After being home two weeks into the quarantine and only wearing sweatpants, leggings, and pajamas, I decided to put on a pair of jeans. They were tight. I was in tears. It is a stressful time right now. I have to provide online lessons for my high school students, make sure my own children are completing their assignments throughout the day, feed the whole family multiple times a day, do laundry, and clean the house, all while my husband is also trying to work from home.
It is really hard not to eat everything in sight all day long. I had to do something.
I will start with a short disclaimer: I am not in the medical field, I am not a personal trainer, and I am not a nutritionist. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting an exercise program. With that said, there are three things that I have started doing since I tried on my jeans about a month ago so that I can avoid gaining the Quarantine 15. Of course, I am referring to the 15 pounds that are usually referred to as the Freshman 15, the amount of weight gained during a student’s first year of college. In these self-isolation times, I am calling it the Quarantine 15.
- Keep healthy foods in the house. I find this difficult at times because many fruits and vegetables do not last very long and I find myself going to the store more than I would like. However, try to choose fruits and vegetables that will stay fresh longer, such as apples, oranges, kiwi, carrots, potatoes, and broccoli. For those fruits and vegetables that tend to not last as long, you can use a fruit and vegetable spray that will help them stay fresh longer. I have found it quite helpful to cut up fruits and vegetables and put them in plastic containers in the refrigerator so when I am hungry, I can easily grab a healthy snack instead of a bag of chips or cookies. I also suggest checking out Knox Produce Box, which is a local produce delivery service that serves Knox, Anderson, Loudon, Roane, and Blount counties. In addition, drink lots of water. Sometimes you may think you are hungry, but if you drink a glass of water, it can fill you up for the time being.
- Start exercising at home. I hate working out. I just do not find a lot of pleasure in it. I am intimidated by machines and weights, so I am uncomfortable in gyms. Before the quarantine, my main form of exercise was playing with my kids outside in the yard. I enjoy that. But, once I realized that I was gaining weight, I started researching simple at-home workouts that do not require any weights or machines. Here are a few workouts that I have found super helpful and which I absolutely love! I usually wake up about 30 minutes earlier and complete them before everyone else in my house wakes up.
Monday: 20 squats, 15 second plank, 25 crunches, 35 jumping jacks, 15 lunges, 25 second wall sit, 10 sit-ups, 10 butt kicks, 5 push-ups (Repeat 3 times)
Tuesday: 10 squats, 30 second plank, 20 crunches, 50 jumping jacks, 25 lunges, 35 second wall sit, 35 sit-ups, 20 butt kicks, 10 push-ups (Repeat 3 times)
Wednesday: 15 squats, 40 second plank, 30 crunches, 50 jumping jacks, 25 lunges, 35 second wall sit, 30 sit-ups, 25 butt kicks, 10 push-ups (Repeat 3 times)
Thursday: 35 squats, 30 second plank, 20 crunches, 25 jumping jacks, 15 lunges, 60 second wall sit, 50 sit-ups, 35 butt kicks, 20 push-ups (Repeat 3 times)
Friday: 25 squats, 60 second plank, 30 crunches, 55 jumping jacks, 60 lunges, 45 second wall sit, 40 sit-ups, 50 butt kicks, 30 push-ups (Repeat 3 times)
10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 25 squats, 20 lunges, 80 jumping jacks, 60 second wall sit (Repeat 3 times)
10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 30 squats, 40 lunges, 50 jumping jacks, 60 second wall sit (Repeat 3 times)
I have been completing workout #1 during the week and switching up workout #2 and workout #3 on Saturdays. I do not work out on Sundays. If you are unsure of how to complete any of the exercises, there are plenty of YouTube videos that you can look up to make sure you are completing them correctly. Believe me, I had to look some of them up myself!
3. Make time for yourself. Don’t get me wrong; I have been enjoying the extra family time at home with my kids, but I still need some time to myself. Yes, I work out alone, but that is not time I consider having to myself. I prefer to have some alone time to relax each day. This could be reading, walking in the neighborhood or watching Netflix. This is important for everyone’s sanity in my house. If you are having trouble finding time for yourself, give your kids some extra screen time so you can have a few minutes to relax each day.
To sum up, I have been following the above suggestions for about a month and all of my clothes now fit comfortably and I can see results based on how my body looks, and of course, by the scale. If you are participating the Beach Body Challenge, you may find this helpful as well. I promise that if you commit to avoiding the Quarantine 15, you will not look like those after quarantine memes once you get to see your friends again.