Is it time for Feb Fast, Dry July or is HSM your best approach with alcohol?

As we get set to kick off the second month of the New Year, it’s time for back to work, school and the business of a healthy lifestyle.  Bye bye Christmas indulgence, Australia Day excesses, holiday eating and drinking excuses. Ahh yes, drinking.  We have our fair share of experts in Oz and you don’t need to be a health professional to know that the stats on binge drinking are a little scary.  Even if you are just a social or “wine with dinner” drinker, alcohol can creep up on you and impact your health and weight loss goals.  So why don’t you try….

Feb Fast

Dubbed as the time “to give your body and mind a break from the booze” and supported by leading Australian’s including Sarah Wilson, Feb Fast proceeds go to worthy beneficiaries like The Australian Drug Foundation.  You can sign up and make the pledge.  And before you find an excuse that you have a big wedding to go to or work clients to entertain, it’s ok, you can buy a timeout pass for 24hours off.  And if you’re not quite ready to face Feb, go for Dry July, a similar program just months away.

28 days without a drop is enough time to experiment with new ways to unwind, social activities that don’t start with “meet you at the pub” and, when coupled with a healthy eating and exercise plan, leave you feeling healthier and around 5 kilograms lighter.  So what’s the catch?

Don’t get me wrong, Feb Fast has my support, but there’s something about the word “fast” and the excruciating abstinence it conjures up, I find uncomfortable.  I can vividly remember the end of Feb last year on Twitter when many a celebrity chef and personality tweeted their woes of going without grog, and counted down til midnight with a case of chilled favourites to celebrate big.  Lesson learned? Role modelling for young people? Plus, the idea of the timeout pass, reinforces that there are just some things in life where alcohol is a necessity. Really? As I’ve posted before, I believe that health promotion works best if the focus can be on positive messages. So what’s the alternative?

Hello Sunday Morning

There’s no better way to get a grasp of HSM than to listen to founder Chris Raine:

If you do not receive this video by email, please follow this link HSM Introduction from Hello Sunday Morning on Vimeo.

What a positive message spreading within young people – feel the benefits of waking up to a Sunday morning without a hangover, regrets and “oh nos” and full of a day ahead of opportunities and possibilities.  I’ve been impressed since reading blog posts by HSMers like Eddie Harran.  Like many models that work for healthy habit change, it involves a public commitment and is supported by a strong (online) community made up of young people sharing  and supporting each other. Read more about why it works here.

Ok I’m sure some of you think this sounds a little schmaltzy, over the top and a modern day temperance movement.  But I say it’s a bunch of highly intelligent young Aussies who have taken time out to question a culture that sinks 20 beers without blinking.  And I hope that by the time Master 6 and Miss 8 are ready for schoolies week, they will want to say “Hello Sunday Morning” too.  Love your thoughts – good, bad or ugly below. Cheers.

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