What’s My Body Saying?

Remember that time at school when you learned that your body is 90% water? And then later you learned that was false advertising and actually it’s 60% water. Though your lungs are 90% water so it wasn’t totally wrong. 60% is still a good deciding vote. I like to imagine all the most important aspects of my body all sitting in a board meeting arguing over what’s the next best step in the plan to renovate. And every time water is like well I think we need more water fountains and what I say goes because 60% bitches.

Our bodies are usually pretty smart and they tell us what it is we need to keep being alive. I say usually because sometimes it gets pretty confused, particularly when you aren’t feeling well. Very often people just say they’ve got a craving for something and don’t think much more about it. I once spent a very hot week in Venice and near the end tuna pizza sounded like the most amazing idea ever to have graced my mind. I still stand by tuna on pizza but if I’m being totally honest I’m pretty sure at the time it had more to do with me needing to up my salt intake because it had been very hot and I’d been sweating. I’d been drinking plenty of water to replenish that but I hadn’t done much about the salt I’d lost.

Sometimes (and this probably happens to me more than most…) when you’ve had quite a lot of sugary foods, such as sweets, you start to feel a bit sick. Your body is saying please dear god no more sugar, I can’t cope with anymore it’s too much, please stop! And you either sensibly put down the chocolate or do what I do and ignore it so that you can feel even worse later.

But the most common and basic signals the body gives you are I’m hungry feed me please and I’m thirsty, water me please. Though the politeness depends on how long you’ve been ignoring the signal. At times my stomach has been known to aggressively shout Get up off your fat lazy arse and feed me you dick! We’re all familiar with hunger and we’re all familiar with thirst. But thirst is the one that intrigues me most. That dry throat and tongue reminder that you really should drink something, preferably water, is not unbeknownst to me. It’s a signal that I pay attention to daily and one that sometimes gets ignored when I’m working. Ignoring it usually leads to a headache that I really regret letting happen. The headache is not a surprise side effect as your brain is 70% water. Look at all these stats you’re learning today.

But that’s not all the learning you’re about to do (there is a chance you already know this stuff, I don’t know how good your biology teachers were). You’d merrily go about your day not thinking about water or remembering to top up your water if it weren’t for your thirst mechanism. If your water levels dip too low your brain sends the signal that you’re thirsty. But you probably knew that bit already. Let’s start with the basics that you can even see in action, sweat. Delightfully attractive sweat… you get too hot and bam from no apparent place you’re skin starts leaking water. The water lying on your skin steals that heat you’ve got too much of and helps to cool you down. Ever been so ill you’ve broken into a sweat? Well that’s water cooling you down, you’re body does a factory reset on the heating systems and the water does it’s job to get you’re temperature to the right level. Pretty neat but leaves you kind of stinky.

Then there’s the stuff water does inside your body. It gets involved in pretty much all jobs going. Water helps transport nutrients around the body to the right places, digest foods, metabolize body fat, lubricates and cushions your organs (sounds important) and it helps to flush toxins from your body. If you consume some toxins, not poisons that you’d need an antidote for, water is your old buddy old pal. It’ll flush them out so grab a cup. Unless the toxins you consumed are screen wash… I don’t know why you’d do that you crazy fool. But if you do then drink wine, it’s not a last drink before you die situation, on a chemical level the wine will bond with the screen wash and prevent it doing harm to your body.

Anyway I bet about now you’re thinking well damn S, water sounds pretty important but why are you telling me this? Well all of this to say that I’m being good to my body… ish. I’ve fed it and watered it, I even finally got some sleep. But no amount of that lovely H2O has prevented me from biting my lip! Why must my body forsake me so?

S. Hansen


6 thoughts on “What’s My Body Saying?

  1. I like this. 🙂
    I think certain health professionals went overboard (in my youth, anyway) telling us how many glasses of water we “needed” to drink every day (they since amended it by rounding down)… but, good Lord, it was only after the age of 30 that I realised just how important the aqua vita of H2O is — if only for the body’s feeling good.

    if only it could cure all. We’d be laughing(!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s easier to take a doctor’s advice if it makes sense. And it can only make sense if you understand why you need to do it. I’ve no clue why the whys aren’t taught more in schools. They focus on the things and not the whys, its a shame and it stunts curiosity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I suppose the thing is, when I was young, teachers spent a lot of time telling us that we simply shouldn’t smoke or drink, and shouldn’t eat certain things, because it was wrong… but with little info. I can’t help thinking that more scientific information and less a sense of “moralising” would have helped us kids be more aware, and maybe less likely to be bloody-minded? (Admittedly, I’ve never understood what makes for good teaching… though I do understand bloody-mindedness!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m certain there are three requirements that make for a good teacher. One, a good knowledge base on their subject. It sounds obvious but I had some teachers that I could run rings around on their own topic…
        Two, enthusiasm. An enthusiasm for the subject can be contagious and it livens up even the more boring aspects.
        Three, an ability to teach creatively. No one pays attention in dry lessons where information is being regurgitated from a book. You remember the lessons with Bunsen burners and card games.
        It could be as simple as that, but education systems very often crush the enthusiasm and limit the creativity of the best teachers.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’ve summed it up comprehensively, there, I think… I was a very easily-bored pupil so the ‘dry’ lessons (which were most) simply had to be endured: not ideal! My secondary school teachers used to complain about the education system rather a lot: given the constraints teachers are under, I’m starting to appreciate why.

        Liked by 1 person

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