So, 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.
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!
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.
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.
I am now officially on Day 5 of the Gallon a Day Challenge. The bathroom and I are very well acquainted right now. Ha! But I’m already noticing some changes! I’ll post a weekly update next week. When I started this, I thought “There is NO way I can throw back a GALLON of water!” It just seemed so intimidating. But, I committed and started to chug, chug, chug. I thought I’d post some tips that I’ve learned that are helping me drink more water.
1. Use a fun glass or bottle. I have been using my son’s Nemo glass a lot. It makes me smile each time I fill it up and I think to myself “Just keep swimming” and then I chuckle because my bladder is so full I feel like I’m swimming.
2. Divide it up into increments that you can wrap your brain around. I like to use the Tervis small (16 oz) and large (24 oz) glasses. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around drinking 8 small glasses. I count them off in my head during the day.
3. Drink throughout the day. I drink 16 oz. as soon as I wake up and 16. oz right before I go to bed. That’s 2 of my 8 glasses done for the day. You can even space it out and set yourself calendar reminders to drink a glass every few hours. Sometimes I need a little reminder to take a break from work and drink. I know some people who fill a gallon jug each day and have increments marked in marker on the jug for morning, mid-day, afternoon, and evening.
4. Use a straw. I find I drink more consistently and mindlessly throughout the day if I have a straw in my glass. Otherwise I let it sit and then end up gulping down a large glass. If I have a straw in the glass it disappears quicker.
5. Add flavor if you need. I do not like the taste of our tap water. I usually use the filtered water out of our refrigerator since it tastes so much better. But there are times when I don’t have that luxury. I carry a couple of tubes of Nuun All Day Hydration with me to drop into my water when I’m out and about. The subtle flavor really helps the drink-ability and breaks up the monotony of drinking plain water all day.
Hope these tips help some of you add more water to your day. You can do it. Remember to “Just keep swimming!” 🙂
We are back from 4 fun filled days at the beach! Our vacation included sleeping in, frolicking on the beach, a daily afternoon nap and lots and lots and lots of eating. I ate with abandon on this trip: ribs, pancakes, ice cream, eggplant Parmesan, hash browns, grits…I did not hold back. I was on vacation! I also laid off the working out. I wanted to just relax and enjoy this time with my family without stressing about when I could fit my workout in.
Now that we are back home, I feel like a big ole bloated mess. It is time to get it back in gear! I thought I would share with you guys how I like to kick-start the vacation recovery.
1. I LOAD up on fruits and veggies. I LOVE my Nutribullet. I usually start the morning off with one of these bad boys. I fill it with spinach and every kind of fruit I can find. I’ll even throw in an avocado on occasion. This one had spinach, strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, ground flax and almond milk. I’ll munch of raw veggies like carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cucumber, and cauliflower as snacks. I may do another shake in the afternoon and I make a huge salad for dinner. I do add in protein powder to the shakes or eat lean protein like chicken breast or fish at meals to get my protein intake. My focus is vegetables and fruits though. All that fiber loading gets everything, ehm, “moving” and cleans me out. I feel so much better after a couple of days of this.
2. I drink lots and lots and lots of water. I try to drink at least 80 oz of water a day and aim more for a gallon. All that water also helps flush out my system and get the bloating back under control. I am not a plain water fan. I just won’t drink it. Some things I’ve learned to help me drink water are:
- Find a large cup I like. I love the 20 oz Tervis tumblers. The insulation keeps the water cold longer, they don’t sweat, and the fitted lid makes them very portable (and toddler friendly). Plus I love all the fun designs. I usually get mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon. Gotta save that money!
- Drink with a straw. I will drink three times as much water if I have a straw in the cup. I think about it less. I just work, drink, work, sip. Before I know it, the cup is empty. Maybe because there’s less effort than having to pick the cup up and tilt it to my mouth?? I don’t know. It just works!
- Find an added water flavor I like. I went through several favor add ins. Most of them were too strong and too sweet for me. I got turned on to Nuun Optimal Hydration through the running community. I was using it on long runs to replace electrolytes in addition to hydrating. I loved it. I now use it in my regular water intake. I like using one tab for 20 oz. It’s the right combo for me – not too sweet and not too strong.
3. I get in a good, tough sweat session. Kind of self-explanatory here, but I hit the gym or the road hard. Nothing gets me back on track better that sweating it out! It starts the week out right and gets me back into the right mindset.
What do you do to get back on track?