We’ve all been there at some point, the odd cheat day, week, month… year? Excessively enjoying our favourite foods with little regard for any consequences. Missing the odd gym session in favour of having a few drinks with friends in the pub.
Then, the country goes into lockdown. No work, no gym, no pub, no socialising. To cope, I for one, like I suspect many others did, found my happiness concealed in a galaxy wrapper.
At the beginning of the year I had one new year’s resolution – the same one I fail at every year but this time I was determined to do it. Like many people, it was to lose weight. I identified that chocolate and diet coke are my biggest triggers when it comes to battling the bulge– two things I decided to quit. And I did it….. For almost 4 months. Then lockdown hit, I was stuck at home with zero routine and my mind set changed to one of not being that bothered. The bigger picture of the devastation Covid-19 was causing around the world is much more important than if I gorge on a tasty snack or 12 – right?
It took me 10 weeks to realise that if you spend your days eating rubbish, you spend your days feeling rubbish. So at the beginning of June I set myself a target – to lose 7lbs by the end of the month. The motivation was easy with preparation talks starting about returning to the office spurring me on. I didn’t want my hard work for the first 4 months of the year to be completely ruined and having to waddle back in the office wearing my ‘big’ clothes. I quit the chocolate again (diet coke is still a work in progress), started yoga, set my alarm to go off after 8 hours in bed and re-introduced some healthier meals. I don’t calorie count and still the odd ‘bad’ food such as a weekly takeaway with my family. If I’m hungry I’ll grab a healthy-ish snack (an apple with peanut butter is my go-to). Besides chocolate, I’m not depriving myself of anything I don’t like, just having more appropriate portions. Now the month is over and I’ve lost 5lbs (15lbs in total since 1st Jan) . 2lbs less but still an achievement and I’ll be heading back to the office next week able to focus on my job whilst getting healthier and fitter. I may even do an outdoor run whilst I still can’t get to the gym.
What I’ve learned is that it’s ok. It’s ok to have fallen off the wagon, to be less active and not worry about it. But, for me anyway, it’s not ok to have this mentality forever. I’ll be back in the office next week without those extra few lbs because I decided I didn’t want them to join me. Apparently research shows that the average person has put on 6lbs during lockdown. And that’s ok too. If you’re happy then no one has permission to judge you. If you’re not, then judge yourself and commit to doing something about.
By Jenny Vickerstaff, Senior Consultant