Live Better

Bye bye booze

Comedian Adam Spencer shares how his life changes for the better when he gives up alcohol in July.

This July, an online social community will give up alcohol and raise money for adults living with cancer. Running since 2008, Dry July has raised over $10 million and last year exceeded targets to raise over $3.7 million for 19 different cancer services.

Adam Spencer has had a long running connection with Dry July – it was on his radio show that the not-for-profit organisation’s founders first pledged to stay alcohol-free for a month for charity. Here Adam shares how his fridge, and liver, get a clean out during the month of July.

What’s on your fridge shelf in July?

It’s bye-bye beer and hello there sacred brown diet cola drink! I throw out the ice cream, chocolate, chips and other junk that become my gorging snack foods when I come home at night after I’ve had a few drinks. I eat okay during the week so it’s easy to say goodbye to these types of foods for 31 days!

Do you find by giving up alcohol, you gravitate towards a healthier diet?

Absolutely! There’s no late night snacking and that’s where the kilojoules can add up. Your body feels much healthier saying goodbye to booze for an entire month, well mine does!

How does your social life change without alcohol for a month?

I get my Saturday and Sunday mornings back, sleep like a hibernating polar bear and realise my mates are shouting a lot more than they really need to when we catch up. I still go out to the pub sober, which is such an interesting experience – it’s actually quite worth doing!

Are you a regular drinker outside Dry July?

Don’t mind a tipple I do say! Dry July is about taking a month off something you do enjoy whether it’s a glass of wine with dinner during the week or drinks at the pub.

As the days count down towards the end of July, are you thinking about a drink or contemplating an arid-August?

Certainly not an arid august! Towards the end of July I plan a big get together with some of the incredible and inspiring people involved with Dry July, be it the co-founders Brett and Phil or some of the top fundraisers. We all toast to another successful year raising money for something that is close to us.

Do you find you exercise more throughout Dry July?

I lost eight kilos last year and broke my personal best time for a Saturday morning five kilometre run with my local running club, Parkrun.

You have been a long-standing ambassador for Dry July – why do you get involved?

$10,000,000 is 10 million great reasons over the last five years and this year we’re looking to break all sorts of records. I’ve seen the difference this money makes in cancer wards. Comfortable chairs for six-hour chemo sessions, cheap accommodation for people who would otherwise drive 200kms each way, twice a week, for their sessions or a colour TV in the waiting room where you might be sitting for hours on end to name a few.

Why should people give up alcohol for a month and take part?

It gives me, and thousands of others, a chance to step back for a few weeks and have an honest look at our relationship with alcohol. The bragging rights are amazing when you prove your doubting friends wrong. Plus it feels absolutely great for the contribution you are making to the lives of adult cancer patients and their families and also for yourself… seriously.

What has been the best health advice you have received?

If it’s bigger than your own head, don’t try and eat it!

As a father how do you lead by example when it comes to health?

Yet to be beaten by my kids in a steamed-vegetable-eating-competition – a crown I don’t intend to give up without a fight!

Comedian Adam Spencer shares how his life changes for the better when he gives up alcohol in July.

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