Unlike most people in quarantine, I didn't gain weight, I lost it. A lot of it.
Within a matter of weeks, I lost almost 40Ibs. For most people, this would be considered an achievement, since while under lockdown, the majority of the population spent their time snacking and gaining some "quarantine chub." You might be thinking, "Wow, you're so lucky! I wish I could do that." I hate to break it to you fellow reader, but I don't see myself substituting meals with unseasoned crackers, butter, and water as "lucky." I don't see myself considering the calories, carb load, and sugars before picking up a piece of fruit "lucky."
And I don't see hating myself for eating food, forgetting to exercise, or having body rolls as anywhere near "lucky."
One thing I did learn from quarantine and from summer 2020 is this — if no one is going to hand you a positive outlook, then it's your time to shine, cupcake.
Being out of work and having classes online, I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I could've spent the whole time slowly heading into a pit of despair while simultaneously starving myself. OR, I could cook for myself and my family and enjoy being around food without feeling bad about it for the first time in my life. Personally, a lot of my "self-starving" comes from the need to enjoy a meal around other people, thus when I'm in my room isolated and alone I don't really feel the need to eat.
This changed when I went back home and lived with my parents who eat meals together.
I had to thank my mom for the opportunity when she broke her wrist in April. Since she was the regular head chef in the kitchen, I jumped at the opportunity to take her place and make meals for the family. I started with the meals I'd made before, like foil packet salmon and teriyaki chicken. A few meals later, I was working my way up to dishes I'd never tried making before like crockpot ribs, homemade pizza, lemon pepper scallops, fish tacos, homemade pesto, and a new spicy tofu recipe that has become a weekly meal for my family.
While some of these meals may seem pretty simple, the sheer thought of venturing outside of my safety zone used to be terrifying for me. Now, it's more of an adventure.
I even took a crack at baking, of which (when I'm not tired), I'm pretty good at. I've made chocolate chip muffins, banana muffins, banana and oatmeal pancakes, gluten-free brownies, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I'm boasting about the cookies the most since I once had a record of either making cookie islands (cookies spread out too much that they essentially become a cookie cake) or burning them.
I know what you might be thinking, "Wow, I guess you gained all that weight back, huh?" Actually, no I did not.
I just created a sustainable diet for myself, one where I don't punish myself for needing food.
My favorite thing from this experiment is that I didn't really exercise a whole lot. I did some simple cardio like taking my dogs for a walk, doing household chores, getting groceries, and yoga.
I have a lot of bad experience when it comes to diets and exercise in general, which is why I'm pretty reluctant to exercise at all.
This just means I need to reintroduce exercise to myself at a slower pace which gives me more time to enjoy the things I have started to introduce to myself such as eating alone, enjoying the food I make, and putting my concerns about "deserving to eat" to rest.
If you're hungry, no matter your "crime" or your "sin," everyone deserves to have a full belly — don't let anyone tell you otherwise.