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Cross Country Skiing: Loving Winter!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My light box seems to be changing my attitude towards winter!

And -- perhaps as a result of that -- we've dug our very very old cross country skis out of the garage and put them back in action!!

DH and I skied when we were dating. And then we had had five years after marriage and BK (before kids) during which we skied even more! And had just bought new skis when -- baby number one arrived.

Then baby number two.

And then both kids out with their dad every weekend downhill skiing. While I went back to school. Started my new profession, Went through various health care blips which made skiing not really possible.

So those 26+ year old skis had scarcely ever been used. The boots (never replaced, really really old) had disintegrated. So we had to get new ones. What an advance in cross country boot technology over the past several decades -- they are as comfortable as running shoes, totally flexible, warm, and with built-in gaiters that keep the snow out. (Quite a leap in boot price point too).

New boots meant of course new bindings. Step-in!! Quick release with the tip of the ski pole!! Super for my arthritic hands, so easy.

But then I discovered that the leather hand grip straps on my poles and one of the pole baskets had also disintegrated! New poles -- not expensive -- are so light and comfortable.

The grip and glide waxes seem to have improved as well.

Best of all -- our golf club is now laying down cross country ski tracks. So it's the deeply familiar landscape where we've chased small white balls for over 30 years, now draped in white stuff -- last weekend it was sparkling in the sun. Yesterday the snow was falling softly and continuously.

We've got our ski legs back: kick, glide. What a workout -- the equivalent of running outside which I discovered, despite best efforts, knees won't permit me to do. But the cross country ski movement is almost identical to the elliptical cross trainer, my main cardio go-to at the gym.

Cross country skiing gets me outside in the winter and I'm loving it. Silent except for the chickadees and the wind in the trees; and the occasional gasp from me, of course, catching my breath!! It's really vigorous: about 5 below C yesterday, and everything I had on was soaking wet to the skin after 90 minutes of whoosh whoosh whoosh (up hill all the way to the club house). I'd forgotten how much I loved cross country skiing, and winter when I was skiing.

Dogs aren't permitted on the golf course during the summer -- but there's an exception for winter ski dogs. So today's plan is to experiment by taking Charlie along.

Charlie loves the snow, and we'll love having him with us. Winter: not a bad thing. Really.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRNOTABOUTFACE 1/28/2011 10:06PM

    Thanks for sharing this. This is awesome! I am so looking forward to doing some of that kicking and gliding tomorrow!

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KALIGIRL 1/22/2011 9:34AM

    So glad to hear it - getting those great rays as well!

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FROSTIERACES 1/21/2011 3:24PM

    Winter is bad after Christmas - is too...is TOO! LOL I've never went cross country skiing...so I'm clueless. It's an excellent workout I bet...and even better you and DH can do it together. I would love that. Good for you!!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/20/2011 11:29PM

    Coming to the party late, Ellen, but so glad I logged on today to read your beautiful blog. Not a fan of winter but love your enthusiasm. And having the right equipment does make things more fun. You make it sound more like play than exercise!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/19/2011 7:21AM

    sounds FABULOUS, and I know it is EXCELLENT exercise. Isn't technology wonderful (at times)? WTG on re-discovering an old passion -- but made better!

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CMB2048 1/18/2011 8:47PM

    I've never skied but you sound like you love it!

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    You make it sound fun! LOL Kick, glide eh? I'll have to attempt to put that into practice but our next chance of snow comes with 0 degree temps and mama don't play artic outdoor sports!

