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The Water Challenge Chronicles

The Water Challenge Chronicles

So I accepted the water challenge.  I started the water challenge. I, well, I am not beating this challenge of water..YET!  The Water Challenge is a 7 day to 30 day (or longer) challenge to get us to drink a gallon of water per day.  It’s not necessary to actually drink an entire gallon, as long as you drink half of your weight in ounces.  I intend to drink a gallon.  I’m a big girl so that’s a lot of ounces.

Day 1:

I decided I wouldn’t carry an entire gallon with me all day.  That won’t work with me and my wheelchair so, after some elementary school math I figured I’d just have to fill up my 16oz bottle 8x a day.  I bought a 99 cent gallon of water and filled mine and my boyfriend’s bottle.  Yeah, I challenged him too. I’m doing this solo!  My bottle is infused with cucumbers. Yummy.  Next time will be mint.  Anyway, I also decided to start off a little slower than most.  Instead of an entire gallon in one day, I’d give my body a chance to acclimate to the change.  So 1/2 a gallon of water should be enough.  I barely made a dent in my second 16oz refill.  It’s my stomach.  I don’t eat much and fill up very quickly.  I also drank a kale smoothie for lunch.  I was stuffed!  I don’t even remember dinner.  End day 1.  Day 2 will be much more successful.

drink water pass it on

ADA 25th Anniversary – Commit to Recommit

ADA 25th Anniversary – Commit to Recommit

On July 26, 2015 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns 25! That’s 25 years since then President George H.W. Bush signed the act that serves to protect the rights of people living with various disabilities in America in 1990.  The ADA Amendments Act was signed in 2008 further granting more protections to people with disabilities.  These protections are similar to the ones that protect against discrimination based on race, sex, religion, etc. when it comes to areas such as employment, access to businesses, transportation, services, etc.

For example, it is because of the ADA and the ADAA that people like me are able to ride public transportation, go food shopping or even just enjoy a nice restaurant!

We celebrate 25 years of progress, but there is still so much more to be done.  A government act and regulation cannot change attitudes.  Until society as a whole begins to see people with disabilities as just another member of society, and not the “other” then even the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act will go ignored.  It is disheartening that many stores still see the ADA compliant fitting rooms as a storage closet, or able-bodied peers choose to bypass 3-4 empty bathroom stalls to use the only ADA compliant one available, or even restaurants that insist on using mainly high top tables with just a few lower tables as furniture.

NYC Disability Pride Parade

Disability Pride Parade NYC
Jeenah Moon/for New York Daily News

Just recently, NYC hosted the first ever Disability Pride Parade to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the ADA.  Thousands of people with disabilities and supporters took to the streets of NY to celebrate the strides made in the last 25 years and bring awareness to the progress yet to made.  One thing of the many that needs improvement? The incredibly high unemployment rate.  See, the ADA can’t make someone hire you, it just makes it a law that the hiring manager must give you a fair shot at getting the job (i.e. at least an interview) and assuring the employer makes reasonable accommodations.  But you have to get the job first!

One attendee of the parade noted some of the growing pains this year.  For one, it appeared to be poorly organized in that streets weren’t blocked off properly so the participants had to stop at lights for traffic or wait in the sun just for it to start.  I’m not sure this is wholly a matter of poor organizing than it is a city that may not have fully backed the parade.  Gay Pride doesn’t have this problem, nor does the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Irish Pride), or others.  It is a lesson learned for next year.  I for would love to see something like this in Long Beach, CA. – a city that brags about being on the cutting edge of everything, a trendsetter.  One step at a time.

I signed the pledge to Commit to Recommit for the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  I commit to spreading disability awareness, advocating for disability rights and doing whatever I can to be a proponent of change.  Will you?

I Drink, Therefore I am

I Drink, Therefore I am

All over my social media I see my friends (online and real life friends) posting pics and 30 second clips of their workouts and I think to myself, “Man! I want to do that!”  No, not the P90x and Intensities of the world…just get in a really healthy and effective workout. It’s not impossible because I’ve done it before.  Granted, it took over a year of working out to drop 20lbs.  That was due to a mix of NOT eating properly and my disability limiting what workouts I could do.

So I start over.  Then I take a break and start over again.  The cycle.

Recently I’ve seen another challenge on Facebook: The water challenge.  Honestly, could something be so simple, so easy, so effortless and yet so difficult at the same time?  See, our bodies are made up of about 60% water, right? Now begin subtracting because we use the bathroom and we sweat!  So at what point do we add it all back in?  If you’re like me and most people out there we swear we can get by just drinking any type of fluid.  So the moment we feel thirsty (and even just out of habit) we reach for that sugary beverage on the store shelves.  Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients? What about the salt and sugar content?  It’s all just sweetened liquid chemicals, but we drink it without batting an eye.

We are destroying our bodies and don’t even realize it.

fourwheelworkout water challenge
Enter pure, unadulterated, sparkling water

Water isn’t the cure-all but, it sure works wonders for the body (and soul).  First, water helps keep our body balanced.  It helps with circulation, cleaning our system, lubricating our joints, etc.  So all those extra pills we take and powders we drink? We spend tons of money on chemicals to do what water does naturally!  We also wait until we are thirsty or hot to drink a cool glass of water.  But by then, it’s too late.  When we are thirsty, we are already dehydrated.  This means we are beyond just one glass.

photo courtesy of www.blackdoctor.org

photo courtesy of http://www.blackdoctor.org

Okay so this new challenge.  It’s all the rave and the bees knees and every other dicho you can think of.  It’s probably the one health trend that has been around since mankind and has PROVEN it works!

Here’s the gist of the water challenge:

  1. Get a gallon of water.  I suggest starting with a fresh jug of water.  Add whatever infusers you like (fruit, herbs, etc.). Terry Givens from Reset Your Body also recommends adding in sea salt (NOT table salt) to help your cells absorb the water.
  2. Next, grab a sharpie.  Any color works as long as you can see it.  Now, on your gallon of water, write the times of the day beginning with your wake-up and end with bedtime.  You can write whatever you think will keep you going next to the times.  Since I generally start my day at 5:30am, then my bottle will say 5am.  This will force me to wake up earlier to drink that first helping of water before I even begin getting ready for school.  You will find different people using the same timetable but, you have to do what works ESPECIALLY if your bedtime is before 11pm.
  3. You also want to account for how much water to drink per serving.  Some say 8oz every two hours.  Others say 16oz every two hours plus one glass with each meal.  The answer isn’t so cookie-cutter.  How much water you drink, like every other health routine, depends upon your body.  I think a healthier way to go to avoid water toxicity is to base it on your weight: Drink half of your weight in ounces of water.  So if you weigh 100lbs then you need 50oz of water.  Get it!
  4. START SLOWLY!  Listen, we all want to be champions of the challenge, right? But we want to be healthy about it.  As good as water is, too much at once just isn’t healthy.  If you need to, start your gallon challenge with half a gallon the first day and then add a serving or two each day for a week to get your body used to it.
  5. Ready for the next step? Drink!  That’s it.  Just drink your water.  Eat, sleep, live, drink.  I get full very quickly so I’m sure each serving of water will replace some other sugary drink…as it should!
  6. Do this for 10 days, 30 days, whatever your challenge is.  I am choosing the 30 day to start and I already found my community!  Thank you Angela for starting this public Facebook event: #waterchallenge.

I’ll check back in periodically with my progress.  I won’t be able to do a weigh-in so anything I tell you is based purely off of how I feel inside and how I look.

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