So within the first few months of the pandemic I really let myself go because my depression took over my life. I gained 35lbs, didn’t leave the house except for groceries and doctor’s appointments, and I slept most of my free time.
I was severely depressed and it showed in all aspects of my life.
Now that it’s been a year since the initial “15 days to slow the spread”, it’s spring again and the daylight has been helpful in motivating me to get back in shape and back to some sort of “normal”.
So, I’m doing a few things to get myself back on track, back in shape, and happier with my life.
What I’m Doing to Get Back in Shape
Since I’ve gained 35lbs it’s pushed me over into the obese category for my BMI. I know a lot of people don’t like judging your body based off BMI, but I do. I gain all my weight in my midsection, subcutaneous fat, the hardest kind of fat to lose. But I’m also incredibly out of shape. Walking up stairs leaves me out of breath, even with my asthma I shouldn’t be that bad at functioning.
Count Calories with My Fitness Pal
I tried a lot of different diets throughout the past year to get myself back on track. The first issue I had to deal with is the binge eating cravings that were taking over my life.
I used to restrict heavily when I was a senior in high school and freshman in college. Long story short, I started snacking to just have enough calories in the day. That turned into snacking all the time and getting to my highest weight at the time, 140lbs. That might not seem like a lot to some people, but I’m ridiculously short so I wasn’t happy with where I was.
I tried keto, I tried eating only healthy foods, I tried mentally keeping track of what I was eating, but none of that worked.
What’s been working for me is actually tracking what I eat with My Fitness Pal. I’m currently on a 6 day streak of logging my food intake and exercise.
Logging my calories has also made me more aware of what I’m eating. I’ve also started using my food scale.
I used to eat abut 8 slices of bacon for breakfast but once I started logging that in I discovered how caloric that actually is.
My biggest problem is I eat far too fast and my brain and stomach don’t have the time to coordinate, so I usually end up eating more than I should because I still feel hungry even though I’ve already eaten.
I’ve also started having smoothies for breakfast. For 300 calories I have a smoothie that has enough protein to last me until lunch.
- 2 cups of frozen mango (180 calories)
- 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (60 calories)
- 1 scoop of Designer Protein Lite – Vanilla Cupcake Natural Protein (60 calories)
While I still tend to get hungry later on, I’m eating later because I start the day with a coffee and wait until I get hungry to have the smoothie.
I’ve also discovered how little calories some vegetables are. I made salmon and green beans and was so surprised to see 1 serving was only 18 calories.
Tracking my calories is what’s going to help me get in shape. It’s not going to work for everyone, because some people might obsess over the calories and have it cause more problems. But because I have the binging problem, counting calories is what is helping eat better and eat less by cutting out snacking.
Walking After Work
Since I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer (with the occasional break to clean up the house) I need to get some exercise into my life.
Now that it’s light out after I get off work, it’s warmer out so I’m not freezing while going for a walk (or walking in snow), and the sunlight gives me more motivation, I’ve started walking at least once a day after work.
It takes me a while for my body to get used to walking, and a decent portion of the walk around my apartment complex is out of cell signal range, but I get about 30 minutes of walking a day.
When I went for my physical my doctor recommended going in the morning as well, but I’ll have to wait until it’s a bit warmer and lighter because it’s still relatively dark out in the morning and I live around a lot of nature. I rather not run into some wild animals that can hurt me while on a walk before work. Bears are a somewhat common occurrence and I don’t have bear mace.
One thing I need to get used to though, is walking in silence.
Right now I have to have something playing in my earbuds for me to enjoy the walk. I need to be multitasking because of how my job is right now. I’m so used to doing 3 things at once that doing just one thing at a time is stressful and I’m itching to add something else to do.
Just like how I’m terrible at meditation because I can’t handle silence right now, I’m trying to wean myself off listening to podcasts, various sports games, or some YouTube videos while on my walk. I used to get a lot of creative thoughts while walking before so, I’m hoping to get back to that.
Walking is going to help me get back in shape by adding movement to my day. Since the most movement I was normally doing was vacuuming my downstairs daily, walking makes me move far more. It’s also adding exercise to day, meaning that’s a few extra calories for food. It’s not going to be much, but if I want something to snack on at night, that walk might just help me from going over my limit.
I’m still working on getting this down, but I’m journaling most days after work after my walks.
Journaling has been helping me get my thoughts out on paper, and usually, let some of the things that I don’t consciously focus on come to the forefront.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gone on a rant in my journal, writing out what what was really bothering me without realizing it.
It’s also going to help me with my creativity.
Right now, I’m stuck with my creativity. I have no idea what posts to write, how to keep this blog running, and how to even start to brainstorm about posts.
I was honestly even reluctant to write this post because I felt that people wouldn’t want to read it. I really need to get back into focusing on the blog, especially since I just renewed the domain and hosting for a whopping $300 in the middle of a pandemic.
Just like with my inability to one thing at a time, I’m hoping journaling will help calm me down so I can focus on one thing at once. I’m also hoping it sparks my ability to think of blog posts, maybe I’ll even get to brainstorming while I’m out for my walk!
But journaling has a lot of benefits. If you haven’t given it a shot, go ahead, you have nothing to lose.
Journaling is going to help me get in shape by giving my mental health an outlet. I see my therapist once a month, but I need the time and ability to dump what’s bothering me throughout the day onto paper, make it real, and see if I can figure out what’s really going on at the core.
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