You start to work out less. You push essential tasks to the side. And worst, clothes from last summer are definitely last summer’s OOTD.
Before the pandemic, I went to the gym almost everyday. I religiously counted my micros and macros. My daily diet was even stricter; only eating a slice of pizza once a week - sad, but necessary.
But ever since the pandemic, all that hard work went down the drain. I live in Toronto, Canada. And when the lockdowns started, gyms closed early. This meant that if you worked late, there’s no way you can get a workout in. Not to mention that a gym appointment only lasted an hour.
Fast forward to now, gyms are still closed. I'm still scared and very cautious. After all, I don't want any risk of catching the coronavirus. More importantly, because I don't want to risk infecting the people I love the most.
But I have to stay fit!
So I figured, I’ll workout at home. It can’t be that hard… right?
The fruit flies
I biked often. I hiked almost every day - most times with my dog. At the beginning, it was going well. In fact, better than I expected. I was maintaining my fitness and also improving my stamina.
But as it got colder, and the virus worsened, my activities came to a halt. At first I thought nothing of it. I kept telling myself, ‘it's only today. I'll pick it up tomorrow.’
The next day comes and I make another convenient excuse to tell myself like, ‘yeah I still feel sore and I can’t really do much.’ Or ‘Gyms are closed, it’s cold and I can’t go outside. Maybe tomorrow instead’.
I only realized how bad my habits have become when it was time for my family’s annual holiday photo.
For 2019, my family opted for an ugly sweater themed family picture. And for 2020, my dad had one of those EUREKA moments. ‘An ingenious idea!’, he said. To quote him exactly, ‘No one's going to see this coming. We’re going to catch everyone by surprise.’
We wore the exact same clothes.
It’s Christmas! My parents used to make Christmas the best time of the year for me. And now it's my turn to make it the best for them. Even though it means going along with whatever plans they had for us.
So I looked for that same sweater. But when I found it, I did not expect to react the way I did.
It won’t fit
There comes a time in a person’s life when they realize change is needed.
In my case, it was because of a sweater. A sweater so ugly I wore it only once a year. And It won’t fit. It just won’t. I tried every trick in the book. Tucking my stomach in, spraying it with water and stretching the fabric.
It was then that I realized how far I’ve fallen. I started to see how much I was taking things for granted. I realized I wasn't as productive nor as creative as I was.
To add to that, I started to notice how much money I was spending on delivery services. From a simple ‘It's only twenty bucks’ to ‘DANG! That much?’.
I didn’t realize it, but after a couple of months into the lockdown, I changed. For the worse. And that’s no good. I knew then that that was my wake up call.
Back to square one
They say that it takes thirty one days for a behavior to become a habit.
In this new world that we find ourselves in, thirty one days can fly by in the blink of an eye. And it’s up to you whether you make good use of that time or not.
I know hundreds of people who believe that 2020 was the worst year ever. I was the same. I practiced bad habits, I got unfit and I got complacent.
Sure, 2020 drastically changed my habits. But 2020 wasn't the end. And because it wasn’t, 2020 is just another lesson. Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Because of 2020 I learned how fragile life is. How easy it is to lose things that took a long time to build. It taught me that even a small action can lead to greater consequences.
Exercising is a perfect example. After I stopped exercising, it opened the door for more negative habits. Ordering too much food, being complacent and pushing important things aside. These are just some examples.
But this is also an opportunity. An opportunity to right my wrongs, be better and get back in shape. And the first step for me is exercising.
I have already begun. And since consistency is the name of the game, I just have to keep going. Easier said then done! But that is the challenge.
After all, we should always strive to be better than who we were yesterday.
I'll make sure that 2021's holiday photo will have me back in that ugly sweater in no time.