How to Gain Weight During a Pandemic
Said almost no one ever!
The truth is that life has taken some unexpected and frustrating turns in the last few weeks, and we all know that the first thing to go is your lifestyle. That seems ridiculous to me! Your family needs you- so if that means you take a bit of the extra time that you have right now and take one action a day to stay healthy, then you owe it to your family to do just that. If you are one of the many who have less time right now and more risk to your health, then you also owe it to your family to take as many health-promoting actions as possible every day.
This is the time to focus on your health- especially if you don’t feel like it. Someone smarter than me once told me that the less you want to do something the more you need to do it. I have come to agree completely with that sentiment. Of course, it is tempting to retreat and worry about all of this tomorrow, but what if tomorrow is just like today? We need our health to get through life’s ups and downs, making this the time to worry about your wellness - not tomorrow, not when life gets back to normal, not when you feel more in control.
So, let’s not gain back the weight, lose the muscle conditioning, let the blood sugar creep up, or any of the things that you have been working on so diligently prior to Pandemic 2020.
If you join me in the mindful eating camp you know how important it is to honor what your body needs in the moment, but with so much going on right now how do you really know what your body needs? Those tricky emotions can wreak havoc on your hunger signals, stress actually makes you physically hungry, and a stressed body will work really hard to hang on to “emergency weight” in case the perceived apocalypse actually comes to pass.
But hey, if you want to forget about all your hard work before this moment here is your guide to gaining weight during a pandemic….
How to Gain Weight During a Pandemic
Don’t create a schedule. You’re totally stressed, why not let chaos rule your emotions. Whatever you do don’t figure out a way to fit in some exercise (stress relieving) or plan you meals (removing impulse choices). Don’t have a plan and you will find that slowly but surely you will gain at least a pound a week.
Meal planning is for wimps. You can totally figure out what you need to eat in the moment, after all you have an abundance of non-perishable items, thousands of rolls of toilet paper, and the ability to just run out to the 24-hour-mart for fresh healthy food whenever you want. I mean, I’m just saying having a plan to intelligently use groceries seems excessive, you are a pro and totally know how to use canned beans in place of your usual fresh organic meats.
Exercise is for gyms and fitness centers only. Don’t waste your time following yoga videos or going for a walk. If you want to gain weight stay stressed by becoming very sedentary. Again, stress = weight gain…fitness = stress management. You can do that math. When they reopen the gym you will be so motivated to get back out there that you will be happy you had the break.
Feed your emotions. This is the most important if you are a mindful eater. We all know that mindful eating means being aware of what you need. Clearly the stress and uncertainty associated with this pandemic means that you need to find exactly the right mix of sugar and empty calories to quell the stress and anxiety of isolation. Also true for mindful eating is the fact that well balanced meals even in stressful times can often fill an emotional need while nourishing your body- but don’t worry about that- this is your time to enjoy unlimited peanut butter cups!!
Mulitask. Always make sure to fill your time with as many tasks as possible. Eat while working from your home office, walk to the convenience store to replenish the a fore mentioned peanut butter cups, leave the news on 24/7- but especially through dinner, and make sure that your little screens also have news alerts set to interrupt whatever you are focusing on. Single tasking means that you will have to be present, and it’s said that when you are present you are less likely to freak out about the overwhelming unknown. So, whatever you do, don’t remain present. It will undo all the work of stressing and freaking that isolation causes.
I guess you have the choice here. You can continue on- situation normal all forked up (or SNAFU) and focus on the important things: mainly your health, getting back to normal, staying well to care for your family and work your job, and finding the joy in the little things.
Or you might prefer to put your life on quarantine too, I wonder who wins in that scenario?