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'I realised that I don't need to have a chocolate muffin every time I go out for a coffee&#3

My journey with Dechox started a year ago when I heard radio advert to give up chocolate for a month to raise money for British Heart Foundation. It was beginning of 2018 and I was in the process of setting myself goals for the whole year. Being controlled by the sweet stuff was something that I wanted to stop for a long time. That was the moment when I decided to give it a go and I signed up for the Dechox challenge. Instead of doing it for 31 days, I pushed myself to do it for 46 days and I survived.

People often ask me what is this Dechox. Dechox is a nationwide challenge to give up chocolate throughout whole month. Last year it was March, this year it's February. You're not allowed to have anything with cocoa - no chocolate bar, no chocolate sprinkles on you coffee. Because I like making things harder for myself I decided to give up all the sweet things, such as biscuits, cakes, ice creams etc.

This challenge is great for many reasons. It definitely helps you kick start some healthy habits, as we all know, excess sugar is not ideal for our health. When on Dechox, I was looking for some healthy alternatives and started eating more fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks such as walnuts and almonds. Drinking more water also helped me to take my mind of chocolate as it filled me up. After two weeks, I realised that I don't need to have a chocolate muffin every time I go out for a coffee. After three weeks my stomach appeared flatter. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy to cut down all the sweet stuff but I was up for the fight against this weakness.

The main and the most important reason behind this challenge is to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. This year, I'm doing Dechox in memory of my dad who passed away 13 years ago, just before his 51st birthday. Coronary artery disease was a contributing factor. I started it from the beginning of February and I'm doing it for 78 days. I know it's not going to be easy for me as last year I barely made it... but who knows, maybe this time not only will I complete my Dechox but also will cut down on my sweet tooth for good.

Author credit: Aleksandra Debiczak

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