On Staying Hydrated

First off, I grew up with coffee in the house. I never got any that I’m aware of but I certainly like the smell. Dad would instruct us in how to make coffee and we’d bring it out in a nice cup and saucer. Once I tripped and caused the cup to spill hot coffee all over my hands. But I did not drop it.

For drinks, Dad would have a martini I think. Mom’s favorite I believe was a Slo Gin Fizz. These are from memory so I may be a little off.

We kids would have sodas. The store brand of cola, root beer (my favorite), or 7-Up. There was also plenty of milk. Mom would get a six pack of half gallon milks from the commissary.

For a little while, Dad tried to teach us how to drink socially. We had wine at the table (I’d guzzle it and while holding my breath, drink milk) and Dad even had us learn how to drink Brandy. Even at 11 months I was drinking beer 🙂

When I was 14ish, Dad (and family of course) joined the Mormon Church. If you don’t know, Mormon Doctrine says “no hot drinks”, no alcohol, and no smoking. I recall Dad trying Near Beer a few times and not liking it much. But it was the end of coffee and alcohol.

Moving on in life, when I joined The Army, I was a non-drinker. I didn’t like it when I was a kid and was able to use being in the church to keep from being “forced” into drinking. I did like sodas so didn’t have any trouble keeping hydrated 🙂

I moved into drinking Dr. Pepper for several years while learning computers and gaming. In 1990 when I first tried to lose weight, the NutraSystem folks wanted me to drink water. After a week or so I asked if I could drink something else. They suggested Diet Dr. Pepper but it had a bitter aftertaste. I tried Diet Coke and was hooked.

Over the years I’ve stuck with it. Occasionally I’ll have something else like Mountain Dew if Diet Coke isn’t available.

Since meeting and marrying Rita, I’ve had lots of conversations about how bad aspartame is and that I should stop and drink water. There’s been comments like “you’re smart, why do you drink it?” and it even caused some boat rocking at one point. The last few years I’ve attempted to stop.

I don’t particularly like tea but I tried it as a replacement but it didn’t work out. I drink a lot of fluids during the day and that turns out to be a big hassle to keep me up on tea. And I didn’t like the flavor anyway.

I’ve lasted from a month or so to six months. I’ve come back again and again.

You see, water is sustenance. Like eating unflavored oatmeal for breakfast, four pieces of toasted white bread (dry) for lunch, and tofu for dinner.

Every day for the rest of your life!

This time I made a few changes. One, I was honest with myself, that I was stopping to get Rita to stop bothering me about it. No I don’t necessarily think aspartame is bad for me or perhaps just can’t think long term. But I do know that constantly bothering me about it is mentally bad 🙂

Next I drink adulterated water. At work we have Tropicana Lemonade. I fill my glass about two thirds full of water and ice, then top it off with lemonade. It works pretty well although I probably drink more than I should.

Third, at home I drink only when thirsty. At work I sometimes have to get away from my desk so getting a drink gives me a break. This is less of an issue at home. I find I can go all day without drinking. Not on purpose of course. I’ll get to dinner and realize I haven’t had anything to drink all day.

Finally, I stopped worrying about the calories in my drink. So I’ll have a root beer or even an A&W or Brown’s Cream Soda. Just not a lot. I know I’m somewhat compulsive about things so I have to be careful about over imbibing on sugar drinks.

It does seem to be working. I’m on 6 weeks now and no desire to get a Diet Coke.

The problem now is Rita’s bugging me to drink more water on the weekends. “Are you hydrated?” I think if I start drinking water, I’ll get bored with it and start in on Diet Coke again. So I’m not consciously avoiding water. More avoiding drinking in general.

We’ll see how this goes.

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