100 lb. Club - Winter Blues/motivation problem




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Lyn2007
01-17-2008, 10:26 PM
I am struggling SO BAD with my energy level this winter. In the past I always gained weight over the winter... 20 to 30 pounds... and this winter is just as hard. I have been fighting with the same 4 pounds for two months.

I am SO tired all the time. If I didn't have kids, I would sleep all day. I have ZERO energy and very little motivation. I just feel so blah!! Even when I am eating right, I feel tired. I lose 2 or 3 pounds, then I have a really bummed out day and eat a burger and fries and a coke, and I gain back the 2 or 3 pounds. It takes a week to get it back off, and then I eat something bad again. I want to break out of this cycle!

The icy cold weather has been a problem. I hardly ever get outside (I have a child with health issues that prohibit going out in this weather for any longer than it takes to get her into the car for an appointment). My hubby is away for a few weeks. It is gloomy and overcast most days and the sun is setting around 4:30. No sun, no getting out, and I just feel like a slug.

I am open to any suggestions to raise my energy level! So far I have tried eating lots of produce, protein and whole grains, drinking more water and green tea. I do feel marginally better when I do that, but still, like a slug.


txangelgirl
01-17-2008, 10:30 PM
Hi Lyn,

how's your protein intake? Your fat intake? Is it below 30% but above - say - 20%? Are you drinking enough water - if you're not drinking avg of 90 oz a day, preferably more ,up that? How's your sleeping habits - do you get to bed at a decent hour and allow yourself 7-8 hrs rest? How is your carb intake - are you eating healthy carbs, or are you eating white flour products (those easily drown your blood sugar levels)? also, have you recently given up soda and/or caffeine -that could be withdrawals you're having too. A lot could be contributing - so how are you doing in those areas, are all in check, because any one of them being off could cause fatigue. Also you might wanna get your body moving - try Leslie Sansone videos, or a fun salsa dvd to get your body moving :D

Izzy906
01-17-2008, 10:37 PM
Lyn,
1st of all.....BE PROUD of your 37# loss. That is great! It sounds like you are a little bit down. Probably a combination of winter, staying in, dieting, hubby being gone, no sun, etc. That would make you tired. Can you get involved in any inside activites that you and your kids can be in. Maybe have a few play dates at your house, have a coffee clutch with some friends, get a sitter and go to the mall or take a ride or go to the movies? Just some thoughts.


famograham
01-17-2008, 10:41 PM
There's also SAD (seasonal affective disorder) :dunno:

I know that I tend to get VERY down, and gloomy, and tired and lazy in the wintertime. But I live on Vancouver Island, where it is gray and rainy all winter long, we get very few sunshine hours during the winter.

Lyn2007
01-17-2008, 11:42 PM
I recently gave up coffee. I was drinking 2-3 cups a day, and the problem was that I like it with a LOT of creamer or sugar/milk. It was more of a dessert to me and it always wanted a cookie with it. I hadn't thought that might be a factor. I wonder if drinking more tea would help?

I thought about SAD and maybe I will get some of those full spectrum light bulbs for the house. That might help too.

My fat intake is higher than it was over the summer, mostly because I have been chooing less veggies and fruits, and more processed stuff. I crave meats more, too. I think my percent fat has been about 35% on ***********... much higher than summertime. I have been getting about 70oz a day of water. Maybe I could increas that, too.

My days are so inactive. I had started riding my recumbent bike, but my knee started bugging me so I "took a break" that ended up lasting all winter. Maybe getting back on the bike would help the energy level too. Its a vicious cycle: feel too tired to exercise, feel tired because I don't exercise.

Thank you for the ideas... keep em coming.

Justwant2Bhealthy
01-17-2008, 11:43 PM
LYN ~ here are some ideas that might help a bit; some I have already tried with success. Maybe focusing on something else might help; just eat as healthy as you can in the meanwhile, and some of those pounds may slip away without notice!

KEEPIN' THE WINTER BLUES AT BAY ...

Strange, we never look within ourselves where the cold emptiness begins. Ironically, the solution exists inside where we can find greater control and empowerment through positive perception. Seeing every day as a good day with its special distinguishing moments creates peacefulness and clarity.

And for those of us who demand immediate gratification, we can change our perception immediately whether at work or at home. It can be as simple as: rearranging a few knick knacks, where we usually sit at the kitchen table, or moving a chair or lamp from here to over there.

