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LBUGHER Posts: 188
2/12/13 10:00 A

Thank you, one and all! There is some very helpful advice here that I'll definitely reference in the future :) But I discovered the other cause for my ravenous and melancholy state: Aunt Flo was prepping for her visit. I do get some serious PMS issues and my cravings are off the charts. It's so bizarre. I'm planning to get pregnant this year so I'm extremely curious to know what kinds of cravings I'll get. If PMS is bad, I can't imagine what pregnancy would be like! I wanted macaroni and cheese and fried chicken something fierce last week. Fried foods, tangy ranch dressing, Mexican food, chocolate in any form, cheeses, red meat, and delicious buttery carbs are what get me during my monthly. That combined with the winter made me into an out of control crazy lady.

But I'm back on track now. Today's lunch box contains a yogurt and banana for breakfast, homemade veggie and chicken stir fry for lunch, an apple for a snack, and dinner tonight will be a shrimp and veggie pasta. It is much, much, MUCH easier to eat well when I don't have hormones pumping through my blood causing me to make bad decisions.

I think I know what I did in the earlier months to lose that I'm not doing now: I ate way more veggies and fruits and made sure my diet consisted mostly of plant-based staples. I'm back to that so I'm hoping that will jump-start the weight loss again. Fresh fruits and veggies are so much more abundant in the summer and a cool salad with grilled chicken is much more palatable when it's 95 degrees as opposed to 25 degrees outside. But someone here suggested hot "comfort" foods full of legumes and I think that's a fabulous idea. I'll look into some recipes. Maybe I can find a good lighter recipe for ham and beans.

Oh, and my issue with exercising in the winter is this: I have a wonderful treadmill but it's in my basement, and it is COLD down there. It's hard to get myself down stairs when it's so warm and cozy on my couch. I prefer to work out right before bed because exercise makes me very, very hungry and I can just go straight to sleep when I'm done. So I tend to loiter on my couch until 9:30 or 10:00 at night and then make myself exercise. This is accomplished much more easily when the basement is warm and the sun is still shining at 9:30 in July.

I guess my point is this: all is good now! Aunt Flo gave me a bout of crazy and Old Man Winter is being a jerk, but I can fight back against Winter now that AF is here and has stopped the hormonal surge.

Thanks again for your support everyone! I was really upset but I'm happy again :)

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
2/9/13 5:29 P

"So I got a really bad case of the February F@*%-its and want to do nothing but eat comfort food, sleep, and complain." I'm right there with you.

sometimes i feel like hibernating. it gets so gloomy here some days.

exercising seems to improve my mood.

Edited by: CLARK971 at: 2/9/2013 (21:13)
CERENA8 SparkPoints: (8,040)
Fitness Minutes: (6,696)
Posts: 11
2/9/13 2:45 P

Light therapy (30-45 min each AM) has been a cure for the winter blahs for me. I actually started using my light in September as soon as the days start getting shorter. What a transformation !!!This is the first winter that I have not wanted to eat and hibernate.

In addition, exercise, good nutrition, a good night's sleep, vit D, selenium 200 mg, vit B50 and Omega 3s - they all help.

Hang in there - I have been there!!!!!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
2/9/13 11:22 A

Winter is hard. It sure makes me want to hibernate. I literally feel like I have a switch that turns off in the late fall and turns back on in the spring, so I certainly can identify. Have you talked to a doctor about it. Sometimes this goes beyond with "winter blues" and intervention is necessary. What has helped me is exercising every day (indoors) and extra vitamin D. I think if you are consistent with the exercise, you look forward to the boost it provides. Or just say to yourself you only need to 10 minutes and then you can quit. Chances are, you will keep going.

The good news is that you've maintained your weight loss. That's no small feat. Keep that up and just hang on. Spring is right around the corner and my guess is that the pounds will start coming off again. Maybe buy some forced bulbs like daffodils or tulips to brighten the house in the meantime. But please talk to a doctor if the situation is overwhelming you.

2/8/13 9:47 P

I agree. Winter is my most difficult time of the year. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, sometimes its good to just stop. Take five minutes. Do some nice relaxing breathing and try to get in the present moment. Notice the sounds, colors, and textures surrounding you. Then, give yourself some wonderful congratulations. Look how far you've come!!! You are fabulous and wonderful!! Absolutely everyone has hiccups in their journey. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and begin again. Treat yourself to 10 minutes of exercise - even if it's just luxurious stretching on your living room floor. Then plan for a healthy treat - and really savor it! I'm a chocoholic. In the winter I'll make myself a hot mug of nonfat hot chocolate and sip it with a 100 calorie square of dark chocolate. I know, to others this may be chocolate over-load, but this is yummy for me. Good luck!! I know you can do this!!!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (241,099)
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Posts: 26,433
2/8/13 9:41 P

Well, as someone who is in the middle of summer, I am not experiencing the same. I don't in the middle of winter, either, fortunately.

