knock the booze on the head for a month.

I wouldn’t say that I was drinking that much in the scheme of things – maybe a couple of glasses of wine half the nights of the week and the occasional pint or two. While I would never have described myself as an alcoholic, I saw how easy it could be to slide into dependency.

I made it to the end of month and dared myself to carry on. I soldiered through February. And then, on the first day of March, I had a relapse.  My wife won a bottle of champagne in a raffle, so I decided to celebrate not drinking for two months… by having I drink! I had half a glass of champagne – not more than three mouthfuls – but when I woke up next morning with a murderous headache I decided that would be my last drink of the year, and so it was. By the middle of the year it was no longer a case of “I’m not drinking”; by now it was just “I don’t drink”. It’s strange that there exists a social pressure to drink alcohol. But the more time passed, the less I cared, because I was feeling the benefits of abstinence.

I’m in the best shape I’ve been in years; not solely down to not drinking, skipping all those calories can’t hurt. The ever-present mental fog that comes from alcohol has evaporated, and I find that I can think more clearly, partly because I now sleep better. The financial benefits need hardly be pointed out.

Needless to say I will be taking part in Dry January 2017, simply because it will be just another month!