Summertime

So in case you haven’t been subjected to my barrage of tweets regarding the weather situation in DC for the past few days (count yourself lucky), let me apprise you of the situation: it’s been a little dire.


And those really don’t even touch on the humidity. It’s been at anywhere between 50% and 70% humidity over the past week, and that hasn’t been pleasant. This weather, combined with the worst commute in all of history (because driving 9 miles should totally take an hour and a half) almost culminated in me fainting in my car on the way to work on Wednesday. Forrealz. Now, before you Texans and Arizonians and Floridians other warm-weather-dwellers get all up in arms about us Mid-Atlantians being whiner babies about a little bit of 100-degree weather, let me just say that this is not exactly the norm for us. DC is usually still a relatively temperate place in June. Sure, we get doused with the 98-degree (I dooooo cherish yoooou) weather come August, but we usually get a couple of months of nice, sunny, hot-but-not-so-hot-that-you-black-out weather before then.

I mean, for crying out loud, I was in the freakin’ Caribbean less than a month ago and it wasn’t this hot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the people who claims to hate summer with a burning (heh) passion. Sure, it’s not my favorite season (i’m an Autumn girl at heart), but it definitely has its benefits.

Summertime

There’s sunshine, all manner of festivals and events, and hopefully more than a few days spent hanging out by the pool or at the beach. Supposedly, there’s also less traffic in the summer though, due to this week’s near-miss with heat exhaustion, I remain skeptical. It’s just that, as you guys are probably all too aware at this point, I don’t handle heat particularly gracefully.

See, I’m the gal with the tomato-red face and bulging eyes. I’m the one sweating bullets from every pore and my makeup running down my face. I get hot really easily and it takes me a long time to cool down (seriously, Ben actually makes fun of me all the time because I get sweaty so easily, haha). Adding to my overall classiness is the red marks on the back of my legs from having to peel my thighs off the leather seats of my un-air-conditioned car. I had kinda hoped that when I lost a little weight, my proclivity for overheating might have been subdued slightly, but as that hasn’t really happened, I’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that it’s just a part of who I am. And who I am is apparently a super classy lady. Hahahahaha.

Untitled
60 pound difference, same red face.

One of my goals for the near future is get a new car but, unfortunately, there are a couple of factors that are preventing me from doing so just yet. Luckily, my wonderful, generous parents took pity on me after I had a breakdown about the heat wave, and offered to switch cars with me for a couple of days. This morning I rolled into the parking garage in my mom’s sweet Chevy Equinox (it still has that new car smell!), with the air conditioning on and the satellite radio blasting. Unfortunately, I think I could get used to this.

Alas, since I won’t be able to count on taking advantage of my parents forever, I do think I need to start being proactive about protecting myself against the summer heat. I had to revisit my post on hydration tips to remind myself of some ways to keep dehydration at bay, and am going to have to do some serious wardrobe shopping to make sure all my lightest, airiest (and yet still somehow work appropriate, I hope?) clothes are at arm’s length.

One bright side of this blistering summer heat? It definitely puts a damper on my appetite. Suddenly, the thought of ingesting anything too heavy, rich, or HOT is fairly repulsive. I actually WANT to eat nothing but salad and fruit! Go figure.

What are your most and least favorite things about summertime?

Weight Loss 101: Hello Hydration (Giveaway!)

Catching up? Check out my previous Weight Loss 101 posts!

Splish Splash
(photo by ben)

Water. We need it to, you know, live. It lubricates our joints, regulates our system, gives life to our cells, and heck, we ARE it — you know, what with that whole thing about the human body being two-thirds water (source).


(source)

There’s no doubt that staying well-hydrated is an important part of weight loss, too. Thirst can masquerade as hunger, causing us to eat more and, though it seems a bit counter-intuitive, being dehydrated actually makes you retain water. This causes bloating and (water) weight gain, which we all know can have a dramatic impact on our motivation and self-esteem.

