Depression and Weight Issues - Goal Setting to deal with Winter Depression




coffeeshopgirl
01-01-2014, 09:26 PM
Over the past 5 years, I've noticed that the winter season hits me harder and harder each year. I just wanted to share my thoughts on why this is happening and talk about my plans to resolve it over the next few months.

I'm sure it's been said in research articles, but I've come to the conclusion that during the winter, people are fighting the biological urge to hibernate. We get very limited natural light, and the cold is designed to slow things down. So, it's no wonder that we want to eat, and overeat, to deal with the natural stressors that come with the winter season. It feels like an uphill battle, except that the hill is icy and there's a pizza full of comfort with us at the bottom.

Sure, I get depressed at times, but typically I'm pretty mellow of a person. I find I am the most depressed when I haven't worked out in a while. As I've put on some weight over the years, I am determined to fight this urge to hibernate no matter how warm and comforting eating more and moving less feels. Basically, my motivation is to lose weight before I put on MORE. So here's what I decided to do. I've given myself a good amount of flexibility to account for dinner parties with friends as well as TOM detours. I've also learned to accept myself at my current weight, but recognized that this isn't the weight I want to be forever.

I started by making two daily goals: (1) Recognize when you're full and (2) Do one exercise activity each day. My daily activity choices are running 1 mile or doing a circuit workout with my kettlebell. I have a daily journal where I can track my progress.

It's only been a week, but I feel organized in my goal setting. TOM came for the holidays, so I got to see what I can do under the most amount of physical/hormonal stress. It's amazing what having a plan and manageable goals can do. My 3-month goal is to run a 5K on St. Patrick's Day.

Any thoughts/suggestions/improvements on the goals I've created? What are the goals that work for you? When do you start modifying your goals?

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading & Happy New Year!

:broc:


munchey
01-02-2014, 12:04 PM
I have the same problem in the Winter. All my life, I've gained 10-15 pounds in the Fall/Winter and then worked hard to lose it in the Spring. I'd always been "beach ready/bikini ready" by mid Spring.

In hindsight, my biggest mistake was giving up during my 40's. You are heading in the right direction! Don't stop working on this. Losing a few pounds each year (no matter how little), is far better than gaining a few pounds each year. Little measures add up and we either improve ourselves or let ourselves deteriorate one step at a time.

One suggestion is to set multiple goals: Short Term, Mid Term and Long-Term. You started with a short-term goal. In a couple of weeks, you should consider upping the one mile to two and increase your exercise level.

I'm a believer in the basics: Calories in versus calories out.

Munchey

ImALittleTeapot
01-02-2014, 12:45 PM
Nice to meet you all. This is my issue too!

I just got back from seeing my family practitioner about my SAD. I've started to make a list of daily goals for myself:

1. Don't lay around after sending the kids to school. Take a shower, get dressed, do a little laundry instead of flopping on the couch and going on the Internet. It's hard to get off once I'm on.

2. 30-40 minutes of walking my dog, doing exercise games on our Wii, etc, every day if I can. At least 5 times a week.

3. Take my iron and vitamin supplements as well as my antidepressant every day and don't keep forgetting. (My iron results are super low.)

4. Eat when physically hungry and stop when full. Comfort foods I can still have, but PORTION CONTROL.

Anyway, hope this helps! I live in the northern Midwest. It was 25 below zero this morning.


EagleRiverDee
01-02-2014, 03:20 PM
In December I joined a thread here on 3FC where we did an exercise challenge for December. I found simply exercising daily made a HUGE difference for me. Last year I got really depressed in December. This year, I didn't. The only thing that really changed was my exercise level.

I do other things to help- I take Vit D3 and fish oil, both proven to support positive mood. But I've been doing that for years. It was the daily workouts, I'm certain, that made the real difference. Also, I do try to get out at lunch time if the weather is decent and walk my dog. It's dark in the mornings and in the evenings right now, but when I go home for lunch (I live close to where I work) it's daylight and I think getting outside during daylight helps.

munchey
01-02-2014, 06:18 PM
EagleRiverDee:
I agree that exercise can really make a positive difference. Glad you had a good December this year!

Teapot:
Good goals. Getting up/staying up in the morning can be a challenge, but just doing it makes a big difference. I find that I wake up anxious, so getting up and doing something helps to reduce/remove the anxiety.

If you have to go to work or be somewhere at a certain time, you have to get up. Since I'm not working now, I can relate to how easy it is on a cold, dark morning to linger in bed.

I share your computer goal as well, lol. So easy to get on a message board like this or surf the net and before you know it, 2-3 hours have passed.

Munchey