2020 weight issues

A decorative cover image for the posts discussing my weight loss story.

The year started off like any other, starting with the post-holiday season letdown, with a lot of people starting their New Year’s resolutions. I had some myself, and this blog was one of them. It didn’t start until November, but what matters more is that I did it, in any case. My other resolution this year was to lose the last of the weight I wanted to, and start up habits for when I hit maintenance mode.

My days outside of my job, now my day job, in the first few months, or first quarter, were the gym, going to the med school in town to visit their library and attend a yearly event open to the public held around that time. (I loved that place, and I’m looking forward to when it’s safe to go back there, btw.) There were live performances from local musicians at a neighborhood restaurant. I always made a point to stop in and drop some change in the collection bucket for them, even if I didn’t stick around for anything else. I also went to the arcade at the mall within biking distance of my house, which, to be honest, I miss now. I was looking forward to the fair this year, and at the start, I’d made some headway into my specially-designated fund. At that point, it was enough to cover at least four trips out there, including advance tickets. The local amusement park, and the pools opening up come summer were also on my list. Disney on Ice was due back in town this year, which became my own little tradition to kick off the holidays.

This was shaping up to be a pretty good year, and who knows? Maybe this will be the year I find someone I could spend the rest of my life with!

Then came the news reports of a disease going around in other countries. At first, I figured it was a repeat of the SARS outbreak back in 2002, when I was in high school. But there were differences between this and the outbreak back then, and soon it made its’ way to the U.S. My state didn’t get its’ first confirmed positive case report until March, and the med school event had reached the last week. We actually talked about this at the event, by the way.

After the med school event, we all went into lockdown mode. Everything shut down but essential services, and everyone started wearing masks and full PPE gear. The bus suspended fare collection, and had a sign that said “Essential Trips Only” on every bus. Schools closed and went virtual/distance learning.

For a lot of people, this meant a huge disruption to their lives as they once knew it. Suddenly there were layoffs, and the financial toll it took was devastating to say the least! It even resulted in an instability in living situations for some people. For instance, I saw something on PBS World about a family of like 10 living in a motel room due to a job loss, and several of them were essential workers. I remember seeing an elderly person in that family in poor health, along with young kids still in diapers, so it left it impossible to practice social distancing for them. The economic fallout left them, and a lot of others in a situation that potentially put them in harm’s way.

A lot of people responded to the crisis by returning to old ways of coping, and sometimes that meant gaining even more weight, or gaining back some of what they lost.

Others, like yours truly, saw this as an opportunity in disguise. I decided to keep moving forward losing the weight, and make it quarantine weight loss. I also decided to embark on a quarantine glow-up like I’d seen people doing on YouTube. I even saw quarantine weight loss challenges going around, and they were things I’d have definitely tried this time a year or so ago. I’d seen instances where people were making progress, but struggled with their weight loss motivation during the pandemic. However, I believe that I was far enough in my weight loss mission by the time the pandemic came to my town that I stood my ground. I’d already pushed through my mission during a family member’s health crisis, along with an unhealthy involvement that lasted for like a nanosecond back when I was just starting out. (Note: I’m not calling this a relationship, because a relationship implies an authentic connection, and this was anything but).

I know for a fact that if I was earlier in the game, or just starting out, it would’ve been a different story for sure, and I wouldn’t be writing this today. This blog wouldn’t even exist, for that matter. My weight loss motivation during the pandemic became the risk factors themselves. While there are people who weren’t in the greatest of health before they got sick who recovered, others weren’t so lucky. Even though correlation doesn’t always equal causation, I decided that it wasn’t a chance I was willing to take.

This year, I’ve also seen instances where people with a lot of clout on social media ridiculed and mocked others for gaining weight in the quarantine, and their comments were cruel af. I won’t share names, specific social media platforms, or any websites associated with them. I don’t wanna sully this blog with any of their nonsense, and I’m not giving them the satisfaction of any views. I’m sure some of you readers have come across similar sentiments, whether they’re from quasi-famous people on social media, or from people closer to home for you.

Maybe there’s a reader out there who’s in a predicament like this, where their weight goals fell by the wayside for whatever reason this year. In this case, I’m here to tell you right now: don’t for one second listen to them or believe any of the insults and trash-talk they sling toward you or anyone who doesn’t live up to their arbitrary standards. Take anything they have to say, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent with the tiniest grain of salt. They haven’t walked in your shoes, and God forbid the tables turn to where that changes for them.

You did the best you could with what you had to work with at the time, going off of what you understood to be true back then. No more beating yourself up over the shoulds, coulds, or woulds, OK? This isn’t a linear process, nor is it a sprint race. It’s a process, chock full of obstacles, and this year was one of them for a lot of people. You aren’t alone in this. You know what you gotta do, and you don’t need a bunch of loudmouths like them to say it. To lowest hell with them. I know you can do this. Screw New Year’s resolutions. Today’s the perfect day to get back on track toward where you’d like to be with yourself. You’re gonna get there. It may not be for awhile, but it’ll happen.

I’m rooting for you.

Now it’s your turn, readers. Have you faced any 2020 weight issues? This can look any number of ways, so don’t feel like it only has to be about weight loss. Let’s talk below, and support each other.

To see where I started, read the previous installments: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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