Here are some more tips to help you change your perception of winter and bring warmth and light into a chilly life:

-- Raise the blinds and let the light shine in. Sit by the window look out and gaze, or read. Feel the warmth.

-- Try eating more hot soups and stews. Add beans and lentils to your diet. These hearty meals are both comforting and nourishing. (If you use canned soups pay attention to the amount of sodium as many ready-made soups are high in sodium.)

-- Go outside to reset your biological clock. Let natural sunlight counteract SAD. Appreciate the winter landscape: the “tree architecture” that we never notice when the leaves are flourishing, or the feathery ornamental grasses swaying in the wind. Sometimes, when it's sunny, I just sit outside on a chair and soak in the rays for awhile.

-- Exercise to stimulate and bring warmth to your body. Many of us are bored with treadmills and stairmasters that go nowhere. So, change up your routine; and try something new.

-- Dress warmly and go for a brisk fitness walk. If you can get to the shore, a walk on the beach is peaceful and inspiring. Try some new classes in Pilates, Yoga, Belly Dancing, Salsa and Weight Training. Join a league to participate in fun team sports. Get a buddy to exercise with or make friends in fitness centers.

-- Connect with sunny people. Do volunteer work. We tend to get isolated in the winter and keep to our igloos. Get out and see positive people who appreciate you and if you can’t get out, use the phone or email.

-- Bring tropical plants into the house. Their gracious leaves and greenery will lift your spirits and give you a taste of eternal summer. Get ones that take very little care like the Snake plants (tall spiked leaves); the name sounds worse than it is.

-- Look at the color orange which is cheering. No need to repaint your home; just put something orange on the desk or your coffee table. (Note: we did repaint our place with off white with 'French butter' cupboards; and winter sunshine yellow; pearl blue; and lilac; and the difference was amazing. People constantly remark how bright and calm our place is now)

-- Try a warm glowing candle light meditation. Light a candle in the evening and stare at the flame for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then close your eyes and breathe to your own natural rhythm and see what comes up for you in meditation.

-- Personally, I also like to listen to calming music, read the PSALMS from the Bible, write poems and songs, journal, and/or sing: I find all of them uplifting in themselves.

-- Give yourself an auto-massage. Warm some inexpensive olive oil in the microwave and massage your body from head to toe. Long strokes for the limbs, circular strokes for the torso. Make sure to massage the temples, and using your thumbs, do windshield wiper movements under and over your eyes. Feel the warmth pervade your body. (*what a great idea*)

-- If I change my seat at the kitchen table, I really see things from a different perspective. I might notice something new in my field of vision. If I rearrange paintings or furniture, I see them with a fresh eye and appreciate them differently. When we are beset by winter doldrums, long nights, clearly we need to let the pendulum swing the other way to restore the balance.

-- Try adding bright things to your home; red or yellow roses; other pastel-colored flowers; pretty mobiles or chimes; bright cushions, pillows, and comforters. I find this really made a difference in my home; gives a cheery atmosphere.

-- Simplify your home, room by room. Clean out the clutter and donate what you have not used in years. In winter, we tend to contract and go inward. Use this indoors time to organize your home for the new year. Sharing with the needy can give you a sense of purpose and community, which can warm the spirit within.

PS ~ even just adding florescent bulbs and lights to your home can brighten things up immensely; we did that all through our home and it has made a huge difference. We just use regular bulbs in lamps when we want some ambiance.

Hope something here helps a little ...

:hug:ROSEBUD :hug:

txangelgirl
01-17-2008, 11:51 PM
Ideas eh - okay try these links too :D

http://www.webmd.com/solutions/fight_fatigue/five-ways-to-power-up?page=4

http://www.webmd.com/content/pages/4/2946_428.htm

http://women.webmd.com/features/why-so-tired-7-causes-fatigue

http://www.active.com/story.cfm?STORY_ID=9889&SIDEBAR=575&CATEGORY=keep%5Ffit&CHECKSSO=1&RESET=0

http://www.oprah.com/health/omag/health_omag_200801_fatigue.jhtml

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fatigue/HQ00673

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/fatigue/page2_em.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003088.htm

http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/fighting-motivation-fatigue.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195

whew! :D hope these help you!

Justwant2Bhealthy
01-18-2008, 12:05 AM
That's cute HOLLI ... LOL ... ;)

GirlyGirlSebas
01-18-2008, 11:39 AM
I thought about SAD and maybe I will get some of those full spectrum light bulbs for the house. That might help too.


