Struggling With Weight: Fall

fall barn

In high school, I loved the fall, and I still do, although not as much as I did in high school. In high school, football ended the first week of November, which meant I was thinking about my social life again, and ready to lose some of the weight I couldn’t shake during football season. In the latter part of the autumn, I finally had free time, which meant there were more temptations to be lazy and eat too much, but the possibility of a new social life almost always motivated me to lose weight in the fall. Football kept me pretty busy, so I tended not to date as much, or even concern myself with dating, during the season. After football, I was ready to re-enter the social scene, and I knew then, as I know now, that being fit provides a social advantages, so I took my weight loss seriously. It is a shame that just as my diets were beginning, Thanksgiving and Christmas were coming up. It was bad timing on my part, but I managed.

In high school, I recall going to the Y a lot during the fall, and it was during the tail end of the autumn that I usually resumed weight-lifting. Since graduating from all schooling, the fall doesn’t have the social significance it once did, so I haven’t begun many health programs in the fall lately, but I typically do pretty well at continuing them in the fall. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December festivities provide some temptations, but there are strategies to help me avoid putting on the pounds during holidays (for example, see my tips for losing weight). To lose weight in the fall, I need to remember to:

– Keep my Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December eating under control

– Make good use of the sunny, warm, fall days, when I can get out and run

– Get out and hike and/or walk on days when it may be too cold to run, but perfect for bundling up and hiking

Image of Southern Ohio fall barn taken by me

Random Stuff: Autumn and Stress

Today is the first day of autumn. Here the weather is already pretty chilly at night, although the days are still pretty hot. We haven’t had to use our air conditioner for a few weeks, which is pretty nice, saving us some nice money. I love the fall. There is football season, mild but chilly weather, colorful leaves, Halloween & Halloween parties, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, Advent, Thanksgiving, pumpkin flavored everything (especially pie), and a certain smell of dried leaves and foliage that mixes well with the cool fall air to create something you have to experience. There are probably many more things I am forgetting. I also kind of like being able to wear sweaters, and usually by October this is possible. However, I will miss a lot of what I liked about the summer. I won’t be able to run outside as much as the weather gets colder, and things like golf become less feasible, but there is always next summer.

A study done by the supplier of the supplement maker Relora shows that Americans are more stressed out today than they were a year ago. According to the study, the major stressors (in order of effect on Americans) are financial issues, work-related stress, lack of time, health concerns, family problems, and relationship issues. And our ways of coping aren’t exactly healthy: eating comfort foods and watching TV were the top methods of relieving this stress! This study was mentioned in the print version of the recent Natural Products Insider.

Image taken by me last fall

Going All Pumpkin Like

This past weekend, the stores seemed to be getting ready for autumn, so naturally we obliged and bought a few pumpkin flavored products that we usually buy this time of year: Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Spice Coffee, and canned pumpkin (to make Jennifer’s super lite, sugar free, Pumpkin muffins). It has been cold enough in the mornings that it really does feel like Fall! Nothing beats enjoying a cool breeze while drinking Pumpkin Spice coffee.

It’s Back-to-School Time

Schools in my county go back to school this week. My first day is tomorrow, and the students come on Wednesday. I am glad to be back in the routine again. I tend to get  more things done when I have a full work day than when I have a day open (it’s easy to push things back when you know you can do then later). Of course, going back to school is also symbolic of the summer being over, even though technically it runs until the end of September, but most students and teachers tend to base their “summer” on the time out of school.

While I am looking forward to going back to work, I admit that the summer nearly ending is usually kind of depressing for me. Part of it is because it seems like with every advancing year I dislike the winter more and more. I love fall (it is probably my favorite season), and I actually enjoy the winter all the way up to mid-January. Why? Because I associate cold and snow with Christmas, and usually for the first two weeks of January, I am excited about the new year. However, the last two weeks of January, and the month of February are always hard on me. I think it is because in the last few years I have become very active, and very much outdoor oriented. During the warm months I run outside, golf, walk during the evenings, swim, travel, go to pick-your-own-fruit farms, attend festivals, etc. The winter weather seriously curtails this, and I am just not into being inside all the time. I am sure this winter I will be writing posts about how to overcome the winter blahs. I guess until then I should focus on the positives: a month left of actual summer, football season is starting (Go Bucks! Go Browns!), autumn will be here soon, Halloween is coming, Advent and Christmas are approaching, and so is my wedding anniversary. So hey, what’s not to like??

Above is a nice autumn photo to get us all thinking about that season