Eight- 8oz. glasses of water equals 64 ounces of water. 64 oz = 1892.71 mL = 1.9 L. The person who decided that drinking eight glasses of water a day is good for your health hasn’t truly tried drinking eight glasses of water a day. Let me tell you, it is hard work for someone who is not used to drinking that much water a day. Now, 64 oz of water is a little over five 12 oz cans of your favorite soda. This may not seem like much especially considering that fact that I drink about 32-40 oz. of iced tea everyday but the main difference is that iced tea tastes like sweet goodness in a cup while water is a flavorless substance that doesn’t excite my taste buds. So, deciding to drink eight glasses of water a day was no easy feat but I wanted to do this for the sake of my health and I love a good challenge.
Since Valencia, Spain is a walking city, I decided before I left that walking everywhere could jump kick my goal of becoming a healthier person and what better way to help with this goal than to reduce the amount of sugary drinks I consume and increase my water intake. So, I bought one of those 1000 mL water bottles and set a plan to drink two of those a day so that I can meet my goal. Also, I am limiting myself to only drinking any beverage besides water twice a week. This way I had to force myself to drink only water. For those who know me know that I LOVE me some iced tea and lemonade. Anytime I go out to eat, I always order one of those drinks. I cannot stand to eat a meal without a flavored drink, but I was excited about this change. Little did I know what I was signing up for.
The first couple of days have been the hardest so far. Every time I could a sip of water I would imagine that I was drinking a tall glass of raspberry iced tea (my favorite all-time drink). To my disappointment it was just a glass of clear, tasteless water. One of the motivating aspects of using a water bottle with milliliter markings is that I can visually see how much water I am consuming. I love the feeling of taking a sip of water and afterwards seeing the water line closer to the zero milliliter line than the previous drink. It is the little victories that keep me going.
One struggle of this health behavior change is lugging around a massive water bottle. One day, I made the mistake of leaving it at my host mom’s house and forgot to drink water all day except at dinner when I realized that I did not meet my requirements of the day. Mind you, in Spanish culture dinner usually starts at 9 or 10 PM. So, what did I do? I started chugging glass after glass after glass so that way I did not fail that day. HUGE mistake. I woke every two hours that night to go use the restroom. My host mom woke up thinking that I had gotten sick. Nope, just Belinda and her pride going down the toilet drain. So, part of my morning routine is making sure I bring a smaller water bottle with me to school that will not weigh as much as a small dog. Remember how I said that I am going to limit the amount of other beverages that I will drink to only twice a week. Well, that did not happen because the thirst for juice and lemonade is so strong. I have had a glass of orange juice every day this week but it has some water in it, right? It is very difficult to let go of drinking those beverages that I am used to drinking everyday. I never realized how strong the urge is to revert back to old behaviors. Making this change is proving to be more difficult than I expected and some days I want to stop. Hopefully next week I will be more successful. I have made a new plan to sticking to this new routine but you have to tune in next week to see if I succeed or remain on the “struggle bus” that is water dependency.