We’re excited to kick off another year of Adventures in Maintenance. We’re also pleased to offer a new way you can ask any questions you might have about weight management. But first, our topic of the month!
Our first AIM topic of 2014 was inspired by this lovely photo provided by Lynn. The setting is gorgeous, and the plan might be the most effective for road maintenance, but it really doesn’t work so well for weight management.
At the time this post is published, the temperature in Memphis will be in or approaching single digits with a wind chill below zero. That’s cold for Memphis, lemme tell you, and it’s not scheduled to get much better after that. When the temps do pop above freezing again, several days of rain will move in. I get depressed just thinking about it.
And that brings me to my only serious winter maintenance “issue”. While our winters are fairly mild in the mid-south, we do have spells of cold, gray weather for days at a time. When that happens, I get a serious case of the blahs and just want to snuggle under the covers and watch HGTV instead of popping out of bed and heading to the gym. I know I’ll feel better with a good workout, but my blah-mind says, “I’ll go later.” And sometimes I do…
But sometimes I don’t, which means I don’t get the mental and emotional benefits of exercise, which I sorely need to combat my gray mood. Do you see the circle? (I never said I was logical.)
I have two antidotes for the blahs that seem to be working well this year:
- Any day that’s sunny and above 40°, I’m getting outside in the sunshine for some form of exercise, usually walking or raking leaves.
- I try to keep my early a.m. workout commitment simply because I like the sparse crowd at that hour, but on the days I convince myself that only a later workout will do, I tie the gym visit to a treat of some sort. Most days, the treat is a stop at McD’s for a cup of coffee and a half-hour or so of reading. It’s a great mid-afternoon break, especially if I remember to tuck a juicy apple in my bag for post work-out savoring.
These may seem silly to some, but one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes silly works.
My diet stays pretty steady during winter. Mostly. My favorite entrees (Mexican chicken, flatbread pizza, and more recently, Lentil Chili) are great cold weather meals. I’d rather have those dishes than some of the more typical cold weather comfort foods…
UNTIL we get ice or snow. Can anyone explain to me what it is about a little snow or ice on the ground that makes me want to eat everything in the house? Or why I would think that a snow day is a good day to bake? (Boredom is my best guess.)
Given that the current weather system moving through might be bringing a bit of snow and ice with it, I’ve come up with A Plan:
- Instead of exploring the kitchen when/if I’m feeling restless, I’ll pick one of the 30 house projects on my to-do list to tackle.
- Maybe an ice/snow/frigid day is a good time to indulge that urge to snuggle under the covers and channel surf or read. At least it’s far away from the kitchen.
As a back-up, since I live about a half-mile from the gym, I can probably bundle up and slip-slide my way over there to occupy my time.
That, in a nutshell, is my approach to winter maintenance. Healthy, flavorful meals and a scheme to complete my exercise commitment. I think the combination helps fight off the worst of the seasonal blahs, at least enough to keep me in check until warmer weather blows in.
Speaking of warmer weather, I sometimes wonder how much of my success in losing the weight was due to the fact that I started the year making itty bitty changes and didn’t really start ramping it up until around May when it was easier to get out and about and fresh fruits and veggies in abundance. Sure, I only lost about 10 pounds in the first few months of that year, but at least I stayed committed!
Does winter weather affect your weight management goals? How do YOU keep yourself on track?
Or are you focused on simply holding on until warmer weather?
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out the other AIM bloggers to learn their winter maintenance experiences and strategies:
Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh
Lori @ Finding Radiance
Debby @ Debby Weighs In
Shelley @ My Journey to Fit
AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!
To help advance (and organize!) the conversation about weight maintenance, we’ve created an easy peasy form for you to ask your questions about …whatever you’d like to discuss (except, perhaps, the meaning of life, to which we will refer you to the Monty Python movie). Enter your question directly in the box below or you can open the input form in a new window.
Every one of us (that means ALL of us, not just the AIM group) experience weight-related issues differently and, as you well know, we all benefit from sharing ideas, struggles, successes, and most of all questions. We will address questions in this space each month. We look forward to your input!