First Challenge of #R2BT – The Big Game, the Sober Bowl.

1280px-Super_Bowl_XLIII_-_Thunderbirds_Flyover_-_Feb_1_2009According to some online statistics, Americans and other persons in various countries will drink 325 million gallons of beer on SuperBowl Sunday. That’s the equivalent of over a gallon per person in the United States, including the children. Now, many, many countries will share in that drinking, including ours.

No exception to the trend, I will be attending a party on February 1st, at a friend’s place. The host is an exceptional cook. Pulled pork. BBQ Chicken. Chili. Dips and chips and racks of snacks. A cornucopia of fantastic foodstuffs, a feast.

And yes, beer. Scotch maybe. Whiskey, too.

Yes, all us football freaks go nuts on this day of indulgence, and most party-goers will be into the hard stuff. Including me, I figure. What a daunting task, to stay booze free, as part of Ready to Be Thirsty – the very first day of the challenge. Can I do it? Am I willing? Do I feel it will be impossible to refrain?

Stay tuned.

#R2BT Thirsty Crew – Tony Grace

Tony Grace

Tony Grace is the anchor and co-producer of CTV News at 6. He’s been living in Barrie since 2010. Tony has quickly become one of the region’s biggest ambassadors, hosting dozens of benefit and charity gala fundraisers each year. Tony is thrilled to be publicly supporting and participating in the “Ready to be Thirsty” Challenge.

Follow Tony   –   Twitter:@tonygrace        FB: Tony Grace

1. Why did you accept the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge?
I accepted the challenge because back when I was in my early and mid 20’s, like many young people, drinking was a problem in my life. I witnessed first-hand the dangers that binge drinking can lead to. I made a decision to become a responsible social drinker…and eventually learned and appreciated how rewarding it could be to make more responsible decisions. We shouldn’t vilify drinking…but we should certainly underscore that it’s all about decisions. Responsible drinking is a decision nobody will ever regret.

2. Tell us your thoughts/feelings about how you think the challenge will go.
I think the challenge is a huge opportunity to change the dialogue about drinking, and to promote better decisions. We have to work together to make sure that binge drinking is no longer “glorified”, and we can do that by being positive role models. I will personally commit to abstaining from alcohol for the entire month, and will be happy to encourage others to do the same and to join us in the challenge.

3. Are there any events or occasions in February where you might be especially tempted?
My partner’s birthday is in February, and I have a major family gathering planned during the month as well which will involve a large dinner, and plenty of opportunities for a social drink. I will be mustering up my willpower to resist having a glass of wine at these social events…but I’ll be better off for it.


Join the Thirsty Crew in their Ready to be Thirsty Challenge #R2BT

Confessions of a Worried and Thirsty Mind #R2BT

upset-534103_1280In talking to a friend who just agreed to take on the Ready to Be Thirsty challenge, it became clear that there was anxiety, just under a veneer of courage. More human a moment there has never been.

Anxiety in regard to change is natural, but that doesn’t make it easy.

Maybe you’ll see yourself in her thoughts:

“I love red wine. I drink most days, yet I never get drunk, never call in sick to work – it does not interfere with my life…so how come I am so hesitant…reluctant…uncertain about signing up for this challenge??”

“I know I drink more than I should [if I was concerned about my health]. I have read about the chronic illnesses that are associated with alcohol, and my family has a history of cancer and high blood pressure. I know it would be wise to cut back.”

“So what am I afraid of? -That I may find out I am ‘dependent’ on alcohol? That I can’t go a few days without a glass of wine? That I will lose my current way of decompressing (that works!)…?”

I would argue that in many ways, these thoughts are all our thoughts. But these kinds of worries are exactly why we should try to look closer, and take the challenge.

Be kind to yourself – we are learning together. #R2BT

#R2BT Thirsty Crew – Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth


Lauren Pibworth is president of Pibworth Professional Solutions, one of the most successful and fastest growing virtual marketing agencies in North America. She also runs and emcees the MoMondays show in Barrie and is an avid sommelier.

