If there is truly one new thing in my life, it's water. I've been slowly (painfully--on all levels--slowly) changing some fundamental things in my life over the past year and one of the most significant changes is adding water to my life.
Up until the beginning of 2009, I rarely drank water, let alone a glass of water, daily. Yes, in the summer, if I was really hot and worn out, I would reach for water, but it was not at all a habit. A glass of water from time to time...today, I find it shocking.
Although I don't consider myself anywhere near a poster child for "listening to my body", I'm trying. Fortunately, one message that has started to come through loud and clear is thirst. I can't say I actually enjoy drinking significant amounts of water every day, but I have learned to respect my thirst. When I feel thirsty, I drink. In fact, it's better to drink before you actually feel thirsty. You don't want your body to feel parched; you want to be sufficiently hydrated at all times.
You get a lot of water from foods you eat. We shouldn't discount the contribution of fruits, soups, veggies to our water consumption. Caffeinated coffee and tea are said to cause dehydration, but my own quickie search on the Internet, seems to suggest that the jury's still out on this. I adore a good coffee, but I don't count it in my water consumption though as far as drinking coffee goes, everything in moderation is my motto. I don't drink green tea regularly, though it is said to have some great health benefits. I like it, just not enough to make it part of my daily life. So it's rarely part of my water count either. The one thing that I personally usually avoid is diet drinks and flavoured water. For me, they represent a totally unnecessary consumption of chemical additives that I can certainly live without. I have inadvertently bought flavoured water a few times. Yech.
I'm not of the "true believer" school. I actually consulted a doctor in January of 2009, who, besides wanting me to get rid of half the good things I eat, told me to drink 4 litres of water a day. For those of you who still think in ounces, that's 16 8-oz. glasses a day. Uh, sorry, it ain't going to happen. I'm a 53 year-old woman: I'd probably be in the bathroom twice every waking hour of the day. On a really good day, I'll drink 8 glasses. On an average day, it's around 6. Look at it this way: from 0/day to 6/day isn't half bad. When it comes to water, I see my glass as at least half full.
P.S. I actually took a break in the middle of writing this to get a glass of water. I knew my body needed it!