Long Term Lap Band Success – Exercising My Options – 2017

by sandi on December 13, 2017

Those cold Santa Ana winds of DecemberHere we are.  Mid-December 2017 and once again I find myself in the throws of SADS (seasonal affective disorder), Yes, this gets me every year – the article that follows was written several years ago and all of it is still my truth.  Added to the short days and cold mornings is the fire that has devastated Ventura County where I currently live.  I am blessed because the bad air and some ash is all I have to deal with while hundreds have lost their homes or been evacuated.  At the time I write this the fire has consumed some 250, 000 acres, has almost 7000 firefighters involved and is only 20% contained at day 9.  We have no rain in the forecast, but the brutal Santa Ana winds blowing from the northeast are due to abate.  Very poor air quality has been added to the reasons I could choose to not exercise…  So here I sit, cold and tired with my lung capacity and endurance somewhat compromised by the smoke in the air. 

I refuse to use this as a reason to not exercise.  The air is filtered and/or conditioned at the gym so off I go, as difficult as it is to get the go – going, and make it to the gym each of my scheduled 5 days.  I may be cranky but I am not willing to give up fit because I am tired, cold, craving carbs and cranky.  Why not you ask?  Simply because I value my health too much and my ability at 69 years young to get around.  The minute I give up fitness I will become that old person and that is just NOT who I am.  I have too much to do, too many items still not crossed off on my bucket list and too much life to still live.

Those cold Santa Ana winds of DecemberIt’s Holiday time.  I have shopping to do, parties to go to, people to see, and I am cold.  Okay, so I live in southern California.  I am blessed with many days of sunshine and temperate weather, right?  You don’t feel sorry for me because you live where it gets to -20 regularly all winter.  OK, I got it, but I am STILL COLD.

At 6:30 am when I head to the gym it has been in the upper 30’s or very low 40’s.  Add to that a stiff 30 mile and hour breeze from the northeast and any way you size it up, it’s cold.  I have half of my house closed off so I can heat the other half which is a 2 ½ story main living area.  I am dressed in 3 layers and feel like an Eskimo as I type this and I am STILL COLD.


Swimming is good exerciseSo we have COLD days, short days as we head towards the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and here I am grumpy, tired and COLD.  All I want to do is eat carbs to fuel warmth in my body.  If I do that I just feel horrible.  How do I know?  Not only did I do it for the first 55 years of my life but I have done it since being banded and paid the piper with a grumpier outlook and feeling physically awful as well. 

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Do any of you also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SADS, where the shorter cooler days with less sunlight do what seems to be irreparable damage to your emotional well being?  Any of you want to carb out and just hibernate until the temperature goes above 65 degrees and the sun stays high in the sky for a reasonable amount of time?

Warming Hot TeaGuess what?  WE CAN’T!  Every morning I try hiding under the covers for as long as possible, but the air in the room is so dang cold that nature calls and I am forced to get my rear out of bed.  I add 2 or 3 more layers to my pj’s and head downstairs for coffee and my supplements.  By the time cup # 2 kicks in I’m almost human and have possibly stopped shivering. 

Fitness Pays In So Many WaysThen it’s back upstairs with me to get ready for the gym.  This morning I actually put on a bathing suit to go swimming with my teeth chattering the entire time.  Downstairs, make my protein shake and open the garage door, jump in my car, turn on the seat heaters and off to the gym I went.  The pool water was warmer than the air so it was easy to jump in and get my 40 minutes done.  Getting out and back home, well that was another story…..hood pulled up, dressed in many layers I headed for the car, home and endless cups of hot tea. 

I must admit, moving my body certainly felt good, but about now, as the sun is threatening to descend in the sky and the wind is still shrieking through the area I am starting to feel chilled to the bone again.  Guess it’s time for another steaming mug of hot tea.

SADS or not, the one thing I will NOT do is find excuses to avoid exercise.  It has become a habit I need daily, and just as I will brush my teeth each day, so will I get my exercise done.  NO EXCUSES.

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