Yes! My first thought while reading your post was that it sounded exactly like SAD. Please look into the bulbs. Also, you might want to talk with you doctor about a low dose anti-depressant. As someone who has suuffered with depression off and on for the last 20 years, I can tell you that the medication can make a big difference.

Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

modkittn
01-18-2008, 11:51 AM
SAD could be one reason for feeling that tired, but there are medical conditions that can cause that as well. If you are really feeling as tired as you say (like you just want to sleep all the time) I would urge you to contact your doctor and make sure there isn't something else going on.

That being said, exercise helps a LOT with giving me energy in the winter time. I have to force myself to do it, but I feel so great afterwards. And once I get into a regular routine, I find I have energy just about all the time.

barbygirl43
01-18-2008, 12:05 PM
SAD could be one reason for feeling that tired, but there are medical conditions that can cause that as well. If you are really feeling as tired as you say (like you just want to sleep all the time) I would urge you to contact your doctor and make sure there isn't something else going on.

Ditto. I know I started suffering from depression and no amount of eating right/exercising was helping my energy levels. I finally went in to see the doc and she prescribed me some medicine and I have tons more energy.

Lyn2007
01-18-2008, 01:24 PM
Wow lots of info to read, thank you!

I pulled my blinds up last night before going to bed so that the bit of dawn light can come in my room. That way it isnt pitch black when I get up. I also opened the eastern drapes this morning in the house to brighten things up a bit. Going out to get some full spectrum blubs this morning.

I did go to the doctor last month for a full workup (physical) for preventive care. I got all the blood work and everything looked great but my cholesterol was borderline (199). So I am eating oatmeal now to help with that.

Is it possible to be depressed and not FEEL emotionally depressed? It's almost like my BODY is depressed (wanting to hibernate and having no energy) but not my head. I am pretty happy with my life overall and not sad or angry or anything, just have NO energy. I felt so great and energized up until about November. With only 9 hours of daylight I feel so different.

modkittn
01-18-2008, 01:55 PM
Is it possible to be depressed and not FEEL emotionally depressed? It's almost like my BODY is depressed (wanting to hibernate and having no energy) but not my head. I am pretty happy with my life overall and not sad or angry or anything, just have NO energy. I felt so great and energized up until about November. With only 9 hours of daylight I feel so different.

Well I know that on days when I work at home, I keep the curtains pulled to conserve energy. I also rarely leave the house those days. By the time dinner rolls around, I feel so blah and energy-less that even if I needed to run errands or get things done around the house I usually don't. So I understand being completely exhausted just because you are a hermit!

I think opening the curtains/blinds is a great idea. That usually helps me a lot. How about trying to get some exercise in too? Even if it is just running up and down your stairs a few times? Putting in an exercise video might help as well. Also, sometimes I make a list of all the things I need to do that day. The other day I had to do this to get motivated. It said things like "make bread", "do laundry", etc. Everyday things. But I would check them off and I ended up getting them all done and I felt better at the end of the day. I think the list was motivation.

:goodluck:

Lyn2007
01-18-2008, 05:34 PM
I got the full spectrum bulbs... we will see if that helps. All the drapes open too. And I even got myself a new, pretty, bright tablecloth at the store, and they had bunches of tulips for $3.99 so I got some of those and put them on the table. I also splurged on some cut/cubed watermelon/honeydew/cantaloupe. I am trying to bring spring and summer mood into my home as much as possible.

I was outside running errands all morning, which was pretty good exercise. On days I don't go out I will ride my bike. I sure hope this helps. I am tired of feeling so sluggish. It's true though, I was keeping the drapes closed and living in the dark all day.

vek
01-18-2008, 06:45 PM
I had SAD and I fixed it with luminotherapy.

Light is essential for life on earth. Regardless of the human activity concerned, light is powerful source of energy. Light is to our brain what fresh air is to our lungs.

Luminotherapy or treatment with intense light relieves the symptoms of seasonal depression for those people who have been suffering from this condition for many years, and their response to treatment is often spectacular.

http://www.jeancoutu.com/english/soins_ortho/catalogue/categorie.cfm?id=20

suzie76
01-19-2008, 08:38 AM
There was a book published by Prevention magazine that might help. I think the title is "When Your Body Gets the Blues." Maybe your library would have it.

I hope you are feeling better soon-
Hugs,
Sherry