So here’s my disclaimer: I’m not a doctor – I do not play one on t.v. nor in my own home. These fundamentals worked for me – I’m not saying they will or will not work for you; what I’m saying is: Go see your doctor, do some research, listen to your body and your heart and figure out what your own fundamentals are. Only you and your healthcare provider can assess what is working or going to work for you or absolutely not working for your body. And don’t be afraid to act; that’s the scariest part.
So I’ve been on blogging haitus. I’ve been enjoying a glorious holiday season and have had my focus shifted hard to family, weather, evaluating what’s important. And part of that is realizing this blog is important to me, is a fun way to share and use my voice. I also realized I do not want this blog to be a fitness / health blog, nor do I want it to be a food blog. I love my life – my whole life – and the beauty that surrounds me. There will be food and rivers and dogs and gardens and all the lovely sweet grey things that surround my crazy little life. Part of me needs to work on refocusing my health goals so part of this blog will be about that. But not all of it, just this little part.
So with no further ado, I embark on a little series (which has no name despite my attempts to give it some cool acronym or hip pun title) that looks at some actions / concepts that were fundamental to the success I’ve had on this weight loss journey of mine. These are the same fundamentals that I’ve slowly let fall to the wayside in the last six months (and it evident in how I feel). My hope is that this review will help me re-establish them in my everyday life and help me feel successful in my little journey of fitness and weight loss. My hope is that they will encourage you to look at your health and fitness goals and give you some ideas to think over and encourage you to act. Again, action is the hardest place to start, but it gets so much easier the more you do.
# 1 – water!
I need to drink lots and lots, but how much is “lots”? I spoke with my doctor to get an answer because everyone was telling me something different. (Go talk to your doctor – see the disclaimer). Her advice for active weight loss was to drink one half of my weight in ounces.
(Yes, it’s a lot of water).
So – for example – if I weighed 200 pounds (divided in half equals 100; divide by 8 ounces for the number of cups) – I would need to drink 12 1/2 cups of water a day. Yeah, that’s what I said. Twelve and a half cups. It’s a lot of water. (And I weigh more, so I’m drinking more.)
The crummy part of this part (because making life changes, even small ones, are going to come at a cost or have a downside): you have to use the bathroom. A. Lot. Tons, lots. All the time. Your co-workers mock you a bit. You’re not going to be able to make it through a whole movie with your boyfriend. A. Lot. For about two weeks you will spend a lot of time peeing. It’s just what it is. But around day 4, I started feeling so much better that the constant bathroom trips were totally worth it. And after about two weeks, it stabilizes out, and I found I actually retained less water and felt really good. Be warned though – if I forget to drink my allotment (let’s say on the weekends when my schedule is different), I get headaches – my body gets so used to that amount of water – it really craves it and it let’s me know when I’ve messed up.
So, talk to your doc, do the math and figure out how much water you need. Go get a fun water bottle – you might as well love it tons because you’re going to be spending lots of quality time together – and figure out how many you’re going to drink every day. Back to the above example: you need to drink 12 1/2 cups of water. You find the coolest water bottle ever that holds an awesome 20 ounces (twenty divided by 8 equals 2 1/2 cups of water). Take the total number of cups you need to drink (12 1/2) and divide it by how much your water bottle holds (2 1/2) and you have the total number of water bottles you need to drink each day (five!!).
It’s a good idea to come up with a general water drinking schedule. I’ve found I need to have all mine drunk by five p.m. or I am up all night. I try and drink a bottle before I leave the house in the morning. Another one before my morning break. Number three during my morning break. Number four is with lunch and five sometime in the afternoon. This works for me – and if I’m working out that night and I’ll drag out the last one until closer to work out time. There’s lots to keep in mind, but take a look at your schedule and see what you can plan – just give your body a couple weeks to get used to the water and it will thank you.
My doctor does not count any other beverage in the water ounce numbers – not tea, juice, diet soda, any of it. Just plain old H2O. I’ve been back on this fundamental water drinking wagon for about six weeks now and feel awesome. And my body let’s me know if I’m running low for the day. Once I got over those first two weeks of never ending trips to the commode, I was in business. The only challenge I found was remembering what number bottle I was on – so I bought five water bottles (real life) – only to realize some brilliant designer obviously had the same problem and one of the bottles came with a little gauge on the lid. So I easily can keep track of how many bottles I’ve consumed. Brilliant! And the other ones found their way into stockings for Christmas. It worked out.
Good luck, folks! Even if you’re not on the weight lost trail, remember water is important! Hoping everyone is having a glorious start to their new year! And pretty pictures coming soon! Cheers!