Spring has finally sprung! 💕🌸
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the blossom trees are blooming…
Business as usual for all except…
Because we are now into week three (or thereabouts, I’ve lost count already!) of a pandemic lockdown… on a global scale. 😮
Oh, how I wish I was joking… or dreaming!
But, no, from the US to Australia, we are going into an Easter break with a difference…
No mass gatherings like concerts or sports events are scheduled, no traditional Easter ceremonies will be open to the public at large. 😢
In the interest of public health and safety, we are only encouraged to leave our houses for food and exercise. 😬😷
Children’s playgrounds are closed, public sunbathing is discouraged… 😐😷
And it feels so surreal when juxtaposed against the spring feeling that is exploding in nature all around us. 🌸😱
With everything hanging in the balance, our future plans, our health, our security, it is difficult not to feel upset, angry and anxious as we come to terms with a new ”normal” existence that focuses heavily on ”social distancing” and hygiene practices that just a few months ago would have seemed to be bordering on OCD.
Dry, cracked hands from constant scrubbing, anyone? 😖
The fact that this ”new normal” is set to continue for the foreseeable future only serves to heighten our overall sense of powerlessness and despair…
Negative emotions which all too easily give way to negative habits that swerve between the extremes of too little and too much (sleep or food, usually), leaving us in a state of weakened physical and emotional health at a time when we are relying on a healthy and functioning immune system to protect us from the worst effects of the pandemic.
Now, if you are familiar with this blog, you will know that I spent much of last year working towards my post-baby weight-loss goals.
It was tough, but after around six months of serious lifestyle changes, I finally reached my goal weight in February of last year.
It was a relatively small achievement in the grand scale of things but it gave me a bit of a boost to work towards other long-held life goals.
And, little by little, things were falling into place…
Until a few weeks ago when we went into lockdown. 😩
Now, all our plans are on hold and if I avoid the news for a few days and forget (sort of) about the pandemic threat, I am feeling annoyed and irritated about being stuck in limbo without an obvious end in sight.
I don’t know about you, my dear readers, but whenever I am upset or irritated about anything I really struggle to eat healthily.
If I am not off my food entirely (an occurrence strictly reserved for disasters of gargantuan proportions! 😐)…
Comfort eating is generally my preferred coping strategy. 😳
And to tell the truth, over the past week or so, I have fallen a little into the comfort eating trap. 😳
An extra biscuit (or three) here and there, comfort carbs for breakfast, lunch, dinner… ooh and snacks too!
It has to stop and soon before I pack on all those unwanted pounds again! 😱
So, to turn it all around and maintain my goal weight, I will be sticking to the following (foolproof 🤞) plan…
1. Say no to emotional eating
This one is so hard, especially in the current unprecedented circumstances when all I really want to do is bury my frustrations and sorrows in a mega-sized tub of ice cream! 🐷
And then, there is the boredom factor to contend with…
We are at home practically all the time now.
Our schedules aren’t jam-packed, we aren’t rushing around to get places so…
Occasionally, just occasionally, the boredom munchies might set in…
A huge gaping hole that can only be filled with chocolate, and lots of it.
Where emotional eating is concerned, distraction can be an effective tool at your disposal.
Watch something funny on YouTube instead, minus the munchies!
Get stuck into a project that you had been putting off pre-lockdown.
A spot of decluttering, anyone? 😬
2. Don’t shy away from exercise
Honestly, exercise is not my favourite thing to do!
The summoning up of energy, the getting hot and sweaty, the afterpains…
Not a fan!
Pre-lockdown, the bulk of my exercise probably did consist of running around the shops on a daily basis.
Now that those trips are limited, I need to find an alternative reason to get up and go…
Step forward TikTok dance routines…
Incredibly addictive and, if done properly, they require a whole lot of moving about.
A home gym in an app, I kid you not! 😉
3. Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach
As things stand, grocery shopping can amount to the highlight of our day…
Well, until we get to the supermarket to find a queue a mile long and security men at the door to enforce the ”social distancing” rules we all need to abide by. 😮
And then, once inside, it is not uncommon to find that most of the items on our list are absent from the shelves and/or out of stock! 😱
So, taking all that into account, it is hard to not go a little crazy with anything that happens to be in stock and…
Until we get to the till to find that there are limits on the number of items of the same thing, such as pasta, that we can now purchase. 😮
Queues, food shortages, buying restrictions all serve to add to our stress and anxiety, so, if we have not eaten before embarking on such a stressful supermarket trip, it will be very difficult (no, make that impossible) to resist filling up our trollies with every comforting carb we can get away with! 😳
All of which neatly leads me onto why we should go…
4. Steady on the sugar
If I could get away with it, I would probably exist solely on sugar at the moment – a bit like my tween tries to do…
All. The. Time! 😐
Then, there is also the fact that we have more time on our hands and baking together can be a nice family bonding experience.
Just don’t let the toddler get involved!
The resultant mess will just make you want to eat everything you’ve just baked…
On the flip side, attempting to cut out sugar altogether can be counterproductive.
The cold-turkey headaches alone are often enough to set you up for a sugar-laden relapse.
So, where sugar is concerned, moderation is definitely the best policy.
I find that sticking to my WW (Weight Watchers) diet habit of two biscuits a day, at the very most, staves off the worst of my sugar cravings without leading me into binge territory. 😊
5. Write down everything you eat
This final point is really the key to it all!
While we are all stuck at home on lockdown, we’re cooking more, we’re around food, we’re thinking about food almost all of the time.
It is so easy to nibble here, dip in there without being mindful of what or how much we are really putting into our mouths each day.
Not to mention the fact that we are moving around so much less than usual that our calorie intake should, ideally, be lower than our pre-lockdown amount.
Harsh but true!
The only truly effective way to keep ourselves in check is to track our food intake each and every day…
In other words, if we have to write it all down…
We will quickly see where we are tending to overindulge and can tweak if necessary.
Or, overhaul completely, as the case may be! 😳
So, there you have it, folks!
Lockdown is a challenge, and not least where our waistlines are concerned!
But with the right attitude and an injection of good old-fashioned discipline, we might just manage to come out of this experience looking a whole lot better than your average Big Brother contestant on their eviction night! 😉
Until then, stay safe and happy, my dear readers!
Till next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
*All gifs are via GIPHY