The Journey to Weight Loss: Staying Fit in a Pandemic

Working Out and Semi Fit fam In Quarantine

The fact that I just had a one hour conversation with my friend Chioma and all our talk revolved around fitness, exercise, weight loss and portion control; the same with Tolu and Yinka, this work-from-home did me strong thing sha. I know my friends will see this post and be like you are not a fat girl; look at your collarbones.

For the longest time, I have maintained a size 8, in fact, one of my friends disputes it. She calls me a size 6, but that is about to change because quarantine has made me a size 10 going on a size 12 if I dare allow nature to run its course.
I sincerely felt I was in the category of girls that could eat without growing fat because I have always loved food. Food is my love language and the only way to my heart. I love food in all forms, shapes and sizes and I always step my food down with a cold fizzy drink. cocacola has my heart and can take all my money because what!!!! that is the drink for champions,okay I digress. I eat junk without restraint and since I was heavily invested in soda,a close friend suggested that I buy a piggy box each time I crave fizzy drinks I should put the money in my piggy box instead, trust your girl to put the 200 naira for drinks inside the piggy box and still go head to purchase soda from the closest store, because the craving was bad, quarantine had me buying a pack of drinks to make myself happy, I then moved to seemingly healthier alternatives such as Freshyo and Hollandia yoghurts but who was I deceiving, those ones made me look as chubby as a new bride.

While growing, my mum often assured me that I was among the 1% of the 1% of the Lord’s beloved that could eat without getting fat. In fact she usually told us a joke that at birth I was so small and tiny and I would slip of the legs and hands of whoever’s was bathing me down to the bath tub. True to her words, for many years I didn’t add weight despite my unhealthy eating habits. I knew there was a problem when my toned arms began to look like the Christian mother’s arm (bingo arm) and my favourite clothes were tighter. Many of my casual clothes are tilted towards androgyny so they could easily accommodate the weight.
I began to think of my entire work wardrobe and the fact that I am about to lose my best dresses to my 3 younger sisters who will be more than happy to evenly distribute my clothes.

Important Digression
With a great sense of urgency I need to add this, if you ever notice that an individual is fat, adding weight or losing weight, the first and best thing to do is to keep quiet ,unless you guys are tight and you make such jokes like my friends and I throw jabs at each other’s weight on a regular. For example, you are not in the league of folks that can call me on a video call with no prior notice, my weight gain or loss should not be your focus. I know the temptation to talk is strong but dearly beloved, resist the devil and he will flee, because I already have the details, I have a pair of eyes, a standing mirror and my cloth fit tells me. Trust me it’s either I love it or I am doing something about it either ways, let us learn to reserve our comments.

Weight Gain and Lessons Learnt
Gaining weight is easy, at least for most people, with a little uncensored junk here and there with little or no fat-burning activity (Low metabolism) you already have an additional 3kg. However, the entire process of losing weight is as tough as hell. I had to learn the hard way that losing is not as immediate as I would love seeing that I did not gain the weight in one day, it has accumulated over time. Being fit is also life long process, it is not once and for all. At some point during my full-body workout, I was doing a squat punch and I started punching fast and furiously in the air blaming myself for being careless about my weight.
The importance of carbs is exaggerated, I went for over 52 hours without food, and this experiment taught me that I could survive for a week without my staple food such as rice and pasta, even though I gave up and on the evening of the 3rd day I had to order a plate of pounded yam egusi soup and goat meat, because we are taking it a step at a time.
Your body will adjust, trust me, in as much as the spirit is willing to move the body, the body will adjust it will revolt more often than not but it will adjust
Don’t wait for anyone
Fitness can be a lonely journey more often than not the motivation is internal than external. While having accountability partners is really good, you must understand that your fitness goals are unique to you.
When I noticed that I was eating without control in the second month of the lock down, I decided to start working out in May with my partner as my accountability partner, despite our different schedules, we wanted to make this work. The young man slyed me, and I was alone but I chose not to be discouraged because we both had different fitness goals.
They say it takes an average of three weeks to form a habit, while this might be true, but I must add that it take consistency and persistence to form a habit. Some days your body doesn’t want you to work out but the need to be consistent is important, listen to your body but it is okay to push yourself too. I am in the category of people that detest strict routines, I can’t seem to stick to routines, but this period taught me to stick to the routine of working out daily irrespective of how busy my day was. On some days, I work out grudgingly on other days I am excited and pumping with adrenaline. My friends also encouraged me to incorporate a healthy lifestyle such as taking apple cider vinegar, taking more of green tea with honey, consuming skimmed milk and taking intermittent fast very seriously.

Practice makes perfection,
I was very clumsy at the beginning, because my body was not used to being deliberate about exercise, but from experience, I know my body responds well to work outs, because used to be a sports person before life happened to be and I joined the fine babe gang or wannabe gang.
When I started working out, I worked out for 15 minutes and it would seem like I was going to pass out. As time went on, I began to extend my work out to 25 minutes, I am currently at 35 minutes, even though on some days I listen to my body and stop after 20 or 25 minutes. I tried a variety of apps and procedures before I finally decide to stick to YouTube work out routines. I combine Chloe Ting and Emi Wong’s work outs, and they have been are such life savers for me. I hate jumping exercises; I don’t want to disturb my neighbors, so their full body work outs and the abs challenge worked perfectly for me.
As at the time that this post was typed, I have a worked out consistently for over three months inspite of my schedule. I am still sticking to indoor exercises for now. Has my weight loss been drastic? Not at all, I have made tremendous progress since I started. My abs is beginning to form and I get really uncomfortable when I have not worked out in a day. These days, I am no longer concerned with weight loss, I just love the fact that I am taking steps and being more intentional about living a healthy life.
They say weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet, I have also included intermittent fasting or the OMAD (One Meal a Day) on days when I can. I drink water like my life depends on it these days. I get this rush of excitement when I am working out, because I feel like I am doing the right thing even when it is hard. When I go on social media, I also feel like I am a part of the league of cool kids, and you know when you read online that exercise facilitates hair growth or it assists in your skin care regimen it makes me so proud of myself and how far I have come.

I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section. How is your quarantine body going, what steps are you taking to achieve your fitness goals while working from home? Are you like me or you are among God’s chosen ones who eat without adding weight?

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