My healthy lifestyle went out the window with the Pandemic.
Before we were quarantined at home, before the kids were having school at home, and before the World basically shutdown, I had been doing great. I was eating good food, going to the gym almost everyday, and felt great. I didn’t think anything could change my healthy lifestyle. Heck, I even wrote a blog post about it.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
Without the routine of the gym, I was lost. I seemed to lack the motivation to exercise on my own. Then, without exercising, I started not caring what I ate. Junk food was appealing again. So was wine. Too much wine.
So, all those pounds I lost and all the confidence and muscle I gained disappeared, much like crowds and in-person anything. My healthy lifestyle was no more.
Now, I’m taking baby steps back to that place. I actually think it might be harder than it was the first time I decided to make a change. However, I’m finally determined to make that healthy lifestyle stick around.
COVID hit me (and my healthy lifestyle) harder than I expected.
When quarantine first started, I didn’t think my life would change that much. Sure, I would be helping my kids learn at home, and I would be teaching dance classes over Zoom in my basement, but that wasn’t that big of a deal. I only worked part-time, and I was a stay at home mom the rest of the time. How different could it be?
Well, it was.
First, helping the kids learn was challenging. There were lots of tears and struggles. The kids missed their friends, their teachers, and play dates.
Second, having my kids back at home was different than when they were little. I got used to being by myself for the majority of the day. With them home all the time, it was loud, messy, and chaotic. It was sensory overload for me.
Plus, technology added to that sensory overload. Too many screens all the time made everyone tired and cranky.
The kids could also sense my fear and anxiety. For someone that deals with anxiety on a daily basis, this added factor of the unknown and Global pandemic, really impacted me. I think that’s actually where the wine came in more than it should have.
So, with all that added stress and change, I decided to give myself some grace when it came to working out and eating healthy. What I didn’t realize is that I was actually doing more harm than good. I wasn’t actually being nice to myself, but just setting myself up for a whole other host of problems.
Gaining weight is more than just gaining weight.
No one likes to gain weight, but it’s really about so much more than that. Not only did I feel uncomfortable in my own skin and all of my clothes, but I felt bad physically, and felt bad about myself mentally. Plus, my health paid the price. My blood pressure went back up, my acid reflux increased, and I had no energy.
I’m not saying that your weight should define you or that you have to be skinny to feel happy, but I do think you have to be in a place that feels good for your own body. I was not in that place.
Then, some things started to change.
When the kids went back to school in the Fall, I felt a sense of relief. Well, that was, of course, after all the fear and anxiety over sending them to school settled down.
Still, not everything changed. I wanted to do everything in my power to keep my kids healthy and in school, so that meant no gym for me. It just wasn’t worth the risk.
My husband got me a treadmill, and I thought that would be the motivation I needed.
Again, I was wrong.
Yes, I did use my treadmill to walk, but it was nothing like the workouts I was used to doing. I didn’t lift weights, and I certainly didn’t change my eating habits…or drinking habits.
Then, the big change.
I got vaccinated. The kids made it almost to the end of the school year. It was time to go back to the gym.
Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was scary. It was, however, the push that I needed.
I’ve been back at the gym for almost three months now. I’m not back up to the same weights that I used to lift, and I get winded a lot quicker than I used to, but I’m showing up.
Most weeks, I make it at least four times. I’ve been taking different classes, since the gym has also changed since COVID.
I don’t feel great yet, but I do feel better and a bit stronger. I have not lost any of the weight I gained, but I am now ready to work on it. I’m not aiming for a particular weight or to be “skinny” I just want to feel good. I want energy.
The funny thing about getting in an exercise routine for me is that it makes me want to get back to that healthy lifestyle in all aspects. I will have less injuries and working out will be easier as I get to a healthier weight. Plus, I can then cut back on some medications.
I want to eat better foods, I want to drink less, and I just want to keep feeling better. Not only would it be nice if some of my clothes fit again, but it would be awesome if I liked how I looked in them. So, I have some work to do both physically and mentally.
I’m finally ready for the challenge.