26 February 2008

If You Drink Too Much Water You'll Drown...Apparently

Here's a funny - but true - story.

One of my clients is a new convert to drinking lots of water and is loving the benefits he's feeling already. As all good healthy living converts do, he wanted to spread the word and help others to make change too so, while in his office the other day, he offered a glass of water to a colleague.
She gulped down the water so he offered her some more to which she replied,
‘No thanks, one glass is enough. I’ve heard if you drink too much water you can drown.’

Technically, she’s right.

It is possible to drink too much water creating adverse consequences for the body but you’d really have to go some to find yourself in this situation. What was interesting about her observation was that it highlighted something that I come across day after day. People are brilliant at coming up with reasons not to change.

This particular lady acknowledged that she could do with drinking more water and yet clung to a belief that allowed her a get out clause from making the change that she knew necessary. She’d read somewhere that it was possible to over consume water so she used this as a reason not to take the time to experiment and find out what level of consumption worked best for her.

I’ve heard hundreds of these outdated beliefs and sweeping generalisations:

I’d love to run but I read that it ruins your knees
Too much fruit will rot your teeth
If you stop to take a break, you might never get going again

Yes, these things sometimes happen. But they happen rarely and they happen over time. They won’t necessarily happen to you and there is certainly no reason to let these cases prevent you from taking action. Try these things and see what the results are for you. Find a degree of each activity that works for you without any adverse consequences. Or try something else.

Whatever you do, don’t just trot out these convenient excuses and then live with circumstances that don’t give you great results. Today, if you find yourself thinking about reasons not to exercise, eat well or take a break, pause for a moment and ask yourself if what you’re thinking right now is really true or just an excuse not to make change.

Photograph by Ooodit (Flickr)

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