I lost weight and improved my fitness during the pandemic, especially during the height of quarantine. And apparently that's an anomaly as I'm learning through reports of Weight Gain & Stress Eating in the Pandemic. The need for comfort food and the isolation and extended downtime we've all experienced since early last March have led to a new phenomenon -- "the pandemic fifteen." But that wasn't my experience, and the key to it was sticking to routines.
I am truly a creature of habit, and I really depend on my rituals to keep me sane. So, when the quarantine hit, and with it the urge to cocoon with Netflix, booze, and baked goods, I knew I needed to stick to my habits if I was going to avoid weight gain and less fitness. And, that was all the more necessary with the rise of "Zoom Happy Hours," which I joined even when they happened on nights I normally don't drink. I'm mostly a weekend imbiber, so even a glass of wine on a Wednesday or Thursday is usually a sign of giving in to temptation or needing a stress reliever after a tense day.
So, in quarantine and since then, I have limited adult beverages and sweets to a Thursday-Sunday window. And I start the week with an intermittent fast on Mondays and Tuesday -- so just lunch and dinner. And I ease back into a bit of indulgence by Thursday. By Friday night, all bets are off, though only after I've completed a workout. And working out became a new challenge when the gym and pools closed down. My workouts are my own cross-fit interval training on Tuesday and Wednesday. I take Mondays and Thursdays off, but I always get in 2-3 miles of walking on those days -- another must during quarantine because I was used to get 10-14K steps a day on my 82-acre school campus.
So, the key was routine. I just set a plan and willed myself to it. It actually brought and kept a sense of normalcy in my life, and I ended losing 4-5 pounds and feeling better.