28 days down!

28 days down!

I’m done!

My no alcohol or chocolate for a whole month challenge is done!

And I survived, funnily enough. I know I chose the shortest month of the year, which is kind of cheating, but it’s now officially March and I still haven’t indulged. Talk about going above and beyond. I wonder how long I can go….

In case you were wondering about why I’ve done this challenge, check out this post.

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So what have I learned from this challenge?

1. I definitely am an emotional eater at times. The days when I found myself scrounging for chocolate were the days I was tired, worn out and emotional. Usually sometime after 5pm – or “cactus hour” as we call it at home. The start of 2 hours of dinner, bath, bed routine, complete with whinging toddlers and crying babies. Who can blame me for wanting chocolate after all of that??

2. I still have a sugar addiction. I’ve done soooooo much work over the past year or two to eliminate sugar from my diet. I was inspired a fair bit by the work of David Gillespie, of Sweet Poison, and Sarah Wilson, of I Quit Sugar. I know for certain I feel, function and look much better when I’m not mainlining the sweet stuff and I have seriously reduced my overall intake to somewhere between hard core sugar avoider, to using only natural sugars, to the occasional sweet treat here and there. I’m still finding my happy place in this respect. But what I learned from this challenge was that if I was having one of those point 1 days as described above, I would seriously go looking for sugar. As in apple crumble or a bag of mixed lollies, neither of which I’ve had for ages. There was something about removing my sugar vice of choice (chocolate) which made me realise I really was relying on that as a crux in a lot of situations. It wasn’t just a treat, it was usually a mood lifter.

So where to now. Well I’m not about to go and bury my head in a vat of cocoa, but I’m going to be watching with interest as to when the urge next strikes me for a chocolate fix! I’m going to keep my intake strictly to good quality dark chocolate, and I’m going to have a bit more of a play around with making my own.

As for the alcohol, I can seriously take it or leave it, so I’m going to mostly avoid it, but give myself permission to have a glass or two on special occasions.

Now as for March? I’ve been so busy this past week I haven’t really had time to think about what my challenge is for the coming month. But considering I started my pilates rehab instructor training course today, I think a good challenge will be to really delve into that. I’m studying through Polestar Pilates and it’s a seriously intensive course over several months. But for this month, my challenge is going to be this: an hour of pilates practice every day, six days a week, for the whole month. My course requires a LOT of practice hours for certification, so I figure by getting into the habit of regular practice this month, I’ll be setting myself up for a good habit for the coming year. No leaving it all to the last minute and cramming in 50 hours of logbook work in the final month!

Cheeerio February – Helloooo March!!

Half way – Woot!!

Half way – Woot!!

February 14th. It’s a momentous day. I think we all know what I’m talking about…

No, no. Not V-Day. I’m not really fussed about Valentines. I know my husband definitely isn’t! More importantly, today marks the halfway mark of my “no chocolate or alcohol for the entire month of February“. Oh yeah!

I’ve been doing pretty good. I haven’t wanted alcohol at all, so that’s awesome. Occasionally I’ve thought about chocolate, but I’ve been able to quickly dismiss the idea. I actually had a near-miss on Tuesday when I got super-hungry at work and grabbed one of those protein ball thingos from the reception desk. I automatically picked up the cacao-mint one – but don’t worry, I quickly swapped it for the macadamia variety! (Note to self – must eat decent protein at lunch – vegie soup just doesn’t cut it for me.)

So yeah, I’ve been doing well – until today that is. And, no, it’s not just because its Valentines Day and there is chocolate literally everywhere. It’s because the girls were driving me B.O.N.K.E.R.S(!!) today. Gah! My one (in one week) year old is teething – again. She had about three days of relief after the last lot came in, poor poppet. And my three year old has just gone completely cabin fever on me – being stuck inside on an unseasonably wet day is not her scene. So yeah, if there was any chocolate in the house today I would have SMASHED it. But there wasn’t, so I didn’t.

Luckily for me, hubby came home early today – without any Valentines flowers (or chocolate – phew!). So I left him in charge of the girls and took myself out on a V-day date for a solo coffee.

Oh coffee... How I love thee...

Oh coffee… How I love thee…

Yes, I’m not crazy enough to give up chocolate, alcohol AND coffee all in one month. A girl has her limits!

Until next time – Be Well!  Sx

My February intentions

Yowzer – we blinked, and now it’s February!

Surely that was the fastest January on record. Or was it just me?

Way back in December (the month before last, now) I decided as part of my 2014 goals I was going to set myself a series of mini month-long personal health challenges. I have since discovered my awesome running buddy is doing the same – so it’ll be interesting to see which challenge we each come up with each month.

For January, my challenge was to start a daily meditation practice. But I have to admit, it wasn’t quite as successful as I had hoped. I probably meditated about half the days of the month, which is still an improvement on zero days of meditation per month. But it wasn’t my goal to only meditate every second day.

What went wrong? Heaps of things really – teething babies, new jobs, start up business demands, blah, blah. But those are simply just excuses. What really went wrong was the fact I didn’t make my intentions public. I didn’t shout it out to the world. It happens so often – we set ourselves a goal – but we don’t actually tell anyone, or even write it down or say it out loud to ourself. So then, if we don’t follow through and the goal isn’t attained, it doesn’t really matter because we’ve got no-one to be accountable for it anyway. Right?

Not this month. Not for February. So in the spirit of FebFast, here’s my intention for this month.

I’m giving up alcohol and chocolate for the entire month. (Insert shocked gasp here!)

How on earth am I going to manage, you ask?

Well honestly, I’m fairly sure the alcohol is not going to be a problem. I didn’t drink at all for an 18 month period while I was pregnant and breastfeeding my little Mooch. In fact, it’s only been in the past three months, since she finally dropped her night feeds that I started having the occasional glass of wine with dinner. So why give it up then? On two occasions over the Christmas party period I had about three or four drinks – which is nothing in comparison to my olden days efforts! But on both occasions I woke up the next day with a shocker of a head cold, both lasting about a week. Initially I wrote them off as coincidence. (Silly me, we know there’s no coincidences in life, right?)

But then, after Australia Day last weekend, it happened again. Third time’s the charm. Fast forward seven days and I’m still recovering from that cold. So clearly alcohol is doing funky things to my immune system and it’s time to call it quits for a while.

And then – the chocolate! This one is going to be much harder to give up. I’ve never really considered myself a chocaholic sort of girl, though I do seriously love the stuff! But I’m quitting it this month because I can see that it does have some kind of hold on me. I have this little habit of “rewarding” myself with chocolate every time I do the groceries. Which I’m now realising really isn’t healthy. Even though I mostly stick to the good quality, dark chocolate. It’s still not cool to inhale half the block on the drive home from the supermarket.

So that habit is going too! Give me strength.

I’ll keep you posted through the month on how I’m doing. So far, I’ve managed to survive two whole days – go team!

How about you? What are you giving up for FebFast? What do you dare live without for the next 26 days?