Three years ago I embarked on a journey with my husband Mike to become fit and trim. I ended up losing close to twenty pounds over a period of about nine months. I was working out at the gym five days a week and feeling really good about my health and my appearance. I never had cookies or chips or bread or ice cream or any of those things inside my home. I was living a clean life even though I admittedly missed some of the goodies that I had omitted from my diet. I kept track of what I ate and created a notebook filled with great recipes that included no pasta or rice or salt. I even gave up the diet Coke that had become my go to medication for migraine headaches. I was dedicated to doing the right thing for both me and Mike.
Then came Covid-19 and time stuck at home for weeks and then months on end. At first I thought that I’d get into the baking mode like so many of my friends were doing. I made banana bread and lemon pound cake. I bought some cream cheese to spread on it. I decided that it would not hurt to have some spaghetti or chicken and dumplings. Before long I caved and brought it some bread. After all we needed a diversion from the monotony of isolation and there were so many wonderful recipes being shared on Facebook. I figured a little treat here and there would not hurt a thing.
Of course I have not been able to go to the gym so I substituted my exercise routine with long walks on my treadmill. They were refreshing but I missed the weight machines and so did my arms. Slowly the little bulges of muscle became flabby as did my waistline. No matter how vigilant I was in closing all of the rings on my Apple watch it just wasn’t the same as a good workout at the gym. I tried a few online exercise programs but found myself getting easily bored and sweaty.
I haven’t worn nice clothing in forever. I switch from pajamas to baggy pants and t-shirts each morning and pad around the house in my bare feet. My hair has grown to a length that I haven’t seen since I was in my twenties and I have not put on makeup since February. My fingers and toes are au natural, no manis or pedis. In other words I have become an absolute mess. Worst of all I have gained back half of the weight that I worked so hard to lose. Perhaps the only positive about that is the fact that when I recently lost my footing on a slick wet bathroom floor and banged my jaw and arm against the vanity I did not break a bone. In that moment I thought of my mother’s theory that women with a bit of padding on their bodies are less likely to be fragile. I doubt she was right about that but at least owning her idea made my fall from health a little easier to accept.
I suppose that it is time to get back to work again before there is a vaccine for the virus and I am able to go back into society again. I would like to be in better shape when that happens. It means that I will have to forego cookies and ice cream and all forms of pasta and rice. There can be no more crackers or bread. I have to eat vegetables and fish and drink lots and lots of water. Mostly I have to find a more aggressive form of exercise than just walking.
Sometimes it just does not feel fair that there are so many wonderful things to eat in this world that are bad for us. I often think of one of my aunts who used to note that when she was young and fit she could not afford any dietary luxuries and once she had the income to purchase them they were hazardous to her health. Wouldn’t it be nice if cheesecake was good for us and we had to avoid kale?
The doctors seem to think that winter will be difficult this year in terms of Covid 19 which probably means that I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Instead I’ll try to get back to a regimen of self care. It’s been fun being a slouch but I’ll have to purchase all new clothing if I don’t pull back on my ingestion of things that really taste good. I’m proud to announce that at least I have not been guilty of returning to my Diet Coke addiction even though I still crave one whenever I have a hamburger or watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn.
I find myself being a bit jealous of the younger women that I know who post images of the yummy meals that they are preparing that I must once again try to avoid. I suppose that my metabolism is about as fast as a snail these days so I would have to exercise for hours to continue eating like I have been of late and not turn into a chubby little woman
Wish me well. I’ll be taking out the old notebook of saltless, fatless, pasta less, somewhat tasteless recipes to go along with long walks around the neighborhood and doing aerobics with weights. Now if I can just convince myself that it is going to be great it may turn into a worthy project.