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FRACTALMYTH 1/16/2011 8:16PM

    BRILLIANT! sounds wonderful :D

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ERIKO1908 1/16/2011 3:53PM

    You really did make me want to get out and give this a shot...so descriptive & beautiful!!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/16/2011 3:42PM

    Oh Ellen how wonderful..you described everything so well..and i felt as if i was there...trying to stand up right on those skis for longer then 25seconds..lol...(i don't know how to ski!!) ..but your Blog made me smile and remember my childhood where we stayed out in the snow all day long...snowball fights and endless competitive sleigh rides (boys against girls..who gets down the hill the fastest..of course the one with the 'newest sleigh...lol) Cross country skiing? I would do it in a heartbeat...it sounds like a lot of fun..you out in the beautiful Nature on a beautiful snow day (I LOVE snow!!) and you get lots of cardio!!I am happy for you and that you have discovered a new Passion?? Maybe?? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/16/2011 2:52PM

    This sounds really exciting for you - and for Charlie.

I wonder if there's a gap in the market for doggy-skis?!

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VALERIEMAHA 1/16/2011 11:01AM

    I had only ONE cross-country skiing experience...some years ago while staying with girlfriends at beautiful Lake Tahoe, CA. A group of us rented equipment and spent all day practicing and doing it...and I LOVED IT! Your description and enthusiasm are contagious! Makes me want to get outdoors and enjoy the day!


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    I am so happy for you! emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 1/16/2011 9:42AM

    I love the swoosh swoosh swooosh when you get into a rhythm, gliding over the icy crust of the snow, the naked trees starkly black against the white background - so peaceful!

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Fighting Obesity: Globe Series

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Toronto Globe and Mail is publishing a week long series on fighting obesity: today's article is headlined "This Government Makes Me Look Fat". Here's \the link.


In a nutshell, the Globe today looks at worldwide government initiatives to combat the effect of obesity on national health care costs and comes up with some interesting facts.

It considers whether shaming or incentives work better to motivate citizens to lose weight and tells me lots of things I didn't know. Japan has mandatory waist measurements for persons aged 40-74 and fines for companies or local governments when too many people exceed the prescribed limits. Some US schools include BMI for students on report cards with those kids whose scores signal problems and their parents encouraged to attend fitness classes. Denmark taxes sweets and soft drinks 25% which has discouraged their purchase. Kids in London England can earn movie passes by swiping cards while walking to school. Subway riders in Sweden are encouraged to play on the musical piano key stairs: and here's that link too:


Monday's article will review current research on weight loss. Tuesday will look to the genetic component of obesity. Wednesday will review diet myths. Thursday looks at calorie counting. And Friday deal with the effect of mental states on weight loss.

As a Globe subscriber, I'll be reading them all with interest.

But of course what I really think is that an article on the effect of SparkPeople worldwide should have been included. This is where the leading edge research on motivation is put into action every day. I've sent off my Letter to the Editor spreading the Spark!!

Yay Chris Downie!!

And in that regard -- yesterday I received a routine blast email from SPARKGUY sent to all members of Readers of the Spark Team thanking us for buying and reading his book. And I responded with a short note expressing thanks for the book and the site -- bu certainly not expecting any response. Nevertheless in my mailbox today I received another message from SPARKGUY himself.

Now I will admit to being dazzled . . . something to WATERMELLEN herself from THE GUY -- but more than that, impressed.

There's a human touch!

And: that's what makes this site work for so many of us.

Thank you, Chris.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 1/18/2011 9:05PM

    Those articles sound very interesting. Other countries are really putting incentives in place. The U.S. could use some of them too!

What a great idea, too, to tell them about Spark People!

And a personal response from Chris Downie -- that is the best!!

Great blog, Ellen!

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CMB2048 1/15/2011 8:59PM

    Ellen, I just read the article and it is excellent! It even mentions Night Eating Syndrome which I fight constantly. thanks for sending the link to this and I'm going to tune in the rest of the week!

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KALIGIRL 1/15/2011 7:44PM

    How wonderful - here's to spreading the great news!

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SPARKGUY 1/15/2011 12:52PM

    Sure! We're all in this together :). Thanks for spreading the spark!


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PHEBESS 1/15/2011 12:30PM

    YAY for SparkGuy!!!!

