Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Recently, I've been extremely exhausted to the point of almost passing out in the middle of a work day, I've been sleeping for 9-11 hours a night and I have had frequent headaches. Oh, and I CAN NOT STOP EATING! This is really putting a damper in the progress I have made in my diet. People would ask, "are you pregnant?" I would answer with, "No, Mom. I'm not." There is another explanation, however. During the winter months, a lot of us mid-western folks are prone to suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or "SAD."

SAD is a form of depression brought on by the shortening of autumn days in to the dark days of winter. More information on the different types of SAD can be found here. Traditional SAD symptoms as stated by the Mayo Clinic include: fatigue, oversleeping, headaches, carbohydrate cravings, loss of interest in activities one once enjoyed, and weight gain.

This article is VERY helpful in understanding SAD from a woman's perpective.

Now, how does one get over the winter blues? Well, we begin with what we are lacking when the sun isn't shining as much; Vitamin D. Our body produces vitamin D with the help of ultraviolet rays. When we aren't getting UV rays, a vitamin D deficiency can develop. Most people who get a good amount of sun during the summer months usually stock up enough vitamin D to make it through winter. But sometimes, we don't. One way to replenish your vitamin D "stock" would be to eat foods rich in vitamin D such as pink salmon, sardines and mackerel. This would explain why my husband doesn't have this problem; he loves salmon. I hate fish, so let's move on. Getting some sun can help. I could start tanning again... hmmm. But the most realistic option for me would be to pick up some vitamin D supplements from my local GNC/grocery store/pharmacy.

Another cause of SAD is the pure fact that our days are shorter and thus, throws off our sleeping pattern. Light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder. It simulates sunlight to allow your body to realign with its natural patterns.

Exercise is also recommended. This is extremely difficult for me right now as I can barely find the energy to roll out of bed in the morning. But if I'm going to get down to 165 lbs. and take that trip to Vegas, I need to get on it.

Candy K.
251 lbs., 86 lbs. to goal weight.
Weigh-in tomorrow.

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