Tag Archives: Hydration

Yoga Challenge: The Make-up Days

Pose of the Day: Tree pose

Last week, man, I just fizzled out. What a horrible way to “finish” a challenge I felt I’d so successful at. I was… I don’t even know what I was. Fibromyalgia-y. In the midst of a flare, you’re picking and choosing what you can and can’t do, and your body whittles down that list even more until you find that biggest accomplishment of the day was brushing your hair. I slept a lot. A lot. I slept for twelve hours one night, took naps almost three hours long, couldn’t move much, felt nauseated, barely ate or ate too much. No yoga for a whole week. And I felt awful without it.

I’ve come to look forward to the evenings I practice yoga. I make tea, set up my mat, listen to some smooth music that helps me relax, do my 15-20 minutes, and then lay in bed to watch tv, or read, or even just something like a blog post or a to do list. I wouldn’t say yoga has made me more focused, necessarily, but it’s given me a sort of routine in the evenings that I looked forward to, and I felt like I was accomplishing something. Even if my body still has some rolls that I thought would be–at the very least–more subtle than when I started, and even if I’m still wearing the same size I was wearing at the beginning of the challenge, I still felt change. To not have that, even for a week, especially for a whole week, I really felt like I lost something. It was partly guilt over my challenge, but, like I said, it was something I looked forward to.

I felt better last night, and got right back into it. Twenty minutes, good music, every move felt amazing. I realized that, after a whole month, I can actually touch my heels to the floor in Downward Dog now! It’s an amazing feeling to realize that your muscles have extended themselves to make new things possible within the confines of your body. I also got back into drinking plenty water. I had a superbad sick day on Sunday, replete with vomiting, body aches, fever, general grossness. And all I wanted was water. (Mainly, it was most of what of what I was able to consume without throwing up.) I’ve noticed that I am hyperaware of when my body starts needing water now. Before I know it, I’ll have drunk a full water bottle. It turns out I can curb many headaches by doing this. I’ve had far fewer (as in, not every single day) headaches since hydrating.

I could say that yesterday and today were my new Days 29 & 30, but it just doesn’t feel right. I feel like I’m not finished. And to be honest, I’m not sure I want to be finished. It seems to me that that would give me the perfect excuse not to keep going with it. Yoga’s become one of those friends I have to check in with several times a week just to make sure that everything’s okay, it’s not in my head, that it’s real, that it’s something I still look forward to and don’t feel as happy without.


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Yoga Challenge: Days 26-29

Pose of the Day: Cobra

I really didn’t anticipate feeling this miserable at the end of my challenge. After taking those days off last week, I was determined to do at least something yoga-ish. Friday I made my post while resting my legs up against the wall, otherwise known as Legs Up the Wall pose. It worked, I got my time in. Saturday I felt like death after over-exerting myself for a family day out, so I did ten minutes of Savasana before bed. It was basically like falling asleep on the floor or couch and then moving into the bed. Sunday I was feeling really good; a new episode of The Walking Dead was coming, I had pizza rolls at the ready, all in all it was a great day. I did about twenty minutes because all the stretching felt so good.

And then I woke up yesterday.

Whether from stretching a bit too far during my Sunday workout or from sleeping on the couch in the we hours of Monday morning when my husband’s snoring drove me awake and away, I got it. Bad. I couldn’t move my head to the left. I mean, I could, but not without incredible pain. No amount of heating pad, massage, or muscle relaxer was working. I had to skip my workout. I still hurt a bunch. I’m really upset at this point because I haven’t been feeling well for almost a week, but it’s not a cold or the flu, because it’s milder, but still enough to make me not want to move. This is one of my fibro flares and it is so incredibly frustrating! I was so close to doing exactly what I had set out to do, following all the rules I set for myself, and my body is now saying, “Screw that.”