And I'll be interested in hearing more about the various incentives! (I like the rewards for kids who walk to school!)

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    It's great that you are spreading the Spark!

I definitely believe that incentives work far better than shame. If shame worked, we'd all be skinny/rich/etc., since we are costantly inundated with media & entertainment that tells us that we are not skinny/rich/etc. enough. :.(

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GROEDER 1/15/2011 10:43AM

    Very interesting blog. Good for you to write to the paper and keep spreading the Spark!!! Keep it up. You never know who you'll touch every day.

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Food: If It's In the House, I Intend to Eat It!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Several of us post-holidays have been kicking around the perennial issue of giving into temptation --and since this is Spark People, that would be primarily in the context of food, of course.

Let me be frank: I don't have any will power. And probably for that reason -- because I prefer to make excuses for my own moral weakness -- I like to believe that will power is highly over-rated.

For me, it's all about evading temptation. Avoiding it. Because it's been well established. I can resist. Anything. But. Temptation.

But if the tempting food is in the house --if I've bought it at the grocery store, or brought it home when someone gave it to me, or failed to throw it out when someone brought it to me -- then I intend to eat it.

I've already decided. It will happen.

It's not a question of "if". It's a question of "when".

And the answer to when is probably late at night. Furtively. And guiltily. Without a whole lot of pleasure. On automatic pilot. Which is, come to think about it, such a waste of calories!!

Remember the baseball movie, "Field of Dreams" and the inspiring message that "if you build it they will come"?

Well in the context of food, if I've bought it, I will eat it. For me, the chow down will be a completely predictable variant on that field of dreams doctrine. Just not so inspiring. And then I'll try to tell myself I'm not culpable because . . . . I didn't mean to do it. I just gave into temptation. As we all do.

But of course I did mean to, at least at some level. And I am culpable. I meant to eat it and I had decided I would eat it because I had brought it home knowing I cannot resist temptation. Just like the drunk driver is culpable because he had too many drinks. He may not have planned to drive after all of those drinks, but the drinks impaired his judgment before he got behind the wheel. And he knew they would. So, knowing that about himself, he knew or reasonably ought to have known that the time to establish an alternative driver was before he had the drinks. And for me, knowing what I know about myself, the time to say no was before I permitted those irresistble trigger high fat/salt/simple carb foods into my house.

Who am I kidding when I buy the stuff? Or fail to throw out trigger gift foods? I can leave it at the store. I can thank the (sabotaging) food givers politely and pitch it out in the office dumpster. Or donate the items to the food bank. Or wrap it up in the garbage after they've gone home. I don't have to hurt anyone's feelings. And I don't have to keep the food. But if I keep it I will eat it.

Do I really believe I've gotta have it in the house because all the neighbours are going to show up at my door this evening demanding fattening stuff? Quantities sufficient for 12 or 20? Ooey gooey triple cheese pizza, chips and dip, whatever? No. They won't. And I don't really believe I have a duty to have all the ooey gooey stuff in stock for my family members either: they're adults, if they want it they can go out and get it for themselves. And then they can eat it, please, somewhere else. Somewhere I don't have to see it. Or smell it. Or hear it crunching.

Think about all the other situations in which we might be tempted. Situations in which because we know we'll be tempted and might give in to the temptation, we don't ever put ourselves to the test. Would not dream of it, in fact. Never.

I don't slide that pretty one carat ring into my pocket and edge nonchalantly towards the door of the jewellery store just to see if I could get away with shoplifting it -- and then put it back before the alarms go off -- all to persuade myself of my superior moral powers of resisting the temptation to be a thief. I don't check into a motel with that attractive stranger I picked up in a bar and then wave a cheery goodbye and exit at the very last moment possible before . . . um . . . well you know. Just to persuade myself I'm not a . . um . . well you know. Not happening!!