Follow Lauren   @pibworth    FB: Lauren Pibworth


1. Why did you accept the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge?
I chose to participate in the challenge as wine is a deep passion of mine. Although I encourage others to savour the taste of wine, it also makes sense to encourage people to think before they drink.

2. Tell us your thoughts/feelings about how you think the challenge will go.
I love my wine but acknowledge that I do not drink regularly therefore I do not see too many issues with taking a month off.

3. Are there any events or occasions in February where you might be especially tempted?
February brings my husband’s birthday and Valentine’s Day, where alcohol would be enjoyed in the celebration of those events.

#R2BT Thirsty Crew – Meg Whitton

Meg Whitton



Meg Whitton is an on-air radio personality and Morning show host for DOCK radio station, Midland. She can be heard mornings on 104.1FM.

1. Why did you accept the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge?
I’m doing Ready to be Thirsty because I’ve never done it before – and I’ve noticed my pregnant friends point out they feel like they don’t belong and are almost unwelcome at social events.

2. Tell us your thoughts/feelings on how you think the challenge will go for you?
Do we really have nothing to talk about unless we’re throwing back a few? Let’s find out.

3. Are there any events or occasions in February where you might be especially tempted?
I’ve dropped the ‘tying it on’ in my ‘mature’ years but I absolutely turn to booze in my moments of comfort. A Cab Sauv for Friday night dinner, a Pinot while stirring Saturday’s risotto, and a Baileys on Sunday morning? Without these I could be grumpy.

Follow Meg and her Challenge   twitter   @MegWhitton     facebookMeg Whitton

#R2BT Thirsty Crew – Dr. Lisa Simon



Dr. Lisa Simon is an Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.Her primary focus and interest is in the fields of chronic disease and injury prevention, both of which have ties to alcohol consumption.


1. Why did you accept the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge?
Because it’s a great way to encourage us all to reflect on the normalized role that alcohol plays in our lives, the potential hidden harms from alcohol, and how we as individuals and as a society have the opportunity to re-shape that.

2. Tell us your thoughts/feelings about how you think the challenge will go.
Alcohol doesn’t play a substantial role in my life, but I do enjoy a drink on most weekends. I think I’ll miss that drink a bit as it symbolizes ‘weekend relaxation’ for me, but will likely find the challenge a helpful reminder that life would be (at least) equally good if alcohol wasn’t a part of it!

3. Are there any events or occasions in February where you might be especially tempted?
My husband’s birthday is in February, so I’ll have to share in that celebration without a drink. He’s promised to cheer me on.
Whether or not you have any intention of changing your drinking patterns in the long-term, joining this challenge is a great communal opportunity to reflect on the role that alcohol unknowingly plays in our lives.

If you are looking for more information about the #R2BT Ready to Be Thirsty Challenge visit Take the Challenge, or Twitter twitter#R2BT.

Challenge Yourself – Are You Ready to Be Thirsty #R2BT

Take the challenge snipWe’ve got an interesting exercise for all of you folks out there reading up on Thirst. That’s right – we have a challenge, an undertaking, for you.

This February, 2015, Thirst is hosting an Alcohol-Free Month and we are looking for participants.

That’s right, 28 whole days of, well, not drinking.

An Alcohol Free Month is a period of non-drinking (or reduced drinking, if you must) – an extended dryness, if you will – to allow participants to accomplish some or all of the following:

• Learning about our relationship with alcohol – how and why do we want it?
• Gaining insight into our social networks and activities
• Feeling healthy, being active, losing weight, saving money
• Trying a new activity or interest

This has been tried before in other places around the world, to great success. There as here, this is an interesting and challenging decision, co-made with many others attempting the same.

Perhaps the most important part of the challenge is that other people will need to know you’re taking this journey, should you go for it. You will need to Facebook, Tweet [#R2BT], Blog, Text, or somehow indicate your participation to others. That will actually be the fun part!

Want more details? Want to sign-up? – check out Ready to be Thirsty