It’s not just the physical stuff. I finished three books last week and I should have, by now, made an entry on Jillie’s Bookshelf for each and I just can’t seem to get my thoughts together. This is one of those things that a lot of people don’t get about chronic illnesses: your best intentions are consistently compromised until you learn that the only way you’re going to accomplish your goals is to remember that they’re there when you’re ready. You have to know when and if it’s okay to set them aside in order for you to simply get yourself back to yourself. You have to wait. You have to be patient with yourself, which is the hardest thing ever.

I am most likely going to extend my challenge a few days. Maybe I just won’t count yesterday and today, or maybe I’ll just do an extra week. I definitely have to drink more water. I noticed last week that I wasn’t consuming as much. Part of that was that I didn’t feel good, but the other part was just plain laziness. I have my trusty water bottle back at my side, now. Hopefully, I feel more like myself, my inner self, sooner rather than later.

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Yoga Challenge: Day 8

Pose of the day: Standing Forward Bend

To be honest, I was more interested in finishing Wide Sargasso Sea for my Read Harder challenge than I was in yoga yesterday. (Stay tuned for my post about this wonderful book later today on Jillie’s Bookshelf!) I did my stretches intermittently, probably getting my minimum ten minutes, but I never pulled out the actual mat. I really wanted to see what happened with my body and muscles when I did my yoga at the end of the day/before bed versus the morning. The problem, I have realized is that by the time the evening rolls around I am more interested in reading or watching tv and no longer have motivation to continue accomplishing tasks. So, I’m back to mornings.

What I have noticed is that I need to remain hydrated to be any sort of functional, yoga’ed or not. I barely drank any water yesterday and felt terrible by 3pm. Surprise, surprise as soon as I made some tea and drank a glass of water, I felt much better. I have to admit, though, that doing this challenge is very hard for me right now, what with my body not being at its best. (let’s face it though, even it’s best is pretty crappy on average.) I keep hoping I’ll feel a change like I did with my water challenge. So far, nothing. Not even reliable relief. Luckily, I’ve been able to find some poses that make me feel better. But I really didn’t start this challenge for minor maintenance; I really want to be a healthier person, or at least a more comfortable one.

Obviously, I’m going to keep it up, though. I can’t give up just because the gates of Heaven don’t open to reveal a choir of angels singing and cheering me on. The most change you can ever hope for is directly proportional to the amount of steadfastness you demonstrate, no matter the task at hand.

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Gallon A Day: The Last Day!

30 days later, I am very proud of myself for accomplishing a goal I set for myself. I don’t have after pics like I had hoped. but here are the changes I’ve experienced since increasing my intake of water and non-caffeinated beverages:

  • A total of five pounds lost
  • Lighter undereye circles; it no longer looks like I’ve been punched in the face if I can’t find my concealer
  • A few less wrinkles, very few less, but still less
  • Brighter, softer skin, less gray-looking
  • More dependable happiness, and for someone with depression, that is really something!
  • Motivation
  • An increased consciousness of the other things I put into my body and how I’m treating it overall… I’m still not giving up pizza rolls and bologna. That’s just crazy talk.

I really don’t know what else to say, since I said a lot of it yesterday. I’m proud of myself. I’m looking forward to continuing to treat my water bottle as if it were an appendage. And most of all, I’m still excited to embark upon new challenges that will benefit me, be it in mind, body, or soul.

Stay tuned for when I start my Yoga Challenge next week! And, one last time, happy hydrating!!

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Gallon A Day: Day 29

Nothing particularly special to report today. With my challenge winding down (today is my final day!), I’ve basically figured out what the changes have been and what I can expect in the future as I continue to keep myself hydrated. I’m excited to start a new challenge next week. More than anything, this water challenge has taught me that I can achieve whatever I want if I can figure out the one thing that will keep me going and motivated. That has been this blog. I’ve never been one to stick with personal changes for the most part, usually falling off the wagon because of cost, inconvenience, or just plain laziness. Knowing that I had to write about it, even though it was an assignment I gave myself, made me accountable. Even if I wasn’t perfect every day, I at least tried every day. I was a ware of what I was or wasn’t doing. That’s been a big deal for me.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a final post about all the changes I’ve discovered/documented. Maybe I’ll even post check-ins every now again as well. We shall see!