So: do I need to bring home the chocolate brownie cheesecake icecream and bury it in the back of the fridge and try to persuade myself it's not there until . . . it really isn't there . . . because I've eaten it?? Using the rationalization that if I don't eat it I'll be demonstrating to someone how strong and determined and morally superior I am because I didn't?

No. I don't. A results-based analysis coupled with a little probability prediction tells me that I shouldn't bury the cheesecake in the freezer because more often than not I will eat it. In fact, almost all of the time. And the results will be self-loathing, rage, despair, a downward spiral. Plus, did I mention, weight gain?? Which I'll wear around my waist and my hips and my thighs?

(I might get away with stealing the ring or . . . the other. But the evidence I've given into food tempation is going to be apparent to everyone. And most of all, apparent to me.)

I can resist anything but temptation. So I have to avoid it. And avoiding temptation is quite likely the best I can do.

Which is, actually OK. Because nobody is twisting my arm and making me buy the chocolate cheesecake icecream and bury it in the freezer. All I've gotta do is leave it at the store and refuse to let it into my house.

Avoiding temptation might not make me virtuous: I'm not fooling myself about that. But avoiding temptation is doable; more doable than resisting temptation. And that's (most of the time) good enough.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 1/13/2011 7:22PM

    GREAT blog, and soooo true! Thanks for the insight. If I bring it into the house, I've already decided to eat it. Awesome.

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FROSTIERACES 1/12/2011 7:43PM

    Put down the Fork! emoticonLock the cupboards! emoticonand pretend you're on an deserted island?! emoticonwith only bananas, berries and emoticon emoticonthe Sunshine to worry about! emoticonOh How I WISH I was on a warm vacation with just tropical foods to eat! I am so burnt out on turkey and these heavy meals. Lately one saving grace for me has been Luna bars! Have you tried them? I absolutely love them and they seem to fill in the gap when I'm starving between meals.

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KALIGIRL 1/10/2011 1:10PM

    Here's to avoiding temptation!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/9/2011 9:08PM

    LOL. " I can resist anything but temptation." I just love your brazen honesty. So so lovely.

People always think something is wrong with me when they look in my fridge. It is always bottled water and enough bagged veggies for a couple of days and I used to have protein bars until they started tasting exactly like Snickers to me. No more protein bars now...

It is best that I admit my weakness and just work around it. All of this drama about will power is just not my thing. I could be using that power for something else...

Great blog!

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CMB2048 1/9/2011 10:26AM

    Forgot to mention, although, I think I did already, that until you said in another blog that when you bring this stuff in the house you'vve already decided to eat it, I never thought of it that way. I shop differently now thanks to that insight!

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CMB2048 1/9/2011 9:59AM

    Your blog is so on point. That is me. I cannot bring the stuff in the house or I'll eat it!

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PENNYAN45 1/8/2011 7:57PM

    I'm with you all the way on this one!

You are so right about having foods in the house that are tempting. I will also eat them. There's no question about it.

And I love your analogy with other types of temptation. Of course we wouldn't put ourselves in those situations just to prove that we can avoid temptation. Rather, we avoid the situations altogether.

I think you made a great case for your point of view. I agree. We shouldn't have the foods in the house. We shouldn't bring them home. If someone brings them to us, we should throw them away.

And here's something else to think about. In days gone by, when I was completely addicted to nacho cheese chips - it wasn't enough for me to throw the bag away in the trash. I had been known to go back and raid the trash within the hour. What I learned to do (to avoid that temptation) was to RUN WATER IN THE BAG first, and then throw it in the trash. Shameful.....but necessary. LOL

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IMAGINE_IT 1/8/2011 4:54PM

    Very well said and great Blog!! Food for Thought...I am 100% with you Ellen..if i bring it home..it will end up in my body..because who am i kidding?I am saving it for my grandson..or maybe a friend is coming over???? Yeah right! I buy it for myself..just in case..one never knows when the "Junkfood Blues" hit!!So i made the decision long time ago to NOT buy the food that tempts me!
Thanks for this reminder. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/8/2011 4:22PM

    Darn and drat. You're right Ellen - and you made me laugh because it's true.

