“It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.” I have repeated that quote in my head about 100 times this week. Most of the week I felt hungry, despite eating hearty portions of food and drinking 4-5 glasses of water per day. Then to make it worse, at work there were cookies, cakes, brownies and breads around every corner. By the end of the week I began justifying why it wouldn’t be so bad to eat just one cookie or one brownie. I am happy to say that I didn’t but, had I worked one more day surrounded by those goodies I may have eaten a whole tray of brownies.
Yesterday and today I questioned the reason(s) why I couldn’t satisfy my hunger even though I was eating hearty portions of healthy food and had enjoyed some healthy deserts. I considered asking Dr. Sferra if he would suggest a change if this was just a feeling that I would need to get used to.
Before I asked him I did some research and learned that I was not alone and there is a scientific explanation for how I was feeling:
While some suggest those winter cravings are a throwback to the days when folks needed extra layers of body fat to survive the winter, most expert say the answer lies in modern physiology.
In short, feeling cold triggers a self-preservation mode that sends the body a message to heat up fast. And that message is often played out as a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods — the sugars and starches that provide the instant “heat” boost your body is longing for. “As soon as temperatures drop, our appetite goes up for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods — stews, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese — the dishes that make us feel warm and cozy,”says Barrie Wolf-Radbille, MS, RD, a nutritionist with the New York University Program for Surgical Weight Loss.
“Simply put, when outdoor temperatures drop, your body temperature drops, and that’s what sets up the longing for foods that will warm you quickly,” says Kristin Herlocker MS, RD, a nutrition expert with Diabetes Centers of America in Houston.
I found some comfort, knowing that I wasn’t alone and these feelings of hunger won’t last forever. But it looks like I will be repeating “It’s not easy, but it’s worth it” a couple hundred more times.
I have been exercising at the gym off and on for years. I am comfortable in the gym, well I am comfortable in certain areas of the gym. I know how to use most of the exercise equipment but the “muscle head section”, I don’t cross that line. I looks very intimidating and I don’t know the rules or etiquette, I just know there is a lot of grunting and lots of heavy weights being dropped.
Dr. Sferra told us that we needed to increase the intensity of our weight training and that we needed to build more muscle. Earlier in the week I went to the gym without Sean. I did a little cardio warm up and a bunch of upper body exercises on machines that I was comfortable with. While I worked out I kept looking over at the muscle head section, dreading the thought of going over there. But just as I finished my workout, something changed and I thought “I am a member of this entire gym not just part of the gym”. I grabbed my water bottle and crossed the line. I used the row machine and it felt great. I didn’t get pushed around, I didn’t hurt myself and nobody asked me for a member’s only card.
I’m look forward to gaining more confidence and becoming more comfortable in the weight room.
(To read more about the benefits of building muscle – https://www.nmrnj.com/day-16-the-first-100-days-a-journey-to-health-and-wellness/)