Drink More Water for Your Health

June 16, 2015

Shopping with my mom and sister the other day, I mentioned I might be a little too hippy to wear a medium dress. (Honestly, I knew I needed a large, but I just loved this dress and they didn’t have a large.)

That’s when it occurred to me: I always refer to my weight when talking about my efforts to exercise more and eat healthier. And I think that’s the mistake we all make. We all get bogged down in what the scale says about us. And we use that to define who we are. We have to stop doing that.

 “Mom, when I talk about my weight, I really mean my health,” I said, as soon as I realized what I was doing. I want to weigh less because weighing less increases my chances of being healthy. I want to eat more fruits and vegetables and less chocolate because fruits and vegetables are healthier. (Chocolate tastes better in my opinion, but still, not as healthy.) I want to exercise more because standing up and moving is healthier than sitting down and eating junk. (Also, I want to stop wasting my money every month on a gym membership.)

So this is what I did: I walked the entire discount mall rather than driving from store to store. And instead of weighing 152 point something this morning, I weighed 150.7. Small, I know, but I felt so positive about the entire process. So now I’m energized about those 2 pounds. And I’m already planning to walk the dog and pull weeds this evening after work. I’m feeling healthier already.

This weekend I also passed up cake and other junk food, for the most part. I did have a small chocolate dipped cone.  And I didn’t drink enough water, considering the thermometer hit 95 degrees.

Visiting with a friend this weekend, I asked her if she’d like to meet at the gym a couple of times a week to work out. Lift weights. You know, as we get older, we lose muscle tone. Not fun.

Small steps, I know. But as we discussed in a previous column, small steps get you where you’re going. And moving forward is better than standing still. And you can take small steps too. Even if the scale is still telling you things you don’t want to hear, you’ll feel better about what you’re doing.

So let’s join together this week taking a small step. Drink more water. I think drinking more water is going to be really important this summer. If the temps hit 95 this weekend, what are we headed for in July and August? Air conditioning surely.  But take water, too.

Nutrition North Carolina suggests starting the water habit when your children are young. And you can do that in fun ways. Give them a special cup they can use just for water. Add fruit to the water to make it both colorful and a little tastier. I mean, let’s face it. Water tastes like – well – water.

But the Nutrition North Carolina website recommends drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. You should drink more water when it’s hotter and when you are more physically active. And you’ll be more physically active. We made a deal. The group also recommends keeping water available – in the car, at home, at work and at school.

I’ve told you what I’m doing to improve my health. Email me, call me, send me a message by carrier pigeon if you like, but let me know what you’re doing. Remember, we’re all in this together, making our community healthier.