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Why I am Doing “Dry January”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about “Dry January” and honestly at first I thought it was silly, mainly because of the culture my friends and I live in, and the things that I enjoy doing. I started to read more about giving up alcohol for a month, and the more I read, the more I wanted to give it a go!

If anyone knows me, they know I like beer. I absolutely love trying new beers and am a sucker for a good IPA. My grandfather brews beer, and has not only helped expand my taste palate, but has opened my eyes to what goes into making a great beer (shoutout to you, Bompa!). I may sound like a snob for saying this, but I honestly don’t enjoy a beer with the word “Lite” in its’ name and I would rather be sober than put poor tasting calories into my body. Also, in case y’all didn’t know, one can of beer (12 fl oz) is equal to 154 calories, so do you really want to drink a six pack of crappy tasting beer? And don’t get me wrong, I love wine too! One glass of wine (5 fl oz) is equal to 123 calories… so if it isn’t the good stuff, I don’t want it!

A lot of New Year’s resolutions revolve around losing weight or a specific fitness goal, and that’s where my road through Dry January began. The idea behind this is to cut out all alcohol for one month and also cut out a huge chunk of calories. But the thing is, Dry January does more than just help you to kick start weight loss and increase your energy in the gym. The college culture is consumed by drinking a lot, especially if it’s a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or the weather is nice enough to sit on the bar porch. A lot college students are also pretty bad at making commitments, forming good habits, and being responsible with their money (like waking up with a significant decline in their bank account after a night out drinking). I promise you I’ve been there and done that a few times.

Studies have shown that when eliminating alcohol for a month, individuals reduce the amount of drinking they do and how drunk they get for the following six months. You know what that means? Less money blown at the bar on alcohol, fewer headaches the next day, a better functioning body (your liver will be much happier!) and much more energy! Also, you were able to go without alcohol for a month; if you can do that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I have a lot of goals for this year. I want to be able to do a hand stand, I want to run a 5k, and I want to accomplish a lot of *difficult looking* yoga poses. To do that, I need to have discipline, a healthy body and a strong mind. I want to know I can do something, and giving up alcohol for a month is my first step because it’s one of my biggest guilty pleasures.

Although I feel stronger, mentally and physically, than I ever have before, there is always room for improvement. I have a lot of physical goals for this year I want to accomplish, but I also want to be stronger and more focused mentally. As someone with anxiety, depression, and ADHD, I feel a little set back sometimes, and I won’t shy away from admitting that I have used alcohol to help me feel as if I’m not as anxious or sad or tired. I’ve come a long way from feeling like I am that person and I want to continue my journey on being stronger in my own mind, body and spirit.

I don’t need alcohol to ease tension or make myself have a better time, and giving up alcohol for a month will help me cleanse myself of thoughts that I do.

Sure, a month without alcohol will be tough for me, but it’s something I am doing for me, not for my friends to judge or to prove anything to anyone else. I’m sure along the way I’ll find out more things about myself and find more reasons that this journey is a beneficial one. Knowing I was able to give up something I really do enjoy will make me feel so strong. I am further breaking down the barriers in my head that are spray painted with “you’re not strong enough” or “you can’t do this”, and know that I can do whatever I put my mind to. I’ll have been able to put myself first, to finish something that I’m sure there are doubts about, and have been able to make my body and mind a happier place for me to live with every day.









Amber Layfield, senior at Appalachian State studying psychology and criminal justice, teaches Pilates and Yoga, and is Co-Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Appalachian State!  Enjoys hiking in Boone, getting lost in a great book, dabbling in cooking, knitting, creating jewelry, and writing. An avid animal, coffee, pizza, Harry Potter and Pinterest lover.