Day 772: Big glass of water, seriously

Is it possible that I can measure how good something is for me by how little I want to do it? Because I have just done the Big Glass Of Water First Thing this morning after about a week of not doing it, and holy cow is that effective. Just wakes you right up. It moves me from “blargh, morning” to “okay, let’s get this ship pointed north.”

I just made that up, “let’s get this ship pointed north,” but that sounds credibly like an expression, no?

I resist it, though, fiercely. I have an aversion to chugging 500 mL of water at 5:05 a.m. I’d say “I don’t know why,” but I think it’s because I don’t enjoy it. And I don’t enjoy it because it’s a shock to the system. And I’m guessing it works because it’s a pretty benign shock to the system.

So there y’go. I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but I highly encourage you give it a shot. Get out of bed, drink about half a litre of water. In one go if you can manage it. BOOM! You’re up, baby.

Day 746: Rough morning, drinking water

Still on the path, but man, the cats are NOT making it easy. 3 a.m. wake-up, because they are bonkers. I was discombobulated at the regular get-up time, so I sort of staggered into my day and forgot to bring clothes down, drink water, etc.

Not drinking water did let me do a small experiment, though — weighted and did the fat-measure thing after exercise, then drank about 400 mL of water, then did it again. I gained half a pound — makes sense — but also had my body fat percentage go up by 0.3%. Which is weird. Reinforcement that these scales are dicey, but also that it’s important to be consistent with water intake first thing in the morning to measure accurately.

A late night tonight out of the house, so I’m going to knock some of tonight’s checklist off before work this morning — instrument practice, classical track of the day, maybe even planking.

Day 676: That Water Thing Seems To Work, Dammit

Ugh. I hate water! I hate admitting this. But it was a rough night of sleep and the cats — still think 3 a.m. is get-up time, due to a combination of my wife often getting up at 4 for shift work, and Daylight Saving, which is an archaic abomination that must be destroyed.

So I was in full “go back to bed” mode, but wanted to feed the cats at five. Went downstairs, saw my silly Perfect Me sign on the fridge, and chugged my 16 oz of morning water. It woke me RIGHT THE HELL UP.

In, like, a good way — it was a shock to the system, but energized me and got me goin’.

And then, on with my day! I’ll probably be tired later, but that water thing really did get me going. I don’t know if it’s a long-term thing that will always work, or if it’s just the newness of it all, but I have to admit it really did the trick.

Day 673: I Don’t Like Water

Doing well with the Perfect Me / Visualization stuff — not perfect (go figure), but man, that first thing on the list? “Drink a big glass of water first thing every morning.” It’s been recommended for years, I believe it’s a good idea, but here’s the deal: I do not like drinking water.

I’m’a do it. Of course. But man, I am not enjoying it!

I’ve never liked water. I like flavour. I used to make a Stevia and Kool-Aid Powder thing that my wife called “dazzle water” for hydration. I have cases and cases of club soda or naturally flavoured carbonated water in the house.

But I’m committed! I’m going to drink that glass of water every morning, because that’s what the 175-pound, healthy, energetic, forward-moving me would do.


Day 486: Canoe Clubbin’

Re-signed up for another year at the Canoe Club last night. This is pretty region-specific, but I’m going to ramble about it for a minute.

It’s a great setup. For about 100 years, there’s been a club of, well, canoeists (now with kayakers). Decades ago they had the foresight to lease space from the city for a boathouse down by the shore, and offer low-cost canoe/kayak storage (I store a canoe there). More importantly, they have “open paddles” from 6-8 p.m. on certain weeknights in the warm months.

One of my goals for this year is to get out on the water more . I have a terrible feeling that if I look at around this time last year I also said the same thing and failed to do so. But maybe — in the context of a no-game month, and a commitment to just getting out of the house more in general — this will be a good year for that.


Day 202: Weekends and Water

It’s come up before, but keeping up with the water drinking is a challenge on weekends. I’ve actually done something that’s, well, probably super obvious. But it seems clever to me, because weekends and water are hard.

