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I’m taking the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we will drink only water for 10 days from 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th, until 5pm on Friday, September 23rd. No coffee, tea, squash, pop, wine – even fizzy water is banned! It has to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only.

diary

My bullet journal, with appropriate motto

Apologies for missing a blogging day yesterday – this flipping cold has completely wiped me out. I’m still at death’s door today, but I didn’t want to skip another day.

Much to our surprise, my friends and I are finding the challenge harder than ever. We bemoaned our fate at church this morning while everyone around us washed their sausage rolls and doughnuts down with tea and coffee.

We all expected that it would be getting easier by now but we all agreed that this weekend has been tough. I suppose at the start you get carried along by the novelty of it all, but by this mid-point we are all just grinding towards the finish line. I’m also feeling rather disappointed that I haven’t suddenly got gorgeously radiant skin! Maybe I need to increase my water intake as we enter the home straight to give my skin a big blast. Or maybe drinking more water just doesn’t really have much impact on rosacea. Or maybe I just need to give it more time. In any case, I’m dreaming of a cup of coffee to put hairs on your chest on Friday at 5pm.

day_4

Day 4 (168.6 lbs)

I’ve noticed in the H2Onlies Facebook group that a few people are throwing in the towel. If you’ve never done something like this you would be surprised at how hard it actually is. It sounds so easy, I was almost a little embarrassed to ask for sponsorship. It doesn’t sound anywhere near as impressive as running a marathon, does it? But what you drink is so intertwined with your daily life and habits and the fabric of society, that it ends up colouring everything you do.

This challenge makes me think about one of my favourite authors, Gretchen Rubin, and her work on habits. It’s worth doing her quiz to find out if you are an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner or Rebel – namely, how you respond to expectations – because it gives you so much insight into yourself. I’m a Questioner (“Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense”), so essentially I weighed up the positives and negatives to doing this challenge, decided to do it and there we go. But I imagine that people who respond differently to expectations (I’m looking at you Rebels, and you Obligers, to an extent) might find this extra-difficult, if they even decided to volunteer for it at all.

day_5

Day 5 (169.8 lbs)

It’s also cemented for me (if there was ever any doubt!), that I am 100 per cent an Abstainer rather than a Moderator, another of Gretchen’s distinctions. Even though I miss coffee and, to a lesser degree, Coke, it’s easier for me to go completely cold turkey. If I cheated and had a sip of coffee, the entire mug would be down my throat in seconds. I wouldn’t be able to stop at a little bit. Maybe I just need to draw the line and say “I am not drinking Coke ever again”. Maybe I will do just that.

PS I have to give a special shout out to my friend, Beckie, who is also doing this challenge and told me at the start of our first aid course today that there was tea and coffee available in the other room! Nooooooooooo!

Day 3

Day 6

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I’m taking the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we will drink only water for 10 days from 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th, until 5pm on Friday, September 23rd. No coffee, tea, squash, pop, wine – even fizzy water is banned! It has to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only.

create_cafe

It even says “fancy coffee”!

My church opened a new community café today straight after the baby and toddler group I help run. I “borrowed” the photo on the left from the church Facebook page. You can see that this isn’t your ordinary weak tea, tasteless coffee and a dry digestive that you might expect from church fare. We are talking seriously posh here. Can you make out on the photo that it even says “fancy coffee”? There were also such delights as spicy apple tea and cherry and almond rooibos tea. And they’re all ethically sourced from Freebird. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Can you imagine just having to have a glass of water? At least it was served to me with a smile, a huge piece of bacon, cheese and mushroom quiche and a massive slice of lemon drizzle cake.

It wasn’t even at the café launch that my resolve was most shaken. It was in the quiet times at home, when I longed for a cup of coffee to warm my aching bones. I’m still full of cold and even slept for two hours after I got home from church (actually managing to follow that old advice of “sleep when the baby sleeps” for once). I can’t help but wonder if this challenge is part of the reason I’m so tired. I can’t wait for this cold to go so I can get some energy back.

day_3

Day 3 (169.2 lbs)

It’s hard to imagine that we’re not even half way through yet. I think it might get harder rather than easier because I’ll get so bored with water. My husband bought me some cola-flavoured Chewits (of course I’ve just been on YouTube to watch the old 1980s Godzilla-style adverts) which helped a little, but I think I’m going to need some fizzy cola bottles in the next few days.

After my joy at losing almost two lbs yesterday I found I’d put half of it back on again this morning. Oh well. There’s no improvement in the rosacea yet either. I’m sure this water-only experiment must be doing me some good though. I’d just like to see some outward signs of that!

I also like to say thank you to all our sponsors – we are up to 75 per cent of our target now and we are so proud to be raising money for this wonderful cause. You can sponsor us at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only

Day 2

Days 4 and 5

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I’m taking the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we will drink only water for 10 days from 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th, until 5pm on Friday, September 23rd. No coffee, tea, squash, pop, wine – even fizzy water is banned! It has to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only.

guilty_pleasure

A guilty pleasure

I probably have it easier than many people doing the H2Only challenge because I’m a stay-at-home mum. I’m not constantly surrounded by colleagues making endless cups of tea and coffee, tempting me with their deliciously caffeinated beverages and driving me crazy with that scrumptious fizzing sound that accompanies the opening of a can of Coke (ohhhhhhhhhh!).

