I want to give forewarning on this post that I am discussing the topics of weight loss, diet, and exercise and that if those topics trigger you in any way you should skip reading this post.
When quarantine began back in March, I chose to have a positive outlook on the idea of being stuck at home 24/7. I viewed this time as an opportunity to do all of the things I felt I never had time to fit into my day before. One of those things was exercise.
I’ve always preferred morning exercise as that’s the time of the day when I have the best focus for completing tasks. That said, there is no way I’m ever going to be that person that wakes up extra early to get a work out in before work. Now that I no longer needed to get dressed, put on makeup, make a lunch, and commute I had all this extra time on my hands. I chose to fill that time with a daily treadmill walk.
We’ve had an old treadmill that Austin’s dad gave to us for nearly as long as we’ve lived in this house and before now it was only used in random spurts. I had aspirations of walking on it everyday, but realistically I was too tired after working, commuting, making dinner and handling chores.
My new morning routine in quarantine is as follows: wake up, get on a workout set, feed the cat, tend the garden, walk for an hour on the treadmill. This past week my routine has changed slightly since we just got a stationary bike. It was sold out for months but finally came back in stock. I now do a half hour on the bike and a half hour on the treadmill. My knees can’t quite handle a full hour on the bike yet. I set up my iPad in the basement playing YouTube videos and power through the workout.
When I first started walking I would do between a 2.5 – 3 speed for the full hour. Now I start at 3 speed and work my way up to a swifter walk and I’m at the point where I’m working on getting comfortable at the 6 incline. I don’t run or jog. That’s not my thing. I’ve never enjoyed running so I don’t force myself to do something I hate. I’m still finding my grove on the bike so I don’t go very hard on that. That is all of the exercise I do. Once in a while I take one of the fitness classes offered through my work (all online these day) or do a YouTube yoga video.
I’m making a point to emphasize that I literally spend just an hour doing relatively low impact/low effort exercises and I’ve still managed to loose 11 pounds thus far. It may not sound like its much but it’s I’m believer that slow, steady weight loss is healthiest and most sustainable. And the number on the scale isn’t what matters, nor is it the reason I chose to start working out in the first place. I was far more interested in developing a base level of fitness for my health and to shed enough weight to fit back into a handful of dresses that still fit, but don’t look the greatest on me anymore. I am generally very happy with myself both inside and out and don’t tie any sort of personal worth to what my body looks like. That said, I love my clothes and would very much like to fit back into these 4 or 5 specific dresses that aren’t even that small.
I’m not fitting into everything yet but I have noticed a visible difference in the way other clothing items fit. Over time I’ve curated a wardrobe I completely love and I want to be able to enjoy it.
A few other things that I think have aided in this journey are changed in what I eat and when I eat.
Prior to COVID I would do what I call “accidental intermittent fasting” on most days of the week, having only coffee before lunch. These days I’m intentional about it. Unless I feel hungry in the mornings, because I do not ignore my hungry cues, I only have coffee and water in the mornings before noon. The exception to that has been Saturdays when we buy the most delicious bread from a vendor at the farmers market that we have to eat immediately because its too delicious to wait.
The quality of the food I eat has changed a ton since fresh local produce has become more readily available. I still partake in the occasional vegan processed food, but I try to make sure most of what I eat is primarily whole foods. I’ve downed more fresh fruits and veggies in the past month then I probably did in the whole first half of the year. Actually, I think I’ve eaten more fresh fruits recently then I ever had in my life. The desire to eat as locally based as possible has made my diet much more produce heavy and I think that has played a role in loosing weight.
Essentially, I’ve only made small changes to my life to get these results, albeit, changes I wouldn’t have had a chance to make if quarantine never happened. I’m in no way happy that we are still in a pandemic state, but I am appreciative of the work from home opportunity that it’s provided me.
The last aspect of fitness I wanted to talk about it motivation. I was heavily motivated by wanting to get back into my cute dresses and not wanting to be the person who wheezes walking up a single flight of stairs. Ultimately though, these “motivating factors” had always been in the background, not providing me the push to start. What really got me motivated to get moving, however vein it may be, was to buy beautiful new workout clothing. (Can you tell by now how incredibly motivating cute clothes are for me? lol)
I was excited every morning to put on my cute new sets that made me feel like I looked the part of someone who works out. I looked forward to working out every morning because I felt like someone who worked out every morning. It was almost a “fake it til you make it” mindset and for me it worked. It seems silly, but if you’re finding yourself wanting to workout but hitting a mental wall try getting a cute new leggings and sports bra set.
After all of that I feel like I should have something profound or insightful to end this post on. I don’t. I think you should listen to your body and always do what you feel is best for you (except hard drugs, don’t do those). Have love for yourself no matter what size you are, accept that we are all flawed in some way or another, and know that you don’t need to loose weight to be beautiful. This is my particular journey; follow your own path. Also if anyone is interested the leggings and bra pictured above are from Girlfriend.