LBUGHER - you don't HAVE to go outside to get y our exercise in. There are plenty of things that you can do in your own home. I get the bulk of my walks by putting my groceries and laundry away one at a time. There isn't any reason why you can't get a good exercise DVD and put it on AND do the exercises - or check out the ones on SP. There are tons for every part of your body. There is no reason, also, why you can't put on some favourite music with a good beat and dance to it - including while vacuuming or mopping a floor.

You mention your cooking a snack to eat while cooking your dinner. Is it possible that some if it is that you are bored by being inside, which is causing you to binge? If so, then jump on SP and read the articles, blogs and message boards. That will keep you occupied while cooking your dinner, AND you will learn things at the same time :-)

IF you find that winter gets you down emotionally, then you might benefit from a Light Therapy Box. According to the many, MANY people who use them, they are truly fantastic at lifting a person up.

Good luck,

2/8/13 6:55 P

Same here! I HATE winter with a passion. On top of that, I am ALWAYS cold. Well, not since I built a wall in my room and have all the heat, but that's another story. I keep saying to myself that spring is right around the corner, put on my favorite shirt, and tell myself that I need to get out there and walk if I want to wear it again. I live across the street from a cemetery so it's easy for me to just go, but do you have any indoor activities that you like to do? I find that if I make myself go out and walk, even if it's for a few minutes, then I do feel better for the rest of the day. The days that it's horrendous (like our current blizzard), I do a YouTube workout or pop in an exercise DVD. Of course, when it's snowing, I look forward to shoveling because I think of the exercise I'm getting. I'm lucky that I am unemployed right now (well, lucky for freedom of exercise, anyway) so I can just go out when it is warmest. I don't deprive myself of anything, either. I noticed that once I start eating better, then the cravings for sweets go down and that keeps me motivated. I like the feeling of actually going to bed exhausted from exercise, so that does help. I hope some of this helps. We all get there at some point and of course after these long winters, we can't wait for spring.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,939)
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2/8/13 5:40 P

I always get seasonal blues too.

I always eat foods I love. I've been experiementing a lot in the kitchen the last couple weeks, keeping myself busy. Trying out new recipes. I find whenever I start craving the things that probably aren't best for me, it's because I'm getting bored of the food I'm eating. So trying out some new recipes helps me. I made some great "comfort" food last night. I had slow cooked a beef sirloin tip two days ago and had some meat left so I made a Mont. Jack, carrots, onions, broccoli and barely stew and added the beef. It was soooo filling I couldn't possibly think of snacking after.

I also allow myself some small treats or desserts. I got a 50 cal chocolate mousse. Filled some dishes and added some sliced banana to it for after dinner. Protein powder "baked goods" are good too. Smoothies make great comfort snacks. And oatmeal, I've been trying a new combo in my oatmeal nearly every day, just surfing different oatmeal recipes online. I made one that tastes like an oatmeal blueberry cookie, you only add banana and nuke it for 3-4 mins so it comes out the same texture as a cookie:

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (189,377)
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2/8/13 5:36 P

I can't speak for the binging, but as for exercise, I really enjoy the "you're crazy, woman!" looks I get when they see me running at 5:30 am, in -25C temps, crazy winds, and/or snowstorms. I also have a bunch of races coming up in the next month, so skipping workouts is not an option.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 2/8/2013 (17:52)
LBUGHER Posts: 188
2/8/13 5:22 P

So I got a really bad case of the February F@*%-its and want to do nothing but eat comfort food, sleep, and complain.

This past week was particularly bad.

I managed to lose 20 pounds between July and November, and then just STOPPED losing weight from November to February. Good news is I managed to maintain my loss, but the bad news is I haven't LOST any weight either...

And this week I just binged like a crazy person. One day I ate fried cheese sticks, a junior roast beef sandwich, 2 large SUGAR sodas (BAD!!!) a half bottle of wine, and 3/4 of a pizza. Then last night I made butter milk pancakes - WHILE MAKING DINNER - and snacked on those and ate a bowl of chili. I've been craving macaroni & cheese and fried chicken. It's been totally crazy. I'm not usually this bad.

So my question is: how do you deal with winter cravings? How do you motivate yourself to exercise when it's so dark and cold outside? I'm having a lot of trouble getting back on track and I could really use some words of encouragement...

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