5 Ways to Survive the End of Daylight Saving Time

This time of year seriously depresses me. I’m a child of the sun, and I get hit pretty hard with SAD, also known as The Winter Blues. I’m a morning person, and I’ve been waking up around 5:30 and having to wait TWO WHOLE HOURS for the sun to come up! Ain’t nobody got time for dat! Luckily I use light therapy, but it would be so much better if the sun would just be up soon after I get up. Once Daylight Saving Time ends I’ll have sun early… for a while at least… but it will be pitch black when I get home from work. Ugh. Boo. Hiss. Lame. Why can’t I just hibernate like a bear?
Here are some tips on surviving the Fall Back time change:


Image Credit: Chuck Coker via Flickr

  1. Slowly adjust to the time change by going to bed 15 minutes later. You’re going to be getting an extra hour of sleep Sunday night, and you don’t want to take up an hour earlier, do you?
  2. Keep your routine. Don’t go crazy and stay up half the night. Definitely don’t take advantage of the extra hour to hang out in a bar and drink longer. That’s just silly. 😉 You still need your sleep.
  3. Take advantage of the morning sun. Sit in the sunlight while you drink your morning coffee. If it’s warm enough, sit outside so you can take advantage of unfiltered sunshine. Get extra stuff done outside before work if you need to.
  4. Take an outdoor walk during your lunch break. If you work a regular old 9 to 5 job, there won’t be any sunlight to enjoy when you clock out, so you may as well take advantage of the warmest part of the day to get outside. A brisk walk in the sunshine will help you stave off that 2 pm slump, too. Vitamin D is good for you!
  5. Use candles to brighten up your evenings. Yes, we need electric lights to see in those dark, cold evenings, but candles can add a visual warmth to the room, and are comforting. Even more comforting is a wood burning fireplace, if you’re lucky enough to have one. (And if you do, I’m like, so totally jelly.)

Hibernation mode commencing! How do you deal with the time change and inevitable arrival of sun only when you’re at work? (Seriously, this sucks.) Let me know in the comments!


Coping Strategies for Emotional Eating

6057404732_f7169a6664_zIn the early Spring, I wrote a blog about My Dirty Little Secret, minor hidden bingeing. I’m not the only person with this problem, and while my previous blog may have shed some light on this issue for some, I’d like to take the time to talk a bit about coping strategies for emotional eating. I’m not your average emotional eater: when I’m sad, upset or angry, I tend to not eat much. My emotional eating rears its ugly head when I’m stressed or bored, and yes, boredom counts as an emotion!

emotional-eating-chartThe first step to stopping emotional eating is realizing that you’re doing it. For me, I eat worst when I’m stressed, and stress, while potent, is less easy to identify than anger or sadness, isn’t it? Your mind is racing, you’re scrambling to get things done, but you’re so distracted by all that’s going on in your head you don’t even take the time to notice the food that passes your lips (or, if you’re like me, you stop even caring). Psychology Today recommends noting your emotions in your food journal, and mentally tabulating what types of foods trigger these episodes, as well as what time of day these episodes happen. For me the foods are the key: Herr’s Ripples Potato Chips, peanut butter, dark chocolate,  hard pretzels, pizza, and foods that have a truly satisfying crunch. Texture is a huge deal to me. I’ve learned only recently that I need to do my best to keep these items out of the house. I very rarely travel out of my home to buy my binge favorites, so this helps.

Next, try distracting yourself. If it’s stress or boredom, give yourself something to do that occupies your mind and hands. If it’s a nice day, go for a walk outside to get yourself away from the temptation. I find on days that I’m running around like a crazy person I barely think of food. It’s when I stop that that urge to eat overwhelms me. Sometimes I’ll sit down and write a blog, because if my hands and mind are busy, I’m not using those hands to put food into my mouth. When I’m out and about and having fun, I’m not even thinking about putting food into my mouth. Reading is another thing I don’t eat while doing, because the act of eating actually distracts me from the plot! Find activities that work to keep your hands out of the proverbial cookie jar.

emotions-401406_1280Connect with your emotions. Emotions are a normal part of life. Healthy people have them, and the healthiest people allow themselves to fully experience them. It’s okay to be sad, or mad, or lonely, or depressed. It happens sometimes. Don’t suppress those feelings, feel them. Sometimes I just feel like I want to cry, so I’ll sit in my bedroom or my car and just sob it out until I can’t sob anymore. I focus on the emotion, let it flow through me, then let it go. Anger is harder, but when I’m angry I clean things, so that’s not necessarily a behavior that affects me negatively. Maybe when I recognize I’m stressed I should take a warm shower and listen to some peaceful music instead of reaching for the Skippy jar.