I don’t know about you, but I am TERRIBLE about drinking enough of it. Depending on where you live, your weight, how much you exercise and sweat, etc, the specific volume of water you should be consuming may differ. Even just going by the old standard “8 x 8” rule (64 oz, or eight glasses full of eight ounces of water daily), I find myself constantly falling short. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m too lazy to refill my water bottle, or if it’s ’cause I really just don’t think about it, but I would say I am under-hydrated on more days than not. To that end, I’ve compiled a few of my tips for staying hydrated that I’m sure will make you say “well, duh.” Also, you’ve probably already heard/read them 1,000 times before. But now you get to read them again! Huzzah!

Old water cooler bottles
(source)

1. Make it convenient.

At my last job, there was one of those little water coolers (you know, the kind with the big plastic jug that makes the “bloop bloop” noise when it bubbles?) about 4 feet from my desk. I could essentially swivel my chair and have water at my fingertips. I drank so much more water at that job than I do now, where I have to walk the length of the office (the horror!) to get to a water fountain! Why? Convenience. I’ve admitted to my laziness time and time again (at this point, it’s practically boasting!), so making something easy to access is a number one priority for me. If you find yourself without a similar convenience, try asking your office manager if you can get a similar water cooler installed in a central place, or get a mini-fridge to keep at your desk to store pre-filled bottles in.

2. Carry it with you.

Okay, so maybe your boss says you don’t have the budget for a more hydration-friendly office, or you’re thinking about those non-office moments (rare though they are). Well, no fear, there’s an even simpler way to ensure you have water available at all times. Just make sure you always carry a bottle with you. (See? Cue the “… duh”s.) Now, for bag ladies like me, it’s easy to toss a Klean Kanteen or other reusable water bottle into your giant purse. If, however, you find you’re needing another way to hang onto your hat bottle, might I suggest a bottle holder? And if you hang around until the end of the post, you’ll even have an opportunity to win one!

Healthy Water with splash
(source)

3. Make it interesting.

I hear it from people all the time. “Water is so boring!” “I just can’t drink that much water.” “I don’t like the taste.” Well, people, water is awesome. You can flavor it with anything, you can make it sparkle, it’s good hot and it’s good cold. Experiment! We all know my devastating love for all things sparkling water, an addiction that our new Soda Stream helps enable daily, hehe. Other suggestions:

– Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to ice water when at a restaurant.
– Enjoy a drizzle a touch of honey in a steamy mug of hot water on cold days.
– Use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes to give your glass some color and zing.
– Homemade cucumber water is very refreshing (it makes me feel like I’m at the spa, haha) and just about the easier thing ever: slice cucumbers, add to water. Ta-da!

There are tons of combinations and experiments you can do make water more appealing to you. Try a few of them out!

So there you have it. Whether you like your water fizzy, flavored, or flat, there’s no excuse not to try to get your 64 oz. in each day. And for one of you, it’s about to get even easier. Giveaway time!!

My good friend Sarah‘s mom handcrafts the very macrame water bottle holders you see in the photos above. They come in three colors (pearl, tan, or brown) and one of you will win one in the color of your choice!

I have one, and I love that due to its drawstring top, it’s flexible enough to fit a variety of bottle sizes (from the standard plastic water bottle to my giant reusable ones!) It’s soft, lightweight, and would be great to sling over your shoulder on a hiking trip or photography tour. They are also available from her Etsy shop, and she’s also working on designs for a farmer’s market bag, as well as a wallet that will clip onto the bottle holder. Neat, huh?

To enter, simply leave a comment offering your favorite tip for staying hydrated. Be sure to indicate which color you would want, too!

As always, bonus entries are awarded for:

1. Liking me on Facebook
2. Following me on Twitter
3. Blogging/posting/tweeting about this giveaway!

Just make sure to leave a separate comment here for each thing you do to ensure you have multiple entries! I’ll be drawing a random winner on Wednesday, January 11th.

Happy Friday, everyone!