Cheers to ditching the beers: febfast supporter

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Tabitha Acret’s friends are looking forward to her participating in this year’s febfast because it means they’ll have a designated driver for all social events during the month.

Removing hidden sugars from her diet for a month two years ago, this year the dental hygienist plans to address her relationship with alcohol.

“I’m not a big drinker, I don’t have a drink every single day,” Tabitha said.

“Like most Australians, I’ve just been drinking a bit more over the festive season.

“And last year, during lockdown, I probably missed a few of the alcohol-free days I used to have.

“If I’m honest I’ve even had enough of drinks over Zoom.”

febfast is a national campaign aimed at encouraging adults to raise funds by taking a break from either alcohol, sugar or another vice of their choice, to support disadvantaged youth in Australia.

For many participants the month-long commitment is an excuse to kick-start the year with a little good health and good will.

For Newcastle-based 42-year-old mother Tabitha, not pouring a glass of wine after work won’t be her main concern.

“It’s more the going out that will be the test,” she said.

“I’ll miss having a beer at a barbecue the most.”

With a few social events planned during the month, Tabitha says she knows there will be testing times ahead.

“I’ve got a concert booked during the month and that will be a bit different without a glass of wine,” she said.

“I’m also the guest speaker at a conference that concludes with a cocktail hour later this month.

“Those two social events, and being surrounded by people drinking, and possibly being annoying, I’ll be proud of myself to get through them to be honest.”

Tabitha has been preparing for the month-long abstinence by foregoing alcohol since January 1.

Being Jewish, her new years celebrations take place in September, removing the temptation to drink 31 December.

Raised on the family’s vineyard in Victoria however, being surrounded by alcohol, especially on occasions, was the “normal”.

“Being Jewish, even some of our religious festivals involve drinking alcohol,” she said.

“But like 95% of Australians, I made a new year’s resolution to lose some weight this year and giving up alcohol is one of the best ways to do that.”

Funds raised during febfast will offer disadvantaged youth access to much-needed resources and support they require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

“We’re building a supportive community where all young people are valued, included and have every opportunity to thrive,” a febfast spokesperson said.

“Your support will help us reduce the severity and frequency of alcohol, drug, and mental health problems – as well as antisocial and self-harming behaviour in young Australians.”