A lot has happened these past twelve months. I got married, we immigrated, I completed a degree, and during all of this, I got fat.
At the start of 2020, I weighed about 63 kilograms (139 pounds). This was about two months after my black belt grading and I was still quite fit. I had to be fit for my grading, so I tried to keep it up. I was still exercising about six days a week, burning about 500 calories a session. So, yeah, health-wise, I was doing well and probably the thinnest I had been in my life.
But then …
But we all know what happened in 2020. The pandemic broke out.
Honestly, I was panicking. My work moved online and I no longer had karate classes. I had very little motivation to exercise as strenuously as I did before. Also, I’m an emotional eater and lockdown was stressing me out big time.
I started putting on weight, but I still fit into most of my clothes.
And then 2021 hit—which was a doozy of a year for me (as mentioned above, a lot happened). I literally did not always have the time to exercise every day because I was working, studying, and planning a wedding and immigration.
Again, I’m an emotional eater and I was experiencing so many emotions. So many emotions that I tried to dampen with pastries and cookies.
Oh, and I caught the spicy cough (COVID) last April.
If you have COVID-19, you’re not supposed to exercise for six weeks after you’ve recovered. During this time, I also put on some weight.
When I could exercise again, I noticed I couldn’t exercise like I used to because I quickly got out of breath and my heart rate shot up much quicker than it had before. This is part of the long-term effects of COVID, and I had to pace myself.
It is only now, a year on that I feel like I’m ready to exercise the way I used to. The problem now is not my lungs or heart rate as such, but that I’m unfit.
My lack of self-control
A few weeks before we moved, I didn’t exercise as religiously as I had—again, there were reasons for it. We were very busy. We also lived with my in-laws and my mother-in-law is a splendid cook, and I have no self-control. Her delicious food caused more weight gain.
When we got to Australia, we had to do a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. We were so jet-lagged—it was awful. We started exercising in the afternoons, but we didn’t do it consistently. When we came out of the hotel, we were so busy finding and setting up a place to live that I also didn’t exercise that much.
It was only in December that my husband and I started exercising every morning for about half an hour. We started with beginner and low-impact exercises we found on YouTube and have continued with them throughout. We’re still doing it.
My husband has lost 7kg (15 pounds) so far. Unlike my husband, I’ve just picked up more weight and I’m now at 75kg (165 pounds). According to my BMI, I’m overweight. So yeah, I’m scientifically fat.
I think a lot has contributed to my weight gain. The kind of workouts we’re doing are not enough to burn the excess calories that I’m consuming. So, I definitely want to do more intense cardio.
Also, my emotional state has definitely contributed to the problem. I’m far away from friends and family, and I miss them immensely. Not to mention how much I miss my dogs.
In addition, I’ve been struggling to find a job, so I’m mostly at home and that’s depressing. Sometimes I’m bored and then I just eat. It doesn’t help that sugar and sweets are super cheap here and I can’t stop myself.
I think I’ll follow my advice. I had a series of posts called Healthy 2020 (that title did not age well) two years ago. There, I gave advice on how to live a healthier life. It was a series that ran over twelve weeks, and for the next twelve weeks, I’m going to follow the tips and blog about my experience and progress here.
I don’t want to lose a ridiculous amount of weight; just enough to fit into my clothes again. I understand that my body will change as I get older, but this has been a bit much.
Being fit and healthy is obviously great for my physical health, but also for my mental health. It’s something that I have control over, even when I don’t have control over many other things in my life.
Hopefully, in a couple of months, I can scratch the “I got fat” post and do a “I got fit” post.
How has the pandemic affected your weight? Let me know in the comments.