Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Your body is talking... are you listening?

Y'all, our bodies talk to us. They tell us when we're hungry. Tired. Cold. Hot. Nervous. Our bodies are really very smart. And they usually make their statements known, loud and clear. You should listen to your body. It knows things.

But what happens when we don't listen to our bodies?

Well, that's when our bodies start screaming their messages, louder and louder, and eventually just whack us upside the head 'til we pay attention and listen.

I got whacked upside the head last night. So now I'm listening.

Confession: I have a water-drinking problem. As in, I don't drink enough of it. Not by far. Really, I never have. (Please refer back to the Diet Coke issue - clearly, not a water drinker!) I know all the tricks, about adding lime slices or Crystal Light packets or making green tea - but it's just not my thing. I just don't like it. However, I've been making a really concerted effort to be better. I have a water bottle that I keep at work, and I fill it up all the time. I try to drink lots at the gym, and drink a glass every night before I go to bed. But it's still not a habit, and it's not my favorite - I'd almost always prefer to be drinking something else.

This past weekend, I did a lot of "drinking something else" - beer, soda, margaritas, mojitos, beer... yeah. Not much water. In my defense, I did have some - a bottle here and there, but down by the dock, it was just too easy to grab a cold one from the cooler, rather than walk all the way back up to the house to fill my plastic bottle. I drank some after my workouts, but probably not enough to replace what I lost, given how hot it was. I drank a glass on Monday night after my run - but probably needed two or three, at least. And then, yesterday, the final straw - I forgot my water bottle at home, and, therefore, didn't drink any water all day at work.

By last night, my body had just had enough. It started by gently poking me - I noticed that I felt like my arms were cramping a little. And when I didn't listen, it started full on beating on me. Sitting on the couch last night while finishing up some work, my calves both started cramping. On and off, feeling so tight and tense and twisted. And I finally listened. I finally heard what my body was saying: "waaaatteerrrrrr. WWAAATTTTEERRRR. WATER! NOW!" Jeez. Yell a little, why don'tcha?

So I've been being good, and giving it what it wants. I drank two big glasses last night before bed, and made sure I had my water bottle with me at work today. And I've been practically drowning myself to provide my body with what it needs.

Keeping track.
I'm currently working my way through bottle #4. It ain't easy. I feel like I'm just going to float away. But I am listening to my body, and I am giving it what it wants. I guess what my mom has always told me is proving true yet again - I really am a "selective listener." I hear what I want to hear. Good thing my body knows when to whack me upside the head and make me pay attention.

What healthy habit do you knowingly get wrong? Do you listen when your body tells you something? Or are you more like me (not that that's a bad thing!)?


Caitlin said...

I'm REALLY bad at forgetting that sweets make me feel like crap!! OFFICE SNACKS GET AWAY FROM ME!! :) My workouts are so much better when I don't indulge as much, but I know a little bit is okay :)

Ianni said...

Being a grunt in the Marines made me super aware of hydrating. They make near impossible to forget with all the charts in the head telling you what color your urine should be. In the field I saw idiots nor drink water except at chow time. Without exception they suffered.

A helpful tip to ensure proper dehydration is to weigh yourself before and after a run or workout and drink that much weight in water. A 750ml bottle of water is roughly equal to two pounds. Also on a run your body needs about 8 oz every twenty minutes if you plan on running for an hour or more.

Finally becareful of overhydration. It can lead to seizures. Seen that one too.

Meagan said...

I stopped drinking pop in high school, as I was addicted to Sprite. My junior year, I realized this issue and cut myself off cold turkey.. and it worked. I made myself keep a large bottle filled with water with me everywhere I went and now I am addicted to water, I am always craving it. I mean, I crave wine & beer too... but the only time I have pop is when it is mixed with vodka (tonic, please). I still keep a big bottle of water at my desk at work, which is now definitely a habit.

Now, only if I could stop that snacking habit of mine... :)

Ianni said...

Proper hydration. Stupid autocorrect

Shayla said...

Something about beer makes me sick - not hungover sick, but very sore stomach sick. I know this. But still, I drank a few pints last night while out for dinner and now my body is telling me just how displeased it is!

Lindsay said...

Seriously, office snacks are the. worst. My co-workers are constantly bringing treats!! I am learning that a little goes a long way, and it's better to save my splurge for the GOOD stuff, not grocery store cookies and crap. It's hard!

Lindsay said...

I've never heard that formula before, but that's a good tip. I've heard that the standard "8 glasses a day" isn't really the right method anymore, and it's more about your individual body weight, make up, and fitness level - but it is seriously hard for me to get it all in. I try!! Way less Diet Coke, way more water. Not as delicious, though...

Overhydration is scary. Doesn't it require a LOT of water for that to happen, though?

Lindsay said...

Quitting snacking is SO HARD. I am learning to snack on fresh fruit and veggies instead of anything else, though! Keeping the water bottle at my desk definitely helps, but only if I actually remember to get up and fill it multiple times a day. It's not helpful if it's sitting there empty! :)

Lindsay said...

I totally know what you mean!! I have found that after drinking, I sometimes feel like everything hurts the next day, and it's NOT a hangover (because I've had those, too!) - it's just so easy to give into the temptation or the peer pressure, though, isn't it?

Thanks for reading! :)

AMitch said...

Glad you wrote about this! I did my "get over water taste" senior year of high school. I was working at McDonald's (first job, ha!) and would drink soda after every shift and noticed a HUGE difference in my weight/stomach area. I cut back my soda intake then even though it was tough to keep up in college. However, once I got over that threshold of water taste it was no going back. I crave water a lot and keep tallies at work as well. It’s so easy to stay seated and not go refill my bottle or keep getting up for the bathroom but it makes me more alert which is great. Good post!!