Dry January: Why I’m giving up alcohol for a month

Dry January, giving up alcohol for the entire month of January, has become a common New Year’s resolution and Dr. Jennifer Ashton of ABC News’ “Good Morning America” is taking on the alcohol-free challenge this month.

“It’s just a little experiment I am doing, kicking off 2018,” Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, said. “There’s a saying in medicine: Doctor heal thyself. I give this advice to women every single day, but we’ll see if I can take my advice.”

Ashton spoke to “GMA” about her reasons for doing Dry January and her comments are lightly edited and transcribed below. Send us your comments and advice with #DryJENuary on Twitter.

I have decided to try Dry January and I’m inviting you guys to try it with me. Why did I decide to do it? Good question. I think more curiosity from a medical and wellness standpoint and also psychologically.

My baseline alcohol consumption I think meets criteria for “moderate,” which as you guys know because I have defined it many times on the air, is seven 5-ounce servings of wine per week, or seven alcoholic servings a week.

Now, my drink of choice is clear tequila, which I usually drink on the rocks with a slice of orange. I think it’s a pretty clean drink in terms of, it doesn’t have a lot of excess sugar, I don’t throw margarita mix in there.

I would say in a normal week I probably drink once during the week if I go out to dinner, which I normally do Monday through Friday once. And then on the weekends, when I’m at hockey games, or I am out with friends Friday, Saturday or Sunday. So let’s say it is four nights a week.

My motto is two and through. I never have more than two drinks, but four times two, I am over that moderate consumption threshold. Not that it was to the excessive amount, but I kind of had a gut feeling that I was teetering around or over that moderate definition. So I decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to do a dry month. For the record, the last time I did a “dry” anything, I was pregnant with my second child, who is now 18 years old, so it’s been a while.

From a medical standpoint, these are the things I’m curious about:

I’m curious if my skin looks better.

I’m curious to see if I lose even a pound, which is not my goal, but I’m just curious to see how literally the math kind of falls out.

I’m curious behaviorally how it’s going to feel especially in social settings. I feel like I would totally be OK if I…

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