Tuesday, September 06, 2011

beating back the winter blues (in advance).

The beginning of September means two things to me: back to school and the beginning of Fall. I'm actually a fan of both. Back to school means we can finally settle back into a somewhat regular groove and get the kids back into a better sleep schedule (at least that's the hope). Fall means that my allergies are going to calm down, and that the sticky summer heat will wrap up. But it also means less sunlight, which is a problem for someone who suffers from depression.

This year I'm taking a much more proactive approach in battling the winter blues. I know that I'm at risk of sliding into a major depression. Life is stressful, likely to get more stressful and if I don't tackle it before it gets out of hand, I'm pretty much signing myself up for 6 months of misery. So, what am I going to do about it? The obvious thing of course -- eat right and exercise. I'm setting up a healthy menu for my family, cutting out the booze, and the sugar, and as much processed food as I can. I'm also starting up another round of P90X. My motivation for that is that a new P90X program is coming out in December and I'll need to be in shape to handle that. Also, I want to look fit and happy in our Christmas pictures!

A lot of people will probably think it's a little over the top to be thinking this far ahead, but if you suffer from chronic depression like I do, it is the smart thing to do. I am also someone who does better with a program to follow. For me to simply say "oh, I'm going to workout more" won't work. I need a concrete plan, with clear goals and expectations built in or else I'll fall off the wagon. The bonus is that when I exercise, I automatically eat better and drink less as well. (If I'm going to sweat that much why would I sabotage it with eating a bunch of junk?) Vitamins and fish oil and eating salad at lunch and dinner are also staples this time of year.

I started my "beat the winter blues" program 3 weeks ago and so far so good. I am easing myself back into exercising (I am still super sore), and getting better at menu planning (which my husband really appreciates). I was tempted to put off getting started on all of this until after school started, but I am so glad that I didn't wait! It feels good to be starting off on the right foot, and already down about 5 pounds. If I stay on schedule with P90X, I'll wrap up in early December and be able to take a bit of a break before starting up the new program.  I'm thinking that by getting started early with a clear plan will help me have a much happier winter this year. Last year was rough so here's hoping!

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