Healthier 2021: Laura's Staying Hydrated

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This post appears as part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three WebMD team members as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their journeys here.

By Laura J. Downey

A few weeks ago, as I was sitting in my weekly WW (formerly Weight Watchers) “maintenance” meeting, one of the women in our group started to share. She showed us this really cute mint-rose gold half-gallon water bottle with markings up the side like: “10AM—You’ve Got It” and “2 PM—Halfway There” and “8 PM—You Made It!” Seeing the bottle immediately made me want to get one because it’s easy on the eyes. Plus, I know I need to be drinking more water each day. Normally, I probably drink, at most, two 16.9 fluid ounce bottles -- far from the recommended four bottles a day.

So when my friend Centuria asked me what I wanted for my recent birthday, I told her I must have this cool-looking water bottle. When it arrived, I was so happy. I filled it up and was like, “Whoa!” This is a lot of H2O! I was in and out of the restroom multiple times during the day and at night. And as annoying as that could be, I appreciated the fact that the water filled me up. Instead of reaching for something sweet, I grabbed my brand-new, two-toned pink and turquoise bottle.

It’s crazy to think that putting water in a good-looking container would make me want to drink more of it. When I’m around the house or at the gym in my apartment complex, I bring it with me.

If carrying a cute water bottle does it for me, I am starting to wonder if I should check out some athleisure, too! Maybe it is time for me to ditch the workout attire I’ve had for years (think baggy white T-shirts with cutout sleeves and shorts riddled with holes) for a few fashionable pieces! Then, I’ll really be ready for any Peloton challenge that comes my way. And if I’m not 100% ready for a race off, at least I’ll look good when pushing past the pain (that is, upping the cadence and resistance) on the bike.

One month in, I’ve learned that this wellness journey is not just about eliminating sugar from my diet. There are several components that will help to make me a healthier and happier Laura. And since my body needs water to survive, I am no longer going to deprive it of what it needs. I’m going to drink up daily. Cheers!

Laura J. Downey is the executive editor of WebMD Magazine. She hopes this blog will help others see that every small step can lead to a more well-balanced, healthful, and fulfilling life. For more on her journey, follow her on Instagram @laurakadowney.

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