Gallon a Day Challenge – week 2

wpid-20150205_103809.jpgSo, it’s time for another fun installment of “Scary Jen With No Makeup On”! Ha! So, it’s been two weeks of drinking lots, and lots, and LOTS of water now. I pretty much grab a glass of water and drink it every couple of hours without even thinking about it. It’s almost habit. Again, here are some of the things I’ve noticed since beginning this challenge:

  • My sweet cravings are still much, much less than they were before the challenge. I’m not reaching for the chocolate bowl much at all.
  • I do feel full a lot. All that water in my stomach keeps that full “satisfied” feeling more stable throughout the day. I think now when I feel hungry, I’m really and actually hungry and not possibly just thirsty, stressed, bored, etc.
  • I’m averaging about 6 hours of sleep a night with the baby and I’m surprisingly not overly tired. Now, don’t get me wrong, after a long, hard day I’m still exhausted come 9:00 p.m. But, most days I wake up easily and have a good, decent amount of energy throughout the day.
  • I’m down one pound. Not sure if that’s water consumption or just natural weight fluctuation.
  • The most significant thing I’ve noticed is I get less sore after a hard workout. I ran 6 miles this weekend with a friend, the longest I’ve run since having the baby. I truly expected to be sore the next two days. I was a little tight but very little to no soreness. I was shocked! My joints didn’t ache.

Several of my friends are doing the challenge too and here’s what they’ve noticed.

From Addie (@Baseballwife1):

Definite changes include tons of energy and a huge decrease in snack cravings. My fingers don’t swell as much when I run. Skin isn’t as dry and my complexion has cleared up. I actually wake up in the morning wanting a huge glass of water instead of coffee, which is a miracle in itself.
From Sarah (@iSarahtheQueen):
For me, the #1 thing I’ve noticed – no headaches and no need for ibuprofen. I used to get a headache almost everyday and would go to bed with my knees all achy. Now on day 16 of a gallon of water and I think I’ve had a headache once (and it was PMS related.) So I think I’d had it maybe once? Like Addie, my fingers are a lot less swollen. I’m sleeping better at night. Oh, no heartburn either!
I haven’t noticed any huge change in my appearance. Mostly my skin feels less dry. Time to go run to the bathroom (again) and drink another glass of water (again). Until next week, stay hydrated!
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Week 1 Gallon a Day Challenge

Has it been a week already? I have been drinking a gallon of water a day now for 7 days straight as part of the Gallon a Day Challenge. I plan to continue this for 4 weeks to see if I notice any changes in my health and/or appearance from the beginning to the end. It’s time for a weekly update.

I’m finding it’s easier now to consume the 128 ounces. It’s becoming more of a habit. I drink one 16 oz. glass of water right when I wake up and one right before I go to bed. I also drink one right before every meal. There’s 5 of my 8 glasses right there. The first few days I was counting all fluid consumption (including my 2 cups of coffee) toward the gallon. I figured it would be a struggle to get all of that fluid down. Now I’m not counting the coffee at all. I’m hitting my gallon pretty easily.

Here’s a break down of some of the things I noticed over the week:

  • My body held onto the water for the first two days. I was bloated, bloated, bloated! Then, all of a sudden it stabilized and released the water.
  • I’m having some crazy night sweats. A lot of that is postpartum fluctuating hormones, but they seemed particularly bad this week. I don’t know if there’s an increased water consumption correlation or if it’s just unstable mom hormones.
  • Ehrm …things are moving a lot better. Yes, I’m talking about poop. I’d read that proper hydration results in healthy bowel movements and MAN were they right. It’s a moving! I actually feel really “clean” for lack of a better word and have less lower stomach pooch, which I’m told is sometimes due to backed up bowel.
  • My cravings are less frequent and less intense. This one has been really noticeable for me. I usually have terrible sugar cravings, especially late afternoon and at night. I’ve noticed that I’m wanting to reach for the chocolate less. I’ve been pretty “meh, whatev” about the Valentine’s chocolate we have in the house. Usually I’m grabbing for several pieces a day.
  • I haven’t really noticed any weight loss, but I haven’t been eating particularly great either. So maybe I should say the fact that I haven’t gained any weight is a win?
  • I have had not one, but TWO people tell me how great my skin looks!! Wow! I don’t particularly see it but we’re our own worst critics, right?

I’m hesitant to put these pics up because I look like absolute hell in both (ack!) but this is for science right?? Ha. Both pictures were taken about the same time in the morning and I have no makeup on (Ok, maybe a little mascara but a girl’s gotta wear mascara!). I also only put on my morning sunscreen, no extra moisturizer.

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I don’t notice any huge differences yet in these two pictures. My eyes seem a little brighter and maybe the bags under my eyes look a little less sunken and bluish. Overall I think I look less tired in the second picture. But, I’m getting the exact same amount of sleep (which is not a whole lot with a 4 month old!).

I wrote a post on tips for drinking more water during the day if anyone is interested in joining me. I will continue to chug, chug, chug with this water challenge and see what week 2 holds for me. In the meantime, if you need me I will likely be in the bathroom.

Drink more water – Gallon a day challenge

I’m sure many of you have seen the article floating around social media about the woman in the UK who drank 3 liters of water a day for one month. For us non-metric folk, that’s approximately 101 ounces. She took a before picture and an after picture and documented how she was feeling. The changes she reports are remarkable. And the before and after pictures are startling. She felt better, less headaches, better skin quality, and lost a bit of weight all by just increasing her water intake.

Confession: I do not drink near enough water. My fluid consumption revolves mainly around 2 cups of coffee in the morning, a couple of cans of sparkling water, possibly an iced tea and maybe one more cup of coffee in the afternoon. On a good day I’m getting 60 to 70 ounces of fluid. While that’s not entirely terrible, I can do much better. The old rule of thumb was to drink 8 glasses (8 oz) of water a day = 64 oz.  A lot of athletic trainers suggest a lot more – 100 to 128 (one gallon) ounces a day. If you scour the internet you can find recommendations anywhere from 60 ounces to one gallon. Recommended water consumption depends on several factors: temperature, physical exertion level, overall health, and weight. Some references also suggest going by urine color. A properly hydrated body should produce urine that is pale to light yellow.

Bottom line for me though is I feel like I don’t drink enough. My skin is dry. I’m fatigued often (could be newborn mom syndrome too, but it’s worth a try). I have massive luggage under my eyes. So, I’m taking the 30 day challenge. I intend to consume 128 ounces of fluid a day for the next month. I took a before picture yesterday sans all makeup (EEK!) and began drinking one gallon of water. I chugged and drank and chugged and drank my 128 ounces yesterday and I plan to continue for the next 30 days. The bathroom and I are getting very well acquainted. I’ll post a weekly update on how I’m feeling and any changes I notice. Stay tuned!!