IMG_8410“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”

-Benjamin Franklin

The easiest FFF habit is to drink water. It may be the easiest, but you have to pay attention. Then, after awhile it becomes a habit.

If you aren’t in the habit yet, start small. Drink one cup of water. Drink it in the morning, or as soon as you can. Drink it before your coffee, or tea…before you do anything else (except maybe pee, lol).

What kind of water? I’m talking plain water. No flavors or added chemicals. It can be tap, bottled or filtered. Cold, warm or hot.

I have a Brita pitcher, and it makes tap water taste better (and filters out some of the chemicals). We also have water delivered from Crystal Springs at home – especially handy because you can choose cold or hot water. At work, we have Crystal Springs filtered water, too, with the same options.

In the car, I either have a water bottle, and as a back-up, regular bottles of water (I keep a case of water in the trunk).

Not too hard, right? One cup of water is a measly eight measly ounces.

Want flavors, or sweeteners?  You can have those, later. Heck, you can even have a diet soda. After you drink one plain cup of water.

Your ultimate goal is to get drink six cups per day (48 ounces). But making big changes all at once? It doesn’t last. So start small: just drink one.

Wait. Do you REALLY need to drink water? Some people say you don’t. But if you want to be a Fairly Fit Female, you need to drink water.

Let me tell you a story:

A few years ago, my dad mentioned that his doctor told him he didn’t need to drink water. According to his doctor, “you can get the water you need from the foods you eat.”

I told my dad that sounded “Cray Cray.”

(I had to explain – he’s not super-hip like me.)

Fast forward to November. Steve, Kelly and I spent Thanksgiving with family at my cousin Blake’s house. A group of about twelve of us spent the whole day cooking, socializing playing and eating and drinking.

After dinner, we were playing cards, when my dad started to slump over. Scary! I grabbed him, and asked what was wrong. My dad said, “I can’t see very well…”

My cousin Craig, who is a nurse, immediately launched into medical mode, trying to analyze the cause of my dad’s collapse.

One of the most frightening possibilities: my dad was having a stroke. Craig instructed him:

“Bill,” he said. “Hold your arms straight out in front of you.”

My dad was slurring his words. He couldn’t hold his arms up.

The hospital was only two blocks away: could we get him there? My dad is 6’3 (maybe a little shorter, he’s shrinking, lol) and weighs about 175 pounds. As we tried to lift him, he felt like dead weight.

You know how bad things seem to happen in slow-mo? That’s what it felt like. It was great to have Craig there, as he rationally listed our options.

“He needs to get to the hospital. But if we try to lift him and can’t, he could fall and hit his head.”

“Call 911,” someone said.

The ambulance soon arrived, and in walked the stereotypically hot EMTs and Paramedics. (One of them was a woman. I’m not ashamed to say she was also hot!)

Long story short: my dad collapsed because he was dehydrated.

I was shocked. He’d never appeared drunk, or even tipsy, but he’d been drinking Scotch all day – like we all had.

In the ambulance, dad was hooked up to an IV. I followed the ambulance to the hospital, as I said only two blocks away. When I walked in, there he was, already in the ER, sipping a cup of water. Looking perfectly perky.

All that worry, inconvenience and cost (the trip to the ER was billed to Medicare at $10,000) for something that could have been prevented with a little water.

Now I’m on my dad constantly about drinking water. Especially when he’s drinking coffee, or alcohol. Or, when it’s hot out (okay pretty much all the time).

NOW do you believe you should drink water?

But wait, he was already in his late 70’s when this happened…

The same thing happened to a friend of mine, only she was much younger, and she happens to be a teetotaler (I’m a party girl, but I’m open to having friends of all kinds.)

This friend was/is a Girl Scout leader – actually a regional director. She was on official business at the Girl Scout HQ when suddenly, she fainted.

I wasn’t there, but the people who were, called 911.

At the time, she was barely 50. She wasn’t drinking alcohol, or even caffeine. But she WAS running in a million directions, like a lot of us do. Though she’s normally great about drinking water, she had been busy, and somehow hadn’t.

Different story, same moral: drink water.

Your mission as a FFF is to start small. From now on, drink one cup of water, in the morning, as soon as you can. When you’re finished, congratulate yourself. You did one healthy thing! You’re a Fairly Fit Female, and you’re a success.