I 'like' this blog - very much.

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/8/2011 4:05PM

    I've just been watching Coach Nicole say, "There's no bad food."

So there you have it, so you might as well come out in the open and enjoy that temptation - BUT - NOT IN HUGE QUANTITIES. That's the hard part.

Love your blog Ellen, so human, so thought provoking and with humor, you rock.

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FRACTALMYTH 1/8/2011 2:55PM

    I am doing pretty well with this lately. Most times, I can tell myself it belongs to the kids or to hubby and just leave it alone, especially if I have programmed my own treats into my day, and I know they are good ones - like homemade fruit nut honey biscuits, or two squares dark chocolate. I used to really binge, and I still feel a flash of anger everytime MIL comes home with a shopping bag full of cake and doughnuts, because I have to triple strengthen all the mental defences. "IT IS NOT FOR ME." and I resent that :P I gave myself permission to let the walls down over Christmas, and stopped tracking... but after a few days I really noticed it was getting out of hand. When I found myself going back for a fifth helping and hiding the evidence (wrappers to the bottom of the bin where no-one would see them) I declared open season over and retreated to the moral high ground again. Love your analogies. Be strong, big sister (I've always been the big sister in the family, but I am adopting you lol)! Now I am just goign to sit here for a moment and IMAGINE the taste of chocolate brownie cheesecake icecream. OH MAN! What evil genius invented that combination? I'm going to pretend I've eaten a whole tub full... mmmmmmm tastes better than the reality, and none of the calories :D

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PHEBESS 1/8/2011 11:47AM

    You never fail to make me laugh, while at the same time making me think!

And yes, if it's there, I will eat it. Especially ice cream or anything chocolate, which all seems to know my name and shouts it from the fridge or freezer. (Right now the rum balls my friend sent from Seattle are calling and calling and calling.........I'm trying to fill up on tea so I can better ignore them.)

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HARISHABAD 1/8/2011 11:08AM

    Yup, I am totally with you. And this is all made worse by the season, the short days, and icky weather.

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HARISHABAD 1/8/2011 11:08AM

    Yup, I am totally with you. And this is all made worse by the season, the short days, and icky weather.

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LUNADRAGON 1/8/2011 12:26AM

    Yep, if I buy it, I might eat it. Especially home alone during a snow storm.
THROW IT OUT! I did that with some of the stuff that was left. (not all).
Now, I look at the boxes I bought as "gifts" and want to "gift" myself! Not a good idea. Gotta get these "gifts" out of the house!

Comment edited on: 1/8/2011 12:26:50 AM

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DEDICATED2HIM 1/8/2011 12:20AM

    Amen Sister!
I am USUALLY pretty good about doing this...will buy myself ONE (usually somewhat healthy) snack per week...And I think I'm going to stop doing this too, because, it's guaranteed, that on the first night of having it in my house, I will sit down and devour it...yep ..the whole danged package of whatever it is. Enough of that! If I don' t have enough will power to dole it out to myself slowly, then I'll just have to come up with the , what, five minutes of willpower I need to resist it at the store? yep. That's what this little piggy has to do at the market.

Thanks for this blog...good to know I'm not the only one.

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TBANMAN 1/8/2011 12:05AM


That's me and chips.

Right there.

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DDOORN 1/7/2011 9:17PM

    Oh yeah...as long as I've been struggling and as much success as I've had I recently backslid and allowed some of my trigger foods in the house. BIG MISTAKE! I'm still pretty darned helpless around 'em and OUT they've gone with the New Year.

Battened down the hatches and maintaining a home SQUEAKY CLEAN of tempting trigger foods!

