Okay so I’m totally aware that for the everyday (normal) person, drinking only water for a week wouldn’t seem like such a big challenge. I mean, other than going out, when do you ever really need anything other than water, right?
Well, for me, no. That is completely wrong. Ask my friends and I’m sure they’ll happily report on the many impassioned speeches I’ve made about how much I hate water. This may seem like an over exaggeration, but you’ll just have to trust me on that one. Unless I’m doing exercise, I rarely drink water (without squash or something added) out of choice. Diet coke on the other hand… well if the average human body is made up of 50-65% water, mine is made up of diet coke. So before I transgress and start an Ode to Diet Coke, in which I detail the ongoing love affair that has shaped the person I am today, let’s just say this challenge was great for me.
I don’t tend to drink all that much in the mornings, so on the beginning of my first day, running late for my 10am as usual, I didn’t really give getting a drink much thought until I went to the gym at midday. (Follow my fitness account for tips on how… nah I’m kidding.) As I’ve mentioned I tend to drink squash or water at the gym so I was fine getting my sweat on with water to keep me company. However, with my blood sugar and energy levels low, those diet coke cravings decided to make a timely appearance. Tactically, and because I’m a serious journalist who takes articles like the one you’re reading oh so seriously, I had finished the leftover 4 cans of diet coke the previous night so that the temptation was removed when I went home. But that didn’t really stop those hard-hitting cravings, and it was only day one.
The next few days followed in much the same pattern, except a cup of coffee or tea were calling out my name to substitute the lack of caffeine my poor body (and soul) were being neglected of. I didn’t let the Wessex Scene team down though! I had a cup of boiled water with some lemon slices, which sounds a bit gross in reflection but it tasted pretty good and was great for my cold, but most importantly was a lovely little mug of heat that warmed me up a little bit. No small feat in student accommodation. I then went to Sainsburys, completely avoided the soft drinks aisle and picked up a water bottle instead, so that after putting so much into this challenge (£2 to be exact), I couldn’t concede now.
As the week progressed, the newness of my predicament definitely eased up until… the night of the bar crawl. Now, I’m not saying I need to drink to have a good time but when everyone around you is getting to that tipsy stage, drinking seems like the only viable option to put up with the antics going on, or to inspire me to find humour in the jokes that make no sense when you’re sober. But, I restrained and actually saved myself a ton of money in doing so. As the bar crawl came to an end, and we (me walking, the rest stumbling) left The Mitre, somebody mentioned Jesters. Now, unlike approximately 99% of the student body, Jesters is not my favourite club in the entire world. Whilst I appreciate those Juicy Lucy’s, and have acquired a new-found love for the mysterious Joker, when you’re stone cold sober and have no intention of drinking anything but water, my bed seemed more like the palace of dreams than Jesters did.
So, as the week came to a head, I really felt like my hatred for water had weakened a lot, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and say it had been dispelled completely. As well as saving me a ton of money, upping my water intake and taking a break from caffeinated, alcoholic, and soft drinks, it was a great way to detox that had me feeling much fresher. It made me realise how quickly I revert to buying soft drinks and waste money when really, water isn’t that bad. I’m glad I chose to do this challenge, the blood, sweat and tears were definitely worth it and it’s something I’ll definitely do again sometime in the near future. But I must say, the can of diet coke I inhaled at the end of the week was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Honestly, after this week I can attest that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder…