Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Blah

Yesterday went fairly well. I had a healthy breakfast and lunch, but too many snacks. I think my mode right now is summed up best in one word: tired. Even since New Years I have just felt physically drained. In fact, it reminds me very much of life at 278 pounds. When I was morbidly obese, everything exhausted me. Getting up to walk to the kitchen for a drink wore me out. I was so tired I couldn't mop or vacuum... I was always letting it go for too long or asking my kids to do it for me. I'd sit on the couch a lot and if I got up and put in a load of laundry (which took a flight of stairs), I just had no energy left.

Okay... so it really isn't *that* bad anymore. Taking off the weight has helped a lot. Even at my most tired, on my worst day, I get more done than I did on my best day at 278 pounds. I am thankful for that.

But I was getting used to having *so* much more energy after losing weight and being active. Improving my diet gave me a lot more stamina, so I could mop the whole house and then do dishes and go out for a walk afterwards. But that was in the summertime. Winter is a whole 'nother ball game.

I've blogged before about how the seasons affect me. And because I am blogging, I've noticed that every year, January and February are desperately hard for me, energy-wise, emotion-wise. Every year I hit a wall and feel like hibernating. I am there now. I have to drag myself out of bed in the morning and I feel like I am in a fog for a couple of hours. Just now, I went in the kitchen to fix my child's breakfast, and then I was too tired to fix anything for myself. So I just sat down instead. Sitting is becoming more and more of my mode lately. When I manage to talk myself into getting up and *doing something*, it lasts about ten minutes and I am once again wiped out, ready to sit for an hour.

I hate it! It is just so different from how I feel during the rest of the year. I am really pushing myself to get up and move, but it isn't enough. I am not happy with my lack of movement.

Every year I get to this place, and I start trying to find ways to boost my energy: eat lots of fruits & veggies, whole grain, protein; drink lots of water, green tea. I have increased my caffeine intake just trying to get a little boost here and there but it isn't working. I take vitamins, extra B's, D3. But it seems the only thing that helps enough for me to notice a difference is sunlight. When I see the sun peek through the clouds after days of gloomy, overcast weather, I literally race out the door and walk or sit on the deck facing the sun. I feel *thirsty* for sunlight; I actually crave it. I feel so much better and more energized on days that I get at least 30 minutes of sun, but those days are few and far between. It is dark by 4:30 and not light until 7:30 and every day seems to be cloudy. So I have my light box, but haven't been using it. Guess I will get it out and sit by it. I am doing a lot of sitting, so I may as well get some benefit out of it.

Honestly I just cannot wait for spring. These winter months are difficult. Maybe the light box will help me out... I'll let you know.

31 comments:

Patsy said...

I have an award for you.... :o)

Twix said...

I hear ya about needing the sun! :) Come on Spring!!!

Diana said...

Oh the same thing happens to me. Definitely. I think we just have to make a bit more effort to get out of this rut, think positive, don't let it get to us. Easier said than done, sure, but lets keep trying. :)

Lorie said...

I am feeling the same way. Winter is so depressing. I can't wait until spring gets here. Hang in there, it's coming!

The Chubby Girl Diaries said...

Have you tried tanning? They say that the artificial sunlight is actually spirit-lifting especially in the winter months.

Hang in there. I am a stay-at-home mom as well and winters are kind of hell. I'm not gonna lie.

(((HUGS))))

~Kellie

The Countess of Nassau County said...

PLEASE get your light box out.

We have some tough winter months here to. Maybe you could use the time inside to do things like reading or spending time on a hobby. It's not working out, but it is still a productive use of your time and will keep your brain energized.

Leslie said...

I'm dragging too, and I hate it. Have you thought about putting the light box next to the bike so you can do both at once? That way the "sitting" isn't counterproductive. It's so annoying to have to bundle up in a bunch of layers to just walk to the mailbox! Hang in there.

spunkysuzi said...

I am so looking forward to the sun and the warmth!! "hug" Lyn

Kristi-Bisti said...

I'm the same with winter. I Have 3 kids and have been hibernating. It just seems like such an effort to get everyone bundled up. Oh well. Spring will come. Eventually.

Certifiably Fit said...

My light box is what gets me through the winter months. I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder about 10 years ago and the light has been very helpful. From what you describe it sounds like you could be suffering from the same symptoms I do every winter. The key to it is using it consistently everyday at the same time. Hope you feel better soon.

Crista said...

Hi Lyn,

I don't think I've ever commented on your blog but I couldn't help but give you a little nugget of advice. I've heard that far too many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency during the winter (causes fatigue among other things). Vitamin D can be absorbed from sunlight so Jan and Feb can be lean months, figuratively speaking :)

Maybe you could eat some Vitamin D-rich foods or take a supplement?

Hang in there, spring is just around the corner!

Kyle Gershman said...

Certifiably Fit took the words out of my mouth, but with the actual credibility of being a diagnosed sufferer of SAD.

That was my first thought!

Seren_Sighs said...

I completely understand.

I suffer from SAD symptoms as well. I haven't been professionally diagnosed but from what I can tell I think I have it.

I definitely hit a wall a couple weeks ago. I was tired all the time. We went from some almost warm sunny weather to weather below freezing and a lot of clouds on top of it. I used to walk outside for a hour a day and I hadn't realized how much I must depend on the sun.

A couple weeks ago I just became exhausted and depressed. I started sleeping about 14 hours a day, it seemed it was all I could do to not sleep more than that. And when I wasn't sleeping I was just sitting.

I found staying active helps. If I feel like exercising I take advanatage of that feeling because I know it will help. And I take a ton of vitamin D. I didn't think I needed it but I noticed a huge difference after just two days of taking it.

I can't wait for spring either. Hopefully it will come soon! Good luck. You seem to do everything you can to help with your SAD symptoms so it seems only time will help. At least it isn't all year.

Autumnforest said...

I know people who are affected with that and here in the desert it's in the 70s and sunny so I have spring fever, but I did suggest to my neighbor that she spend a little time with her face turned up to the sun each day. If it's cold there you can always do it from a sunny window, but reconnect. You'll get spring fever in no time.

Jane. said...

I feel for you! I lived in Alaska for two years and although I loved it, the lack of daylight in winter was hard to swallow some days.

I definitely think you should get out your lightbox! It might help to rig it to a timer so it comes on when you normally wake up in the morning. Having morning light -- even if it's artificial -- can provide such a boost.

swayerm said...

Have you tried taking a magnesium supplement? I find that helps me to get through winter without getting too depressed.
I do feel for you though, I totally understand the "winter blues". Thankfully it's not too bad down under, we at least get a LITTLE sun in the winter!

seattlerunnergirl said...

I was *just* about to leave a comment suggesting a "happy light" and then I got to the end of your post - you've got one already! DO try using it - I have many friends with Seasonal Affective Disorder (I live in Seattle, after all) and they swear by it. And here-here on wanting spring to come!

Hope's Journey to Healthy said...

I think it's totally normal to be a little bit "blah" in the wintertime. I live in Iowa, and the winters here seem endless, so I can understand where you're coming from. All you can do is take it one day at a time, one decision at a time, and try to do what's healthiest and best for yourself.

Hope

screwdestiny said...

Winter is God's way of punishing us.

So not really, but I hate it, too. Fortunately I don't generally deal with depression during the winter, but it does make me upset that the most I can be outside is to walk to and from my car and buildings. We weren't meant to be cooped up inside all the time.

Duddes02 said...

Winter gets to me too.

It's not a bad idea to try some of the spray tan..it helps my skin feel less wintery and I look fresh.

My roommate has that light box..she claims it helps but it's TOO sunny for me. I can't look at it directly

Anonymous said...

Winter lasts a long time up here, and from what I've noticed over 44 Canadian winters is that I just can't make it through those 5 months on the diet from the summer. I'm literally starving or so low on energy I can't function properly. Others may be different but I have to eat more in winter if I want to be at all productive. I've put back on 5 lbs this winter and if I can keep it there I will be happy. In summer it's a lot easier to ditch the pounds. I'm still exercising, still eating lots of fruit, veg, lean meats and whole grains along with a little more fat for energy.

I hope you find the balance that works for you!

Barb

Thrice Blessed said...

I'm with you! I'd do fine with a one week winter, snow on the ground for that one week so we could all play and build snow men, and then back to spring and summer.

P.S. USE YOUR LIGHTBOX!

Carrie @ Journey to Bliss said...

I am right there with you. I feel like I'm exhausted every day. When I look at the clock and see 5pm, I wonder if it's too early to go to bed. What a waste. I wish I knew the cure.

Sharon said...

I'm delurking. Just so you know, I've been reading your blog for a while.

Chibi Jeebs said...

I do something similar: every year I get down in the dumps and think about SAD. Last year, it was bad enough that the other half suggested we buy me a light box. Then spring comes, I feel great for a stretch, and convince myself that it's "not THAT bad."

You're not alone. *hugs*

Tammy said...

I'm the exact same way when it comes to sunlight. Few and far between in the winter time. It was sunny here this morning. I was out the door and hitting the hiking trail by 9:30. It was probably 20-something degrees...but I didn't care. I needed the sun, I needed to walk, I needed to breathe in the fresh air. It was just what I needed. Too much so, in fact. I ended up walking 5.7 miles...the most I've ever walked in my life...and now I'm so sore I can barely move, lol. But I'm glad I did...and the next sunny day, I'll be doing it again!! I posted some pics on my blog if you want to come take a peek. Maybe it will help you to feel a bit better until you can get out and do some walking in the sun of your own. :)

BlueRaspberry said...

S.A.D is just that...makes life disordered. You have a light box, cant think why you until now you haven't been using it.

BR

Lyn said...

BR~

got it out and put together, just trying to find a space for it which will happen this morning :)

No real reason why I haven't used it yet. The S.A.D. feelings just hit full force this week. Hopefully I will get some benefit from the light QUICKLY! Will update soon.

Anonymous said...

Motivation and energy comes from ACTION. Start moving around and doing the things you need to, and you'll feel like you can do more...and more..

Amanda said...

Hi, my first comment.

I highly recommend upping your vitamin D as suggested above.

I'm the opposite. I have SAD in the summer. I feel like the heat and sun are attacking me and I can't escape. I'm super sun sensitive. It causes headaches and migraines so I have to be sure to always have my hat and sunglasses. I also become more nocturnal during those months.

Take care!

emily @ helpemilylose.blogspot.com said...

I don't know how you feel about meds, but I have a close friend who deals with depression issues. She was doing well until the winter hit. Her dr. put her on Celexa and she said it has been great for the depression and also seems to supress her appetite so she has lost a good amt. of weight (the meds she had taken in the past had put weight on her). I have never used meds myself but i too feel incredibly depressed and LOW energy when the sun doesn't shine for more than a day luckily i live in Las Vegas...so that doesn't happen too often.