When I think about abstinence and my food plan I’ve always thought of it in regards to what I’m trying not to eat. I’ve never thought of it in terms of what I should be eating.

This time around I’m looking at it both ways. I have my mental list of foods to avoid (mostly because they make me crazy and they also happen to make me fat) but I also have a short list of the things I am supposed to do every day to help keep myself on track. They are the things that I list each week on my weigh-in day: stick to the food plan, get in my walking, eat my oatbran, and drink my water.

Eating the oatbran is a requirement specific to this diet plan I’m on. I didn’t establish it, the doctor who made up the diet did, but it’s very helpful. A nice warm bowl of hot creamy cereal eat morning helps keep me feeling indulged and keeps those feelings of deprivation at bay.

The water is the most basic and oddly the most difficult part. I don’t really drink anything other than water, or hot tea, or an occasional diet soda. I’m not a big drinker of other stuff, I never have been. But some days it just gets so hard to get all the water in.

64 oz of water isn’t really that much. When I’m in the habit, it’s easy. There are regular intervals throughout the day when I just pour a glass and drink it. But once I get out of the habit, and it only takes a day or two of missing the target to be out of the habit, getting back on track with the water is tougher.

Tougher than any other part of the diet.

My week of traveling made the water consumption really challenging. I wasn’t really off my diet, I wasn’t eating my danger foods and I was able to stick with the diet approved foods. But, it wasn’t my routine, it wasn’t my kitchen, I wasn’t in control of my options, only my choices within the available options.

Getting back to my kitchen and my control of my options was a relief. It took no time to get back to my staples and feel comfort in the routine.

But, the water… I was finally finished with my travel on Tuesday night and yet, all day yesterday I struggled to get the water in.

It just felt like so much.

It was unappetizing.

It was boring.

It’s not that I wanted to be drinking something else, it’s just that I didn’t want to be drinking.

This is a problem for me. When I was pregnant with my kids I never had any of the stereotypical cravings. I only suffered from aversions. When I was pregnant with my son my major aversion was drinking. Drinking anything. Once a week or so I’d get so thirsty I’d chug a bottle of Gatorade, but in the end, I think it’s what sent me into labor a month early and what made my veins collapse resulting in the most painful experience of my life: getting an IV started with an inexperienced nurse and collapsed veins.

I’m back to my routine and I’m trying to get in my water, but I have to acknowledge the difficulty. I put forth more thought and energy to this than all of the other stuff combined at this point. It should be easy, but it’s not.

For today, I’ve had 28 oz so far and I’ll just keep going. One foot in front of the other. One glass at a time. Each day it’s own mountain to climb. (Or river to drink!)

Just getting it out of my head makes it feel less daunting, less oppressive, less an obligation, and more a choice.