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Winter Struggles and Insights

Friday, January 21, 2011

OK...this is NOT a new topic. I'm sure some of you must even be getting tired of reading about the winter blahs. But I want to reflect what I've been going through...and see what lies ahead.

I gained a couple of pounds over the long days of December and early January. Actually, it has been a time where I've travelled, had family come and go, held dinners, gone to parties, gone out to eat....and still exercised most days for an hour a day.

Yet...for a while there I stopped tracking my food. But this past week I've been tracking everything. Yep, everything. All the food I'm eating. All the minutes I'm sweating.

What I've learned from this (once again) is that there is no magic to this. If I eat above my calorie range (and my calorie range is 1440 to 1790) consistently, I will slowly gain weight. I can't eat more calories and maintain my weight. Even with an hour of cardio a day exercise. Because I lost the weight, I need less calories. At 5 ft 3 and 57, I will gain weight on 2000 calories a day. Slowly, but surely. Even with exercise. I'm not gonna bump up my exercise to 2 hours a day. I don't have that in me right now. But I'm wondering how to squeeze in some strength training. I still need to work that in.

If I eat at the high end of my calorie range, I slowly lose weight. Very slowly. Very very slowly. And even when I exercise AND stay within my calorie range, I can still gain a pound or two in a day. And then...I've got to watch it.

So what does this mean?

Right now, I am struggling with wintertime and weight maintenance. Struggling, but not overwhelmed or bummed out. I know what I need to do. And the days that I have managed to eat a little less than the top of my calorie range, I do manage to hold the line on my weight. Or it may go up a bit. And then come down in a few days. It is trending ever so slightly upward. I don't like that.

I don't know exactly why my weight has been fluctuating. I'm not eating salty foods and haven't eaten out this week. But still...it is mildly annoying. I weighed in on my weigh in day (Tuesday) at 137.8. Ate within my range and exercised, but the next day, Wednesday, I weighed 139. Today (Friday) I was back down to 137. I suspect that if I slept more soundly and got out in the sunshine (where ever that is) more often, I'd even out my weight fluctuations.

I find myself wanting to snack and eat munchies more than usual. The weather has been not so great (It rained today but now it is just cloudy). The gloomy days are a bit much to handle...and so, all these reasons (or excuses) are why I find myself reverting to old snacking habits.... I caught myself today scooping handfuls of Anne's House Soy Energy Blend from the jar. And then going back for another handful. And another. And then I stopped myself short, went to spark, entered my guesstimated calories (yes, I know how much my typical handful is)....and stopped myself from going back for that 4th handful.

In the past, I would've gone back for it. Now, I can put the brakes on a little sooner, but still...I need to be more mindful. When I'm hungry I need to stop, take that 1/4 measuring cup and scoop that full. And eat from the cup. So I won't eat mindlessly. And I need to not mound up that 1/4 c. serving, either. 1/4 cup should be flat and even (and not rounded on the top).

Why am I doing these little "cheating" actions? I don't think I'm consciously trying to sabotage myself. Really and truly. But they do undermine my efforts. No excuses. I need to cut them out. Or at least be honest about what I'm doing. Record 1/4 c rounded as .30 cup. No reason to "cheat". No one is keeping score. Honesty is best.

So just for today, I am rededicating myself to mindful eating. And taking time to pause before I eat.

OK, so here's the real bummer. I knew that if I went back for the last handful, that I'd probably feel bloated half an hour later. It takes that long for the soy nuts blend to register. And now I do feel a little stuffed. Ugh.

So here's to a light dinner tonight. Heck. I'm not hungry now. I can handle it. Or I hope I can.

And here's to the sunny week ahead. Oregon has had a long string of rainy days. But sunny days are forecast for the next week. How wonderful is that? Today is another day in the journey and the road looks clear ahead.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • REJ7777
    It seems to me that you're very aware of your choices, and of what it takes to keep things under control. I think we're all a bit stir-crazy with the Winter blues. The good news is that after Winter comes Spring. And from what I read, you will have things very much under control when it comes! emoticon
    3839 days ago
  • CBAILEYC
    I hear you on this, absolutely! My calorie range adjusted up due to increasing my fitness, and while it made me nervous, I went with it. The result? A small gain. Back down I go again.
    Here's to sunshine, sunshine, and more sunshine!
    emoticon
    C~
    3847 days ago
  • NONNATAMMY
    I totally understand. Winter has been hard for me too. I cannot wait for warmer weather. The treadmill is getting boring. I'm going to try Zumba again to spice things up. emoticon
    3848 days ago
  • MNNICE
    I'm going thru the same thing. My weight started to slowly creep up even before the holidays, and I'm not sure why. Just a few pounds, but they can add up too quickly. I'm thinking I may need to re-program my meal plan -- I've cut my calories and upped my exercise -- maybe I need to eat MORE? ha-ha, wouldn't THAT be fun! Will just be patient and see what happens. Persistence and Patience... Persistence and Patience ... etc. etc. etc.
    3848 days ago
  • CWHANK
    Thanks for posting. It helped me to read it. I feel some of same things and wonder about it.
    3848 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7462245
    The weather here in Oregon isn't helping any of us right now, especially when focusing on trying to adjust a lifestyle. I know and feel exactly what you're going through. At least, you've written it down and admitted to it. I need to do that. None of this is easy, especially in our middle years or later.

    BUT you remain positive, determined and ready to change your point of view. I consider that a real bonus! It is definitely time for the sun to shine on Oregon!!! I'm ready!
    3848 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6484093
    It's always going to be a battle. It helps to acknowledge it, but it doesn't make us feel any happier about it, does it? I'm battling today, and losing badly. But that doesn't mean I'm throwing in the towel. For today, yes, for tomorrow and beyond, absolutely not.

    Cheers to you for remaining upbeat and keeping on the path. I do believe we're at that point in winter where we are tired and frustrated.
    3848 days ago
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