Weight Loss

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Water, water everywhere

Confession: I am the worst water drinker. Ever.

I KNOW that I'm supposed to be drinking 64 oz. a day, or oz. of water that equals my weight in kilos (you know, if you weigh 80 kg, you are supposed to drink 80 oz. I don't know how to say that), or any number of other formulas for the perfect amount of water we are supposed to drink. Drinking enough water is supposed to help weight loss, constipation, dry skin, and a hundred different biological things. I know this. I also know that as a bandster, I get less food than most people so I get less water in my food, thus a greater need to drink water.

But. In my defense, for unbanded people, the whole 8-glasses-a-day thing has been debunked as a myth, and the proper amount of water is now considered drinking until you are not thirsty. We probably have a greater need for drinking water than unbanded people, but I honestly don't think it's as major as people make it out to be, especially since I eat more food than most bandsters seem to. (And more moist food, I would venture to guess.)

It's not that I don't LIKE water. I have nothing against water, not even city tap water. I just can't carry it with me, and if I don't, I don't think to drink it. Even if it's with me, if I'm not thirsty I don't drink it. I've tried to change this part of being me, but I have failed. I have never been a Coke, juice, or anything else drinker, either. I'm just not that into beverages. (Unless it's a good wine or a Guinness, that is. But I rarely drink alcohol, either.)

I have considered posting on this topic in the past, and have always hesitated because there are a lot of people in the WLS community (if we can be called a "community") who are water Nazis, or at least water zealots, and I didn't want to stir them up. I also don't want to make this a recommendation to other people, because it ain't medical advice. I don't know if it's better or worse to drink water--I don't think drinking 100 oz a day can hurt, unless you have renal failure or certain endocrine or electrolyte disorders and are being water restricted. So I don't say this as a recommendation. I'm just confessing that I have discovered that I cannot maintain a water-drinking habit. I drink water when I am thirsty. I can't carry a water bottle everywhere I go. It's not gonna happen, people. I know this by now.

All of this being said, now that I am officially an anesthesia provider (in training), drinking water the WLS way is impossible. There are 3 major reasons for this:
1. You can't bring water, or outside food or drinks, into the OR.
2. You can't leave a case to go pee, unless another anesthesia provider is there to relieve you.
3. The turnover between cases is too fast to gulp down the water you didn't drink during your 5 hour carotid case.

(Also, while I'm on the topic, it's fortunate that I am not so restricted that I can't eat a meal quickly if necessary. If it took me 30 minutes to swallow 4 oz of gruel, I wouldn't ever get lunch.)

For this reason, I have essentially given up coffee as well. Can't risk having to pee an hour after my coffee, which will certainly come at a fairly inconvenient time as far as patient care is concerned.

My weight loss seems to progress on, despite my naughty water habits. I doubt my slow-down in the last 10 lbs has been due to not drinking enough water, but maybe it is. I am in good health--no, great health. I do drink water, when I'm thirsty and I think of it and I have time. (Usually after clinicals are over and I'm at home, and I always drink plenty before I go for a run, and afterward.) But I'm not a water-bottle-carrier, or a frequent bathroom-visitor. I've had a nurse bladder for years (can go 12 hours and only pee 1 time) as it seems to be an evolutionary requirement for bedside nurses, whether working ER, OR, med-surg or critical care (or elsewhere).

I will offer this caveat: If you are on liquids for any portion of your prescribed band diet (pre-op, post op, post fill, post unfill, waiting for revision, whatever), please make sure you drink the required amount of water. It is too easy to become dehydrated in this situation.

Beyond this, I offer no recommendations or advice. I'm just saying that this is me: a naughty bandster who drinks water only when thirsty. Sue me!


She Smiles said...

They can sue me too then.

I drink when I'm thirsty, after I work out and when I remember to. I'd be lucky to get in a litre a day most days.

I'm not dead, all my 12 month check up tests turned up ok and my Dr says I'm doing great, so I'm stick with what works for me, I guess.

Diz said...

Drinking the "required" amount of water can be a bitch! I try and stay on top of it, but, like most people, have a life and do the best I can. I'm with you. At least we think about it, right?