I do love drinking.
And I don’t necessarily mean alcohol. I love apple and blackcurrant diluted juice, honeycomb swirl lattes and mountains upon mountains of Scottish Blend tea.
So when Lent came around and I was struggling to find something to give up, I just had to look at the pile of hot chocolate sachets, miscellaneous tea bags and recently washed wine glasses to know what I had to do.
After a quick five-minute Google search, I pulled together a list of the things I thought would happen. I reckoned I would lose a few pounds, my skin would clear up and my hair would regain its natural shine. Did that happen? Well.
It’s been tough, not gonna lie. There have been laughs, tears, and a whole lot of self-control that I never knew actually existed. But I’ve brought all my thoughts and musings into a six-week diary to find out whether the all water diet is all it’s really shaped up to be.
Why. That is literally the only word going through my brain in this first week. Why couldn’t I have just given up chocolate? Why does my colleague’s soy milk latte look so good to me right now? Why is water so damn boring?
I haven’t seen many improvements so far. My skin has broken out a bit around my left ear, I still can’t climb the stairs without feeling out of breath and my hair still feels a little dry. But in saying that, I have started waking up at 5:45 instead of 6:15, giving me time to get myself super awake and compile a cracking pack lunch for the day.
I almost gave up my 40-day cleanse on Saturday, however. A visit to my sister’s house brought with it the usual horrific-calorific snacking session, and I was presented with my worst fear – a towering Cadbury’s hot chocolate with whipped cream, grated Cadbury’s Flake and mini marshmallows. Heaven. But it was not to be – it was as though some horrible twist of fate was forcing me to stick by my Lenten decision, and promptly made me spill my hot cocoa down my front before I could take the first glorious sip. That’ll teach me, eh.
So all in all, the first week isn’t going so great. I miss coffee, I miss tea, and in all honesty, I’m just plain bored of water. Also, the water purifier at work is broken, so it looks like it’s tap water for week two.
I am sick. For the last four days, I have been sniffling, coughing, wheezing and falling all over the place – I don’t know what on earth’s came over me. I’ve spent the entire weekend lying on the couch watching Beauty and the Beast, the Princess and the Frog and Moana – in all honesty, I probably would have done this even if I was fit and healthy, but that’s beside the point.
Friday was the worst – in my sleep deprived and sickness-infused state, my mind went into autopilot and I subconsciously began making a cup of tea. Never fear, I woke up properly before I could finish making it, and I sacrificed my beautiful Scottish Blend to my brother.
But, I do have a confession to make. I was at an open evening and I ended up arriving very late at the train station afterwards and had to wait for half an hour on the next train. So in those 30 minutes, I broke my water diet with a coffee. I’M SO SORRY.
If it makes you feel any better, it was absolutely shit. What I thought was gonna be a nice, tasty caramel latte was just… not. The flavours were really strong, the texture felt weird and to be honest, it just tasted rotten. So thank you, water. You’ve completely fucked up my love for coffee. But as much as I’m gonna complain about this (and I will), it’s probably done me the world of good. On a regular working day, I’d usually have at least three cups of tea, all of them with around two sugars and a dash of milk. I’d go for a coffee after work maybe three nights per week, and I’d sit down with a large hot chocolate.
So hey, the complete lack of sugar must be doing something good, right?
I’m feeling… terrific? I’m awake, alert, my skin has cleared and my hair has become a lot shinier (could be a coincidence, but I’m attributing it to the water). I began to do a countdown at work – my crazy friend Laura has decided to go vegan for Lent. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, she’s also gone dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free, so basically she’s just eating leaves. It’s making me feel a whole lot better about my choice. But we’ve been attempting to motivate each other – every morning I change our post-it note countdown to reflect our cravings that day. More often than not, there’s a large strawberry milkshake drawn somewhere beside a pretty shitty drawing of a cheeseburger.
