The Health Challenge That Drowned Me

Our health challenge started back in January, and we were able to get two teams of 20 each, competing against each other over the 3 month challenge time frame. This is actually quite a sophisticated event. An external company that specializes in these challenge events, set up a web site to track and monitor each participant on a daily basis.

Nurses were brought in at the outset to take our measures on key health metrics (waist size, weight, height, blood pressure, body fat percentage, blood sugar and cholesterol level). The winning team is the team that achieves the highest total points during the challenge.

Points are awarded on a daily basis for the number of minutes of exercise (minimum 20 and maximum 60), plus bonus points for attaining a minimum level of water consumption (8 glasses), a minimum level of fruits and vegetables (5 servings), and for doing anything “green” (composting, recycling, etc.). You need to achieve the minimum exercise minutes or the bonus points do not apply.

Now, I have had no trouble at all achieving the 20 minute daily exercise limit. I also achieve my bonus points for recycling every day. Most days I’m OK with the fruits and vegetables, but my real issue is trying to down eight glasses of water every day.

Most of my co-workers tell me that this is no problem for them, but for me, honestly I feel like I’m drowning some days. I’m sure there are all sorts of articles out there that tell us how important eight glasses a day is to our health. I would like to believe that there are just as many articles that warn of the issues that can arise from over indulging.

I was reading through the material from a special diet program that my daughter was on a year or so ago. The material was very clear that we should not be drinking any fluids during a meal. The fluids interfere with the natural acids in our system that work to effectively digest our food. That made a lot of sense to me.

A co-worker passed me another article just the other day that explained how important it was to guzzle a quart of water one hour before every meal. Maybe the water passes through the system before the meal, so maybe this makes sense as well.

So why is then, that whenever I guzzle a quart or liter of water before a meal, that I feel bloated for hours. It actually ruins my meal. For me to get through eight glasses of water a day, I need to drink small amounts at regular intervals. It seems then that for me, I am not doing myself any good trying to keep up with this level of water consumption.

I’m definitely going to do some more research on this. I would also love to hear from any and all out there that have any knowledge on this subject, or perhaps even some words of wisdom that could help me through this.

I’m slowly drowning, so please don’t take too long to respond.