Struggling to Lose Weight: Winter

frosted window

Winter is a rough time for me all around. As I get older, I hate winter more and more. Growing up, winter was almost magical: Christmas (and all associated content, including lights), snow days, warm fires, and so forth, stoked my imagination. Even though this past winter was cold and dreary to a large degree, the “greeting card” winter of my nostalgia still shapes my view of winter. These days, outside of Christmas, I can do without the winter. Seriously, the less winter, the better. I often joke that I wish the cold and snow would end at Christmas: I would like a cold and snowy Christmas, and by the middle of January, the days can warm up to the 60s as far as I’m concerned. Let me say that I can appreciate the winter on certain levels, and I will always love the “four seasons,” but winter is just too limiting.

In high school, I usually lost weight in the winter, not because winter provides any kind of real advantage (it actually may provide a disadvantage to weight loss because it drives our body into a kind of “hibernation”), but because, as I have mentioned in previous posts, winter is when my social life, which began in the fall, was revving up. I had already begun losing weight in the fall, and this continued, and even increased, in the winter. This, and the new year, provided a strong motivation to get the Y, and eat right.

These days, winter doesn’t cause me too many weight-related problems. I sometimes struggle with infections and mild mood issues, but this doesn’t directly relate to my weight. During winter, my main issue is that I have to make my exercise interesting. This is always the struggle for me in the winter. Usually, there is one effective solution to this problem: music. In high school, I had a cassette walkman. I discovered “oldies” during this time, so I would make mix tapes of oldies I got off the radio and various CDs, non-creatively titled “The Exercise Collection” 1-2. I upgraded to a discman around 2000, and in 2008, I finally got a MP3 player. Right now, I am listening to The Airborne Toxic Event, which is upbeat enough to make exercise easier. Basically, to lose weight in the winter I need to:

– Make effective use of music, to keep exercise interesting

– Vary my exercise routine enough to keep interested

– Not let winter blahs negatively affect my weight loss

– Get out on the few good days that the winter offers

Image of a kind-of-nostalgic looking photo taken by me