Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Healthy Habit #1: Drink Enough Water

This is the deal.

I need to be honest with myself and just admit that baby weight does not go away by itself.  Or at least, it doesn't after you are 35.  I have proved this theory by not doing anything concerted to try to budge the (gasp!) 25 pounds that were a fun little extra after Lucy was born and things were crazy.  And surprise surprise...they're still here! 

 The good news is that I am not gaining weight.  I'm maintaining--just at a higher weight than I like to be.

However, I need to do something because I feel better about myself, have more energy and have a more varied wardrobe when I am at my normal weight.  Plus (and this is the big plus), I want to be a better example to my kids in terms of health.  The fact is, that whatever bad heath habits I have, I am not-so-kindly sharing them with my kids and that is not good.  I have noticed some unhealthy habits in my kids as of late and it has made me take a long look at the proverbial man in the mirror (and if you are hearing Michael Jackson right now, join the club :) ).

 Sooooo, I am going to start introducing a new healthy habit for my family every couple of weeks.  Some of these will be big ones and some will be smaller ones, but I think all will help me gradually reach my personal weight loss goal and help my whole family be healthier, too.

Because I am essentially lazy (which, come to think of it, is probably what got me into this mess in the first place!), I am starting with the easiest one first, and that is:

Drink        more       water!

Sorry if that looks bossy and scary up there ;).

I've done a little research about water, and here are the high points:
  • water helps all your body's systems function more effectively, including your brain, elimination, temperature regulating, etc.
  • water helps flush out impurities in your body and especially your skin
  • water is in many foods--80% of your fluid needs come from beverages, and 20% from foods
  • water can help you lose weight by making your metabolism more effective and increasing satiety (I like this one :) )
  • drinking enough water can help reduce cravings, especially for sugar and alcohol (also like this one--although I'm not a drinker, I am definitely a sugar-aholic)
  • many migraine sufferers are chronically dehydrated and experience improvement after making an effort to drink enough
  • thirst is not always the best indicator to let you know how much water you need--you need to drink to stay ahead of your thirst
I am obviously not a doctor or an expert, so please don't take my word for it.  Here is a link to a USDA site that lists lots of resources on the whys and wherefores of water/fluid consumption.  There are a few preschool teaching resources listed that I'm going to use, because I have a couple kids who definitely don't drink enough and I need to get them on board with all sorts of motivating facts :).

Wondering how much you need?  This water calculator takes all pertinent factors into account to help you figure it out, for yourself or your children.  You can also drink too much, so don't think that if some is good, that a whole bunch is even better.  There have been several well-publicized cases of water "poisoning" the last five years and it is scary, so use the water calculator and your best judgment. 

And since part of the reason I even set goals is so I can have an excuse to buy something fun (only partially kidding here :) ) I have ordered some cute water bottles for some of the kids.   I know these aren't cheap, but they last forever and the flip top means lazy water drinkers like my kids and me are more willing to take a sip.

Bottoms up, everyone!


  1. Right on sister! This is absolutely the truth, I always feel better at the end of a good water intake day! Like all the toxins were flushed out.

    I used to believe that standing up straight hid my extra 10 lbs of baby weight. :)

  2. When my kids come to me hungry I always tell them water first. Here we have a big plastic water keg on the bench with a tap so that all ages can reach it. Sure we have times when there is a flood but a towel lives on the floor and is washed each night while they are still in the learning stage of how to stop the flow before the glass overflows. I have 4 kids who are all happy to drink water even when out. That makes it a lot cheaper too. lol

  3. Does 8 cups of tea count? :)

  4. My big water bottle lives on the end of a bench with its tap facing into the walkway area. You do not want a pouring tap pouring down cupboard or drawer fronts. Ask me how I know it isn't a good idea. lol
    Good luck with your habit.


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