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Gaynor Tate has started her year vowing to kick the ‘habit’ of alcohol with Dry January. The 38 year old mum of 3 from South Tyneside isn’t doing it alone either, having encouraged her husband and several friends to join her. She’s found more energy and lost half a stone in the first two weeks.

Gaynor said: “Dry January helps you to get into the right start for the year. It’s easy to slip into the habit of alcohol in the evenings for example. When you’ve had a few drinks at the weekend it just creeps into the week.

“Committing to something means I don’t want to break it. I am not even missing alcohol now, by the end of the month it will be even easier. Deciding to do Dry January for me was all about changing my behavior and breaking bad habits.

“My husband has embraced it too. I can be a bit of a bad influence on him he says. SO when he comes home from work and I’ve got a glass of wine he’ll have one too. If I am not then he doesn’t miss it.

“I co-founded a special needs charity recently, so a few of us are doing Dry January together to raise funds. It makes it easier when you’re doing it with friends and we’re using our sponsorship to raise money to help children with special needs and their families.”

Reflecting on her usual habits Gaynor said: “I tend to self-medicate with alcohol if you like, to de-stress. With having young children I don’t often go out but when I do I can go a bit overboard. Not drinking at all for the month is part of improving on that.

“The worst time for me is the evenings. I feel like a glass but it doesn’t stop there. I have tried limiting my intake but I find my resolve slips. Doing this helps me re-set and break all that type of mentality.

“I am feeling so much better. I have lots more motivation and get up and go to be productive. I don’t get a hangover usually but when I am having wine in the evenings I feel more sluggish and I am more likely to want to go for a nap!

“I have lost half a stone in weight so far; four pounds in the first week and three this week. Part of that is the alcohol itself but I am also feeling motivated so I am batch making soup and wearing my Fit Bit again. It’s all linked in.

“Dry January is a kick-start for me, a step in the right direction. Why you do it depends on what you drink for and whether you find it easy to cut back or need to cut it out completely.

“I find it’s important to prepare mentally as well as practically. We’ve been booking tickets for things like comedy shows and we’ve done a couple of escape rooms, keeping busy so we’re not just sat at home. It’s a different sort of night out and ensures you aren’t just sitting at home drinking because you’re bored.

“We’re making memories. Much better than a night out drinking where you don’t even remember half the night!”

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