Have you watered yourself today?

I’ve been thinking about writing this for the last few days but wanted a bit more time to gather my thoughts.  

Drinking water is one the most simple things we can do to feel better but it often gets overlooked in the hustle of everyday living. Most of us are aware of the things we can do to improve our well being (like better sleep, more movement, fresh air, etc.) but life gets in the way of putting them into practice.  Not to mention, we’ve all been seduced by the thinking that this new supplement or that exotic superfood that will help cure whatever ails us.

Confession…. I’ve been struggling with a really intense sweet tooth lately.  For a while it seemed like I NEEDED dessert every day. I stayed on the hunt for something sweet and soothing. I would even get mad when the store didn’t have my key lime pie or cannoli.  

I noticed that these desires would intensify when life got particularly stressful or I was juggling too much with too little support. I was attempting to get emotional nourishment from food that was providing no nutritional nourishment in return.

I know better than to rely on will to try to wrangle the sugar beast (there is some evidence that suggests sugar may be more addictive than cocaine).  

Here’s an example of my attempt to use pure will to renegotiate my relationship with sugar.  A few years ago I decided to go without sugar for 90 days. I was successful and managed to avoid sugar for 3 months then I splurged almost immediately after that and found myself right back where I started.  

So this time around I wanted to take on a more forgiving approach where I was giving to myself instead of taking something away.  With this approach I was leaning more on grace and less on sheer will. I feel like when you show up for yourself in a very loving and forgiving way, your efforts are matched and supported in unforeseen ways.  

Here’s what I did.  

I decided that I wasn’t going to make any grand pronouncement related to sugar.  This really wasn’t about sugar anyway (it never was…the sugar operates as an emotional stand-in for whatever is off balance or lacking in our lives though there is certainly a physical component to our addiction which is beyond the scope of what I’m writing here). 

The plan was simple.  I would drink a quart of lemon water in the morning and see how my body responded.  That’s it.  I didn’t set any expectations or intended results.

My intuition told me that a well hydrated body would make different, perhaps more emotionally coherent decisions.  Watering myself first thing in the morning meant that I started the day full...with the element that evidences life.  My body felt happy…like she had the right kind of fuel to see me through the day. I also didn’t swear off coffee.  But I could only have a cup if I drank my water first.

Here’s what I’m noticing and why I’m sharing this with all of you.

  1.   Waking up and watering myself first thing in the morning feels like a prayer.  A sacred act. Like a deep yet powerful way to honor my body and lay the foundation for the day ahead. 
  1.   I’ve noticed that my sugar cravings have decreased significantly.  And on the rare occasions when I do eat something sweet, it’s not 3 cookies or a triple scoop of ice cream.  It’s a reasonably sized blueberry scone or piece of banana bread.  I allow myself to really enjoy and savor every bite.  No guilt. Maybe one day the craving will disappear but I’m not reaching for absolutes at this point. I don’t need them, they rarely work for me, and they feel like a set up for failure. Just gonna keep filling my cup with water…I think water has a lot to teach me and we’ve only just started.
  1.   The act of watering begins the night before.  I cut a lemon in half,  squeeze the juice with a citrus press, and boil water. I place the lemon juice along with the peels (don’t forget the peels - there are so many goodies in there too! Just be sure to get organic if you’re using the peels so you’re not drinking pesticides) into a quart size mason jar, add boiling water, and cap.  I let it steep overnight.  Side note: if you wish, you can whisper a prayer or intention over the water.  Silence works too.  It’s your ritual.  By morning, you have a potent lemon tea waiting for you…

What would your day be like if the very first thing you did in the morning was water yourself?

If you decide to give this a try, please reach out and let me know how it goes!

In health, wellness & water,