Non sequitur of the day: “Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink” is one of the most misquoted lines of poetry out there. It comes from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Tayler Coleridge, and the quote ACTUALLY reads:
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink“
So there you go. Back to water. Never drank the stuff. As a kid, I only remember milk and juice (never Kool-Aid in my house). In later years, that shifted to coffee and diet soda. I would occasionally drink water at dance class or choir practice, but in time that too was replaced by Crystal Light singles packs. There was even a time when coffee and diet soda occupied the bulk of my meal plan: I used to take a 6-pack of 500mL bottles of Diet Pepsi to school in place of a lunch box. Basically, I’ve been dehydrated for 15 years.
This time around in recovery, I’m actually being encouraged to drink water. In the treatment centres I’ve been to, they pushed juice and milk. Oh, and Ensure. Plenty of Ensure, but never water (in one centre, they gave us Kool-Aid instead of juice, but I shit-disturbed until it got changed to actual juice). There was always the fear there of water loading before weigh-ins, using water to curb hunger signals, and just plain ol’ diluting of the digestive juices. Now, doing it “on my own”, I’m learning to self-regulate my way into a healthy lifestyle.
I decided, in an effort to learn about REAL food (more on that in a later post), to also give up artificial sweeteners. This pretty much meant that I was either drinking calories or water. While I’m feeling better about the calorie-drinking nowadays, early on I had to make peace with water.
I was super bloated at first because a) my body was so dehydrated for so long that it held onto any liquid I gave it, and b) because I was drinking water with meals. It turns out, especially if you have digestive issues (I do), drinking water slows the digestive process and bloats you out like nobody’s business. And you have NO idea how hard it is to find maternity clothes to encompass your food baby when you’re still wearing children’s sizes. So nowadays I stop drinking 20 minutes before meals and don’t start again until 40 minutes after. Much less bloat, much cuter clothes.
For a girl who used to wave away a waiter carrying a glass of water, this is a big change. But water really does make a big difference. My skin is better, I feel better, and my kidneys are getting a much-needed workout. Also, I’ve found that when I’m really upset because I’ve eaten everything on my meal plan but I’m STILL hungry, 9 times out of 10 I just haven’t had enough water that day. Who’d have thought that I, a begrudged water sign (Scorpio), would find water comforting? But I do.
I still don’t like water beds, though. I’m unsteady enough without riding waves in my sleep.