I hate the winter blues. The winter is always the hardest time of year for me. I lose motivation. The days are short and cold. Everything is bleak and dreary. All I want to do is cuddle in my fluffy blankets with my fluffy dogs while eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot cocoa.
That’s also how I’ve always gained back the weight I lose throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
It never fails. Every year I do great through the first half of the year. I stay on track with my workouts and maintain the caloric deficit then something happens. Once the days get shorter I say “meh. Who cares?”
I have very little tolerance for cold weather which does not bode well for outdoor running when you live in Pennsylvania. It gets cold here. It’s really cold right now. When the pandemic hit and gyms closed I was screwed.
The winter came. The weight went back on and I hated the world. Cue husband to the rescue.
He converted our messy garage into a home gym. A gym gym. Treadmill. Bowflex. Free weights. Weight bench. The whole nine yards. I had zero excuses to not maintain the workouts.
I have a reason to beat those winter blues.
It’s still not easy.
It’s that lack of motivation but I’ve found that as more and more weight comes off (we’re up to 105 lbs lost) I’m more inclined to maintain the weight loss. Especially since I’m the closest to my goal weight that I’ve been in a good 15 years.
This has been a year though. Hasn’t it? For all of us really. For lots of reasons.
I’m refusing to let the year end up ruined in the last month. Not again. So it’s time that we refocus ourselves. All of us. You can too.
It’s not easy. Trust me, I know.
But you can do it. You can fight back those winter blues and keep up with your health journey. That’s what we’re on right? A health journey. We all want to be around for the long haul. I know I at least want to live long enough to beat my grandkids at a game of race. (I definitely can’t beat my kids. Those shits can run a 7-minute mile. I’m only at a 10-minute mile. I can definitely outrun a 2-year-old though.)
It’s not the time to let all of your progress go. It’s time to ramp it up. Especially since we’re in the food is around all the time, time of year. Thanksgiving just passed and I still have a fridge full of leftovers. Cookie baking is going into full effect in the next week. Then it’s Christmas which means shit tons of food.
Continue with your willpower. Continue building your strength both physically and mentally.
Mentally. That’s a big one for me. It’s one of the biggest things that keeps me working out as much as I do. It really helps with my mental health. My husband can actually tell days when I don’t run or don’t run enough. I turn into megabitch. Seriously. I’m mean. Really mean. I hate the world. Why? When I’m running and lifting weights it helps me to release all the stress, tension, and anger from work and the day.
A good article from Walden University sums it up great. Exercise is a scientifically proven mood booster, decreasing symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Physical activity kicks up endorphin levels, the body’s famous “feel good” chemical produced by the brain and spinal cord that produces feelings of happiness and euphoria. Even just moderate exercise throughout the week can improve depression and anxiety.
(I’m not a medical professional. Excercise may not be what helps you. Be sure to speak with your doctor about any mental health issues and before starting a workout program)
Since it has been helping me…I shall continue. I like it and I love the fact that again for me, it has helped improve my mental health tremendously. Those happy little endorphins are doing their jobs.
So gear up and keep moving. Beat those winter blues. Spring is just around the corner.