Who hasn’t heard of the recommendation of drinking between 1.5 liter and 2 liters of water a day? Every time I do, I feel guilty for not doing so.
And it’s not the type of recommendations you can accuse the lobbies of. You KNOW you’re not drinking enough. Your skin, your urine (yep, let’s be honest), and the ”Oh, I didn’t drink any water today!” are all evidence that you’re not doing what you should and provide to your body what it needs.
If this description sounds familiar to you, welcome to this monthly challenge article. After stopping coffee for a month, I now want to take on the challenge of drinking more water daily and for a whole month!
My complicated relationship with water
I have always envied people who would always have a bottle of water with them, or naturally go to the kitchen to drink a glass of water.
I’ve always struggled to drink enough water in a day. If I don’t have a glass or a bottle next to me, I won’t think of drinking until I get thirsty (which we’ve been told is already too late). Besides, I rarely get thirsty, so I’ve decided to take action.
Why do I want to increase my daily water intake
I guess this paragraph is self-explanatory – it would be like asking a smoker why he would like to quit – but it’s just to situate the contexte.
With being made of 80 % of water, water is to us, human beings, what gas is to a car. Our body needs water to keep us running. We need water for the good functioning of our cells, our digestion, and our waste management.
As part of my holistic wellness approach, I want my body to function in the most optimum way, and I know it needs to get enough water for that. Also, I know that hydration starts with water intake. No matter how many moisturising creams we can use on our skin, it all starts from the inside.
I did this challenge last year, which had already helped me to drink more water daily. However, after a few weeks or even days, I got back to my old habit of not drinking enough.
This is mainly why I’m repeating this experience: I want the habit of drinking more water to stick after this monthly challenge.
The first days of my water challenge for a month
The first day, I really have to force myself to drink water. And I should add ‘of course’ to that sentence. It’s a new habit, and as with any new habit, it doesn’t come naturally at first.
However, I can already feel that drinking water right after I wake up felt right. I feel more connected to my needs and my body, and I can tell that after 8 hours or more without water, I need to rehydrated first thing in the morning.
The second day is already a bit easier, as I have noticed that I need a visual reminder to drink water and something that tells me exactly where I’m standing in my daily water intake.
So I have decided to keep a 1.5-liter water bottle with me. It’s easy and straightforward. I can measure and assess my progress while drinking X glasses of water a day doesn’t speak much to me.
Day 4 is more challenging as I forgot to drink for almost the whole morning (for my defense I had long meetings and back-to-back calls). Since it’s not a habit yet, I’ve also noticed that I need to make ‘time’ for it. If my mind is at something else, I won’t think of it. Hence the importance of the visual reminder.
Note: this is why you really have to try it for yourself and see what works best for YOU, whether you’re doing the water intake challenge or monthly challenges.
My monthly water challenge: the halfway through assessment
As it happened, I completely gave up on the challenge after less than a week. In the beginning, I wasn’t very much aware of it, but when I realised it, I thought there was no point going on since I skipped it for almost 2 weeks.
As you can already guess, the challenge didn’t go much as planned. I stopped tracking quite early on my intake, and sometimes I even forgot that I was on this water challenge.
Edit: There is one week left when I’m writing these lines and I feel guilty because I kept postponing the time I would go on with writing this article. I’m doing the exact opposite of what I’m encouraging you to do. I guess it just shows that I haven’t figured it all and that I’m on my own journey just like you (#girlnextdoor).
Why did I stop my water intake challenge so early?
Let’s be honest, drinking water is healthy, necessary and not so complicated. However, a big change happened in my life which set me in an emotionally imbalanced state, and made me unavailable for this challenge.
As with any big changes, I didn’t really feel like myself for about two weeks and the challenge wasn’t a priority at all.
I learned a big and important lesson along the way: some change needs stability.
Although I was enjoying drinking more water, I had a few water bottles spread in different places in the flat, my mind wasn’t at it. That’s it.
My priority shifted. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t stop drinking water from one day to another, but I stopped tracking it. I’m sure my intake was superior than before the challenge, but I haven’t reached my 1.5 liters of water target either.
What does that mean in conclusion?
Yes, I’m doing it. I’m writing a conclusion before the final one.
I have one week left and didn’t track my water intake. Although I know that I haven’t been drinking 1.5 liters of water daily for a month, I also know that I drunk more than I used to, which is already a BIG success for me.
What helped me doing so was:
- Spreading water bottles everywhere (at my desk, in the kitchen, in the living room, and sometimes even, in the bedroom). I thought of drinking by seeing water. Visual triggers worked in my case;
- Knowing that I wanted to increase my water intake, I was more mindful and drunk more water at once.
Something ‘funny’ that I have also experienced is that by drinking more, I felt thirsty more often. It was like my body got used to that change and asked for more. Do you relate?
That being said (or better – written), I really want to give my best for the remaining week. I hope that I will be able to report any positive effects on my physiology (sleep quality, skin, etc.).
The last week of my water intake challenge for a month
I felt so guilty that I didn’t follow through with my monthly challenge that I did manage to finish the month by drinking at least 1.5 liters of water every day. Now that I’m thinking about it, it wasn’t difficult at all, or maybe, not difficult anymore.
One thing for sure, after a week of sticking to my water challenge, my skin looked better, my eye-ring also looked better, and my transit was functioning very well (thank you for asking :D).
Also, the mornings I exercised made this challenge much easier as I reached my 1.5 liters target around noon without any effort!
A little trick: this is how you can you combine two good habits in one.
That’s it for this challenge. It wasn’t a clear success, but my goal was to drink more water on a daily basis during, but most importantly, after this monthly challenge. While I’m editing this article 3 weeks after the end of my water challenge, I confirm I’m still drinking a good amount of water daily.
Let me know in the comments if you have any similar experience or struggle with water. I’m looking forward to read you 🙂
We’ll meet next month again for my April challenge which doing planks every day!
Take care :*