Weight Loss in the Age of COVID-19

I have always struggled to maintain weight loss.  I’m deliberate when I use the word ‘maintain’ because my issue has never been about the process of losing weight.  I’ve experimented with veganism, keto, and even liquid diets. They all work.  It’s not rocket science.  Burn more calories than you consume, and you will lose weight. But as with anything in life, it’s all about maintenance.  It has been tough maintaining weight loss during COVID-19.

At the start of 2020, I did what I always do.  Set my weight loss goal, pick my diet of choice, set up my gym routine. Then COVID-19 reared its ugly head. I worked from home for a couple of months and found myself losing weight since I was home to prepare healthy meals. My issue has always been about convenience; my default setting is fast food that I eat on the go.  I do love to cook, but hate the cleanup. Being home gave me the opportunity to cook, clean, and feel good about my choices.

The pandemic temporarily took my triggers away.

However, as 2020 continued on, I returned to work, and as things opened up again I was gaining weight. As the year drew to a close I was at my heaviest.  I would justify ordering food from restaurants because I didn’t want them to go out of business.  I could say that I was fulfilling my Samaritan duty, and fulfilling it well, as this boy can eat.

I did attempt to return to the gym in August of 2020 once they reopened. However, no one wore masks at the gym, there was no social distancing and no one was wiping down their machines after use. I lasted two days. I also found it difficult to work out being as heavy as I had gotten. Needless to say, the weight continued to pile on. I would justify the poor food choice by saying to myself, ‘one last cheat meal, and then I’m back on the wagon tomorrow.’ But then tomorrow comes and I don’t get back on the wagon.  I have fallen off the wagon, been run over by the wagon, and now I’m being dragged by the wagon into every drive-thru within a 5 miles radius.

We’re now in 2021.  I will expose myself and say that as of January 1, 2021, my weight ballooned to 330 lbs.  I write this number publicly to hold myself accountable. I started using a meal delivery service so that I would have the convenience I need in my meals without the poor meal choices of a drive-thru window. I understand this puts a band-aid on the issue and I will have to address my poor food choices to maintain the pending weight loss.

In the past, my weight has been mostly inspired by a need to change my physical appearance. Now that I am in my mid-40’s it’s all about health since I’m already starting to see health issues pop up related to the weight gain that I will address in future posts.

After a certain age, the reality is that the food that once brought you joy and pleasure to eat now causes pain and discomfort.  I need to break the cycle of the yoyo dieting or I will cut my time on this planet short and it will be by my own hands. The weight loss journey has begun and I will continue to share updates on my progress for the entire year.  Wish me luck!

Written by Raul Lara, Small Group, Individual and Medicare Specialist, Sapoznik Insurance