But today my husband was at home, and it made me realise how much we communicate love through little acts like making each other a cup of tea or coffee. It didn’t bother me when he had a coffee with breakfast and I cracked on with my water. I didn’t mind when we got back from the school run and he had another coffee and I had, yes, water. But it felt very strange when I was flagging significantly thanks to my horrible cold and my husband instinctively wanted to look after me by making me a hot drink. And oh, I really wanted one! Running the tap for a glass of water just didn’t feel the same. But I stuck it out and he later came back from town with a big bar of Galaxy chocolate, two chocolate cupcakes (one each!) and a copy of my true guilty pleasure, Heat magazine. The cupcake would have gone down beautifully with a cup of coffee, but never mind.

Other than the comfort of nice, warm drink, the other drink I am missing is sparkling water. I got a taste for this while I was pregnant (it was the only thing I could bear to drink for about six months) and it’s a lovely, thirst-quenching treat. After yesterday’s blog post, it was interesting to read comments in the H2Onlies Facebook group from people who are also finding that plain tap water leaves them still feeling thirsty. I’m still finding that to be the case. I wonder if my body will eventually adjust.

day_2

Day 2 (168.2lbs)

On the weight front, I have apparently lost 1.8lbs since I started the challenge on Tuesday! My weight does tend to fluctuate a bit so we shall see if this continues. No improvement (yet?) with the rosacea – I still have a bumpy, rosy face, but then it’s been humid and hot these past few days and my face does not like that type of weather. My cold seems to be clearing up (although I look shattered) but I have been in a bad mood today. Two people independently told me to stop moaning! Not sure if I can blame this on the water challenge though…

EDITED TO ADD: My husband has just made me a cup of hot boiled water as this is when I would normally have a cup of tea. True love!

Day 1

Day 3

 

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I’m taking the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we will drink only water for 10 days from 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th, until 5pm on Friday, September 23rd. No coffee, tea, squash, pop, wine – even fizzy water is banned! It has to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only.

1_costa

It was a HOT day so this icy water was perfect!

What kind of fool arranges to meet a friend in Costa on their first full day of a challenge to drink only water? Me, that’s who. I’m more of a Starbucks girl but we don’t have one in our town, so Costa is often a decent substitute, despite the fact that the cakes are always a disappointment.

It was unexpectedly easy to pick up my water bottle instead of my normal morning coffee with breakfast, so I feared that my willpower would be severely tested in Costa. But to my surprise, I didn’t even give the coffee a second glance as I ordered a pot of tea for my friend and a glass of water with lots of ice for me. Would it have been more tricky if she’d had a flat white instead of a cuppa? I think so.

day_1

Day 1 (168.8lb)

Despite my willpower not being too stretched today, I feel awful. I mean, really, really terrible. I have a stinking cold. To be honest, it could even be man flu. It’s that bad. Do I feel worse because I am having huge caffeine and sugar withdrawal symptoms? Is my cold just masking the true depths of my body’s addiction? Who knows. I’m a little disappointed with the timing of my cold because I wanted to see how bad the withdrawal symptoms were. (And yes, it definitely is a cold. My poor 10-month-old is also in a bad way.)

I’m also surprised to find that I seem to be much more thirsty than normal. Admittedly it’s been very hot today, and I’m sipping small amounts more frequently rather than popping the kettle on for a nice brew, but somehow plain water just doesn’t seem as thirst-quenching. It will be interesting to see whether this changes. I also expected that I’d be going to the loo every two minutes, but that hasn’t happened (yet!).

I’ve lost a bit of weight since yesterday (probably just a normal fluctuation) and sadly my face is bright red this evening, thanks to the hot, sunny weather today. Come on, water, clear my skin up and flush my cold away!

Day 0

Day 2

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I’m taking the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we will drink only water for 10 days from 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th, until 5pm on Friday, September 23rd. No coffee, tea, squash, pop, wine – even fizzy water is banned! It has to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only 

Here we are. As I type, it has been three hours and 15 minutes since I glugged the last drops of the Coke I bought earlier today to mark the start of my water only challenge.

bye_bye_coke

Time to say goodbye

And in that three hours and 15 minutes, I have so far fancied a glass of sparkling water, a cup of tea, and copious amounts of fresh orange juice to try to beat the cold that my five-year-old’s return to school has blessed me with. Later tonight, I will inevitably long for my usual mug of hot milk with honey, or maybe even a nice hot toddy with a medicinal shot of something to help me sweat out that cold overnight. But no, it’ll have to be a glass of water or a mug of hot H2O, without even so much as a slice of lemon to help it down.

Why am I doing this? Partly to raise money for the RNLI, a charity I love despite living pretty much as far from the sea as you can be in this country, partly for the personal challenge (and to please my mum, who is always trying to get me to stop drinking Coke!), and partly to see what effect drinking only water will have on my weight and my rosacea.

Hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine are common rosacea triggers, and the internet abounds with people crediting drinking more water with calming their skin and helping them shed pounds. I am tired of having a red, spotty face, and I am tired of weighing too much.

I’m going to weigh myself every morning and take a selfie to see if there’s any noticeable difference. And I’ll keep myself accountable by posting them on here.

day_0

Day Zero (170lbs)

My friend and co-challenger Karen has taken the sensible step of weaning herself off coffee gradually. I am going full cold turkey. I want it to be hard. I want to see how badly my body is addicted to caffeine. I want to exert a bit of willpower for once in my life. I wonder if my cold will mask any withdrawal symptoms, or if I will just feel extra awful for a couple of days?

I realise that doing something as simple as drinking only water isn’t like running a marathon or climbing Mount Everest for charity, but there’s nothing wrong with starting where you are and doing what’s in front of you.

I raise my glass (of water) to the men and women of the RNLI – may your courage never falter, and may we never need your services. Thank you for all that you do.

Day 1

 

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