Hi Pretties! Today we’re going to be talking about pandemic pounds. Whether it’s the quaran-ten, which is what I’m calling mine because I’ve gained 10 pounds in six weeks or the quarantine fifteen, which you’ve probably seen tons of memes floating around, it’s something that a lot of us are dealing with right now. Before we start, I want to be super clear about this. I’m all about body positivity, and I don’t think a number on a scale should define any portion of our self worth whatsoever! This is not about weight loss, it’s about health, it’s about feeling good. Again, I just want to throw out the disclaimer. This is not a place of shame. We have been through a lot these past six to eight weeks, and I want us all to all give ourselves some grace. If you are struggling, if you have gained weight, just know that we’re all there. A lot of us are emotionally eating right now. That’s exactly why I’ve gained 10 pounds. I’m eating for a couple of reasons. I go to the kitchen because I’m bored and I open the refrigerator just to give myself entertainment. I’m not hungry. I’m just going there to get snacks because it’s entertainment for me. I’m also eating for comfort. Honestly, I’ve been doing a lot of comfort food eating. I have been baking. I have been cooking. We’ve been eating way more sweets than we ever eat. I don’t even crave sweets. I’m a salty, fried foods kind of person, but I’ve really been craving sugar lately. I know that this comfort food thing is coming from a deeper reason. If you’re in this position, if you’re feeling this way, give yourself some grace and cut yourself some slack.
Even more so lately I have been feeling sluggish and definitely not myself. With summer around the corner, I tried on my shorts last week and with my pear shape body, those 10 pounds went south of the border for me and I couldn’t get my shorts to button. I don’t feel like buying new shorts so I decided it’s time for me to hit the reset button. And it’s not just about the shorts, I just haven’t been feeling that great lately and for me, it’s time. I’m just being totally honest with you about this topic and I want to handle it with sensitivity too. I want you to know that if you’re not ready to hit the reset button yet, that’s okay! You don’t have to right now but know that when you’re ready you’ll have this resource at your disposal and a fantastic support system over on the Pretties Facebook page. Click below to see the full Coffee Chat video.
Now it’s time to talk about my five baby steps to getting back on track. If you’ve been around GYPO for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about these before. It’s a great way to reset after possibly a vacation, the holidays, in this case, a pandemic or anytime you feel that you’ve gone off course and want to make small steps to get back on track. When I feel derailed I use these steps and it helps me to gradually ease back in. These are steps that you can layer in one at a time. You can do it a day at a time, a week at a time, or even a month at a time. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing it and making new habits and holding yourself accountable. To help with accountability, I highly encourage you to join the Pretties Facebook group and I also have this handy dandy Healthy Habits Tracker that you can download free. Let’s get started!
Five Baby Steps for Getting Back on Track
1. Drink More Water
This is not going to come as a surprise to you, but it’s drink more water. Drinking water is a problem area for me because I want to drink coffee. I love coffee, I love tea, I love the caffeine and I love the way it tastes. I reach for my coffee the second I get out of bed so this is a problem area for me. I know that I have to get a lot of water in and I want to get started on it as soon as possible. I have my three-ish cups of coffee in the morning and then I try to switch over to water. You can layer this step in overtime. I try to aim for 64 ounces a day and upping my water instantly makes me feel healthier. I don’t know what it is about it, but if I up my water intake for three days straight, I feel like I have more energy, my focus is better and overall, I just don’t feel as sluggish when I’m drinking enough water.
2. Evaluate Your Food Intake
I start small and by starting small, I try to cut out my snacks or replace my snacks with healthier snacks. For instance, I was snacking on potato chips. I love kettle chips! I decided that I was gonna cut out my snacking on potato chips before I went to bed and replace it with something healthier. I got 100 calorie packs of almonds and I also have yogurts that I snack on. I have replaced my unhealthy snacks with healthier snacks and I’m trying to cut back on snacking between meals. I’ve also tried to curb my sugar cravings with something like blueberries or other types of fruit.
As I said, I start out small by cutting out the junk food and replacing my snacks for better ones, then I start to layer in more whole foods. If you’re out shopping, think about shopping the perimeter of the grocery store because that’s where your whole foods are going to be. They’re not going to be in the boxes of processed foods in the center sections of the store. Try to stick to your produce, your dairy and your meat section if you’re a meat-eater.
3. Get Moving
Aim for moving your body at least 20 minutes a day doing something that you love. Maybe that’s just taking a walk, playing outside with your kids, even dancing, whatever it may be, just get moving. If you’ve never loved exercise in your life, just find something you love, there’s something out there for everyone.
4. Get Your Sleep
Raise your hand if your sleep has been disturbed since all this has been going on. I’m going to raise both hands. I have trouble sleeping as it is and this has not helped. I’ve been having crazy, wild dreams. I’ve heard a lot of people are having the same issue. I’ve been waking up tons of times at night and it’s been hard for me to stay on the same sleep schedule. When you get your sleep set schedule screwed up, you screw up your circadian rhythms and it’s really hard to get a good night’s sleep. Try to aim for the same bedtime every night and the same awake time every day. I know that this is thrown off for a lot of us, especially if you don’t have to get ready to go into work or be up by a certain time to get the kids off to school. There are so many factors that are just throwing our sleep schedules way off. Try to get back into a good rhythm with your sleeping. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night. Not a whole lot more. Not a whole lot less and you’re going to feel a whole lot better.
Although I labeled this step meditation, it really encompasses anything that fills your soul. You can make this time your prayer time, you’re journaling time, your reading time or time that you sit on your front porch and chill out in the sun for a few minutes. I think it’s super important for us to carve out this time each day. Many of us have more time now that we can focus on this and we need to take advantage of that. I start every single morning the same way, with my cup of coffee, reading my daily devotionals and typing in my prayer journal. I’ve been keeping a journal for at least 10 years, a word document that I keep on my laptop. I’m able to easily reflect back and that has been amazing for me. But it doesn’t have to be journaling, maybe it’s painting, whatever it is, do something that’s going to help you clear your mind and be at peace.
I promise you, if you just hit the reset button and layer in these baby steps over time, that you’re going to feel a lot better. Remember, you don’t have to make all the changes at once because the best way to eat the elephant is one bite at a time. These changes are things that you can do slowly and progressively. Maybe you up your water intake for a week, then the next week you work on cutting out the junk food and you continue to add the steps each week. The tracker is designed so that you can do it however you want to, whatever works for you. So be sure to download it then join us in our Pretties Facebook group and we can support each other through the reset.