Have you been eating like it’s Christmas? Not even considering the calories, the fat content, the
sugar levels? Drinking more alcohol than usual? Not waiting until the sun is over the yardarm?
Snacking more than usual? If so, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
I’ve coined the phrase #covideating for these strange, unseasonal ‘Christmas like’ habits. May is
usually a month where many people will be thinking abut their summer holiday and wanting to get
in shape for it. Not so right now for many people. With uncertainty about when lockdown will end –
and indeed what the new normal will look like – there is no urgency to get to grips with excess
weight and long-term health.
Life is too short
I’ve heard this from so many people recently. And I do understand the mentality. Nobody apart from
our nearest and dearest are going to see us, so does it really matter? These are ‘unprecedented
times’ so the rule book on healthy eating doesn’t apply. Juggling so many balls with home schooling,
work, worries about elderly parents etc, looking after ourselves is pretty low on the priority list. I
conducted a poll recently asking people what was stopping them lose weight. Was it time or desire?
The majority, 75%, chose desire. I wonder how different the results would have been if I had asked
the same question in ‘normal’ times?
Willpower is often mentioned when it comes to weight loss. The definition of will power is ‘control
exerted to do something or retrain impulses’. Right now that’s a lot to ask. I much prefer reframing it
to choice power. As soon as we believe that we can choose what we do, the more empowered we
feel. We have the control. We are in the driving seat. We can choose to emerge from lockdown
lighter and healthier.
I recently worked with a client who started a week before lockdown happened. She had a very
demanding job and three young children. Instead of finding reasons why it couldn’t work she worked
out a plan to ensure it WOULD. This involved a huge amount of preparation, timetables and strict
boundaries. Her desire to achieve her weight loss goal of 18lbs was her choice. I obviously supported
her every step of the way but without her hard work she wouldn’t have achieved it. She lost 20lbs in
total. Her energy levels increased, she slept better and didn’t suffer from migraines which she had
been plagued with in recent months.
So, Christmas hasn’t come early. #covideating exists only if YOU choose to do it.
Summer is still on its way. We will have to face the outside world at some point. There are no restrictions on the food we purchase now – or toilet rolls!
Is it time to change?