I SO admire those who have the willpower and psychological muscle to have, let's say, just ONE piece of dark chocolate. Or 1/2 a bagel. Or a teensy bowl with a level cup of cereal. Now THAT impresses me a WHOLE lot more than any physical accomplishment, because THAT is some real strength!


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SERENE_ME 1/7/2011 8:31PM

    Oh I so glad you expanded on your response to Charlene - you've hit the nail on the head with this one my friend! "All I've gotta do is leave it at the store and refuse to let it into my house. " -LOVE it!

Over Christmas I bought "treats" for others but I was the one who ended up obsessing over them! Seriously - who needs Tim Horton's fudge in the house!!!??? If it's there, I'm the one who eats it so - out it went 10 am Boxing Day.

Great blog!

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AMBUDMAN 1/7/2011 8:11PM

    What a great blog. If it is there I will eat it also. LOL!!

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Kindness Counts

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's what we need, it's what so many of us find here on Spark People.

And here's a great blog on that topic:


Thanks, DCGUY72!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 1/5/2011 3:53AM

    Loved the blog.

... and it's why SparkPeople works for so many of us.

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CMB2048 1/4/2011 11:13PM

    You are so correct and thanks for sharing the blog link with us.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/4/2011 8:58PM

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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FRACTALMYTH 1/4/2011 4:35PM


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WALKINGANNIE 1/4/2011 1:12PM

    Thanks Ellen. A great read.

I wonder how and why SP has tapped into people's kindness? It's magical.

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KALIGIRL 1/4/2011 12:46PM

    Right on!

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VALERIEMAHA 1/4/2011 10:28AM

    'Twas a good'un! Thanks for pointing it out.

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."
-- HH, the Dalai Lama

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I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Remember that old song by the Temptations? Also known as "My Girl"?

Well, my guy presented me with a light box beaming out a powerful 10,000 lux, which I've been using every morning. Sunshine bright!! I've positioned it over my lap top, so the middle of the screen is at eye level about 12 inches away from my face -- nice for illuminating my morning SP login while I sip my coffee and scan the newspaper, Charlie curled up at my feet!

There's a lot of interesting research on the use of light boxes for treating a wide range of full blown clinical issues including depression, seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, shift work disorientation, post partum, PMS and even senility. Here's a link if you'd like to read more: there are a couple of scholarly articles and the second one in paricular cites the literature quite thoroughly.


As for me, I'm pretty sure that I don't have any of these clinical conditions. But I am the original sunshine girl -- love sunshine, crave it, thrive on it. When other people want to be closing the blinds, I'm basking in it. Generally speaking, people tell me that I've got a pretty sunny disposition. (Dunno, but I've been spontaneously nicknamed "Sunny" in so many different contexts, from little girl days onwards, that maybe there's some truth to it.)

Anyhow, April through September mornings after the gym often find me and Charlie on our east-facing verandah with my coffee and newspaper. But no question even for sunny types it's harder to feel sunny when there isn't any . . . um . . . sunshine. For weeks. For months. Which had made me curious about use of a light box to help me keep my mood upbeat during our long cold dark winters, when day after day we head off to work in the dark and come home again in the dark.

But there's more. In addition, light box therapy may help with winter weight loss or weight maintenance. That's because sunlight deprivation seems to be associated with carb bingeing. Apparently there is some research evidence that the long dark days tend to trigger a craving for more comfort foods . . . and more sleepiness too (so less exercise). The big ol' bear hibernation effect, I suppose. We are circadian-sensitive mammals, so that makes some sense to me!

Added on to my multivitamin and extra vitamin D and calcium, I'm now experimenting with 20-30 minutes of 10,000 lux light box exposure early every morning . . . getting my days off to a bright start So far, it does seem to be waking me up, cheering me up, and helping with the excess carb control.

The light box was a total surprise from my guy. Truly, I've now got some sunshine on a cloudy day. In the words of another fine old song, it makes me happy when skies are grey -- which as I mentioned (yeah, I know I mentioned it, wasn't whining, just mentioned it) is in this part of the world at this time of the year, kinda constant.

