You guys. 2020’s COVID-19 weight gain has been no joke.
I know it’s not just me, but I’m really aware of it now and have hit that motivated zone where I’m ready to make a change. That’s partly because I hated every adorable picture I took with my family on Thanksgiving and partly because Christmas is all about getting cozy indoors with red wine and sugar cookies. I can’t survive a month of that PLUS another quarantine.
Just last week, I was praising myself when I got on the scale and it was only 6 pounds higher than it was in March. But something was way off when I stared at my stomach in the mirror. Normally pretty flat and strong, I could see it was much softer than it had been even 9 months ago when I was still working off baby weight.
You see for me, I lost all regularity of working with a trainer twice a week when COVID hit. It was one of the greatest perks my company offered, and when we could no longer go into the office, that meant no more on site gym or trainers. Trainers keep me accountable. I never bail on my sessions with them unless it’s an emergency, so even if all I got in was two 30 minute sessions with them each week, I GOT IN TWO THIRTY MINUTE SESSIONS WITH THEM EACH WEEK.
It’s taken me months to realize how important that consistency was. Not only the consistency of workouts, but the strength training. That’s where I’m getting soft. I can still knock out a 15 minute HIIT workout or go for an hour walk several times a week, but I’m not lifting the way I did before—and it shows.
So what am I going to do about? Well first, I’ve not-so-subtly encouraged my husband to get his lazy butt in gear too. He has had an unbearably stressful year at work, and it’s shown. He hasn’t made time for himself to work out in months, and his late nights and early mornings have taken a toll on his diet. Just as I try to give myself grace for the insanity of 2020, I’m trying to give him that too.
But the excuses can’t keep on like this. Especially as we’re entering a slower holiday season than normal. We don’t have endless parties to attend, work is slow, and sports are done. We have no excuse other than wanting to stay in bed longer in the morning or watching one more game show on tv while we have another beer. All bad habits I’d really like to break.
So starting today, here’s our plan of attack for the month. I can’t control how much my husband will stick to it with me, but I know the more successful he is, the more successful I will be!
- Back to Macro tracking. My premium membership to MyFitnessPal has lapsed, but I think I can do without it now. My protein number is 130 grams per day (omg, so much!), so if I use the percentage goals, then I can figure out my carbs and fats from there. The reason macros (aka. macro nutrients) are so important for me is that I used them (plus intermittent fasting) to lose the weight from baby #3, and the pounds literally fell off. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in less than five months. It was unreal. And other than the discipline in tracking, it wasn’t hard and I felt satisfied.
- Workouts in the morning. Admittedly, this is the biggest point of contention with my husband. I’m an early bird and he is not. But if he doesn’t wake up, I don’t have a good place to go and work out since our gym equipment is in our bedroom. The other challenge we have is that our youngest, who is only a year and a half, still isn’t consistent with his wake up time. Sometimes it’s 5am and other times it’s 7. We’re going to try out a 5:30am wake up and try to get in 30 minutes, and we’ll see how that goes.
- No more “covid drinking” You know what I mean. So many people, us included, have fallen into this weird drinking pattern where every night feels like a weekend, or we’re so stressed after the long day being at home that when the kids finally go to sleep, I’m dying for a glass of wine or a beer. But kind of like how everyone baked cookies and sourdough bread back in March and April, our waistlines knew that wasn’t sustainable. Now we really need to reel it in and stop this nightly habit. One or two drinks may not seem like a big deal, but I was reminded in a health seminar a few months ago about the boiling frog phenomenon. If someone drops a frog into boiling water, it immediately feels the change in temperature and jumps out. But if the frog is playing in a pot of water and you slowly turn up the temperature, it never realizes it’s in danger and the frog slowly gets cooked to death. I’d rather not slowly boil to death.
- No eating after 7pm. I may not completely commit to doing intermittent fasting again this month, but I am committed to not eating after the kids go to bed. It’s just a lazy time where calories just don’t get counted, and I know it has a big impact! Instead, I’ll stock up on Crystal Light pink lemonade because I find that it helps me hit my water goals for the day, and it’s so sweet—which I find incredibly satisfying as a food or booze substitute.
Getting back on track doesn’t magically happen. It takes the right timing and motivation. But if you have an accountability buddy who can do it with you, your likelihood of success increases like crazy.
Here’s to a healthy and motivated holiday season. Come help keep me accountable this month, and I’ll do the same!