Drink Your Water, Dummy!

My 32 oz. water bottle stares at me with its imaginary eyes. It accuses, mocks, dares me to drink it. Drain me, it cries. Drink me! It...

My 32 oz. water bottle stares at me with its imaginary eyes. It accuses, mocks, dares me to drink it. Drain me, it cries. Drink me!

It's mocking me.
I hate to drink water. It's a lifelong issue that has even caused me to pass out from heat exhaustion twice. Two different birthdays at the amusement park. That's a fun way to celebrate, huh? NOT.

This month, a succession of odd aches and pains, insomnia, headaches, and fatigue had my chiropractor's words of advice (warning?) ringing in my head. He can apparently tell whether I'm properly hydrated or not during an adjustment. And whether an adjustment holds, he has said, depends greatly on the amount of H20 in my system. Get hydrated, he told me, "It's the best thing you can do for yourself."

Blech. I've heard it before. I've ignored it before. But I'm not good at feeling bad, and lying awake with muscle cramps in my legs and that weird twitchy feet thing is unacceptable. Finally, after a couple of sleepless nights (because I must be really stubborn), I asked for wisdom and almost instantly heard the Holy Spirit murmur, "You're dehydrated, dummy. Drink water." Ouch. Most of the time God is really nice to me when we chat. So when I get impressions like that one, I know I've been guilty of failing to hearken to His voice.

Drinking more water was actually on my list of New Year's resolutions. Since I haven't been doing very well and needed a bit of motivation, I got online and did some research.
  • Humans are the only creatures on the planet that regularly drink substances besides water.
  • The human body is 75% water. Yada-yada-yada. Everybody remembers that from biology class, right? What I didn't know is that the BRAIN is 85% water. That's right, your brain is only 15% gray matter and two-thirds plain old water. Maybe those old studies showing that we only use 10% of our brains would be different if we were fully hydrated.
  • In a dehydrated state, the body "borrows" water from itself, whether from the blood, the brain, or the lungs. This internal debt load may cause temporary or chronic health problems. 
  • At least 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
  • "For every 1% of water weight that we lose, our capacity to do work or exercise goes down 10%.So, if we lose 3% of our water weight, our capacity goes down by about a third.Example: A person weighs 160 pounds and he is 75% water. So he has, or is, 120 pounds water. If he loses just 1.2 pounds of water his ability in whatever physical activity he's engaging in, gets 10% worse."1 (Maybe the Denver Broncos are dehydrated this year.) 
  • Some studies show up to 80 percent of back and joint pain could be relieved simply by taking in enough water.
  • People who drink just 5 glasses of water a day can reduce their risk of cancer by double-digits.
  • Ailments thought to caused, or at least exacerbated by dehydration include: asthma, allergies, hypertension, fatigue, gout, depression, even diabetes.
  • Maintaining the proper water intake reduces risk of heart attack by up to 45 percent.
There's a lot more, but I won't go into it all here. Books like You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty, The Water Prescription, and Your Body's Many Cries for Water share detailed case studies of people for whom the simple act of drinking plenty of water has been a miracle cure for life-threatening ailments. 

None of that, however, changes the fact that I hate to drink water. I'd rather have tea, or coffee, or diet soda. I've tried adding lemon. I've used Crystal Light. I've bought bottled water, a stainless steel water container, a plastic water bottle. I've tried drinking through a straw. You get the picture.

Water Your Body
But a recent post by my Inkwell Inspirations co-blogger Debra Marvin about using an app on her iPod to record her calorie intake inspired me to seek out a water-tracking app to go with my calorie-counting app.

I found one on sale for 99 cents called Water Your Body. That makes sense: I water my plants, and my yard, and my pet. Every responsible pet owner knows their critters must have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Even if they choose to make the toilet their source of water, we still provide a bowl of fresh water, right? We hydrate our dogs better than we hydrate ourselves!

Anyway, back to the app. It has cute graphics and, best of all, gives me a letter grade at the end of each day based on my water consumption. For someone who can't stand to get a "B," chugging toward that "A" is a great motivator! To get an "A", I can make myself drink my water.

Ha ha! All gone!

My point? Find your motivator for the thing you know you need to do or want to do, but just can't seem to DO - whether it's controlling your calorie intake or maintaining a daily time of prayer and fellowship with God or keeping your dishes from piling up in the sink. What will provide you with the internal satisfaction you need to keep up the good work? For me, it's having my phone tell me I got an "A" in water-drinking yesterday. What will it be for you?

1 http://www.healthy-water-best-filters.com/symptoms-dehydration.html

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