As you may have read in my last post, I took a break last week. I cut down my workouts, took naps more often and for longer periods of time, and I took the time to just do nothing.
This week, as I get back into the swing of things, the sunny LA summer has suddenly transformed into fall. Today it’s pouring outside! Leaves are changing colors. Jackets are finding their way out of closets.
It’s a great change, but not the most motivating factor when it comes to getting back on the wagon.
Weather like this makes me wanna curl up with a good book next to a space heater and read until I fall asleep for hours.
But I can’t. I have to fight it.
I have to go into anti-hibernation mode.
I believe that we human beings are a lot like bears. Rather than truly “hibernating,” bears go into a state of “winter lethargy” (but for the sake of this post, we’re gonna keep calling it hibernation)- their metabolisms slow down, all they want to do is sleep, and they only wake up to use the little bear’s room and eat from food stores.
I’ve talked to so many people that feel the draw of hibernation once true fall hits, and it only worsens as it gets colder.
Thing is, we don’t need to preserve our energy stores anymore.
We don’t need a protective layer of fat to keep us from freezing to death.
We don’t need to slow down our metabolisms by sleeping more and moving less.
We don’t need to lock ourselves in our caves in order to beat the elements. That’s what cars and gyms are for!
In fact, if we succumbed to any of the instincts above, we’d feel downright horrible about ourselves! Energy dwindles, body fat escalates while muscle mass disappears, and that general sense of well-being? I think you left it under the covers along with your will to make a healthy breakfast.
Though I’m all about listening to your body, this instinct to waste the winter is no longer necessary in order to survive. Actually, it is detrimental to listen to it nowadays. Our lifestyles are not like those of the ancestors we inherited this instinct from.
We have to actively fight the pull of hibernation to keep our bodies fit and healthy through the colder seasons.
Now’s the time when you have to turn off those primal instincts to gorge on food that will give you that layer of protective fat. You have to drag yourself away from the magnetic pull of the couch or your bed.
And for the love of all that is holy, KEEP THE DAMN TV OFF DURING THE DAY!
You may have to pay EXTRA attention to how much exercise you’re getting. You may have to start your food journal again in order to make sure you’re avoiding all those pumpkiny-sugary-buttery treats 90% of the time. You may have to rig up multiple alarm clocks to wake you up in the morning so that you don’t oversleep and make yourself more tired than necessary. But it will all be worth it when you emerge into spring just as healthy- mentally and physically- as you were last summer.
So bring it, primal instincts. It’s on.
Here are some tips for going into Anti-Hibernation:
Eat Right 90% Of The Time
I wrote that post- The 90% Principle: How NOT To Go Insane While “Dieting”- for a reason. It’s helped ALL of my clients who have adhered to it lose weight without going batty (hehehe bats hibernate, too!). Give it another read and see why. It’ll help you from going crazy with deprivation- especially over the holidays- while keeping you from gaining that 5 pounds that most people think is inevitable. Prove them wrong this year!
“Bear” The Weight To Keep Your Metabolism Happy
As it gets a little colder, consider signing up for a gym if even just for a couple months. If that’s out of the question, find a good space at home- in your living room, garage, den, bedroom, walk-in closet, wherever! Make sure it has ample room to move around for bodyweight workouts at least. Think about getting a few dumbbells, too- easy to find at garage sales and second-hand sports shops for fairly cheap. Bonus points if you can jump rope in the space, too.
In order to keep your metabolism revving all through the fall/winter months, you have to keep your body working.
This means that the fact that it’s cold/pouring/snowing/hailing/raining fireballs does not make this time of year one big, long rest break! Your body will start eating its own muscle and packing on the fat. Not a good look, boys and girls.
Bears = cute.
Bears ≠ hot.
It’s your choice.
Keep Thinking Sunny Thoughts
It’s hard to keep your focus on positivity during the dark, cold seasons. It’s as if these seasons were built to breed the blues! This is the time to start really paying attention to those thoughts and catch any negativity before it gains momentum.
Every day, make it a point to note at least 3 things that you are grateful for.
Nothing’s too small or too cliché- no judgments here. The act of expressing gratitude can have a heart-warming and uplifting effect on your mood for the rest of the day.
Also, put extra effort into looking for the silver lining in everything. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of an event, look for how it may make you a better person or teach you something. I’m a strict believer in “everything happens for a reason.” Sometimes it may be hard to understand in the moment what the positive outcome could be, but there is one there. Take the time to look for it and strengthen your positivity muscles!
It’s still raining. It’s still cold. But I feel much more awake and alive because I got myself to the gym for a quick circuit workout and a run.
You can, too!
Let’s revisit challenges, shall we?
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE: JOIN ME IN ANTI-HIBERNATION AND TELL ME HOW YOU’VE WORKED ON EACH TIP ABOVE- STICKING TO THE 90% RULE, EXERCISING, AND STAYING POSITIVE.
Leave details of your quest for anti-hibernation below! And, as always, please leave any questions for me as well- I’d be happy to help in whatever way I can!
Also, come over to facebook and tell me how you’re doing! The community is growing and we’d love to have you become part of it, too!