It’s hard to believe that it was just a year ago, almost to the day, that we were all preparing ourselves for lockdown.
It makes me a little woozy just thinking about it. Realizing how frantic we all were with stocking up on food and worrying about running out of essentials. Wondering if we should be wearing masks and where to even get masks. Overall anxiety over our jobs, school as well as enormous fear of simply getting the Covid. The disheartening thing is that Covid continues on. We have just learned to adapt to it a little more.
Or have we?
Quarantine 15 Update
A year ago, I started really watching and observing the eating and drinking habits of my clients, people on the internet and friends. I know a long term crisis when I see one. I knew the outcome of Covid was going in two different directions – those who those who made lemonade out of lemons and those who turned them into a lemon martini. I talked to a lot of women about stress and emotional eating. I even started a Facebook Group, Healthy Cooking During Corona, as a way to stay on the healthy straight and narrow. Much of my attention started to go to cooking, preserving food (making and freezing) and moving. I couldn’t stop organizing my house and going for walks. Miles of walks.
I was grateful for not relying on “quarantinis” for my stress relief. I well know that anxiety producing effects of alcohol, not to mention the weight and health detriments. Some clients got much healthier because cooking at home became a requirement, and they found they actually enjoyed it and lost weight as a result. They were exercising more and making good use of the situation we were all in. Others, however, walked headlong into using food and cocktails for their coping go to’s.
Which one were you?
Health Reveals During Covid
You might be interested in a couple of statistics that I wanted to share:
- Alcohol sales in the US surged an incredible 54% last year. A safe intake of alcohol (if you want to argue that any amount of alcohol is safe) is considered 1 drink a day for women. 4 drinks a day is considered binge drinking. Alcohol is directly associated with breast cancer, obesity/weight gain, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer.
- Alcohol contributes to more stress, anxiety and depression. Drinking kills your sleep. So if you think wine is making you stress less, consider that it is directly contributing to any mental health issues you might be feeling right now.
- The Covid lockdown has been hard on everyone and has brought about enormous amounts of stress, anxiety and depression. All these emotions can trigger stress eating. Sales of junk food skyrocketed in this past year. People used to handling their emotions with food and binge eating, seemingly ate their way through their feelings. This was a surprise to me as I thought that more home cooking would mean more fresh fruits and vegetables, and for some it did. For many, Covid became an excuse to eat all the Oreos and Marshmallow Fluff of their childhoods.
- As people upped their eating and drinking, exercise levels dropped precipitously. In a study done that followed the health trackers on people phones, steps taken fell to almost 50% in some areas. Less movement means greater mental health concerns, more weight gain and more disease. Moving and exercise count. A lot.
Improving Our Covid-19 Health Outcomes
There is good news. Newly created habits like alcohol and sugar can feel hard to break. Yet, if you feel like you have lost your way during Corona, there is always an opportunity to get back on track. Right now is a great time to do just that.
Here are a few ways to get going:
Take a moment to listen to your inner knowing, that intuitive side of you that whispers “you are okay” and give some thought to these questions:
- What are a few words that would describe how you feel when you are feeling your best?
- What needs to happen for you to feel this way more often?
- What is getting in your way from feeling the way you want to feel?
Take Baby Steps
If you have fallen into the Covid-19 Quarantine abyss, no worries, there is a way out. To change habits, think about the smallest possible steps. How about a smoothie in the morning rather than a bagel? What about a plan for a walk 2 times a week? Keep it simple. One small change leads to another and another and another…
Do Not Scare Yourself
Fear can be a powerful motivator but rarely does it work in the long run (think every diet you have ever been on). I like using hope instead. Change can feel scary but change can also feel exciting. Imagine the energy you will have. Imagine the pair of shorts you will slip into this spring. Remember when you used to sleep well through the night? That can happen to0.
Try Something New
New foods, new beliefs about food, and different way to see satisfy your hunger. I am offering this and more during my Healthy Spring Midlife Reset. The Reset is the way to get back on track, in a gentle, no pressure way, using delicious nutritious food as our foundation. For two weeks we will lessen our focus on wine and sugar and hone in on seasonal and delicious. Two weeks of meal plans, recipes, a guide to help you shop, prep and cook, along with our private FB group and two group calls.
Let’s Get Started!
Where do you want to be this spring? Join the Reset by clicking HERE and be a part of supportive group of like minded women all on the same journey – to get back on track, keep it simple and taste great. Let me know in the comments below how Covid has treated you this last year.