Blog Archives

Hydration Experiment – Update

Something you always hear when trying to shed some weight is that you should drink plenty of water. I have such a hard time with this. I often forget, and when I remember, it’s because I’m already parched and only then realize I’ve had maybe one glass of water all day. I wonder how much this is really affecting me. It can’t be good. There is only one way to find out: Science!

I’m starting an experiment to see what happens when I suddenly drastically up my water intake to the recommended amount for my weight. I will follow up with the results in a couple weeks. Any tips on how to stay hydrated?

Update (8-8-13): I’ve had little success with this experiment, and that’s because I just can’t seem to stay hydrated. I don’t know why this is such a struggle for me.  I’ve tried carrying around a canteen. I’ve tried alternating with green tea for some variety. I even tried a mobile app that reminds me to drink water throughout the day. Nothing has worked for even a week.

A few weeks ago, I had the worst leg cramps in the middle of the night for several days due to dehydration. I think my body has become so used to being in a dehydrated state that I don’t even recognize when I’m thirsty anymore, which is obviously all the time. Any advice would be much appreciated. Water is so essential to proper functioning of the body that I worry about how much harm I may be doing by neglecting my water intake. And then I think about people who don’t have fresh water available to them like I do, and I feel worse about it. Is this what people refer to as a “First World Problem”?

Fun Fact: My Big Fat Family

My office puts out a monthly “Fun Facts” on the department website. Given that I work for a home health care agency, and that we deal with the  evaluation and analysis of patient data, these posts can be interesting, but I would hardly call them fun. So, I decided to put together fun facts about myself. Hopefully, they’re entertaining, and it can turn into a series of fun facts in the weeks to come. This is all in the spirit of keeping me writing, despite my suddenly very busy life.

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When I tell people that I have five younger siblings, their eyes usually pop out of their heads. I suppose it’s impressive, but for me it’s just a fact of my life. The age differences between us is what I find more shocking. The youngest of my siblings, my little sister, is 19 years younger than I am. She just turned 13 a couple months ago, and a couple weeks after that, I turned 32. Needless to say, there was always a battle for my mom’s attention at home, one that I usually lost to my younger and more demanding siblings.

But, there were some benefits to being the eldest sibling, and I would say the most significant was being able to watch my younger siblings grow up. I have a ton of great memories of them doing and saying hilarious things. Like the time the youngest of my brothers got a battery stuck up his nose, and then expelled it by using what he called “the force.” Or the time the middle brother became so upset after getting a haircut which he felt made him “look ugly.” He must have been 3 or so years old, but even then he had a sense of style. And then there’s my little sister, who hasn’t stopped chatting since the moment she learned to talk, and somehow always manages to be hysterical.

One interesting fact is that they see me as an adult, and not just a big sister. When we were younger, this meant that they were fascinated by everything I did and were especially intrigued by my belongings. I once asked them in a rage why they insisted on sneaking into my room all the time and touching my stuff, and they told me: “It’s because you’re so cool!” and really meant it. It made me laugh, because I realized that I had never placed myself in their shoes and imagined what it would be like to have a much older sibling. It was a very strange setup indeed.

I lived at home until I was about 27. The lack of privacy and the incessant sound of children playing drove me bananas. Nowadays, I miss my siblings seeing me as a “super-sister,” (like a super-senior in high school) before they became teenagers way cooler than I am. Thankfully, I have a bunch of memories (and pictures) of their less cool days to deflate their big heads. Above is my youngest sister during her Hannah Montana phase, which she is now so over. The picture was taken on her 8th birthday.

Learning to Code

I haven’t been posting much in recent weeks, but that’s only because I’ve been working hard at learning some new tech skills. As I mentioned some time last year, starting this blog really piqued my interest in learning how to customize websites, as the templates offered through WordPress are great but often limited and restrictive.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for an online course with Skillcrush, a new company focused on introducing more women to coding and technology (men are also welcome). It was such a positive experience, and I highly recommend the site to anyone interested in learning the basics of how to build a website. In a short amount of time, I learned so much that I was able to code this website from scratch!

But the best thing I got from this experience was discovering how much fun coding can be. I enjoyed learning so much that I’m all signed up to take a Intro class in PHP (language that powers Facebook and WordPress) starting Monday with Girl Develop It. I’ve also become really excited about this movement to get more women into tech, and I decided that I definitely want to be a part of it. So it seems that after years of searching for the right career, somehow it found me.

Not a Morning Person

As a kid, my mom would wake me and my younger siblings up for school by cranking up some Spanish-language AM radio station. We were forced to sit through breakfast with the news and weather blasting at us. In addition to this torture tactic, my mom would cheerily remind us every day that it was time for school, as if she were describing a trip to Disneyworld. I think it took everything in us kids to contain our displeasure. We just sat there in silence seething, not even making eye contact.

The only positive association I have with mornings is sleeping in on Saturdays and watching cartoons. My favorite was Garfield and Friends. Garfield was my kind of cat. He was cynical, hated Mondays, loved to eat, and sleep was his favorite hobby. Needless to say, I’m not a morning person. I never wake up bursting with energy, and I consider it a good morning when I manage to leave the house without snapping at David. Nowadays, I wake up to his alarm, which happens to be set to National Public Radio. Clearly, he doesn’t believe I’ve suffered enough….

Despite the morning crabbiness and my generally cynical nature (which I truly believe I was born with), I consider myself a happy, positive person. I’ve learned to laugh at myself and accept these traits as part of who I am–only human. Life is so much easier this way. Some days (usually when David’s alarm is turned off), I even wake up in a good mood–thankful and full of love. That actually happened yesterday, but I later needed all the joy I could muster, because I had the commute from hell and was late for work. I still get kudos for managing to get through a good three quarters of it without rolling my eyes.

Clichés

Daily Prompt: Cliché

Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

I have a hard time with clichés and idioms, because I tend to be very literal. When I try to use them, I end up mixing them up, and I get them completely wrong and embarrass myself. David uses them often, and my response is usually, “That doesn’t make any sense!” or “Why don’t you just say what you mean?!”

I’ll admit that I had to look this one up, because I wasn’t 100% sure of the meaning. Once it became clear, I wasn’t exactly sure that I agreed with it–not at this point in my life. I’d much rather focus on possibilities than take comfort in something lesser but safer. Settling is not an option (That’s not a cliché, is it?).