Like making winter my bitch.
Oh lookie there, I just said it.
And there was one sport I cherished that had everything to do with winter.
I downhill skied from the time I was 12 until I was a young adult.
I was lucky enough to have a pass for a few seasons and skis so that I could perfect my hobby.
Thank you, mom and dad.
I would ski five times a week at my “peak” which was in high school.
Yes, I peaked in high school.
From how it made my body look to the amazing friends I skied with amazingly greasy ski lodge french fries.
I was working full time and skiing is expensive.
Suddenly when mom and dad aren’t footing the bill, skiing seems a little unnecessary.
So I might have skied once to twice a year if that.
In that, I had to drive to work in it and be a big kid and pay the bills in it and not get to dress up in snow pants and roll around in it.
And it’s all cold and icky.
And it gets dark at four in the afternoon.
Add in no family within a four-hour drive, a new baby and a husband who worked 80 hours per week?
It was ugly. So this winter I have taken measures in my own hands so that I don’t sink into the abysmal pit that is my winter blues.
1- Get Help
I think I need more than a happy lamp to get me through winter.
Let me tell you how I feel going into winter each year:
-Like I have to warm up for a prize-winning fight.
-Like there is this monumental piece of furniture on my chest.
-Like I might burst if I think about how long winter is.
– Like if I hear one.more.time how the flu is gonna kill us all, I might dig a hole in the ground.
And for a long time, I thought….oh well, most people hate winter and have the blues. It’s normal. Well, yes, that may be the case for most people but I believe the winter blues I have aren’t the healthy kind.
I think that wanting to hole yourself in your house until March isn’t normal and could be on the verge of something even worse, so I need to take measures to help myself and that help is going to be as therapy.
As I write this, I have been walking 4-5 days a week.
I have been lucky lately because it has been 40 degrees + but I have done a few walks where it was 20 degrees and I had icicles on my boobs.
But let me tell ya, it has improved my mental state of mind so much, I will take the frostbite on the girls just to get out of the house January through March.
And I feel so much better after walking.
3- Watching what I eat
I have this app on my iPod called My Fitness Pal and basically; you enter info like your starting weight, goal weight, etc.. and it tells you how many calories you can have each day to reach your specific goal, and then you enter all that you eat each day.
It even has a scanner so you can scan your foods in the pantry for easier entry.
This single-handedly changed the way I eat each day because, for the first time since I started my healthy eating journey in 2011, I can finally see how many calories I am consuming, where I need to watch, and where I could be.
It also tells you where you will be in 5-6 weeks if you eat the way you did that day every day.
I will tell you a tip for “dieting” that I have used for two-and-a-half years, and it will help you too: have a cheat day.
A day of the week that you eat whatever you want and don’t even look at the calories.
That day for me has always been Sunday.
And I look forward to that day more than any other.
4- Happy Place
I am no psychologist but I know that to get through any storm in your life you need some happy place items.
Things that are comforting.
My cheerful place is and always has been music.
I would make mix tapes when I was little like it was my job.
So in getting me through another Chicago winter, I created a mix tape.
You are jealous of my musical stylings.
This is just a teaser.
I have 150 songs on this “mix tape”.
These are all songs that make me happy inside, remind me of a happy time, or just make me smile.
Everyone should have a playlist like this on their iPod.
I listen to this every single day.
5- Challenge Myself
I do like a challenge.
Why else would I run at age 41 with asthma and a bum knee?
Or maybe I don’t have common sense.
But I do like to challenge myself.
And when I read on my blog friend Brandy’s blog Windy City Wilson’s that she was gonna start the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels, I was curious.
I can do anything for only 30 days.
I love shredded anything.
So when I learned that this is a workout DVD from 2008, I knew it was meant to be.
Because I can never start a trend when it is trendy.
So perfectly me that five years after this came out, I would try it!
But I am a little afraid.
Something tells me she won’t go easy on me.
And understand if I have a Charley horse or I am outta breath.
Or need to get a sandwich.
But that’s okay.
I hold the power to shut her up with the pause button while I recover.
Which is exactly why I would never do well in an in-person workout class?
Those instructors don’t take lightly when you tell them to shut up.
Or that you are heading out to get Snickers from the vending machine.
So this is what’s gonna get me through this winter.
Well, this and a little wine.
And when you see me at the end of winter, I hope I am a little happier and a lot smaller.
And not in AA.