Our first CFC Dry January Challenge is over. We have got over 60 people (roughly 1/4 of our gym!) who decided to give up drinking alcohol for 31 days! In addition to not drinking every participant of the challenge had to choose one lifestyle or nutrition challenge or a habit that they were going to stick with for the month of January. A lot of people started meditating a few times per week, studied a new language, worked on a new skill, gave up eating sugar, bread, coffee, chocolate, sweets or decided to eat strictly paleo for the entire month.
Why did we do this?
Even though our challenge took place in January, it was not supposed to be a New Year’s resolution kind of thing. I personally do not like New Year’s resolutions very much, because I believe that if people want to change something, they should change it right now and not wait until next Monday, the 1st of the upcoming month or the New Year to start. The whole challenge was therefore more about taking a break from alcohol after the holiday season and about making changes that contribute to your wellbeing and creating new positive habits.
To make all of this a bit easier, I created a Facebook group, where members shared their challenges and also could share tips or ask for help if they needed it. We did a check in every week to see how everyone was doing and members also often wrote there if they felt like cheating and needed to be discouraged from cheating by others. Even if people stumbled, they were able to get back on track. Everyone in the group supported each other and it made the whole challenge much nicer!
Here is what some of our members who took part in the challenge had to say about it:
“I am really pleased and excited to see how much of a benefit it was to cut down on alcohol, added sugar and bread for a month! I have lost some good kilos also due to a diligent work on hitting my activity goals daily and have had the longest move streak ever now.” – Marcela Pekníková
“Even though I failed this weekend when I had a beer and bunch of cigarettes I am proud that I went 27 days without alcohol, cigarettes and changed my diet drastically. I tried to eat strictly meat, eggs and vegetables and mostly succeeded – with exceptions like the one time when I ordered a Milanese veal chop at a restaurant and later found out that Milanese means schnitzel :))) I don’t eat any extra carbs, no sugar, no sweet drinks, only lemon-water, coffee, tea. And I don’t crave them!
After cca 15 days I found out that I can eat less during the day without losing energy, during a busy day just a bowl of vegetables will do. I can compensate in the evening when I eat a lot of raw vegetables with lots of olive oil and sometimes even 300 – 400 g meat, but I never felt like I was overeating. And the preparation of just meat with a salad is super easy and super quick – and if you buy quality ingredients, super delicious.
Now I don’t want to go back. I dropped at least 3 or 4 Kg – some of it Christmas fluff and perhaps some muscle but still. People who saw me after a while said I look much leaner and 5 years younger ?. This challenge also made me think about my goals and challenges that potentially change my habits and I am now thinking about a February challenge, this time focused maybe on meditating every day for at least 10 min, but first of all I am glad this one is over ? Thanks for doing this Dora, without this group I would not have even started.” – Štěpán Trnka
“So, since Xmas I dropped almost 5 kilos (being couple of them from Xmas lunch&dinners). Didn’t made the whole month without chocolate, but 22 days. Next challenge is 50 days (44 to go). Still need to get the diet on weekends under control (haven’t been doing I.F on those days as I usually go to my parents place), which is slowing down my weight loss. Training is going better, second week going at least 3 times to the box, but still I have that feeling of “just go home and relax”. So I need to be careful with that.” – Antonio Carro
“We all have our thing and sharing our success or slip ups makes us feel ok because you realize you’re normal! Everyone supported one another and used humour and I loved that. I still haven’t weighed myself or measured myself but I felt good not drinking and exercising more. I’m more confident in setting myself different challenges each month and going with what works for me! Thank you all for being funny and real about it all! By the way I actually had some wine this evening and yeah it was good but my habits have changed.” – Eva Shaw
All in all, I believe that the challenge was a huge success and I loved seeing everyone succeed inside and outside of the gym! I have heard about many of you being more productive, performing better at the gym or getting compliments on looking leaner. It was often times difficult, but it was definitely worth it. Thank you all for participating in the challenge. We will definitely do this again!