Monday, April 29, 2013

A drink for all seasons

I realized a few weeks ago that I had stopped drinking water. Not good, especially when you consider the benefits of water, according to WebMD:

1. Our bodies are about 60 percent water -- which aids in digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. By drinking water, we keep that percentage up.
2. Water helps control calories by making us feel fuller.
3. Without water, cells don't  maintain their balance of fluids, electrolytes shrivel, and that results in muscle fatigue.
4. Our skin needs water to keep looking good.
5. Water helps our kidneys cleanse and rid the body of toxins.
6. Adequate hydration prevents constipation.

Determined to drink more, I picked up a Poland Springs 101.4-ounce container. I loved the shape, and figured if I filled it up each morning with water, and kept filling my water bottle from it, I would be able to keep track of my daily intake.

The first few days were hard. I would fill up the big container in the morning, but around 6 p.m. realized that most of the water still remained. Because I was determined to drink this water, I would. Believe me, the last thing any of us need is to drink 80 ounces of water before bedtime. Let's just say, I was up a lot during the night.

So this is how I now get in my water:
1. As I am making my breakfast in the morning, I fill up a 16-ounce glass with water. I drink the whole glass with my morning vitamins. Instead of taking a few vitamins at a time, I take them one at a time, with two gulps of water.
2. Before lunch and dinner, I drink a big glass of water.
3. I fill up a 32-ounce bottle with water and sip it throughout the morning. I do the same in the afternoon.
4. I stop drinking water before dinner. And my sleep is undisturbed each night.

Yesterday, I did not drink the whole 101.4 ounces. And after dinner I was craving things I haven't thought about in a few weeks. When I woke up this morning I started to think about why yesterday was so hard, and the only thing I did differently was not drink my water.

'Nuff said.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

You gotta have a goal!

I find that the best way to meet a goal is to have a reason for reaching it. In my weight battle, my goal has always been to look better, but that obviously was never enough.

But then my blood pressure spiked dangerously high and I was scared senseless. And although I have been on every diet known to man, I was clueless as to how to lick this issue once and for all.

So I did what every journalist does before tackling a story: I researched. And came up with a list of things I needed to do to get my BP down.

1. Lose weight. Research has proven that only a 5 percent weight loss -- 10 pounds for a 200-lb, person -- can drop that BP.
2. Change my diet. Instead of approaching this as what I can't eat, I started eating more vegetables and fruit  -- crowding out the room in my stomach for the bad stuff.
3. I went to a hypnotist -- that is fodder for another post -- and learned some invaluable techniques that I practice daily.
4. I embraced exercise. I have done yoga for years, but cardio was never my thing. I really hate going to the gym. But I have found a new love -- which I will share another day.
5. I limited alcohol. Not that I was a heavy drinker, but if I was with friends, three or four glasses of wine was not uncommon. And sometimes my husband and I would drink a bottle of wine with dinner. I don't do that anymore.
6. Handle stress. Working on this, but my hypnotist has helped me tremendously.
7. I bought a blood pressure machine. I know that these are never 100 percent accurate, but if I use it at the same time and in the same place daily, it serves me well. Since January, I have lowered my  systolic (top) number by 25 points; my diastolic (bottom) number by 18 points.

I call that progress.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time flies

It's been five months since I've written a post, five months of trying to figure out why I eat.

The good news is that since Jan. 1, I have lost 21 pounds. Not earth-shattering, but it's still a step in the right direction. But since I have another 40 to lose, no one has noticed my weight loss.

But I know. It's my private secret, and I actually need that right now.

I've learned so much about me, what works and what doesn't work, that I am finally strong enough to share some of the things I've been doing these last few months, things that are finally making a huge difference in how I feel and how the scale responds to me each day.

I don't plan on blogging daily. But I do plan on blogging regularly.  And this time, I plan on writing forever. I need to do that for me.