Sunday, April 23, 2017

Eating to Live: Water the Driving Force

“Water is the driving force of nature”
 Leonardo da Vinci

I do what most people probably do first thing in the morning-I head to the bathroom. While sitting on the throne, I begin my day by rehydrating with a 10 ounce glass of water. I drink it slowly and allow my body to soak up its goodness, but this is not how I always felt about drinking water. I had my first bladder infection over thirty years ago. My doctor told me I should consider drinking more water. Up until this point I really didn't care for water and never gave a thought to how much I drank during the day. After the painful bladder infection I was determined to start a new water habit.

We have all heard at one time or another that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but what size of glass? I found a glass refers to 8 ounces. So I began trying to work 64 ounces of water into my day. I decided I should start with a glass of water first thing each morning, because I read that after sleeping 7 or 8 hours we begin the day dehydrated. That was an easy habit to get into-10 ounces down, 54 to go! I worked in an office with a ladies restroom down the hall. By the second day of my hourly trips to the bathroom, Gloria, the secretary, popped her head out of her office and asked me if I was feeling okay. I told her what I was doing and she pointed to her desk. There sat a tall bottle of water. She mentioned my body would get used to drinking water after two weeks and I would not be making so many trips to the restroom. She also mentioned she always had water with her, kept track of how much she was consuming, and that she wrapped up her water drinking before 7 or 8 pm so she wasn't up all night. The next day I had a bottle of water sitting on my desk and it followed me throughout my day. Gloria was right, after about two weeks I no longer made hourly trips to the ladies restroom.

By drinking water on a regular basis I started noticing a number of improvements over a short period of time:
  • My skin, hair, and nails were not as dry.
  • My face looked revitalized.
  • I slept better at night.
  • I carried less water weight-go figure! But the fact is, drinking water flushes toxins out of the body.
  • My body physically felt better-almost as if I finally had what my body needed!
  • I felt more refreshed.
  • I got extremely thirsty if I was behind on my water intake, which was not something I noticed before my new water habit.
Interesting facts:
The body contains 55% to 78% water depending on your body size.

Our bodies can lose approximately 68 ounces of water through normal bodily functions. It just makes sense to replace what we lose each day.

Drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or taking various prescription medications is dehydrating so you might consider drinking that much more water to offset the dehydrating effects.

Most people are in a state of dehydration which can lead to a number of health related issues. Because of that fact, we should all be aware of the following:
As part of the blood workups for physicals a CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) is done. This test covers many different levels including Estimated GFR (kidney function). Recently, I have known more than a few people with a Stage 4 flag on their blood workup. Stage 4 indicates possible kidney disease and advises nephrology (kidney specialist) consult, Stage 5 is kidney failure. And, of course, their doctors told these patients they needed to see a kidney specialist. BUT, before seeing the nephrologist (which can take 6-8 weeks) and after sharing their concern with me, they began drinking 40-60 oz. of water a day for 6 weeks. They asked their regular doctor to recheck their eGFR, and they no longer needed to see the specialist! A one-off test does not make something wrong, and on my blood lab results for eGFR it states that a single determination is not considered diagnostic. Had these people gone to the nephrologist, it would have meant an appointment or two with more tests when all these people needed to do was drink more water, AND continue to drink water on a regular basis! Most general practitioners and internists are willing to work with you if you have a reasonable plan of action (if not then you are going to the wrong doctor). Obviously, if more eGFR testing shows Stage 4 it definitely is time to see the nephrologist.

Over the years they have told us how much water to drink, and they have told us we don’t need to drink as much water as they originally told us. Who knows? Like so many other things they say, we need to figure out what makes sense and works for us. All I know is I feel better when I am consuming around 60 ounces of water a day. I am a driving force in my life and it all starts first thing in the morning with a glass of water. How much water do you drink in a day? Are you willing to allow water to be a driving force for change in your life?

Splash photo courtesy of Shawn Harquail

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Intimate Apparel

How does one go about leaving their bra at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store? It’s quite easy, really... It was time to replace the worn-out swim suit I use for lap swimming. I thought it would be an easy undertaking in the land of many swimming pools near Palm Springs, California, where we were going to spend the month of March. I would be wrong in that thought. There were plenty of resort wear shops selling nothing but resort wear style swimsuits. When I popped into one, the sales gal looked at me like I had swallowed a frog and said, “Oh, honey, this is a resort wear shop! You might want to look at one of those sport stores in the area.” Now, that may be fine and dandy, but what I have seen previously over the years at sporting goods stores is a very limited selection and not suitable for a serious lap swimmer.

On my first stop at a Dick’s Sporting Goods I found just what I expected to find - not what I was looking for. A few days later, I stopped at a Big 5 Sporting Goods. Low and behold they had a few suits worthy of trying on. I had worn a little summer dress I normally do not wear a bra with, but on this occasion, I thought it necessary to wear one. I tried on several suits that day and found one that fit, purchased it, and went home. As I was dressing the next day, I was unable to find my bra and began looking through my travel bags, on door knobs, hooks, and behind furniture. No, I don’t normally fling my bra around, but one never knows when searching somewhat desperately for an item. Then I got to thinking about the last time I wore it. Aha! I remembered taking it off at Big 5 and hanging it on the end of one of the swimsuit hangers. I was not happy about this revelation whatsoever, but, oh well, so it goes. 

When I got to thinking more about my lost bra and what the staff at the store might think when they found it, I thought it was the kind of funny story I should share with my sister so I called her. We both had a good laugh, but she wanted me to call the store. I told her they might think I walked off with one of their swim tops, and it just wasn't worth the hassle. But she was insistent, which got me wondering where my bra might have ended up.

I called Big 5, talked to Armando, he didn’t seem to think my story odd, he looked for said bra, and he took down my phone number in case they found it. A couple days later I was near Big 5, stopped in, walked to the swimsuits, looked on the inside of the racks, and noticed my navy-blue bra strap right away. I grabbed the hanger with the navy blue swimsuit and my navy blue bra still hanging from it then walked to the cashier. I held up the hanger and told her that I had left my bra here a few days ago when I purchased a swimsuit. A young man standing near her exclaimed, “Michelle, where did you find that?” I said, “Armando!? The cashier then needed to hear more of the story as Armando said, “That - is not - a bra. I was looking for a BRA! You know?” As he held his hands way out in front of his chest. I told him my husband had asked me if I had mentioned what the bra looked like. Other than it was navy-blue I had not said anything about there being no cups. Now, no cups versus cups makes my blue bra look like a two-piece swim top, and that was why I had stopped into the store. I walked out of Big 5 twirling my cup-less blue bra with a big smile on my face.

I tell this rather personal, but funny little story because I love not worrying about what other people may think about me, I love that something like this can happen and I can be so blasé about it that I can just walk right into a store, share a possibly embarrassing intimate apparel story with a young man, and leave the store twirling my bra. You know, sometimes, or should I say most times, we just need to get out of our own way and twirl that blue cup-less bra.


Some bras photo courtesy of Almost Michelle