Thursday, June 18, 2020

PANDEMIC POUNDS-GETTING BACK ON TRACK

I think we can all agree that life in quarantine has disrupted our lives, creating the perfect setup for packing on excess pounds. 

"Quarantine 15" is a popular term for the weight gain many of us have experienced as a result of the Covid-19 quarantine. 

A certain amount of weight gain after many weeks of stress, self-isolation, and being ever adjacent to the refrigerator and pantry is undoubtedly understandable.  

Although I haven't gained 15 pounds (yet!), the numbers on my scale have definitely moved upward. Maybe instead of "Quarantine 15," I will refer to my excess poundage as "Pandemic Pounds!"



In my case, it doesn't matter what I call it, or how many pounds I have put on, it's time to prioritize my health and fitness. It's time for me to pull up my big girl panties (while I can still fit into them!), stop whining about things I can't control, and do something positive for myself! 

I have veered way off the path of following a healthy lifestyle, and it shows. My waist has expanded, my energy level has diminished, and I just generally feel horrible most of the time. 

TIME TO GET BACK ON TRACK

I have now made the decision to get back on track with my health, and the first step is to work on losing this excess weight. But how? 

Recently a friend posted a picture of herself on Facebook following a 25-pound weight loss. She looked amazing! Not that she ever looked fat. This friend is my age, runs, bikes, and swims, and still has steadily gained weight over the past 10 years. Like myself, she has tried different diets without much success. Until now. 

I was very intrigued. I messaged my friend with some questions about her weight loss, and she said she had followed a 5:2 diet plan.

WHAT IS THE 5:2 DIET?

The 5:2 Diet is an intermittent eating pattern that involves eating normally five days of the week while restricting calories to 500-600 calories the other two days.

After doing some research, I decided that this diet might be a good option for Ray and me to try.

The 500 calorie days (600 for Ray) are referred to as fasting days, although fasting in my younger years usually meant, only drinking water and coffee with no food. This seems a lot healthier!

On our non-fasting days, I would like to stick primarily to a combination Dash Diet/Mediterranean Diet. I have found many meal plans and recipes online for 500-600 calorie fasting days. I hope to share some helpful info as I learn more and adjust to this way of living.

Today is our first official 500 calorie day. I will let you know how it goes!

Have YOU gained weight during the quarantine? How are you dealing with it? Please share!


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

STRESSED



If someone had told me last year at this time that our country, along with the rest of the world, would soon be facing a significant health challenge like the COVID-19 disease pandemic, I would have found it almost unimaginable. And yet here we are. 

The threats to our health and economy caused by COVID-19 are unprecedented. I think I can safely say that most of us have experienced not only extreme anxiety, but feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and confusion over the past few weeks. I know that my emotions have been all over the place.

As I struggle to know what to do to continue to keep my family and me safe with Covid-19 still wreaking havoc.......I know that I have to take out some time to try to de-stress.

So, today I went for a run. The first one in quite a while. It was not a long run, and it was definitely not a fast run. But it made me feel a little less stressed. It cleared my head a bit and made me smile! And during this time when I often feel like I am somehow stuck smack-dab in the middle of a Twilight Zone Marathon .....that's HUGE!



   DE-STRESSING TO REDUCE ANXIETY

While running is great, I thought I would share some other helpful stress-reducing techniques that I am trying to apply to my daily life.

  1. Take a time-out. ...Walk away from social media, and the news for a while.
  2. Eat well-balanced meals.
  3. Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Practice deep breathing.
  6. Exercise daily.
  7. Be mindful.
  8. Do my best.
                                                                                                                                                      


EXERCISE ROUTINE DURING QUARANTINE

After months of sheltering in place due to Covid-19, a lot of restrictions have eased or been lifted. However, for some of us, the quarantin...