Less Booze, More Water: What We FL Chix Should All Be Drinking This "Winter"
It was a spur of the moment decision, but I think (know?) it’s a good one: I’m doing Dry January this year.
I’ve suffered through Dry Lent before (don’t call the Catholic Rules + Regs peeps on me; I know “Dry Lent” isn’t an actual thing), but I hadn’t participated in the quickly growing, UK-based phenomenon of skipping booze for 31 days after the holidays until now.
And here’s how one of my hardest-to-execute, totally-spontaneous New Year’s resolutions came about:
In preparation for hosting two sets of Canadian “snowbird” tennis pal couples for the evening, my husband and I stocked up on Veuve, which was on sale at Publix for the utterly reasonable price of $40.99 per bottle.
Hello? Good champagne? I love it so, so, so, so much. Like I love it a lot.
But on New Year’s eve, none of our guests drank it. They had a kick-off sip to celebrate 2019, and our new home, which we moved into in early December. But that was it. From then on - and we “partied” until after midnight - the Canadians just kept filling their champs glasses with fizzy water.
Granted, there were two cancer survivors in the group. And with the long list of cancers alcohol is attached to, it makes all the sense in the world that they’d want to steer clear.
Still, as I looked around the room at these adorable teetotalers, all of whom are in their 60s and 70s but insanely fit (seriously, they ride their bikes to and fro our Racquet Club and eat a largely plant-based diet) I said to myself:
“Okay you little champs-guzzling lush, you’re not drinking this month.”
This post is a two-parter, but before I get to all the many reasons we should up our H2O intake even when it’s comparatively chilly in Florida, I want to corral some of the top bennies that can come from taking a month-long break from alcohol consumption.
If you’ve been on the internet for even two seconds this past week, you’ve see tons of posts about the considerable upside to Dry January. But here are the key takeaways in a handy, dandy list.
1. You’ll lose weight. The Wall Street Journal piece linked to above cites an average of 3.3 to 4.4 lbs. While that might not sound like much, for many women, it’s just the kind of psychological jumpstart to trigger a lovely little domino effect of better eating.
2. You’ll sleep more soundly. Yes, booze can knock your lights out, helping you drift off the second your head hits the pillow. But it also seriously effs with your ability to stay asleep. Even if you only had one or two drinks, you’ll be waking up all night as soon as the effects wear off. Not pretty. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a great night’s sleep - or even better, an entire month of sound snoozing - can yield massive skin benefits.
3. You’ll probably drink less for the rest of the year. Evidently there’s a strong carry-over effect for participants of Dry January. Sure, some folks go a little cray-cray on Feb 1, getting smashed to smithereens in celebration of the fact that their self-imposed prison sentence is over. But most don’t. Once they’ve discovered that they don’t really need multiple cocktails to have a good time, they automatically drink less. I really like this idea, especially since I log beaucoup post-match hours at the bar at our Racquet Club.
A second New Year’s resolution of mine - to drink more water - also happened as a result of moving into our new home. More specifically, it’s because of our fridge.
When you’re filling your glass or mug with H2O, our sleek silver GE number tells you exactly how many ounces you’ve added. And for some reason that is making me super motivated. I just keep refilling with eight ounces all throughout the day, and I make sure I get to the bottom every time before starting on a new one.
While I’m still probably nowhere near where I should be in terms of water consumption, I’m doing so much better than I was in our previous house. There’s just something about being able to easily quantify how much is going into the glass that’s making all the difference for me. Whatever works, right?
There’s a St. Petersburg-based massage therapist at our Racquet Club (with the magical name of Hélio Wanderley) who posits that a lot of us Floridians are walking around seriously dehydrated. According to Hélio, men should be drinking four liters of water a day, and women three.
I just Googled “ounces in a liter,” and guess what? It’s 33.8.
According to my Barbie math, three liters is 101.4 ounces, which means I’d need to down 12.6 glasses a day to make that number. Jesus, I’d be spending the entire day in the loo if I drank that much.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get make it to three liters, but I do know there’s a lot of good to come from drinking more water. So without further ado…
1. You’ll be able to power through tougher workouts. Water helps cushion our joints, which means we’ll feel less achy after exercise. Just knowing there will be reduced residual pain after say…cough cough…a class at Orangetheory is making me want to hit the water bottle big-time.
2. You’ll reduce surface wrinkling. Crepey skin, unlike deeply etched crevices, is often tied to surface dehydration. (Just ask any five-star facialist.) Given how much sunshine we’re exposed to in the ol’ Sunshine State, we don’t need to up the aging ante by not consuming enough quality fluids. Rather than plunking down $400 for that new miracle serum, consider guzzling more free - but filtered! - tap H2O.
3. You’ll improve your moods + mental well-being: Not to put to put too fine a point on it, but even mild dehydration can turn you into a massive bitch. Okay, maybe I’m overstating this a little bit, but it can definitely trigger mood swings and fatigue. Is that a good look, ladies? Cranky and exhausted? No. No it isn’t. But if you can stay even keeled simply by increasing your water intake, why not #justdoit? Soooo much better for you than Xanax.
(BEAUTEOUS) WATER + KIWI PHOTO: RAW PIXEL