What's in your water?

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I have told this story hundreds maybe thousands of times! It is about time I started sharing more on this blog to communicate with the community. The timing is perfect since it goes along with the start of our 2015 Personal Best Challenge. I have already received several emails asking if flavored water, seltzer water, tonic water etc. qualify as water for the Challenge? So here goes the story:

I was actively personal training at a local big box gym at the time. My dedicated, hardworking, driven client, Linda was on a mission to lose weight. We had been working together for 3 months and she had lost 20 pounds, increased muscle tone and got a whole host of fitness benefits. She was thrilled! She mentioned that she would really love to lose just 10 more pounds. We trained together 2 times weekly for 60 minutes and in addition she was also doing cardio. for 45 minutes 3 times a week. I just could not imagine advising her to do more exercise. She was a 49-year-old, busy, working mom and needs to have a life outside of the gym. I suggested we take a look at her nutrition. I had her record everything she consumed for 2 weeks. I told her, that if she swallowed it, to record it, including all beverages. She agreed to this and said she would start right away. For the next 2 weeks we continued with her workouts and she assured me she was following through with recording her consumption. Two weeks passed and we coordinated a meeting to look over her food journal. I WAS AMAZED! She was eating clean (good quality calories), and water for hydration. I will never forget as I looked through each page, I found 2, yes only 2 times that her consumption was not supporting her goals. She had been out with friends and had a gin and tonic and she had been at a birthday party and had a piece of cake. Now in two weeks time that is pretty freaking good! I have reviewed countless nutrition journals and this was the cleanest eating I had seen in a long time! I pointed out these two things to her and told her how truly awesome she was doing. I walked away from our meeting completely dumbfounded as to why she was retaining excess weight with an eating plan that clean and putting a valiant effort into her workouts. Anyway, we continued on with her 2 weekly workouts together and she kept up with her 3 additional cardio. workouts weekly. So this one particular day she comes in for her workout and puts her bottled water down. I happen to notice the bottle with a nice colorful label. I picked up the bottle and across the front it said No Calories, Not Fat, No sugar, health drink. I turned to Linda and asked “hey, when you were tracking your consumption including beverages was this the water you were drinking or was it water like mine (regular Poland Springs)”. She exclaimed “no no Brad I never drink that kind of water, I live on this, its next to me at my computer, in my car, on my night stand- I love it.” She seemed very proud that this is her choice of beverage and she said “look: no calories, no fat, no sugar” I asked “does it have flavor” She said “yes its delicious its got flavor and bubbles look” and she shook it up so I could see the bubbles floating to the top. It was as if she was trying to sell me the drink. I took the bottle back from her to take a peak at the label. As I read through the list of ingredients I realized that I could not identify what was in this drink. Actually, I could not even pronounce half of the chemicals that she was consuming. I said, “Linda let’s try switching for just one week to regular water only: no bubbles, no flavor, no chemicals.” Her response, “Why Brad, look: no calories, no fat, no sugar”? I said, “I see that Linda, but look at the label. Do you know what any of this crap is?” She had never read or considered reading the label and had been drinking this chemically laced water for years. I figured even if it did not help with the weight loss subtracting some chemicals from the diet has to be a good thing health wise. She finally accepted the challenge! After one week of drinking regular water only, she was down 3 pounds and she was beside herself! After the second week she was down another 3 pounds. That’s 6 pounds in 2 weeks after switching to regular water. She was so thrilled she was shaking. She went on tell me that in the last week of this challenge she was sleeping deeper, her skin tone had improved and she was less irritable. Drinking regular water was the best thing she ever did! Since then, I have advised many others to switch to regular water and roughly 95% have reported back similar experiences. Give it some thought: water with chemicals added to it or just plain water (hydrogen and oxygen) which every cell in your body is dependant on. Which do you think is best for you?

I would like to thank 2 people who inspired me to write this post: Andrew LaVallee who has been an inspiration to me since 1995 and who just recently released a book From The Hub to the Heart, and Michelle Sweet who just recently signed up for our 2015 Personal Best Challenge.

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