Like most of the country, here in the Midwest our winter has sucked. It came early, it came hard, and still hasn’t let up. Based on temperatures, it has been one of the coldest on record, and based on snow, the frequency and volume is above average. It’s always a long stretch from Christmas to spring break time, but this year seems especially hard.
In our household, we’re doing our best to stay in positive mindsets and come out to good weather in half-way decent mental and physical shape. But we’re more in a cruise-control phase than anything right now. For example:
- Home garage gym workouts at 5:30 a.m. have all but ceased. Motivation for getting up super early and going to a cold, dark garage was used up a couple months ago.
- Instead, I’ve been using my cheap-o backup weight set at work to knock out a few 20-30 minute weight sessions during lunch, focusing on things like bench press, strict press, barbell curls and lighter power cleans and squatish movements (front squat- since no rack, thrusters, bear-complex). On the weekends I’ll do a much longer session of other stuff at home, and still try to get a squat workout in during the evenings once a week.
- Cardio (5-10 minute HIT sessions) is down to once, maybe twice a week. My lifts are actually really good right now. Cardio, not so much. Have been chomping at the bit to start running again, but motivation to fight the cold and snow this winter is very low. Still, my diet has been fairly good still so while I’m carrying 5-10# of winter chub, if I come out of this winter stronger and only a few pounds away from goals, I’ll take it
- Frequency of sex has dropped to about once a week since New Years. A number of factors there, mostly somewhat stupid ones, mostly on me . I expect this will improve as I refocus attention again (have noticed a marked libido improvement this last week), and as the daylight gets a little longer both our moods improve.
- Work has started this year a little slow, which tends to be a small drain in the mental health department
But we’re trying to set ourselves up for success this year. We’ve both set some personal and family goals that we’re starting to hit already, we’re getting the ducks in a row for a piggy-back work/family trip to Disney in the late spring, and are getting some positive mental mojo back. Unlike previous years though, the winter mojo in our house hasn’t been dark, more gray in tone, which is a marked improvement.
Hopefully you all are starting the year out right, at least firing on most cylinders if not all. The longer days tend to bring brighter spirits and we’re very close to that time again. Pretty soon we’ll be planting our garden and mowing the lawn instead of shoveling snow and hunkering down.
A few things we’ve been doing that has helped recently with fabricating positive mental energy is having gratitude in what we currently have, while at the same time focusing on what we want and not what we don’t want. Gratitude and thankfulness promotes positive thoughts and good juju. As an example of the focus side, don’t focus on losing weight, instead focus on being healthy and lean (I’ve gone so far as to tape a picture up of Tom Hardy up on my bathroom mirror as that’s what I’d like to look like this summer). This keeps the end goal in mind and guides your decisions in small ways to your goal. Write down three specific goals or things you want on a sticky-note and put it where you can look at it frequently. The conscious and subconscious working together are powerful allies.
Stay warm, hopefully the winter is coming to a close.