I was dehydration-shamed by my gynecologist during my exam a few weeks ago.
It all started with my blood’s slow trot into the vial used to take the sample. Apparently, blood’s viscosity is supposed to be closer to that of water than of month-old molasses.
“Your blood is moving a bit slow,” she said. "And it’s a little on the dark side."
I started to make an ill-timed Darth Vader joke, but Dr. Foster isn’t big on small talk or pop culture references. So I let that comment slide.
"You’re probably dehydrated.” And then came the urine sample.
“My God, girl!” She exclaimed, waving the little cup around. “This is terrible. It looks like iced tea!”
That would have been an optimal time to advocate for myself as a patient or at least tell Dr. Foster to keep her goddamn voice down, but the woman was right. My piss did kinda look like iced tea.
“You have got to start drinking more water.” Again, I took her judgment like a champ because there was absolutely no argument there.
I could go weeks without drinking water. I could probably go months if it wasn’t for random run-ins with drinking fountains and water coolers. Instead, when I’m thirsty, I drink lemonade, fruit punch, lattes, and yes, of course, iced tea. You know, stuff that actually tastes good and not like a whole bunch of nothing. And an ice cold Coca-Cola? I’d bathe in it if I could. I drink that stuff like it’s, well, you know.
Terrible, yes. And I would be completely unapologetic about the sugar-filled, nutrientlessness of my beverage choices but I’m trying to make a change. An integral part of my pre-30 crisis is adopting a healthier lifestyle -- and gorging on soda doesn’t fit in with that equation. I need to start drinking water and I need to start like 20 years ago.
But there’s a problem. Water is just so bleck. How can something that doesn’t taste like anything taste so damn awful? Besides, the Mayo Clinic recommends getting in about 2.2 liters a day (or eight 8 ounce glasses to keep it simple). Who the hell even has time for that?
This drinking water ordeal was going to be a chore, but I found a few tricks to make it a little easier.
A Brita Pitcher
Mine has been essential in this venture. Buying (and carrying) huge packages of bottled water would have been expensive and impractical for me, given the amount of water I wanted to take in every day. So I invested in a Brita pitcher, which lets me keep a nearly limitless supply of filtrated water. Just as long as I remember to fill it up. Plus it’s more environmentally responsible than throwing away hoards of plastic bottles. Win, win.
This Nifty Idea I Got From Pinterest
Pinterest is a great resource for almost everything (when it’s not sucking me down the rabbit hole and being the death of me). Take your favorite water bottle (I got a pretty pink 64-ounce one from Five Below) and use a marker to divide it into even one-hour intervals. Then use it as a drinking guide to space out your water consumption throughout the day.
There’s An App For That
Of course there is. I use one called iDrated (clever) that lets you log in how many ounces of water you drink throughout the day. It also has a timer for when you should take your next drink and will send you a reminder so you can stay on track. Brilliant!
Now it’s been a little over a month since I’ve started on this drinking water every day project, and I must say, I’ve experienced some notable differences in my body. My complexion is noticeable brighter, I feel less sluggish and bloated throughout the day, and since replacing my usual Cokes with pure H20, I’ve lost a cool 6 pounds.
So it seems to me that getting your daily recommended dose of H2O has legitimate health and beauty benefits. That, or it's one big wet, tasteless placebo. Either way, I think I’ll be doing this whole drinking water thing from now on.
Plus the more water I drink, the less it grosses me out. In fact, there are times when I actually crave it. I mean I still don’t enjoy it, but the thought of swallowing it is far more tolerable than it was this time last month.
The only down side is I have to pee like a Russian race horse every 15 minutes, but at least when I do, it's crystal friggin' clear.