I’ve got two four-cup measuring cups; the big glass ones. And I just keep filling one to the 1000-mL mark and using it to pour water. Once it’s empty, I log the litre and then refill it.

Man, now that I’m writing it down, it seems stupid. But it was like a “hey, wait a minute” moment for me, when I’ve been just kind of guessing how much water I’ve been drinking from pint glasses (hint: not a pint).

Weekends and water are tough, because I have no routine on weekends.

Weekends bust my routine wide open, so it’s hard to just sit there and plug away at a pitcher of water like I can at work. So it’s double important for me to find ways to make and track consistent water drinking.

I’m surprised at how quickly this has become a Big Thing for me, but it’s really become pretty core. The funny thing is I still do not like water. It’s just so damn dull.

But it’s helping, I think. The drinking cravings, which were periodic but present, seem to really be slipping away with the water drinking. I still get “snacky” but it doesn’t seem as acute.

Is it wasteful? I dunno. I sometimes feel like I’m being very first-world with all the water drinking. But then I remember that I’m mostly vegan, don’t own a car, pay my taxes without complaint and generally try to be decent. If drinking a lot of water is the sum of my sins, I’m still doing okay.

Plus hand-wavey stuff about investing in good health and reducing systemic burdens and waste associated with healthcare.


Day 192: Drinking Lots of Water

I’ve been doing really well with drinking lots of water. Aiming for 3.5 litres per day. A few notes on this…

  • About 90% of it is consumed at work, on work days. I have a desk job, and brought a jug in. Our building has a no-bottled-water policy, so you can’t buy bottled water here. There are refillable bottle stations everywhere, with an automatic shutoff at 1.5 litres. This makes things easy: put the jug under the dispenser, and when it shuts off, that’s a litre and a half. One of those before lunch, one of those after lunch.
  • Peeing is kind of…not a problem, really, but I’m getting up and down a lot. This isn’t the worst thing in the world. The only real problem is between me and the bathroom is a very chatty coworker who loves to call out from his office and, well, chat. I’m not really a “chat at work” guy. Sometimes, a bit. But mainly, I like to work at work. So there’s a cringing moment of “don’t notice me” as I make the traverse.
  • Without getting too indelicate, it’s messed with my poopin’ a bit. Nothing too radical, but there’s some mid-afternoon action going on that wasn’t really a thing before. I take this as a good thing.
  • Since my water drinking is mostly done during the workday, I usually taper off before dinner. So I’m not getting up more in the night or anything, which is good.

Like with most health-related things, the Internet is a useless pile of mommy blogs when it comes to drinking lots of water.

But if you search for things restricted to terms like “study,” you get slightly higher signal to noise. Nothing indicates that this is a bad idea.

Oh, and folks? Tap water is fine. Bottled water makes me a bit nuts. It’s wasteful, ecologically nightmarish, and a tremendous waste of money. Unless you live somewhere under a boil water advisory, just drink tap water and give all that cash to a good cause. Please.

Day 189: Cool Cool Sleep

What a difference a day and some thundershowers make. The heat and humidity broke yesterday, and left us with perfect sleeping weather. Cool cool sleep. It’s lovely. Well, almost lovely: the increased water regime has left me having to get up a few times in the night, which is suboptimal. I’m expecting my body will adjust.

Drinking 4L of water on a Saturday was less difficult than I expected. Just a matter of keeping an eye on the clock and mentally reminding myself to drink a cup, which is not that much, really, if I hadn’t in an hour or so. My folks are in town, so we all went out for dinner, too. This is actually a great opportunity to chug a ton of water if you look at it the right way. They keep filling it up!

Cool cool sleep and lukewarm sobriety

I’m hoping better rest will bolster my mental defenses. It’s been a weird few days for sobriety. Nothing terrible — not white-knuckling or anything — but it’s been “surgey” lately. “Hey, maybe it’s time to have a drink” kind of stuff.