If you can’t keep your hands out of the jar and you do wind up bingeing, don’t punish yourself. You’re human, you’re not perfect, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Don’t exercise like crazy to make up for it, and don’t throw in the towel on your weight loss from one bad day. I’ve been maintaining a 100-lb weight loss for 2 years, and I’ve been dealing with bad days the entire time. They happen. We all stumble a little, it’s okay.

Lastly, learn to accept your body and yourself. Work on finding a bit of inner peace if you can. If you feel like you can’t do it on your own, or you feel overwhelmed, talk to a friend or your doctor and ask for help. You CAN do this.

Do you have emotional eating issues? What are your coping strategies?


Fear of Failure: A Personal Analysis

First off, I’d like to give a shout out to my buddy Lee Allen who donated to my coffee fund on Valentine’s Day! Your gift of caffeination is much appreciated and I will raise my next cup of Hazelnut Creme Melitta with unsweetened cashew milk in your honor! Now, onto the show! barrierThose of you who didn’t know me from Eve before finding this blog have no idea what a struggle it was for me to start doing this. I wanted to share myself and what I’ve learned over the years, but I was so scared, so inordinately terrified that I’d start writing here, talking about my tiny little portion of this thing called life and that no one, not a single soul, would read it. I hemmed and hawed over it for months, tossing ideas around with The Hubs and a few choice friends, but never quite making the leap. A few very special people gave me the push I needed to start A Measured Life, and once I allowed myself to accept that failure was POSSIBLE, but that writing this blog had value, regardless, I took the plunge and haven’t looked back.

“No one except your husband knows of the cautiousness at the heart of your life. Your adulthood has been a progressive retreat from curiosity and wonder, an endless series of delays and procrastinations. You wanted to be so much, once, but life kept on getting in the way… You settled. Shunned creativity, flight, risk, never had the courage to give a dream, any dream, a go.”
Nikki Gemmell, The Bride Stripped Bare

I find myself in the same spot again, for a different project. For years now, I’ve been talking about writing a cookbook. I have a rough layout, have written several tales of food discovery, and have a few dozen recipes. I even set a goal of having a complete first draft by the end of 2016. It seems, though, that I’ve been unconsciously avoiding working on it. There’s one excuse or another as to why I don’t sit and write and just get it out there: too busy, too tired, don’t wanna, etc. But the truth is, I’m afraid. Just like I was before I started here. It’s not that I doubt that I’m capable of writing a cookbook, I am. It’s what comes after that scares me. I know less than nothing about publishing. I know I can self-publish, but I need to weigh the pros and cons, etc. And that uncertainty weighs so heavily on me at times that I stagnate and avoid the very task that haunts me.


Me being me, I did a little Google search on fear of failure, and within minutes came up with some tips on how to deal with this situation. I’ve lost more than 100 lbs and kept it off for 18 months now. I’ve been blogging here at A Measured life for more than a year, rarely posting fewer than three times a week. I when I set my mind to something I’m capable of completing tasks that, in the beginning, seemed monumental. Mind Tools advises looking ahead and trying to figure out what the worst possible outcome could be. It’s a friggin’ cookbook, Andrea. The absolute worst thing that could happen is no one would read it. Please. That’s pretty unlikely. So the worst thing that could legitimately happen would be only 10 people would read it. So? Is that really so terrible? Even if that were the case, imagine how much you’d learn having written a cookbook!

The point is, I don’t want to wake up in twenty years and say to myself “Why didn’t I ever write that cookbook?” Instead, I’m going to just do it.


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