By Karen Secord
(Karen’s earlier ‘Food Fights’ posts can be found in the Archive.)

Water. Slip in it. Spit it. Slurp it. Soak in it. The human body needs it. Craves it. Indeed devours it.

Here are the truths:

  • 67% of the body is water.
  • 90% of the brain is water.
  • 83% of our bones are water
  • 75% of our muscles are water.

My body doth protest the poor levels of hydration I have been providing it.

In fact, I’ve had a rude awakening. Not listening to my body’s screeching need for H2O has been making me rickety; The Fuzzy-Headed Incredibly Shrinking Woman.

I am ordered to “eat” mush; squished up, liquefied, nasty gruel. And drink two litres of water a day. Every day. Plan for it. Just do it!

“Why?”, I complained, using semi-well thought out arguments about my 15 ml pouch and how it would never permit me to drown it in such an horrific amount of liquid. But it was futile. The drama fell on deaf ears.

And so it should.

(This may come as a shock to you. I am not always right, nor do I always do what is right for me).

Obviously this is one of those times. And I did research to prove my wrongfulness. . .

  • Water transports nutrients and oxygen to the cells. (Only 10 months after gastric bypass surgery I am still experiencing malabsorption of nutrients.)
  • Water protects our vital organs and helps them absorb more nutrients.
  • Water moisturizes the air in the lungs.
  • Water helps boost our metabolism.
  • Water regulates body temperature.
  • Water detoxifies.
  • Water protects and moisturizes our joints.

At my nine month check-up, the bariatric nurse and dietician at the Ottawa Hospital’s Weight Management Clinic delivered both good and bad news. Iron: excellent. Blood Sugar: excellent. Hydration: poor, bad, harmful in fact.

Co-workers and friends had been messaging me for months, reminding me to drink water. Emails like, “Are your dinking?” and “Water!” became common.

It all began to make sense. Suddenly I found myself an energetic person with a propensity towards dizziness. Actually, strange as it may seem, I had been dealing with fall-overs; powerful waves of head-floating dizziness. It began in December. I fell in the middle of Byron Avenue as I crossed the street. The thought of my dress hiked over my head as I lie flat on my back in the road during rush hour traffic propelled me to my feet.

I pretended it hadn’t happened. But my 51 year old body told me differently. With the padding gone it hurt. Even my head is smaller. I felt my tailbone hit the pavement with a crunch. Ouch! (I could have used a little fat!)

It took a week of baby food-like meals and a few falls and a visit to the hospital and a bit of research and the support of family and friends to get through to me.

Water is nourishment.

I may have less fat in my head, but it is still thick!

Drink on!

Note: As I head off to Guatemala I am down 114lbs. I weigh 158 lbs. I no longer have night sweats about not fitting in cramped airplane quarters, the seatbelt sorely lacking in length, and the stewardess announcing loudly, “IF IT DOESN”T FIT I WILL GET YOU A SEATBELT EXTENDER.” On no! Does that mean I am average?