Cabin Fever

Terri’s View: The amount of snow here in the Northeast has been enough to have even lovers of the white stuff wishing for warmer days. With the temperatures the past few days with the wind chill dipping below 0, even the polar bears would be saying, “Hey! Get me to a sunny iceberg!”

I did not leave my house the whole weekend. I had relatives in town to visit and I was fine staying home, even while they excursioned out to the movies with the kids. No thank-you, I took my empty house with the thermometer set at 70. I set myself up with a movie on the DVR and a green tea and I was content.

But how do we not raid the cabinets when the weather outside is far from delightful and oh so frightful? Our instinct is to go for those comfort foods and being stuck in the house for longer periods makes it easy to snack more often.

I felt like a bad mom while shopping last week the day before I knew a snow storm was coming. I knew the kids would be off of school the following day and I almost bought cookies for us to bake. But I didn’t buy them as I knew Mommy would wind up eating most of them. I shouldn’t deprive my kids of those kinds of memories and felt guilty that I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep the portions in control with such goodies in the house on a snow day. Yes, I know I could have used an applesauce recipe or something, but I’m more of an “out of the box” kind of girl.

So, how do you keep things in check with these long winter days and spending more time indoors? First off I have always said, kids or no kids – don’t keep the stuff in the house. Even if you are fine for a while it will eventually call your name, and it is very hard not to answer. I also find that I need a distraction. I will make a green tea or coffee and get out of the kitchen. I’ll go play with the kids or head upstairs and get on the computer.

Also, as long as the temperature isn’t that extreme, a few minutes outside on a sunny day does wonders for your state of mind and a dose of vitamin D on the face is good. These past few weeks have been rough on us Northeasterners (especially us New York Jet fans) and looking ahead to the spring (and baseball) can seem like decades away. We just have to keep in mind that although it may be sub-zero outside now, bathing suit season will be here sooner than we think (thank-goodness!)

Ed’s View: It’s hard in the dead of winter to get out from under the blankets, see its dark outside and say, “Time to go to the gym.” The cold and short days do take a toll on your motivation, but nothing motivates me more than seeing old pictures of me prior to our lifestyle change and taking control of our health. There’s one think I hate more than shoveling snow! But being able to shovel without getting out of breath or being sore for the next few days is kind of nice too. Getting to the gym has been a challenge; but with that said, I have still been able to get to there one way or another.

I feel getting to the gym and going through my workout keeps me in a positive mind-set. It helps with temptations of comfort food during these cold months, and thoughts of the warmer beach weather and sitting poolside may be concerning for some, I say bring it on! It’s January right now, but the calendar moves fast and before we know it the clocks will be “springing” ahead. We need to spring into action now! Take control of the darkness and heat up your desire to be better to yourself. Think about controlling your life and not letting food control it. Like winter, the landscape is just waiting to come back to life. With the same effort, while its winter outside you can know what you have started will pay off this spring.