Winter’s Coming

Terri’s View: As we turned the clocks back, it was nice to lounge in bed a little today. However, it’s not so nice to have it dark and cold by 4:00 p.m. I am not looking forward to the long afternoons ahead. More time indoors usually means more time to snack. From late afternoon through dinner is a tough time of day for me, and I am guessing many others feel the same way. When I can take the kids outside for that time of day, it keeps me from the fridge. I have usually eaten well through this time and I sometimes tend to snack too much before dinner, so the distraction of being outside was good for the kids and also good for my waist.

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Terri’s View: As we turned the clocks back, it was nice to lounge in bed a little today. However, it’s not so nice to have it dark and cold by 4:00 p.m. I am not looking forward to the long afternoons ahead. More time indoors usually means more time to snack. From late afternoon through dinner is a tough time of day for me, and I am guessing many others feel the same way. When I can take the kids outside for that time of day, it keeps me from the fridge. I have usually eaten well through this time and I sometimes tend to snack too much before dinner, so the distraction of being outside was good for the kids and also good for my waist.

But now that it’s getting cold, I’ve already had to put my heat on (ugh, oil bills to follow) and darkness is coming earlier. It makes me feel like just putting on my PJs at 7p.m. and getting cozy on the couch with some comfort food. The cold and being indoors makes most people want to eat. And because there will be no bathing suits going on anytime soon, it’s easy to adopt a  “what the heck” attitude. We all want that comfort and warm and fuzzy feeling that some home-baked goods can bring.

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s not just about giving thanks and being grateful for our blessings – it’s also all about the food. And there’s plenty of it. The next day and the day after that; at the office, and at home, the food is all around during the holidays. It calls us, tempts us and begs us to be eaten. Then of course, there are those oh so cold mornings that make us just want to dig deep under the covers and not go out into the cold to hit the gym. We also often decide to not go do a workout out after working all day when it’s just dark and dreary out by dinnertime.

How do we stay the course through the winter and especially through the holidays? I’ll go into the holidays a little more in depth in the future, but for now I’ll address the winter eating. I know it is a difficult dieting time for many of us. The winter blues can hit hard but we must stay focused on the big picture and nip small infractions before they snowball. Allowing yourself a little indulgence is OK and is encouraged, but the trick is not to let it get out of hand. I know especially this time of year more than ever I cannot keep cookies in my home. I have already given away most of my kids’ Halloween chocolate, as I know it would eventually call my name and I would answer.

We still need more than ever to get our workouts in and stay the course. Bundle up and get your butt out there to the gym. On a not so cold day, a brisk walk will invigorate you and the vitamin D will aid your spirits. Have a green tea in the afternoon instead of snacking. We should not let the winter be an excuse for added pounds. The approaching holidays will be hard enough, so try to take things one day at a time. Remember, it’s only 131 days until spring!

Ed’s View: The winter blues can hit hard, and I know just about as good as anyone what that can mean. We have had a tough year in my household and I am still looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hard to see that light when it’s getting dark in the afternoon and you are just running from your car to wherever you have to be to avoid the cold. Winter makes us want to eat. It is so hard to get out of bed at 6a.m. to hit the gym once the temperatures start dipping.

Hmmm, let’s see: warm, cozy covers for another hour or so or out into the winter darkness to get my workout in? I sometimes have to force myself to get up, but I do it. I do it because I know that is what allows me to maintain my weight. One missed workout leads to another one and so forth. The workouts keep me focused on eating properly and not overdoing it.

For me, winter brings some challenges, but getting my workouts in stays a priority. Yes, it feels nice to sleep-in, but as long as you are getting to bed at a decent hour, you can get enough rest to make sure you get your butt up early to get those workouts in. Stay the course – wintertime or not!

Blog written by Ed and Terri Masak
Ed and Terri have been married for almost 20 years. Together, they made the commitment to get healthy for each other and their 2...