The 3 Phases of Pandemic Fitness

End of May 2020, Phase 3

Back in March of this year, when we all realized that we would be stuck at home for ‘a few weeks or so’, many expected that the pounds would easily creep on, while others were determined not to gain any weight, maybe even to get in better shape. I was in the latter group. Ha! Fortunately I have not packed on the pounds, but it has been an interesting three months with continuous tweaks to diet and exercise…if for no other reason, this post may give you a few laughs…

PHASE 1: Ok, I am going to eat the same as always, but I will take up running! Run, run, run, early in the morning, and sometimes again after work! Weight lifting after my run! No, it’s not really fun, but it’s nice to be outside, hear the birds, see the bunnies, and smell the fresh air…Run, run, run, I can do this! Running about 1.5miles is a breeze! Do I stop, you ask? Of course I do! Run, walk, run, walk, RUN! Can’t wait to get on the scale in a few weeks, I will be down a few pounds for sure. The time comes – on the scale…NOT ONE POUND LESS. WTF!

PHASE 2: The hell with this, I am having a chocolate chip muffin with a glass of milk…I am not living my life constantly exercising (a bit of an exaggeration) and always being mindful of what I eat (almost always)…I GIVE UP! If certain clothes in my closet get too tight I will simply get rid of them. I will buy bigger sizes. Enough is enough!

Ugh…two weeks pass, three weeks pass, then four…while I continued to exercise daily, my dietary habits got sloppy…even though my choices were ‘healthy’ most of the time, even healthy food has calories: yogurt, nuts, Skinny Pop popcorn, hummus with veggies, etc…my jeans still fit, but they were clearly getting tight and that did not feel good. Ok, ok, time for a new plan!!!

PHASE 3: Photo above shows me at start of Phase 3…not in my best shape, but not so awful…at this point I decided to avoid the scale and focus more on how I felt and how my clothes fit. Then I seriously considered: what would I rather do – more of something that I don’t enjoy (exercise), or less of something I do enjoy (eating)??? The answer: less eating. 🙂 With a very specific plan, this can be done! My plan: three meals, minimal carbs, and virtually no snacking…no yogurt, no hummus, no popcorn…no toast in the morning…if I feel really hungry in between meals, a handful of blueberries or a cup of tea, or some raw veggies…

Here’s a typical breakfast of two eggs with sautéed spinach and tomato…high in protein and satisfying enough…some days I will ‘cheat’ and have cereal or toast, but for now I am highly motivated to cut carbs and calories…

As of this writing it has been about 10 days in Phase 3, and already I can feel the difference in how my clothes fit – hallelujah! In case you were wondering, I am still enjoying wine/cocktails, but mindful of amounts most of the time…

The Bottom Line:

With all that has been going on in the world, give yourself a break if you gain a few pounds. If it’s important to you to be in shape, you will be again.

More than worrying about your ‘beach body’, think about your ‘everyday body‘.

Stay well. Dress well. Exercise. Eat less.

Better days ahead. 😉

Candy Costas

4 Comments

    • Lunch: Sometimes a sandwich (tuna, turkey) on a small piece of pita bread with a side salad, or leftover salmon or chicken with side salad. Dinner: Fish or chicken with roasted veggies, small portion of carb, always salad. Occasional pasta. Almost always wine. 🙂

  1. I am exercising more- 2 cross country walks per day instead of one. So in other words 4.5 miles each day. With the humidity so high, I should be sweating off pounds, right? TWO. Two pounds. I have lost two whole pounds. For me, I feel it is about 75% what I put in my mouth, and 25% how many calories I burn. 😣 I feel like I’ve wasted this time. But I’m not quitting.

    • Lori, you have not wasted this time at all! If you did not increase your exercise, you likely would have gained 5 pounds! Losing TWO is a WIN! Wish I did! 😉 Totally agree that it’s more about what you put in your mouth. Keep up what you’re doing! Good habits over TIME will show results. 🙂

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