Why I Stopped Trying to Lose Weight During Quarantine
In my last post, where I wrote about restarting keto after a break from low carb, I admitted that I gained back the four pounds I’d lost (plus one) so far this year. I also admitted that I’m not beating myself up over the weight gain.
In fact, I’m proud to report that I actually stopped myself from gaining even more weight! (I’ll talk about that a little more at the end.)
Today I’m talking about the
reasons excuses reasons why I gained weight during quarantine and why I’m okay with it – even though my goal is still to lose twenty pounds this year.
A quick heads up: This website is part informational, part personal weight loss journal. If you’re here for information only and not for my personal weight loss journaling you might want to skip this post. No hard feelings, I promise. You need what you need, friend. 🙂
After falling off the weight loss track during quarantine and struggling to get myself back on the train, I need a place to hash it all out. I need to examine why I gave up on losing weight for four months.
Before I move forward with self-forgiveness and a renewed desire to lose twenty pounds this year I need to examine what went wrong.
But First Some History
You can read the whole long story about my low carb, high fat weight loss year in review if you want.
Long story short . . . if I can . . .
My weight loss story from January 2019-July 2020:
- I did a two-week keto experiment in January 2020.
- Starting weight – 181.4 lbs (I’m 5’2″)
- I lost 4.8 lbs in two weeks.
- After two weeks on keto I began a low carb, high fat diet.
- In six months I lost 18 more pounds. (158.6)
- Total weight loss in 2019 was 22.8 pounds.
- I stopped trying to lose weight around August 2019.
- By January 2020 I’d regained 8.2 pounds. (166.8 lbs on 1/1/20)
- After gaining two more pounds over the winter, I did a keto reset in March 2020.
- I lost 4.4 pounds. (163 lbs on 3/18/20)
- Quarantine happened. I gave up on losing weight. I gained five pounds.
- Today, July 27, 2020, I’m 168.6 pounds. Up ten pounds in a year.
So, here’s why I gained weight during quarantine.
I Didn’t Want to Set Myself Up For Failure
Look, after 41 years of living with myself I know where my strengths and weaknesses lie.
Staying away from comfort foods when I feel out of sorts is something I’m still working on.
For me, losing weight is not a mindless endeavour. It takes focus, willpower, and most of all, desire.
The moment I shifted from “now’s a good time to tackle twenty more pounds” to “what is happening to our world right now?!” I knew I needed to keep my focus on the basics.
And so I did.
I Stocked My Home With Non-Perishables
When the news came of lockdowns in other states I knew it was prudent to stock my home with dry goods and non-perishables. I have a family of five, which includes three teenage boys.
If food shortages occurred I knew we could rely on beans, rice, pasta, granola bars, flour, oatmeal, grits, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, tuna, soup etc to keep us alive. Calories became important; dietary preferences were pushed aside.
If I had only myself to feed I might have stocked up on more expensive non-perishable low carb items like grass fed beef sticks, cheese crisps, pecans, and keto bars.
The truth is I can’t afford to feed my whole family a low carb, high fat diet. Also, I’m the only one in my family who actually wants to eat a low carb, high fat diet.
I Couldn’t Find The Foods I Usually Eat on Low Carb, High Fat
It’s not a secret that some foods – especially meats – were harder to find during the early months of the pandemic. I resorted to feeding my family pasta and vegetarian meals to help our meat purchases stretch further.
And then the egg shortage happened.
Good heavens . . . I don’t really want to relive those weeks in my mind. We all know how crazy the grocery game became during that time.
I Wanted to Support Local Restaurants
My family was fortunate that our household income wasn’t affected by the pandemic. I feel grateful and so very blessed. However, we know several families who weren’t so fortunate.
Our local restaurants, like many others around the country, were hurt by the lockdown. In April and May we participated in our local youth soccer club’s “Club Family Day” each week at the restaurants owned by fellow club members.
On another night each week we picked a different restaurant to support. This meant eating out twice per week.
It helped to stretch our groceries, which we were now paying a premium for through delivery apps. Often the cost of eating out wasn’t much more than the cost of one homemade dinner.
After I’d factored in the cost of the delivery membership, the price of groceries through the app, and the 50-100% tip that I believed the shopper more than deserved, it was often cheaper to eat out.
I did what I felt was right for my family, my finances, and my fellow business owners.
I definitely enjoyed eating a lot of my old favorite foods. It was temporary and I have no regrets.
I Wanted to Enjoy Food
Speaking of my old carb-heavy favorites . . . I didn’t let my initial quarantine pantry stock-up go to waste.
I baked goodies to fill the time and to create the happiness that things like warm chocolate chip cookies, homemade bread, biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, and french toast bring to me and my family.
We all know how carbs soothe the soul – even as they spike the insulin.
How I Halted My Quarantine Weight Gain
After going from two weeks on keto right back to a high carb diet the weight came back on quickly.
About two weeks into quarantine I knew I needed to put some measures in place to stop the weight gain.
So, what did I do to stop my weight gain at five pounds?
- I spent more time on my hobbies.
- I played games with my family.
- I spent more time in the sun and read a lot of books.
- I took my supplements consistently since my food choices weren’t as nutrient dense.
- I drank a lot of sparkling water.
- I drank a lot of unsweetened hot tea.
- I indulged, but I didn’t overindulge. (I ate only until I was full.)
- I was intentional about what I ate and didn’t eat mindlessly.
- I fully enjoyed every bite and didn’t beat myself up over my choices.
- I journalled. A lot.
- I added a new exercises to my routine.
- I reached for my knitting or my journal instead of food when I felt sad or anxious.
- I continued to practice intermittent fasting. Frankly, this may be the most important thing I did to stop my weight gain.
Which leads me to my next point.
I’m in a Good Place with Weight Maintenance
As I move from the uncertain spring of 2020 into summer my desire to lose weight has returned.
The fact that I ate a high carb diet for four months and only gained five pounds – at my age!- says to me that I can easily shed the weight once I’m back to track.
And, I’ve finally learned how to enjoy high carb foods without overeating. I actually can have just one cookie and walk away. I can finally eat just one slice of homemade bread and feel satisfied.
Going low carb has taught me how to eat carbs in moderation when I chose to indulge. But, the truth is that I chose to indulge less often. I know the treats will be there when I want them.
Sometimes it’s just not worth the indulgence and sometimes it is. I control when to indulge and when to make healthy choices.
It’s clear to me that a low carb lifestyle is the healthiest way for me to live. I quickly feel the negative effects of a high carb diet and it was never my intention to go on that way forever.
I have clarity about why I need a mainly-low-carb life to be the best me I can be.
Now – four months into whatever this new normal is and is going to be – I’m ready to tackle those next twenty pounds!