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On Being Thankful and Recognition

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am looking back over these past several months of changing my habits and my eating, and I'm so thankful for the progress I've made and the great people I've met along the way. No matter how dismal life may be, you can always make a list of things for which you are thankful and turn negatives into positives. I truly believe it is one of the keys to staying upbeat . . . well, that and a whole lot of sarcasm and humor.

As the winter comes upon us, I begin to see the signs of SAD creeping it's ugly head into my life. For those who don't know, SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder. I typically ignore the signs, and then by late December I realize just how far I've sunk. By January, there is no turning back.

SAD is a real thing. It's not some made up mumbo-jumbo. It affects as many as 6 out of 100 people in the U.S., and even more can have milder forms. If you live in a northern region, where skies are normally gray from October to March, lack of sunshine can will bring it on. There is research that proves brain chemistry is affected by bright light. While less than 1% of the population in sunny Florida report symptoms of SAD, 10% of Alaskans report severe winter depression. It’s more common in women and typically will starts in one’s 20s. The symptoms subside in the spring and return in late fall. If you want to combat it, you have to be proactive. You can't wait until it is at it's worst.

I know that SAD is responsible for me being able to lose weight from Spring to Fall, and then to fall off the wagon beginning at Thanksgiving. I always blame the holidays for my departure from healthy eating, but the reality is that I should be able to have the same mindset to get through. But I clearly DO NOT. You can have that holiday cheer . . . the cookies, candies, cocktails, cake, cupcakes (all C's by the way), but you have to get back on track. I never can get back on track. Why? Because by late fall, if you suffer from SAD, forget about it!

So this year I told a friend of mine that I was going to begin to take care of mine in November. I also told that friend to remind me . . . bug me . . . hunt me down and make sure that I did it. And as friends do . . . she reminded me and she bugged me on the weekends when I saw her. I love friends.

So I made an appointment with my doctor to talk about it, and before doing so, I did some research on-line on light therapy. My doctor was very excited about my research, and she was also very pro-light box! So I decided to bite the bullet and drop some cash on a light box . . . which I've ordered and expect to get soon.

It's funny how when you talk to people about these things, others will chime in and say they have trouble during the winter months as well. I always say . . . the strong people are the ones that talk about it . . . not the ones who hide it in the closet or under the seat cushions of the couch.


I recognize that I have a problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I recognize that while I've been great about tracking my food, I'm starting to lean toward the high end of my calorie range and I struggle at night with wanting to go over that range. I will typically call it quits and go to bed . . . but that's no life.

So I've also decided in the coming days that I will purchase a book on weight loss . . . the emotional aspect, not the science. I KNOW THE SCIENCE! I've narrowed my choices to three . . . and I'll be making a choice after eating my turkey today. And once I do, I'll be blogging about the book on a regular basis (or at least that's my plan). So stay tuned.

So . . . make a list of the things for which you are thankful.

And . . . if you have issues with SAD . . . it's November and time to make an action plan. I've got mine ready.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great job recognizing the need to make a plan and act on it. I too suffer from SAD and knowledge is power. Knowing what is going on makes a big difference.

    My sister uses the light, and is very happy with it. emoticon
    1972 days ago
    I have SAD... moved to south carolina and so much better !! wow, did not realize how bad it was.. good luck with treating yours
    1975 days ago
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