Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Small Steps To A Healthier Me

My last post talked about how I was going to prepare for a healthier month in November with three enormous challenges to undertake. They included:

Stop Smoking
No Alcohol For 1 Month
Cut Out Sweets & Chocolate For 1 Month

Although November hasn't arrived just yet, I am making some small steps to help me complete one of the hardest months of my life. It's going to be really tough, but these changes will dramatically improve my health, and hopefully also my running.

Replacements for beer, cigarettes and chocolate.. 

So rather than just make some bold statements and then hope for the best, I'll tell you how the preparations have been going so far.

Stop Smoking

I am slowly making my way through my book, Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. In another 94 pages I should be a non smoker, but I am just so slow at reading.

The book works by changing your mindset towards smoking. It doesn't use scare tactics, or tell you how much money you will save, but rather asks why you smoke. Then it shows you how each of the answers aren't logical, but rather that of an addict. It all makes sense when you read it. If you live in the UK, you can get it at Amazon at Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking

I haven't been enjoying each cigarette like I used to, and I've also started to break a few of my smoking habits, and try and change the times when I would always light up. These are the times where I would have smoked on a daily basis, like when on the journey to work, after finishing work and after every meal.

The plan is to have the book finished by Saturday night, but with my slow reading it could be a day or two after that.

No Alcohol For 1 Month

For this part of the challenge, I thought I'd do a bit of a practice run... So since writing my Getting Ready To Make Big Changes For A Healthier Lifestyle post, I haven't drank any alcohol at all. It's now five days since my last beer, which is the longest I've stayed away from it in about 4 months.

The first two nights were quite hard, but it was just boredom and habit more than anything. Last night I fancied treating myself to a few tins, but I reasoned with myself that it would just be money wasted, and I'd rather last another few days without it.

Now that I know I can do five days, I know that I can do the thirty in November. And that will also be a lot of money saved, as well as all the health benefits.

Cut Out Sweets & Chocolate For 1 Month

While this one is probably the least of a health risk, I think it's going to be the hardest for me. I've eaten chocolate for the past three days (a lot, not just a bar or two) and have been getting cravings for fast food.

It's also the most socially acceptable of the three challenges. You can't drink alcohol during work, but you can eat chocolate. You can't light up a cigarette around a child, but it's fine to open up a paket of chocolate biscuits. It's everywhere you look. Every time you pay for something in a shop, the checkouts are surrounded by chocolate.

I think I'll just have to start leaving my wallet at home during the day.


I have done no running or any training this week whatsoever. Maybe it's the dark evenings arriving at 5pm, or maybe the lack of calories from beer has left me with no energy. I'm not sure what's going on there, but I'm just finding it hard to get out of the door without making an excuse to put it off for another day.

Tonight my bright reflective running jacket was in the wash..

I'm going to be taking part in either a 10K or 5K race this weekend, so that should be motivating me. I'm going to leave my running kit out tonight, so it makes it that little bit easier to get out the door tomorrow.

I don't think any personal records will be set this weekend on whichever race I do, but it would make a good starting point to see how much giving up smoking, drinking and chocolate will help me as a runner.


Have the darker nights changed your running habits? What time does it get dark where you are?

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