Friday the 20th May finally arrived and the water challenge finally finished! The thing is, I wasn't actually all that bothered. I was aware of the date and I mentioned its significance to a colleague (more on that in a minute) but I still reached for my water bottle when I was thirsty and at dinner I drank water out of habit.
Half way through the meal I suddenly thought "I can drink squash again!" and I sprang up to fetch the bottle of summer fruits squash which has been patiently waiting on the countertop for the last four months - my parents don't drink it, so while I was in France it was untouched and of course I started the water challenge as soon as I got back.
It was vile. Too sweet, too strong, even with added water to dilute it I didn't want it. My mum noticed my look of horror and laughed at me. My stepdad pointed out that I'd just eaten a sticky treacle pudding, which was so sweet itself that the squash didn't stand much of a chance, but I think the fact of the matter is that I've gone off the taste of sweet, sugary drinks forever. As I said at the table, only half in jest, what have I done?!
So the challenge was more effective than even I had imagined. The colleague I mentioned earlier is the same age as me and when I told her I had only drunk water for a month she looked disgusted.
"I hate drinking water," she said, "it makes me feel sick." And I thought, that's exactly how I felt a month ago. Water was boring, it was tasteless, it was worse than tasteless because it turned my stomach. It took about three weeks to make the transition to actually wanting it over anything else.
I have to admit that I didn't completely manage only to drink water for a month. As I've said before I allowed myself a small hot chocolate some evenings, although certainly not every evening (and less often than before), and when my grandparents came to visit last weekend we opened a bottle of sparkling flavoured water, and went out for dinner where I had an apple juice. But during the entire month I've probably drunk about fifteen cups of hot chocolate, one of apple juice and one of sparkling flavoured water. The rest was all water, and personally I'm very impresed.