I’m seeing a massive difference in my teeth – ever since I’ve been a wee girl, my teeth have always been discoloured. It’s something that used to keep me up at night, and I’d constantly be scared that people would laugh more at my ‘sunshine yellow teeth’, as they were once so eloquently described as by internet trolls. Even although I brushed twice a day, there was genuinely nothing I could do to make them whiter, and so I even began looking at getting them professionally whitened. But money and fear stopped me, and so the rest of my school days were laced with such a horrible lack of confidence that forced me into the habit of covering my mouth with my hand whenever I smiled or laughed.
And yet now, with three weeks without any form of caffeinated drink, my teeth have become a lot less discoloured. They still aren’t pearly white, but my hand doesn’t fly to my mouth anymore when I find something funny. So yeah, I feel fantastic.
I miss tea so bad – I want to be all positive and say ‘yeah, I’m feeling amazing – #cleanse #healthy’, but this thing sucks. I don’t really see the point in doing it anymore. My skin has broken out again, my hair is limp and I’m just tired all the time. I’m hardly getting any sugar into my diet anymore, which is something I should have thought about before starting this diet. Normally, I’d take a strawberry flavoured sparkling water with my lunch, and although it was only a little bit of sugar, it was a damn sight more than what I’m having now.
So I’ll need to watch what I’m eating in the next week – I have to be up super early for work in the mornings, and lately I’ve been so tired I’ve almost been late tons.
I only have two more weeks left of this diet – Lent is apparently a huge scam and lasts for 46 days instead of 40. So technically, I should be allowed six cheat days. Interesting.
BEFORE you say anything, I got into university on Saturday – I was in a very celebratory mood. So, with a skip in my step and my first-choice unconditional offer underneath my belt, I had a fair bit to drink. And I was most certainly not drinking water.
I’d lasted four weeks without alcohol, which isn’t too much of an achievement considering I don’t drink tons anyway. But I thought my month of water would have made me completely unable to withstand any sort of alcohol. But in fact, it was the opposite. Usually, I’m the biggest lightweight around – a few shots and I am well and truly gone. But this time, it took a fair bit longer and drained my bank balance a little bit more, which was rather strange.
I’m still very very tired – I didn’t really take heed of my warning last week about upping my sugar intake. Despite this, I have been doing a little more exercise, and instead of downing a “well-deserved” Lucozade, I’m just drinking plain ol’ water instead, and it’s not too bad I suppose.
On the bright side – only a week left! I’m now into single digits on my countdown, and boy does it feel good. I don’t think you understand my excitement at the prospect of a large banana milkshake from McDonald’s.
DAWN OF THE FINAL WEEK. There’s only four days left of this godforsaken diet, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited. I began a new job today (April 9th), and thankfully my new office is nowhere near a kettle. In fact, I have to travel down three flights of stairs to get a sodding cappucino. So I guess that’s made this last week a bit easier.
It’s the final week, so I’ll be writing my conclusion-thingy on Thursday and deciding if this whole thing was worth it. I think I already know my answer. My skin is pretty blotchy right now but my teeth are stunning. Like, really. Everyone who I’ve smiled at (which isn’t a lot, but still) has commented on how white they’re looking. They must have been pretty damn bad before.
Thursday the 13th of April 2017. A day that I reckon will stay in my mind forever.
My water diet is well and truly over. Was it worth it? Was it fuck.
As I said in the beginning, I was hoping to lose a bit of weight, clear up my skin and get some life back into my limp hair. I cut out all carbonated, caffeinated and legit every drink except for water. I was averaging on around two litres of water a day, which made me have to pee a lot but I didn’t mind.
I did this for six whole weeks. Kill me.
In all honesty, I did sort my teeth out during this whole experience. I’ve always been a target for my discoloured teeth – it’s something that I never thought I could change until now. So whether it’s been the lack of tea or just a result of this weird detox, they’ve gotten slightly less yellow. I can smile wider now – I have more to smile for.
So there you have it. Six weeks drinking nothing but water and I don’t think I’ll do it again. In celebration of the end, I bought myself a gorgeous new cat mug and coffee pot. I’m not even sorry.
Have you tried the water diet, or are you a tea veteran just like me? Would you ever consider trying it out? Let me know!