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Gallon A Day: Days 24 & 25

New Year’s Eve: Wow. New Years Day: Ugh.

I’m glad for my increased hydration. While I ended up with a hangover on New Year’s Day, if it hadn’t been for this challenge, it could’ve been much worse than it was. I was very proud of myself for alternating my beverages with water. Still, a chocolate martini, like the rhythm, is gonna get you. Especially when there’s four of them. 😉

In the midst of it all, I was so glad that I’ve managed to make water palatable for myself. I didn’t have to struggle to rehydrate yesterday. Water just seemed to be the natural choice, rather than trying to find the right juice or soda that seemed like a viable option.

The only thing really bothering me now is a muscle headache, another side effect t of m fibromyalgia, which, on the whole, had been much better lately, though not perfect. See, I get a knot or four in my shoulder/back muscles and the pain will travel up my neck and into my head, causing a migraine that nauseates me and renders me basically useless. I thought it was the hangover at first, but when water, food, and time didn’t cure it, I knew something was up. And who ever heard of a 48-hour hangover, when you weren’t even that ridiculous in the first place? I was just really hoping that hydration would somehow lubricate my muscles and make them glide more smoothly or something. Today is not shaping up too well, so far.

Here is to the new year and to water and relief! (Raising my water bottle in a toast.)

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Gallon A Day: Day 23

This will be a quick post since I have a lot of writing and blogging planned for today.

I’m still doing good. My changes seem to have levelled off. I’m happy but not freakishly ecstatic like I’ve been a few times. I’m still motivated. I’ve actually gone the last few days without a nap, though more than energy, it may attributed to the sleeping I’m going since the kids don’t have to go to school.

A new thing I’m noticing, and I may totally be imagining this, but I swear the little lines around my eyes have filled in. My skin is not perfect and smooth like I had hoped, but it seems brighter. It’s just not as dull when I put my makeup on now. I still have those dark circles, but I dunno, I feel like I look better, regardless. I suppose that’s the most imnportant when doing anything that has to do with improving your body/appearance: that YOU think you look better, at least that you FEEL better. It will be interesting what my yoga challenge brings me after these 30 days are up.

As for tonight, Day 24 and New Year’s Eve, it will definitely be an experience. I’ll be hydrated and drinks are free at the party I’m attending, so I won’t be mindfully self-monitoring my $5-a-finger whiskey consumption. It’s actually the first big liquor-involved event I’ll be taking part of since I started my water challenge. Maybe I’ll actually alternate between water and alcoholic beverages like a smart woman is supposed to, and avoid a massive hangover in the process. We shall see!

Happy celebrating to all!

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Gallon A Day: Day 22

It’s still hard to get a whole gallon. I know people who sit at a desk all day who seem to have no problem, but they also have no other drinking option, and in their corporate settings they don’t have the luxury of snacking whenever they want, so I suspect the water helps them feel full between meals. (#longasssentences) I fill my water bottle and try to keep it by me. My problem seems to be that I get so wrapped up in whatever I’m doing–reading, writing, even cleaning–that I don’t consume anything. Luckily, I’ll never be one of those writers that entirely forgets to do basic things like eat dinner, yet I can still go hours feeling hungry or thirsty without reaching two feet to my left to remedy the situation.

I’ve been drinking more water with dinner. I usually hate that, but I’m getting used to it. Even if I’m drinking something else, I still have my water bottle. I’ve noticed that some of my favorite drinks from Starbucks (I’m even ordering decaf now, so I can count it, signaling both desperation and body-snatching) are much too sweet for me. I’ll order a hot chocolate or chai just to have something that isn’t water only to find myself alternating between sips of that drink and sips of water to cut the sugar overload… I still have no problem with candy, though even that I chase with water rather than my usual coffee or soda.

