If you are thinking about giving the 30-day water challenge a try, then take a look at my very first 30-day water challenge diary. I try to do this challenge a couple of times a year because I find the benefits so great! This diary was written a couple of years ago and I am pleased to say that the challenge has become much easier now.
For the record, my relationship with alcohol has completely changed, I only have the odd glass of wine on special occasions. When I say special occasions, I mean sitting along the canal in Venice, enjoying a lovely Italian meal with a nice glass of red wine or lunch in Xlendi, Gozo, sitting on a table at the foot of the beach, watching the waves lap against the shore, sipping a cold glass of white wine. I guess you could say, I associate alcoholic drinks with a beautiful atmosphere, rather than a way to socialise. I also no longer eat meat anymore, I had a triggering moment in Poland in 2017 involving a slaughterhouse and have not touched it since!
The idea of this challenge is not to stop you from ever drinking alcohol, soft drinks or coffee again, it is to give your body the detox it needs to heal itself. If you begin to change through this challenge then that will happen naturally, because you want it to. Plus 30 days is not too long in the grand scheme of things!
Chloe Gosiewski's 30-day water challenge
My initial 30-day water challenge was strict. Drink only water, no squash, no juice, no alcohol and no tea/coffee. The only exception was instead of my usual hot beverage; I was allowing myself for the first week to occasionally drink #Matcha Green Tea or #Chamomile Tea.
I should probably start by telling you; I drank a lot of coffee at work and tended to drink quite a lot of alcohol over the weekend. I was a typical 20-something-year-old, binge drink at the weekends, then spend the week in recovery filling up on coffee and cans of diet coke. Completely unhealthy lifestyle, which I wanted to change.
I was excited to start this and really curious to see how it would make me feel. Would my skin be better? Would I lose weight? Would I have more energy? These are some of the things that I had read would happen on this challenge.
I started this challenge on a Tuesday, I find personally that a Tuesday is quite a good day to start something new. However, if you want to do this then you need to pick a day that suits you best. I had a heavy weekend of drinking and partying the weekend before so I was still feeling pretty crap come start day. My hangovers always tended to last quite a few days and this seems to get longer the more the birthday's past. I also want to point out that I have never been good at sticking to anything! So there were a lot of people around me, that knew me well, teasing me saying how they were sure I’d only last a few days. I think I surprised myself more than anyone else when I successfully completed my challenge - which made me feel prouder than ever.
The first day was not too bad, of course, the first morning is tough when you are used to starting your day with a coffee. I knew that the only reason I wanted the coffee was out of habit and maybe a slight caffeine addiction and I was keen to break both of these habits. I drank lots of water throughout the day. I found it easier to drink from a large ceramic bottle of water at home rather than a glass and just keep topping it up as and when I ran out.
The second day, working in an office full of caffeine drinkers was pretty tough, however, I found it slightly easier to turn down a coffee on this day. I did find by the afternoon that I felt pretty flat with no energy. I asked myself “I wonder how long it will take for me to start feeling more energised?”
Day three was a struggle mostly in regards to energy. I wanted a coffee pretty badly, but the urge passed quite quickly. I had a thumping headache on this day and I thought it may have been due to the huge boil growing underneath my skin in between my eyebrows. It was so sore and it felt as though I had a lot of pressure around it causing a headache. I also noticed some spots popping up along my jawline. I spent a lot of the day yawning and had a craving for something sweet. I guess my body, who was usually used to 3-5 cups of sugared coffee a day and fizzy drinks was crashing.
I had recently (for the past two years) had problems having an undisturbed sleep. I’d often wake up numerous times in the night. On day four I realised that for the past three nights, I had a full night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. With that being said, even though I had been sleeping better by day four - I was still finding myself really tired throughout the day and still having headaches. Also on day four, I experienced a dull ache in my left kidney which led to quite a painful evening at home. I am not sure what was going on in there but it did pass overnight and didn’t return for the remainder of the challenge.
Days five and six fell on a weekend. I have to be honest, these were really tough days. I stayed in bed for most of the weekend, feeling awful! I had no energy and I was feeling sorry for myself... big time. I don't want to give you any false perceptions of this challenge, it can at times be rough.
I actually find drinking water at home pretty easy providing I have absolutely no other choice of drink in the house. I would personally recommend doing this 30-day challenge during a time when you have no social or holiday commitments, there is no point in making this challenge any harder than it needs to be and trust me, at times it was tough. I had a resting weekend at home and focused on the positives at the end.
After seven days this challenge becomes much easier. You need to perceiver with it and get past the first week, personally, I found the first four-six days horrific and thought often about giving up, however, I am glad I didn’t because by day eight – quite a few people were commenting on how good I was looking and how it looked like I had lost quite a bit of weight.
Day nine, I noticed my skin was clearing up, the boils and painful spots on my face were disappearing! Hallelujah! This 30-day challenge has a lot of ups and downs, but then it wouldn’t be easy because if it was it wouldn’t be a challenge. Day 10 I woke up wanting a coffee, so when I got to work – I treated myself to a sausage sandwich from the canteen. I hoped that by having something 'naughty' that it would replace my urge to break my challenge. In some ways, it did curb the craving a little bit.
Each day did gradually get easier – now and then at work, I had moments where I wanted a coffee, but I think that was more the surroundings and habit telling me I wanted a coffee. I hadn’t thought about coffee at all at home over the weekends and was drinking 2-3 litres per day. I also had a moment of zombie drooling; a friend of mine had a cold can of orange Fanta – I just stood and stared at the can, mouth salivating but again the urge passed pretty quickly and I grabbed my water bottle and high fived myself in the mirror.
Day 18 – I had my first night out on the town since starting this challenge, my whole mentality had changed and I was excited to go out and had absolutely no desire to drink anything other than water. I had a great night and no hangover the next day! I even stayed up till 2 am laughing and dancing – I learnt on this day that water doesn’t actually make you boring as I had previously thought.
By day 21, I was feeling great, I was feeling proud. I was way over halfway through and my skin was looking great! I was waking up early in the mornings, clear-headed and even started to do some basic yoga first thing in the morning. I was really starting to feel like a new woman and people around me were complimenting me on how good I looked.
Days 25 to 28 was a long weekend with family. Now, I have to say – I come from a big party family, alcohol, dancing, karaoke and fancy dress are all a big part of the entertainment which takes place in the living room at my parents’ house. I was nervous beforehand, I thought, “how am I going to feel?” To them I must look like a boring water drinker, everyone else had a bottle of wine and I had a bottle of water!
I have to honestly say… I did not at any point even want to drink alcohol and I still joined in with the rubbish dancing and dressing up, I and my sister even attempted to rein act Moulin Rouge, in reality, we actually just looked like Freddie Kruger and Clockwork Orange, but it was fun! There were moments when my mum was making coffee, that I thought… oh gosh, that coffee smells so good, but again, it passed.
The last week of this challenge flew by, I even got confused with the days I was on, I had announced I was on day 28 when actually I was on day 29! Only one day away from the finale and in the end I actually went 32 days!
What have been the benefits?
My skin is clearer and I don’t have to use a moisturiser every day anymore. I had always suffered from dry and sometimes itchy skin, especially on my face, upper arms and legs. I have a lot more natural energy. I have a clear mind and feel better in my own body. I sleep better and even wake up earlier. I don’t have headaches like before and I have a better routine. So in all, I would say this 30-day water challenge is the by far the best thing I have done this year and I am continuing to stay on this water challenge but perhaps not as strict. Now you have read my diary of the challenge, why don’t you give it a try?
Written by Chloe Gosiewski