Diet, fitness, health, Quarantine, Wellness

Who Cares About the “Quarantine 15”

Let’s talk quarantine. To be transparent, this pandemic completely derailed my fitness goals. I went from meal-prepping healthy options to cosuming comfort foods (i.e. pop-tarts, oreos, bagels) on a daily basis. For the first few weeks, I was able to maintain my diet and workout regimen–many of my favorite fitness studios (Barry’s, Aarmy, Y7) quickly launched online programming which I found to be comparable to the in-person experience.

Me doing a handstand push up during bootcamp, led by Akin Akman, one of the co-founders of AArmy (@akiniko).

Fast forward a few weeks….I fell off. Around week 5, I got furloughed from work, was in my apartment alone, and the darkness of NYC truly got to me. It was my first time on the line of depression. Zero endorphins, zero energy. As an extremely active person, I had no clue how to navigate this chapter. Interestingly, I developed one new habit—listening to Angela Davis’ inspiration each day on IGTV (@angelamanueldavis). She brought guests on each day to discuss various topics surrounding motivation and staying inspired to create during the pandemic. Through this, I somehow found the means to get the hell up and restart my commitment towards a better version of myself.

With my newfound inspiration (around week 7), I began to think about workout alternatives. I wanted my endorphins back, but had become bored with online workouts. Distance running is something that I’ve always struggled with, so I made the decision to give it a try and it worked for me! I began creating timed playlists each morning to run to at night when the streets were empty. A friend recommended that I try Strava, which gives you a summary of your run and allows you to track your daily, weekly, and/or monthly mileage and splits.

I soon learned that I could not run every day (recovery is crucial) so I began to use a jump rope and stretch on my off days. Jumping gave me the intensity and burn that I felt when running. I created playlists with songs of various tempos to jump to and found myself getting more and more invested in the creativity of it all.

Jumping rope on my rooftop to a playlist.

In addition to jumping back into workouts, I pushed myself to return to a healther diet. I started getting a weekly shipment of healthy meals from Freshly (I highly recommend for anyone new to healthy eating). The optimal way to eat cleanly is to cook your own meals, but I found Freshly to be one of the better ready-to-eat options. It gave me a lot of ideas in regards to my own meal prepping and allowed me to get accustomed to smaller portion sizes. Regardless of your fitness goal(s), it is important to understand of the amount you should be eating.

At the end of May, I fled NYC to quaratine with my best friend in California. I kept my routine, but also expanded my activities to include outdoor cycling and yoga. Through consuming a lot of self-help content, I was able to take a lot of pressure off of myself. I came to terms with the fact that yes, my body will be different for the time being. I’ve lost muscle mass, I’ve gained weight. It’s OK.

Presently, I’m much happier—my only fitness goal is to listen to my body. Some days I run and do a bootcamp, and other days I don’t workout at all.”

Presently, I’m much happier—my only fitness goal is to listen to my body. Some days I run and do a bootcamp, and other days I don’t workout at all. What’s changed is that now I refuse to look at rest as a bad thing. I’m aware that I overworked myself pre-pandemic and was causing more harm than good. To be honest, I’ve seen more positive changes physically and mentally than I did during months of hardcore working out pre-quarantine.

It doesn’t seem that we’ll be out of the woods for a while, so I urge you to put away the scale and get in touch with your body. Attempt something you wouldn’t under normal circumstances and then listen to your body’s reaction. Try a workout online, cook a healthier meal, or go for a run/long bike ride—you might surprise yourself!

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