The first few weeks of FebFast have been quite similar to breaking in a new pair of shoes. They feel okay in the shop but as soon as you start walking around in them, they pinch like hell and you cant wait to take them off.
I encountered my first major challenge on the first Friday in February. I love Friday evenings as the whole weekend stretches out before you and all thought of work is relegated to the ‘I'll think about it on Monday' place in your head. I always look forward to that first glass of wine after work on a Friday. As the glass disappears, I physically feel my shoulders descend from around my ears and this incredible sense of calm pervades through my body.
Well, not anymore! The first Friday of FebFast was the hardest as all I wanted was one tiny glass of Pinot Noir to push me out of work mode and into the weekend. Halfway into dinner, I began to feel tired so I ordered an espresso. Mistake! No sooner had I downed it in one than I knew it was the wrong choice. As the caffeine kicked in, I felt myself nudging into work mode again and any hope of relaxing went out the window ...
However, the next day I woke up bright and early with a clear head. I hopped out of bed and headed straight to the gym to see if exercise could have the same effect as my Friday night glass of wine and evaporate any remaining stress from the week.
The streets were still sleeping as I cycled to my 8.30 am spin class. I imagined that the gym would be deserted but as I ambled in to the class, with a few minutes spare, I was shocked to see that it was busier than Movida on a Saturday night! Towels and water bottles hung off the majority of the bikes showing that they were already reserved. Luckily I found a free bike near the back so I hoisted myself up onto the saddle to get started.
Early morning spinners are an interesting bunch. During some of the songs, people actually began singing along to the music. At one stage, I didn't know if I was at a karaoke bar or the gym! All in all, it was pretty hilarious and nothing makes exercise easier than actually smiling while doing it.
I've also embarked on a meditation course and I'm going to an extra yoga class each week, all in a bid to replicate the stress release that I usually find in the bottom of a glass of wine. And it's working ... by making these substitutions, I can feel myself becoming fitter, stronger, healthier and happier. I'm far from the growling body attacker I was at the beginning of my journey. I'm now singing while I'm spinning!
As the expression goes, ‘a stitch in time saves nine,' meaning that some timely effort in the present will prevent a lot more work later on down the track. By limiting your alcohol consumption to no more than two standard drinks per day and having at least one or two alcohol-free days every week, you can go a long way towards reducing your risk of cancer.
Despite the pinching beginnings, I'm starting to get quite comfortable in my FebFast shoes!
For more information about how to limit your alcohol consumption, go to http://www.cutyourcancerrisk.org.au/how/limit-alcohol.html
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