Too Little and Too Much of a Good Thing
This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Crystal Light.The most dehydrated I've ever been was in August of 2000. I was twenty-one years old, in Europe for the first time, taking a ten-day tour of Italy after my month-long study abroad with my boyfriend in Neuchatel, Switzerland. En route to Italy, we overnighted at a hostel nestled in the shadow of the Matterhorn, and it was there that we ran into a scrappy backpacker who had a drink with us, passed along a few crumpled photocopies about a place called Cinque Terre, and then disappeared into the fog of the night. We'd never heard of the place (this was before Rick Steves pimped it to the public-television masses) but it looked amazing, so it was an easy decicion to skip Pisa and Siena and spend our last two days in Italy on the coast instead. Cinque Terre--a string of five small-to-tiny villages tucked up to the chin by the sapphire sheet of the Mediterranean--were probably the most spectacular picture-postcard places I'd ever seen. They were also a welcome excuse to slow down, sit, recline, and relax after a whirlwind tour of Venice, Florence, and Rome. On our second day there, we set out from one of the towns intending to hike along the cliffside trail to the next town--not too far--but then when we got to the next town, it was so beautiful, we decided to keep going...and keep going, and keep going, and then before we knew it we were on an endless trail perched between villages and it was HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT, and even though we took some time out to rest our sun-soaked bones on a rock spit turned boat ramp before testing out our bouyancy in the super salty sea a bit, that turned out to be our worst idea because when we got out and air dried our bodies (no towels), we found ourselves entirely encrusted with salt, and we had NO WATER. We had been hiking for hours and it was HOT. (Our spot was right behind the pink towel at the far left.) Because we were behind the curve of the coast, we didn't know how close (or far) we were to the next town, and as we walked and walked and sweated and sweated, I swear I could feel the second-skin of salt leaching out of my body whatever miniscule drops of water were left in my system. I pictured myself as a dessicated corpse and didn't like what I saw. So we persevered. And complained mightily. And (spoiler!) didn't die. (The sun nearly whitewashed my hair to transparent that day, though.) So that was the most dehydrated I've ever been. The most hydrated I've ever been? December 14, 2008, when I was in labor with my son. I showed up to the hospital so dehydrated it took four people and seven increasingly apologetic stabs to get an IV in me, and then I spent the next twenty hours (twenty hours!) (in addition to the six I'd labored at home!) hooked up to bag after bag after bag of saline, so that by the time the baby was out and Simon was sticking cameras in my face, I looked like a blonde, pink Jabba the Hutt (albeit clutching the cutest swaddling worm you ever did see). And then while I was incapacitated by the post-birth haze of euphoria, he proceeded to email the very worst of those photos to everyone in his address book. Now, I realized--and so did everyone else--that I had just given birth. Like just. My hair was a mess, I hadn't slept in a long time, I had produced LIFE. I get that. But I was also bloated and squishy and eeeuuuuuggge and just...ugh. You can't Photoshop that stuff out is what I'm saying; it wasn't how I pictured Wombat's birth announcement. (And no, you cannot see those pictures.) So, water is like a lot of things: you can definitely have too little or too much of it, and the best place to be is right in the middle--hydrated but not full to bursting like a water balloon. Usually I accomplish the balance by keeping water with me throughout the day, either as a cup of ice water next to the computer or a full water bottle and a few packs of Crystal Light thrown into my purse when I go out. I mean, I like water as much as the next guy, but I prefer it in moderation, thank you very much. I'm not after creating any more memories of being on either end of its bad side. How about you? What's your water style? Do you have a water routine that helps you stay hydrated throughout the day? Do you remember ever being particularly over- or under-watered? ***
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