So I do appreciate the thoughtfulness of this gift. I do appreciate the sunshine. And if in addition the light box can also help me control the carbs, emerging from hibernation without any extra winter weight would make me even happier!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 1/5/2011 5:06PM

    What a lovely gift!

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    What a great gift! The closest thing I have is a mirror over my sink with a grow light over that - that way every time we do dishes we are awash in full spectrum light.

You've been the sunshine in more than one of my cloudy days... you deserve all the luminousness your boy can pour on!
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CMB2048 1/3/2011 10:50PM

    You always sound "sunny"! LOL! I hate winter because it is so dark. Have not tried a light box. Let us know how it works out!

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PHEBESS 1/3/2011 9:24AM

    What a brilliant gift!

And I can certainly attest to cold weather/less sun equating to more carb ingestion - we certainly are doing that in Spain!!!!!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/3/2011 8:40AM

    How thoughful of your guy..and how sweet!! I am the opposite of you..love the dark (that is one reason why i work nights) gloomy and rainy days..i do not like to sit out in the sun at all...and carry sunglasses everywhere i go...but i find this 'lightbox' and the research behind it very interesting..and if you say it helps with 'moods' and curbs carbs??!! WOW!! then i may have to start looking into this. emoticon
Thank you for this info..now here is some of the plenty sunshine from Texas for you emoticon emoticon

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FROSTIERACES 1/3/2011 1:37AM

    I heard light boxes do wonders for people for various reasons! You're so lucky to have one...nice hubby! Thank you for the sweetest comments and compliments on my pix and blog! I'm a very happy woman these last couple days!

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/3/2011 1:28AM

    And it helps to have such a thoughtful guy around the house. emoticon emoticon

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DBCLARINET 1/3/2011 1:17AM

    Cool gift! I remember when I moved to Texas feeling like every day was awesome because there were big blue skies and plenty of sunshine. My husband hated the lack of seasons, but I thrived in the sun!

When we were high-schoolers, my room was on the main floor and my brother's room was in the basement. He'd even board up the little window he had so that he could have perfect darkness and sleep as long as he wanted. Now, my husband and I are using the basement room until we get stationed, and I can't stand it! Where's my waking up to sunshine? Can't. Stand. It!

I got a sunrise lamp sometime in my undergrad as a Christmas gift, and I love it. I'm not sure I'd ever wake up before the crack of dawn without it.

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PENNYAN45 1/2/2011 7:38PM

    A light box! It sounds very interesting - and useful.
What an enlightened gift from your husband!

Happy New Year, Ellen. May 2011 bring blessings to you and your family.

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TBANMAN 1/2/2011 7:05PM

    That is a great gift. And being on the lovely Wet Coast of Canada, I know what you're talking about with our dreary winters. Luckily Vancouver has been basking in sunshine for a few days now. Such a lovely treat!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/2/2011 6:13PM

    What a great gift. Hope you and Charlie benefit from it throughout the year.

Thanks for all your encouragement and inspiration Ellen and all best wishes for a happy healthy 2011.


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VALERIEMAHA 1/2/2011 3:08PM

    Mmmmmmmm...you have less sunshine up there in those northern clime than I do here in the mid-south, though it doesn't take much time at all without El Sol for me to start feeling deprived.

I LOVE that song, My Girl, such a great smooth beat! And Your Guy sounds purdy durned loveable as well, Ellen, coming up with such a useful and unique gift for His Girl!

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FRACTALMYTH 1/2/2011 3:08PM

    Woohooo :D Sounds fantastic... we've had plenty of lovely sun last few days at 37+ C, making up for lost time... today is back to clouds and rain though. Sunny suits you perfectly! I'll remember that :D

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JOPAPGH 1/2/2011 3:05PM

    Sounds like a great way to start the day!

Have a great 2011!

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