Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Serotonin.... My ally against winter weight gain.

Right now I would sell a kidney for a kilo of milk chocolate, but I know that what I am really lacking is serotonin.

What is it? Well I didn't do brilliantly at science in school, and worse at psychology at college, but just because I'm not gifted doesn't mean I'm not interested in some areas. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder which basically means I get depressed in winter when I don't as much daylight as my little brain needs to keep on an even keel (there's more to it that that, you can check out SADA for more). I used to suffer very badly from it, taking time of work, staying in bed for days on end only moving to eat and use the toilet. I was on medication from October till February year after year. And every year I gained weight which never came off!

Since having the kids I have had to find a way of dealing with it that didn't involve medication. My Dad bought me a light box some years ago and I still have and use that when required. But I have found that HAVING to get out and about DAILY with the kids has changed my SAD from near crippling depression to a bad case of winter blues. I still feel (and act) pretty awful most of winter, and I still over eat to compensate. But the more I make myself do the better I feel and the less junk I eat. And I put that down to serotonin.

Two weeks ago when I did all that walking and got all that exercise (serotonin) in the fresh air and daylight (serotonin) while carrying Freddie wrapped all snuggly and huggly (serotonin) in the sling I felt AMAZING! And didn't crave chocolate.

Last week I was ill, stuck on my bum, inside at home.... depressed and craving choccy. I'm no brain scientist (ahem) but that maths works for me. So while I am in NO WAY belittling other peoples depression, and I am NOT saying that because this works for me it will work for anyone else.... it bloody well DOES WORK FOR ME! Now that I know how to stop my downward spiral into SAD I need to haul my butt out of the door and do stuff. Even if I would rather curl up in a ball under my duvet and stay there till spring. Winter will pass a lot quicker if I go out in search of a sunbeam.

Science type people, feel free to pull me up and correct me on my choice of chemicals... I admit I don't know the difference between Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphin, Oxytocin. Serotonin seemed to tick most of my boxes!



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