Speaking of soda, I’m barely drinking it anymore. I can’t count the caffeinated ones so I don’t drink them and I just don’t default to the others like I did a month ago. Sure, I still have a can of Sprite or ginger ale if I feel like it, but I mostly don’t feel like it. I’m finding my indulgences to be wine or a good beer, simply because they don’t count, so they’re like a treat to me. Consequently, the more hydrated I am, it seems, the quicker I feel the alcohol. Weird, but productive in the sense if I’m going for a softer edge at the end of a trying day, it’s accomplished much quicker.

Happy hydrating, all! Le chaim!

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Gallon A Day: Days 16-21

Ugh, another bulk post. It seems I’ve been better at drinking water than I have at writing about it (which was most of the impetus for starting this challenge in the first place). Overall, I’ve done well over the holidays. Christmas was rough because I wasn’t feeling well. I was awake for maybe six full hours all of Christmas Day. I basically slept off whatever tropical virus is striking down writers and children everywhere right now.

Seriously, everyone is sick. Even my stepson has pneumonia, though he’s doing much better than last week. It’s actually pretty interesting to me that I haven’t gotten more sick than a few headaches and my deep-sleepy Christmas. I have a lowered immune system due to my various health issues, so I usually catch everything. I even got those nasty flulike symptoms from the flu shot that isn’t really the flu but feels like it and was laid up for almost a week. The fact that I’m doing okay almost makes me question whether or not my fluid intake is helping me be healthier.

I’m holding steady at four pounds lost. Technically a win, but I still don’t fit into the clothes I grew out of. Only sad because there’s a particular skirt I didn’t have occasion to wear until it no longer fit. Next month, I’ll be embarking on another challenge for myself, also geared towards a healthier me: 10 minutes a day of yoga. A nice easy minimum that can easily go overtime and can really only benefit me. Hopefully, that will get me closer to the skirt.

This is something I’ve noticed since starting this challenge, and realizing I’m already in the home stretch. I’m interested in challenging myself. It gives me something to write about, sure, but I also like myself for doing it, even on the days I’m not making my goal. I don’t have all the energy I thought I’d get back nor do I have the perfect complexion I was hoping for, but my skin seem brighter, my moods are so much better, and I actually feel like I know the difference between thirst and hunger.

As I wind down this challenge (9 days left!) and the year, I’m looking forward to the other things I’ll be accomplishing. I know I’ll definitely be drinking more water, even after I no longer “have to.” ;-

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Gallon A Day: Day 15

If only beer and whiskey and caffeinated coffee counted toward my goal. Working backstage at a concert last night meant I completely forgot my water bottle and I felt too awkward to ask the band if I could sneak one of theirs. I did get a big glass when my friend and I went out afterwards but it was just barely enough. So I missed my gallon goal by 24 oz. yesterday. Y’all. I’m not doing very well, am I? At least I’m trying and that is always what matters most.

I do feel better overall. I’m motivated. Water is even becoming a sort of default. As soon as I wake up, if I have a slight headache, or my mouth is just a bit dry I go for a small glass of water. A quick 8 oz. and I’m on track. It’s a great feeling to know I’m taking care of myself without really trying. That is a huge deal for me. And I’m feeling so good about this challenge because it not forces me to do something so obviously healthy, but something I thought would be too hard to accomplish in real life. In fact, I’m so inspired by it that I’m thinking of making 2015 a year of challenges for myself. Small ones like this one. Little changes to write about. Really, that was the main reason I began this challenge; I was blocked and felt I had nothing to write about. Doing this means I have something to write about every day.

As I continue drinking water like it’s falling from the sky for the next two weeks, I’ll be thinking of what else I can do. I’m thinking next month may be 10 minutes a day of yoga, a small goal, but so healthy.

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