Nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. Please contact your doctor before making changes to diet or lifestyle.
Like a lot of people, I have been in my home due to the virus. There has been a lot of discussion about “glow up” during this time, which is an encouraging idea for bettering health during a time where it’s likely people would likely be depressed, anxious and over eating.
I have taken part in both sides of this. Early in the isolation, we definitely over ate and I gained weight and felt pretty bad about treating my body so badly. After a couple weeks of damaging our health, Ryan and I sat down and committed to holding each other accountable for our eating habits. Unfortunately during a bout of painful cramps and heavy bleeding I broke down and ate a fair amount of ice cream and Ryan has allowed himself cheat meals, something perhaps I should have also done to avoid eating a massive bowl of ice cream.
I have lost ten pounds since we started taking care of ourselves again. Mostly due to cutting down sugar. I am very bad once something is in the house. If there is pop in the fridge I will always reach for it before water. My coffee and tea both get a heavy handful of sugar. So Ryan hid the pop from me and I have avoided tea and coffee since we started this diet. This has always been a reliable way for me to the control of my diet when I fall off the wagon, which happens more often than I would like to admit. Cutting out drinkable sugar is a massive change, not to mention kicking caffeine at the same time. The first three days can be difficult as my brain is pounding, screaming for caffeine and my mouth adjusts to the real food that doesn’t taste of salt and sugar.
My water consumption went from 8-10 oz a day to 16-24 oz of water a day. Some people would say that isn’t enough water, but for me, that’s all I can make myself drink unless I go for a very long walk. I also went back to an old favourite of mine. Chicken and Rice soup. With very low amounts of sugar, sodium and carbs it is a fairly good meal for weight loss for me. I try to eat fruit and vegetables every day for nutrients, but the majority of my consumed calories is in the form of soup. I chose to use way too much water in my soup to fill my stomach without adding more calories, which works very well at subduing my appetite.
My daily reading has also increased a fair amount. I normally get to sit and read for half an hour to an hour a day, but now I get to read up to two hours a day, which is really good for keeping my anxiety lower.
I’ve also taken a lot more time to caring for my skin. It is recommended that people in isolation bathe daily, which has lead to a drastic increase in baths for me. I take my bath time to do my skin care, as a lot of my products need to sit on the skin for a little while to be effective. So I get to relax, chug some water, treat my skin to hydrating treatments and twice a week to exfoliation as well as twice a week microneedling. My skin is much clearer, less pigmented and my fine lines and dark circles have been improving.
Exercise. I wish I could say I’m doing well with this, but every time I go for a walk the bones in my feet get very angry and my left foot swells up for a couple days. I know that this is because my sneakers don’t fit the shape of my feet well. They are very cool rainbow nike sneakers that I received as a gift that are pretty darn good gym shoes, but unfortunately after about an hour of walking in them, my feet just don’t like them. I would love to get different shoes, but as the stores are closed, I can’t try on the sneakers which is very important to me. I can go for shorter walks, under 7000 steps per walk, which aren’t nearly as effective for weight loss.
As for exercising at home, in my apartment building I have two families with young children who live under me who complain immediately if I do any exercise in my home. This seems a little unfair as I don’t call and complain about their screaming children who jump around and shake my floor all day, but unless I want to be evicted, I can’t do much in my home.
So I believe this time, while unfortunate, has given me some time to focus on my own health, both mental and physical. I recognize I am lucky in a lot of ways during this time as my fiancé has worked under essential employment during this time. I realize I am lucky to have a partner I can talk to every day and family I can call. We have devised ways to play games online with all our friends together and I have definitely FaceTimed with friends to have a drink together. I believe we will come out of this time with a lot more appreciation for the people in our daily lives and the freedoms we often take for granted. I know this is a very optimistic view of the situation, but thinking about the dark side of it all makes me very anxious so I am trying to focus on silver linings.
Let me know what you’ve been doing during this time and leave suggestions for things to do in the comments!