Friday, June 15, 2012

Water please




This is barely worth writing about, but during the past several weeks I have made a pretty drastic change in my life concerning the consumption of something that has been a hardcore staple in my life since I was a teenager.  No, I'm not talking about alcohol...  Those who know me fairly well know I'm talking about diet cola. There were infrequent times when I'd not have a Diet Pepsi somewhere around me.  It's fair to say I was easily drinking a six pack of a day for many many years.  I was the guy who in less than a week found the locals with the "Coke Light" supply in Baghdad.  The Iraqi, Ali, who purchased stuff on the economy for our unit used to pick me up 6-7 cases at a time to keep my stock up.  I've heard all the bad things about diet soda, the cancer, the acid, the caffeine, the link to obesity, etc, but none of those were enough to make me give up the stuff.  

So, onto the "why did I quit drinking soda cold turkey?"  I've been practicing yoga, specifically hot yoga, for the past seven months.  My water consumption, just plain H2O, was pretty much confined to my yoga workouts, brushing my teeth, the water in the one cup of coffee I have in the morning (and I'm not quitting that, just yet), and whatever my skin absorbed while showering or washing the car.  For some reason I just never felt like I was doing anything bad.  It was the hot yoga room that I believe gave me the wake up call.  I'm pretty sure my body was fairly dehydrated most of the time, and like clockwork, whenever I was in the middle of the standing/balancing postures I would usually always get light headed.  It was during my reading of meditations from that mat where a passage really stuck with me about our bad habits.  It basically said that when we want to remove a negative thing in our lives it's best to focus on not so much NOT doing the "thing", rather to focus on adding positive "things" to our lives.  Hmmm...   So, just do better stuff and the bad will magically go away?!  Yep, I started to carry a water bottle, a big liter sized water bottle, with me most all the time. I've now increased my water intake to easily a gallon a day, given up sodas without missing them, and had very few dizzy spells in the hot room.  I've determined that doing very difficult physical activity in a 105F/40% humidity room is likely  sometimes to make one feel a bit light headed, but if we do everything we can to help ourselves, and listen to our bodies, we can't go wrong.

Anyway, I gotta go, Vinyasa practice is calling...