I live in suburban Philadelphia. We are FINALLY having temperatures that make sense for fall and the daylight hours are decreasing.
The approach to winter is a challenging one for me because I do think that the lack of sunlight and the cold weather affect my mood pretty significantly. My coworkers were surprised to hear me complain because I’m from Minnesota. Minnesota has a reputation for its winters. I’ve actually been able to convince more than one person, without too much effort, that it snows all year there.
You do know that’s not true, right?
The point here is that being from Minnesota, the Philadelphia winters should be a piece of cake to survive. The fact of the matter is that they are if you just look at the temperature.
Why This MN Girl Hates Philly Winters
The things that make winter in Philly hard to handle are how poorly people drive in snow. In MN, it’s second nature and no big deal. The threat of 6″ of snow in Philly will cause schools to cancel and lines in the g’store to be out of control. In MN, 6″ is no big deal. Bring. It. On. C’mon Mother Nature! Surely, you can do better than that!
I’ve lived in the Philly area for so long now (17 years) that I’ve completely acclimated. On top of how long I’ve been out here though, I’ve lost a LOT of weight in that time. At my heaviest I was almost 70lbs more than where I think am today. My body is a bit less insulated than it used to be and I seem to be perpetually cold now. This is a common side effect of losing weight and honestly, some days I’m not sure it’s worth it!
Craving Carbs Over Winter
The conversation in the FB Group was about craving more carbs in the winter and the weight gain that may occur. I was so impressed by the conversation that came from it. If you haven’t yet checked out the group, please do. You can follow this link to get there:
Here were some of the take-aways:
• animals often eat more food in the winter to help them stay warm.
• the colder weather can definitely contribute to emotional eating. In terms of Ali Shapiro’s TAIL triggers, T (tired), A (anxious), and L (lonely) seem most prevalent and I (inadequate) is certainly a possibility too.
• if we weren’t culturally so focused on weight, a fluctuation of several pounds would be totally normal and could help our bodies stay a bit warmer.
• if our body’s natural instinct is to crave carbs and bulk up in the colder months, honoring that, rather than fighting it, would be the more intuitive decision!
My AHA Moment
This last point is the one I want to elaborate on because that was my AHA moment. Here’s is what I wrote in the group:
“you may not like this answer – if you are experiencing those cravings then honoring them would potentially be the more intuitive decision. Reframe them. Don’t fight them. Do what you can to minimize them with Vitamin D and Light therapy. Eat the non-carb foods first so that there is less room for the carbs. Make sure you are eating exactly the carb you are craving so that it gets satisfied the first time and likely with lesser amount. Think of it as something your body does naturally and instinctively to protect itself over the winter. Making peace with it will cause less stress on your body and help it process everything it eats better too!”
All too often, we are consciously or subconsciously at war with our bodies.
I want to be done fighting her.
It is not easy to change the thought patterns or even to recognize them. Sometimes, it takes a different perspective from someone who is emotionally removed from the situation. This is the kind of space we are creating in the FB group and I am so very grateful for the difference it is making in this world, one conversation thread at a time.
If you are wanting to try eating more intuitively, I outlined the 7 step process I used to tune into my hunger and fullness cues a bit better. Episode 6 of my podcast walks through the process and offers the downloadable PDF of the steps. Episode 7 is an interview with Tracy Brown, RD who is the woman who developed the specific hunger and fullness scale I like to use. You can get access to both of those podcasts in your favorite podcast player or at the following link: http://thiswellseasonedlife.com/podcast-2/
Want to Connect?
I’ve had 3 conversations now with folks about some of their challenges with diet thinking and I am REALLY enjoying the connections. I am exploring the idea of eventually offering coaching for a fee but am wanting to have several more FREE coaching calls first.
If you have a specific diet/eating related challenge that you would like to discuss, please reach out to me. The conversations have been super casual and very well received.
Mindi, after our phone call, left me this review:
“Andrea’s coaching call was very helpful for me. She answered my questions in an accessible way by integrating her own experiences with information from trusted resources. Andrea guided me to track my hunger and fullness rather than other more restrictive data, which is an important shift in my journey toward freedom from diets.”
If you want to schedule a call, use the contact form to send me a message and we can figure out a time that will work for both of us.
I hope the change in seasons, wherever you are, is going well for you.
In service and in gratitude,
PS – If you aren’t already in the FB Group, please do check it out. Although it’s called Intuitively Intermittent, there are more and more people joining who have no interest in fasting at all. I want to make it a safe space for everyone who wants to challenge diet culture. https://facebook.com/groups/IntuitivelyIntermittent/
PPS – Want to be sure to see this kind of post in the future? It’s actually adapted from an email I sent to folks on my list! Use the link below to sign up for the newletter.