Gained the "Quarantine 15" and Feeling Self Conscious? Here's what to do about it.
According to a few sources, Americans reportedly gained an average of 29 pounds between March of 2020 and March of 2021. Are you one of the many victims of the infamous pandemic pounds?
Step 1: DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP.
2020 was one of the most unpredictable, inconsistent, scary, and routine-annihilating times we've ever seen.
It is INCREDIBLY important that we give ourselves some grace, and some time to process while we settle back into a more "normal" routine.
But Mariah...I know all of that. I'm still not happy with the way I look and feel.
Have no fear. We've gotten the "self-forgiveness" piece established - let's talk about solutions.
Develop a Symbiotic, yet Proactive Relationship with your Body
Where have you heard this before? Oh yeah...I've stated it about 10,000 times on my blog and in my social media feeds. Normally, I am talking about pain and pain management, but the exact same rules apply to weight gain (or any "less than desirable" physical state).
"Symbiotic yet Proactive" does NOT imply complacency, nor does it imply harsh self critique.
The phrase means that we want to practice radical acceptance for WHERE WE ARE, while also acknowledging that it is going to take some deliberate effort to get to where we WANT TO BE.
Don't wake up tomorrow expecting things to be different and being disappointed when they're not. Accept the way things are, but feel empowered by the knowledge that you're going to work to change it.
Get SMART About Your Goals
Goals are great, but they can be problematic if not created and deployed well.
Many of us have heard of SMART goals.
Depending on the school of thought, the acronym can mean slightly different things, but for our purposes let's go with this: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
The way that I prefer to work through a SMART goal is to practice some good ol' reverse engineering. I work from the LONG TERM GOAL to the WEEKLY GOAL to the DAILY GOAL and be sure to include the minor habits that will support those goals. I will use an example below:
--> Let's say that my current goal (June of 2021) is to drop 7 total pounds.
-->I know that a healthy rate of weight loss is about 1% of my total bodyweight, or 1-1.5 lbs. per week. So I am going to set my overall goal as: I want to lose 7 pounds in 7 weeks.
--> I've been getting an average of 3-4 days of workouts, and 1-2 days of walking per week over the last several months. In order to increase my energy expenditure, I am going to set the standard that I maintain 4-5 days of workouts, and 2 days per week of additional activity (walking, dance class, etc.). --> I am going to accomplish this ^^ goal by scheduling a set time at 12pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to exercise. My "Plan B" will be 4:30PM. --> I've been eating an average of 2300 kcals per day over the last several months. In order to decrease my energy intake, I am going to commit to eating 2000 kcals per day. Note: if you want to lose weight, you should know at least a ballpark of your daily caloric intake. This number will most likely need to be monitored during and after your weight loss phase.
--> I am going to commit to getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.
--> I am going to accomplish this ^^ goal by taking my Natural Calm Magnesium at night and shutting down work a minimum of 2 hours before bed.
Final step? Keep your agreements to yourself.
If you "fall off" of your plan, adjust around it and get right back on it. No spiraling, no self deprecation.
Develop trust in yourself via daily habits and agreements that you practice and keep.
Finally: Focus on Sustainable Habits, NOT Short Term Tricks
Throughout this process, keep in mind that your mindset may need to change.
Most of us gained weight because...well...hyper-caloric food TASTES REALLY GOOD, and NOT moving our bodies is WAY MORE FUN than moving our bodies.
Bringing ourselves back to a place where we feel more restricted (relatively speaking) and wherein we have to exert more effort is going to be difficult.
It's going to be ESPECIALLY difficult if we adopt a mindset of "I'm only going to do this until I hit my goal."
This ^^ is where "yoyo-ing" happens.
Instead of focusing on short term results, focus on the long term lifestyle changes. Will you be able to relax a bit once you hit your goal? Probably. But you can't have 200lb habits and expect to stay in a 150lb body. You MUST adjust your perspective.
Focus on implementing sustainable habits that you could see yourself maintaining long term. Throughout your process, take note: "what are some things I could see myself doing even after my weight loss goal is accomplished?"
Maybe it's new meal prep practices, maybe it's increased vegetable intake, maybe it's better sleep hygiene.
No matter what: remember that what you do each and every day MATTERS. Get your goal established, and with every decision, ask yourself: "is this moving me closer to my goal, or further away from it?"
You know what to do next!
Have a Pain-Free day! -Mariah
PS: looking for personal coaching or just want a quick strategy session to get you going? Book some time with me HERE!
PPS: have a friend who would benefit from this article? Send it over to them! We'd greatly appreciate it!