A Variation on Hibernation

I’m noticing that getting out of bed in the morning is more difficult than it was a few weeks ago. I am feeling the effects of less sunlight, and cooler temperatures (on some days). It’s amazing how my motivation for movement is waning, and how my appetite has increased. This is a dangerous combination.

Humans do not hibernate but in some ways we naturally behave like we are preparing for winter. This does not include booking an appointment to have the tires changed on the car (I’ve got mine booked, have you?). I’m mystified at the thought of how some animals completely shut down for the winter months. The function of hibernation is to conserve energy when food is not available. Prior to hibernating, animals will pack on weight so they can get through the period of cooler temperatures.  Nature is brilliant when we don’t mess with it.

We, as humans, continue to struggle against our natural make-up. Long before grocery stores and fast food restaurants existed, humans would get ready for winter by putting on extra weight. While there was less activity during that time period, food wasn’t readily available either. That balanced things out. Those who were fortunate enough to get through the long cold months lost the extra that was gained. I’m not alone in thinking that it would be great to lose some weight over the winter season. I find it an incredible struggle.

This year let’s set a goal of not seeing the number on the scale change at all. Here are some of the practices to implement to help make that possible:

  • Find some “Movement Buddies”. These are people who will either exercise with you or hold you accountable to the plan you have agreed to follow.
  • Set a movement plan. Schedule an activity every day. Inside or outside – it doesn’t matter. Ensure that you do something every single day.
  • Create meal plans on a weekly basis. Make it fun. Try new recipes. Consume vegetables and fruits even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Track your food consumption. Learn to recognize when you are eating mindlessly. Discover ways to change the unhealthy habits.
  • Establish a reasonable bedtime. Take advantage of the darkness instead of fighting it.

There’s nothing we can do about the changing season. Let’s work with it. Use this time to get stronger so that when the spring hits we’re ready to emerge from our dens even better than we went into them.


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