I’ve taken the H2Only Challenge with three friends to raise money for the RNLI. This means we drank 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 was banned! It had to be just plain water, “H2Only”. You can sponsor me, Beckie, Karen and Keith at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/createh2only.
Wow, the day we thought would never come is here! It’s 9pm on Friday, September 23rd, four hours since I gleefully poured myself a cup of strong coffee in my favourite mug and found it tasted, well, a bit bitter.
It seems that my taste buds have adjusted over 10 days of drinking only water (and having a rotten sinus infection, but let’s not whinge about that again). I had a second cup an hour ago (yes, I know, I won’t sleep tonight) and that tasted more normal, so I expect shunning the water-only experience for a more varied menu of drinks will be just like riding a bike.
Much to my delight my husband came home from work armed with bottles of sparkling water, cloudy cider and Coke as a treat (he doesn’t read my blog to know that I was planning to pass on Coke completely from now on and apparently we don’t actually speak to each other!). While I really fancied the cider I’ve been doing admin for the baby and toddler group I help run and didn’t think that two cups of coffee AND a bottle of cider would help me handle the finer details. But I’m going to get my husband to make me a hot toddy (lemon, honey , cloves and whisky) in a minute, for purely medicinal purposes, of course.
So what I have learned from drinking only water for these 10 days?
Well, it’s had no effect whatsoever on my skin, despite me having high hopes that it might improve the redness and bumpiness that comes from rosacea. I’m inclined to think that having a sinus infection which has left me extremely run down hasn’t helped there. I wonder whether I’d be glowing radiantly if that hadn’t hit me at the same time. My daily photos were meant to capture a big improvement but never mind. I have at least learned to take a half-decent selfie (my top tips: good natural lighting, hold the camera so you have to look up a bit, go for an enigmatic smile rather than a massive cheesy grin), which is a good skill to have in 2016 if nothing else.
My weight has bounced around a bit over the 10 days but I started out last Tuesday at 170 lbs (darn that baby weight!) and ended up today at 167.8 lbs, so 2.2 lbs lighter. I’m quite impressed with this because I’ve definitely eaten more cake and chocolate in these 10 days than I usually do. Nature abhors a vacuum, after all, so I had to fill the gap left by restricting my drinks choices with lots of sugary goodies (sorry, mum). I didn’t make any other changes to my activity levels – if anything I have been doing less, thanks to the afternoon naps I’ve needed every day due to being poorly – so a 2.2 lbs weight loss is pretty good.
I’ve also learned that I actually can decide to do something and stick to it. Although I did miss some drinks and just having choices, I never doubted that I would get to the end of the 10 days without cheating or giving in. It just wasn’t an option. I will do well to remember this in my daily life, when it’s all too easy to quit if something’s a bit hard or inconvenient. No more excuses, I just need to decide what I want to do and then do it!
Blogging every day has been great fun. I haven’t blogged for a long time as this website is usually just a portfolio for work, and it’s hasn’t even been used much for that recently as I’ve been on maternity leave for nearly a year. I’m tempted to keep it up if I can think of things to say, although definitely not every day! That level of commitment was definitely just for H2Only.
Of course, we mustn’t forget that this was a fundraising challenge and not just an interesting experiment. My friends and I have (so far?) raised a grand total of £226.53 for the RNLI (it’s not a nice round number because my sweet friend Kate down under donated in Australian dollars – thank you, Kate!), which is enough to buy five pairs of the RNLI’s special £42 non-slip reinforced wellies worn by volunteer lifeboat crew members. If you’d still like to contribute, you can give online on our Just Giving page or if you see me in real life, ask me for the paper donation form.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our donors and our friends who have supported and encouraged us in this harder-than-you’d-think challenge over the past 10 days!