It’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with an official winter. Twelve years to be exact.
There’s a lot I love about winter; holidays, warm meals, hot drinks, snow days, sleigh riding, and extra togetherness to name a few, but winter is also kind of tough for me.
I’m not sure if it’s the lack of sunshine or fresh air but the winter season really affects my mood and overall spirit. I remember, before I moved to California, I would get pretty depressed every winter and always gained weight to go along with my low mood (usually about 10-15lbs.). I wondered if it would happen again after moving back east last year and as I come to the end of my first long winter I can officially report, it has.
It’s been a tough winter. It’ like there is just this underlying sadness and heaviness that lingers almost all the time and when I scan for a problem there is no real problem, which is why I know it’s the winter blues.
The challenge for me is that I tend to eat foods that match my mood. When I feel light and energetic, I eat foods that support that. When I feel down and heavy, I eat food that supports that. This is not conscious, but when I zoom out, I can see that this had been what I’ve been doing. I think it’s safe to say that this also the reason I’ve gained about seven pounds this winter.
It’s been hard for me to find my rhythm this winter, and that goes for both eating and exercise.
Now the ‘dieter’ in me wants to panic.
I want to resort to old feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. I see my brain wanting to go there but I’m not going to play that game with myself.
I’m grateful to know better now. And I know that the very first step to losing this weight is going to start with me being kind, patient, loving, compassionate, curious and understanding with myself.
When I was younger, I spent so many years trying to hate myself thin and the one thing that I have come to know for sure is that it doesn’t work.
It can’t be done (at least not without paying a very high price – think sickness, disease, or lack of self worth and value).
I already know that strict plans and rules do not work for me. But I do like to have some structure to anchor me as I figure what will work best for me to get my body back to a place where it feels amazing (note to self: much of this starts in the mind).
So I’m going to go back to the basics of clean eating (this is how I lost the baby weight after having both of my children). I’m going to use the basic clean eating principles as my launching pad and I’m also going to set up a plan for exercise too.
Basically, I’m just going to start slow and make myself a priority again and I plan to share some of the resources and tools I use with you guys along the way.
So tell me, does anyone else out there get the winter blues? Do you ever gain weight in the winter? I would love to hear about your experiences, thoughts, strategies, etc. down in the comments below.