I’ve avoided writing about this because it’s embarrassing. After all, I’m an educated person and “know” the good stuff I’m supposed to be doing for myself: drink water, eat my veggies, get rest, blah blah blah… This is NOT rocket science, for crying out loud. But knowing and doing are totally different things.
Last year I started working out with my sis and a trainer (Sonjia). I was taking it very slowly and it felt good to get back to the gym a couple days per week. It was my “back door” way to trying to be a bit healthier. But I wasn’t eating any differently or, uh, drinking water outside of the gym. I figured that would come later….
During one particular workout in January, I didn’t feel well (dizzy & flushed). (I’m not an animal, so when I don’t feel well I rest. I am 43!) I was sitting down and even after about 10 minutes I did not feel any better, so I told Sonjia I wanted to go into the other room to lie down. As we were walking to the other room, it happened.
Syncope (via WebMd)
Fainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pe), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.
Yep – I fainted… at 5:30 pm right next to the smith machine. I even threw up a bit (not a pretty thing to admit). Luckily, Sonjia was right there so she kept me from hurting myself on the fall. I came to and my sis, Sonjia, and the other trainer were kneeling over me. I could hear, “Bring me a towel, call 911, are you pregnant?” And all I could think was, “Oh my god, I’m lying on the floor. Calgon – get me the hell out of here!”
Of course I told them that I was fine and just needed to sit down (code for GET ME OUT OF THE **expletive** FREE WEIGHT ROOM!). Apparently it didn’t matter what I said, 911 had been dialed. The cute EMT’s arrived (seriously, is being cute a job requirement?) and they hooked me up to different monitors. Naturally, they insisted that I go to the hospital (via the GURNEY through the MIDDLE OF THE GYM). My sis was taking pictures (cuz that’s what we do), and she was quickly scolded by the EMT’s because this was serious.
Seriously? I fainted. How serious could that be? I told them that I normally have low blood pressure (true) and that I’m sure that I’m fine. After several failed “stand up and let’s see what your blood pressure does” tests (mine crashed each time, even after about 15 minutes), I gave up and hopped onto the gurney. (You’ll be relieved to know that I felt good enough to cover my face with a sheet due to extreme embarrassment.)
After “passing” all the heart and blood tests in the hospital, the consensus was that I was chronically dehydrated. (This made sense to me because quite frankly, after a bag of fluids, I felt GREAT!) But my sis and boyfriend did not see the humor in this and were giving me scolding looks from the doorway. Whatever, I know you love me, but do you have to give me “that” look?
But they were right. I was not taking care of myself – that was the simple truth. In fact, I was doing such a **expletive** job of taking care of myself, I ended up in the emergency room. This to me, was very sad.
Enter the Water Bottle
I’ve never been a water drinker. I used to drink sodas. And I still LOVE my coffee. But my little syncope incident inspired me to bust out the bottle. But the guidelines for water and fluids are DAUNTING (see WebMd). I started little by little drinking some at work. Some days I do better than others. But recently (in the last month or so), I’ve neglected this part of my “I’m trying to develop healthy habits” path. I’ve been eating vegetables, cooking, watching my carbs, and getting lots of minutes of exercise in, but I haven’t paid the same amount of attention to the water piece.
That’s why I added a modest water goal (42 glasses per week) for Health Month. (I know this is much less than what I “should” be drinking, but I know that I will not overhaul a habit overnight.) Through the Health Month community, I learned that others have similar “water” goals, which helps me not feel like a total loser. “4,640 people have taken on rules to modify this element of their health. On average, people who adopt this rule end up following it 98% of the time.”
Those sound like good odds to me.
Today I drank 48 oz of water at work – a very good thing for me. I’ll drink another 24 before I go to bed. Sip by sip, I’m developing a new, healthy habit for the long haul….
Any tips out there for drinking more water?