This is the third blog about decision making. Today I want to give you an example of how to apply the choices we make, our decisions, to the water we drink- or don’t drink. Remember last week, I said that there are three choices: make a good decision, make a bad decision, or make no decision?
When you look at your decisions about food and water, I want you to realize that there is no one perfect answer that will work for everyone. We all need to find our own answers. We need to find the ones that will work for us long term, whether they work for others or not. But some principles about food, eating, and body weight are true for everyone.
We all need water. The brain is hugely dependent on fluid to work properly. All those synapses and neurons need liquid to fire properly. Not having enough fluid will kill us. Before it does that though, it can make you pretty uncomfortable. You may feel like you have no control over your attention span. Your mind just wanders no matter how hard you try to focus on the task at hand. Mild dehydration interferes with brain processing and breaks down the ability to focus. Just like sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, making time for a bit of exercise, water is one of the most essential needs of your body. We constantly need it to replenish, cleanse and operate our system. Without it, you may have a headache and dizziness; you may feel tired and sleepy; you may feel like you want to cry but you have no tears; you may even feel hungry for your drug foods. Your urine may be minimal and it may be dark yellow to brown and have an odd odor.
Water carries the end products of fat loss out of the body; you may stop losing weight or lose less weight than you expected. Though there’s no magical number of times you should move your bowels, it’s definitely true that people who drink enough water usually have regular bowel movements. Hard bowel movements or constipation can be a sign that you aren’t getting enough water.
Often when we feel hungry “or just want something good”, what we are is thirsty. Drinking water before—and during— a meal fills you up faster, displacing the desire and need for additional calories. Water consumption directly affects energy levels. Just a 5% drop in body fluids can cause a 30% reduction in energy. The bottom line is that without water, your body doesn’t work as well, and the quality of the water you consume can have a dramatic impact on your mind and body.
We’ve all heard that eight glasses of water each day is an absolute minimum for the body to maintain basic functions. Keep in mind that eight glasses are the minimum and one half your body weight in ounces is a better measuring stick (for example, if you weigh 180 pounds, drink 90 ounces of water per day).
What should you be drinking? Water of course, but that gets boring. Lemon slices in your water? Or lime? Or cucumber? Or kiwi? Seltzer water, flavored or unflavored but not sweetened? Herbal tea? Hot or iced? Or half herbal tea and half seltzer water?
Now that I have given you all the good reasons why you should drink more fluid, what you do is your choice to make.
Did you ever notice in the third step it says “Made the decision……”? It does not say “Did….” Or “Debated…”
And the other steps are about how we take action on the decision.
You can decide you are drinking enough water (at 24 or 96 ounces a day, doesn’t matter; your decision.)
You can read this article and say, “Well I guess I should…. be drinking more water.
Or you can say, “This is really important. I am deciding to increase my water consumption” and then you have to set about planning how to do that, deciding what to do, and creating the means for following through.
Making a decision means taking action on the decision you have made.
You may mess up some days, but if you have made the firm and serious decision to drink more water, when you do mess up, you will say to yourself at the end of the day, “I no longer choose to live that way. I want a new habit. What do I need to do to change things?” And you may decide to put more fresh water in the fridge, make some iced tea, or buy an extra special cool-looking water bottle, or buy a dozen water bottles to put under your desk. Or you might call a friend and ask for more ideas.
Making a decision is different from “thinking about” or “considering”. It means I change something. And I focus on the change, and I follow through with doing whatever needs to be done to maintain the change, and I enjoy the result.
If I don’t enjoy the result, and this was an unhelpful decision, I win a learning experience and the opportunity to make another decision.
If I don’t make a decision, I get stuck in the pain of debating what to do. Nothing gets done and I get no freedom from the problem.
It’s your choice. You may choose one, the other, or not at all. I will care about you and believe in you either way.
I love to read your comments! Please leave me one in the space below.
Blessings to you,