I can feel it rearing its ugly head; it’s looming just around the corner. Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly called SAD. I’m sad, always cold and feeling blah. I have had enough of the brutally cold, dark days, slipping on a patch of ice and shivering in the car as the engine warms up. This winter has been bitterly cold. Twenty below zero has been the average and if we do get days closer to freezing, the temps plummet soon afterwards. It’s depressing. The problem with my SAD is that I used to use food, and a sedentary lifestyle to cope with my feelings. Not wanting to be outdoors under any circumstances, I typically would head home from work, using the old excuse, “it’s too cold to be out and about.” This excuse then would be my pass to skip a gym day. Problem is, skipping gym days to avoid the cold began to become a regular routine.
Along with being a sloth wrapped in a blanket on my sofa, barely raising an arm to change a channel on the converter, my diet would eventually begin to follow suit, with minor slip ups here and there. First it would start with harmless snacks, a few crackers with cheese, no biggie. However, I would begin slipping too often, snacking out of habit instead of snacking out of hunger. Although I have not cut anything out, and will continue to enjoy all foods in moderation, my carb intake would increase waaaay too much in the way of empty calories, such as crackers, popcorn and eventually white bread and chips. From there it was a hop, skip and a jump to sweet tooth country. Next would come the sugar overdose of chocolate,(anything chocolate), cakes, pastries and the like. It got to the point where I just stopped caring. I continued to blame the weather. Poor winter. What did this season ever do to me except make me wear a balaclava? Of course, as inches of snow began to add up, so did the inches in my hips, thighs and waist. I would in turn become even more depressed and guess what? It was still winter, but now I would be chubby AND cold.
I write in the past, because this will not happen to me this year or again. Sure, I may have my failures, but I am determined not to let it spiral out of control. I live in Canada. Winter ain’t going nowhere. It’s time to stop using a season as the reason to be gluttonous and lazy. What is positive is that I am extremely cognizant of the looming feelings of SAD, and I am coming up with daily plans to avoid this pattern of self-destruction. It is a struggle, but as I said I take these emotions one day at a time and I know my old pattern is not healthy. I try to schedule new classes and activities. Andy and I plan to go on a snowshoeing weekend and I also tried CrossFit for the first time today. I actually tried one of my bucket list items. CrossFit! I make sure to head straight to the gym after work. I also workout with a wonderful, supportive group of women on the NTC app after work two days per week. It is fun and makes the winter less dull.
Thank God, the first buds of Spring will be seen on the bare branches soon. I will feel the warmth of the sun on my face soon. I will be able to shed a few layers or wear a light jacket soon. The birds will be heard chirping at the crack of dawn soon. All those things will remain the same, except for one, me. I will not be heavy, moody, and squeezing into jeans that no longer fit this Spring. I am not just motivated this time around. The difference is I am committed and dedicated to this lifestyle.