Yahoo senior reporter Sophie Tighe is taking on The Body Coach's 90 Day Shift, Shape and Sustain health plan. This week Sophie faces the reality of sobriety.
I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to take on the 90 Day SSS Plan.
I knew there would be no more XL pizzas, buckets of chili cheese fries or obscenely sweet slices of cheesecake.
I knew there would be intense exercise four times a week that would probably kick my arse.
But one thing I did not anticipate was living in London as a stone cold sober twenty-something.
If you guys are anything like me, a glass of wine at the end of the day can be the only bright spark in an otherwise dreary day that’s bookended by a commute that would drive Gandhi to murder.
(Note: people are not their best selves during rush hour on the tube. Yes, middle-aged men in suits, we’re looking at you)
That’s not to mention nights out where you could easily spend a week’s rent on alcohol. Shots? Can’t think of a reason not to!
But since starting Joe Wicks’ fitness and nutrition plan, I haven’t drunk a drop of booze.
Except that wedding I went to…
My logic was that I don’t get invited to enough weddings to go to one and NOT drink but I did limit myself to low-cal vodka and slim line tonics, and only had a few (who’s counting, right?)
It was worth breaking my self-imposed prohibition for the special occasion and I actually found that I appreciated the social side of drinking much more because of it – I was able to nurse my drink rather than knock it back while propping up the bar.
(I’m not an alcoholic, I swear)
Until the wedding, I went 13 days without drinking, which is my longest dry spell since I started drinking over ten years ago.
And you know what? I felt bloody great.
Not only did I avoid those awful two day hangovers that I’ve started getting as I approach real adulthood (I don’t care what you say, I’m still an adolescent) but even those cheeky late night glasses of vino left me with a furry mouth and slight headache the next morning.
From a purely fiscal point of view too, not drinking saves you so much money.
In London you’re lucky to get change from a fiver for a pint these days so a couple of weeks on lime and sodas makes a serious difference to your wallet.
AND I learned something about myself: I thought I only talked s*** when I was drunk. Turns out I do it sober too.
While the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is still leaving me totally puffed out after a few reps, I have noticed that in just a couple of weeks my fitness levels have already improved.
Part of Joe’s 20-minute workout involves 30-second intervals of burpees – an exercise that is as painful as it sounds.
At first I managed about three in 30 seconds – now I can do eight! It all counts, right?
Have yet to attempt those upside down ones that Millie Mackintosh can do, but they’re on my To Do list…
While the first week was spent adjusting to planning my meals, staying sober and trying to work out how to put on a sports bra, this week I’ve been able to enjoy the benefits of my new lifestyle – namely the compliments.
Now, I like to think I’m not a vain person.
I’m not a fan of selfies, I definitely haven’t perfected my most flattering pose and I would always choose an extra five minutes in bed over any beauty regime.
But this week I have had three, count them: THREE, compliments from different people about how healthy I’m looking.
Note: No one has said ‘Oooh, you’ve lost weight!’ or called me skinny.
“Are you doing something?” asked an auntie over the weekend as I cooked a big family roast, “Your shape is so much more defined”.
This was music to my ears – I didn’t embark upon this regime to lose a bunch of weight but feel like crap, been there done that.
I wanted to actually see a difference in my body as well as feel healthier, and this is a pretty good start.
You want proof? Check out my favourite skirt…