And the rough part about not really having a capital-P problem is I probably could. I don’t have things bad to the point where I smell a grape and wake up in Mexico next to a crashed bus full of dead Dobermans. My wife tries a new beer, I sip it. I can deal. So surely, booze brain says, I can handle a whole beer?

But, as the really experienced sobernauts say, “play the tape forward.” It’s like skipping exercise for a day. It quickly becomes two, three, etc.

And at the end of the day, I’m happy. I’m happy not drinking. I’m happy right now. And I’ve been happy drinking, too, but I distinctly remember not being happy about my drinking.

So if I’m happy not drinking, and equally or less happy drinking, why not choose the option that’s healthier, less expensive, and ultimately less stressful?

That’s what I have to keep in mind when these little surges, er, surge.

Anyway: hopefully better rest will help reinforce the part of me that doesn’t let the niggling temptations pop up.

Day 188: Hot Hot Sleep

It’s hot. More accurately, it’s humid. We’re trying not to run the AC, because it’s expensive, and we’re not flush with cash. Also, the environment. But since we have an attic bedroom, this means hot hot sleep. It is no bueno. That, for those who don’t know, is the opposite of muy bueno.

So despite doing my best to do good pre-sleep things, last night was a very poor sleep night. Restless in general, up specifically twice for spans of time.

So it’s a rocky start this morning. Day 2 of my “Do All The Things And Three Litres Of Water A Day” challenge. Which needs a better name.

Day 1 went well. Drinking that much water is weird. There was a lot of shuttling back and forth to the bathroom.

Day 2 will be interesting, as I’ve hit the weekend, and, well, I don’t do well with regimes on the weekend. It’s not like I’m shackled to my desk and looking at a pitcher of water. So we’ll see how I make this work.

Hot hot sleep and cool, cool water

A while back, because it was on a crazy sale, I bought my wife a kind of novelty thing: it’s a pillow with a special zippered compartment. It comes with a specially shaped hot water bottle. So you set it all up and it’s a warm water pillow.

Now I’m wondering if I could put cold icy water in the pillow and have a supercooled pillow at night. That would be great, except it’s my wife’s pillow and I don’t think my genius would wind up benefiting me at all.

The solution is going to be moving to the guest room, turning on the AC, and sucking it up costwise on the really bad nights, I think. Because money’s important, but sleep and lifestyle are also pretty important.


Day 187: Weight and Heat

Having started this in the winter, I’m running into some new things that never occurred to me. One thing is that weight and heat are related, apparently. My weight has been fluctuating like crazy for the last few days, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Apparently, water retention can change with heat and humidity.

So that’s a relief, kind of.

Still running; the stressful news the other day was the I’ve been having recurring and acute pain in my right knee. The doctor kind of blithely said “it’s early arthritis” and sent me for an x-ray to confirm.

Which is depressing. I don’t want arthritis! I also don’t like pain.

So this is both sad, but also ups the ante for weight loss and diet. Obviously, shedding pounds is the best way to avoid making things worse. So on the bright (kind of) side: another motivator.

Weight and heat and motivation

It’s good that I exercise at 5:15 a.m., because I’d be a basket case if I was trying to do anything after work. I hate being hot, but I also hate that freon taste of air conditioning. Running outside would be a sweaty nightmare. Working out indoors would be an air conditioned nightmare. So morning exercise is really working out well for me.

It’s a crappy time to get remotivated to lose weight, because the heat and humidity are playing havoc with the scales. But the good news is that if I can get a good baseline now, I’ll be rocking it when the weather improves.

So I think I’m going to reset the 10-day challenge again, this time with arthritis in mind. After 36 hours of absorbing the information, it’s time to own it.

Also, in the spirit of really challenging myself, I’m going to try to bolt on good, regular water consumption. I have a water jug at work, and refill fountains that fill to 1.5 litres automatically. I think I can do the quasi-recommended 3 litres a day (based on some super shaky Internet science). So I’m’a try it.