This Article is about using the byproducts of a negative situation (COVID-19 Pandemic/lockdown/quarantine) into a positive one (Better overall health).
Let’s keep this simple, shall we? The goals of this project are:
- To use our extra time to kick start healthy, reasonable, and SUSTAINABLE weight management practices that carry us through this pandemic AND BEYOND
- Not to just lose the weight, but to SUSTAIN these new habits as part of our lives
- To teach ourselves to move when we want, say no to some of what we don’t need, and that’s right…SUSTAIN that discipline in the good, bad, and indifferent times of life to come
Did you notice the word SUSTAIN in there at all? Yes? Ok, just checking. I do not believe in get rich/skinny/smart/emotionally stable quick gimmicks because they are just as fragile as they are short-lived.
- The average commute to work for Americans is 52 minutes round-trip (Google it). That means that we spend almost an hour each day – not including showering, getting dressed, doing makeup and hair, stopping for coffee, dropping off kids to daycare, etc. just to drive to and from work.
- The recommended length (Google this too) of a daily workout is 45 minutes
- Many of us are no longer commuting because we’re stuck at home, which leads to (See next bullet)
- Boredom, stir-craziness, and other types of lunacy. (After all, you can only clean the garage so many times)
Oh, look! Some random math that isn’t leading to any suggestions at all:
52 minutes saved – 45 minute workout = 7 minutes of free time + a nicer butt
Let’s Be Real
What we know for sure is that this is scary, bizarre, unprecedented, and not optional. So if we’re going to take this pandemic, let’s not take it lying down.
It may have given us fear, but for many of us, it also gave us back precious time – an irreplaceable resource. And with more time, we can do amazing things –
It is for this reason that I am calling this the #BoredAsHealth project.
What’s In It For Me?
At the Genesis of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading in the States, the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) – Michael Osterholm – spoke on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and when asked what we could do to protect ourselves from further spread of the Coronavirus, Osterholm basically told everyone (I’m summarizing in a comedic way)…just “be healthy”.
It was funny and horrifying at the same time because, well, we all kinda thought we could Airborne and Hand Sanitize our way out of this. However, with example after sure-fire example, Osterholm explained to Rogan how each “preventative measure” we think matters a lot (masks, Vitamin C, extreme heat, #goodvibes, etc.)…just doesn’t matter as much at all – not when it comes to this virus at least.
So we were left with the realization that quarantine/social distancing, washing our hands, buying 6 months of toilet paper (apparently), and again…”just being healthy” were the best ways to let this thing run its course. But what does that mean?
“Just Being Healthy”
Luckily, Osterholm was pretty clear in his explanation. What struck me was how much emphasis he and others place on maintaining a healthy body weight when it comes to contributing to the overall health of a person. The thing is, his message aligns with so many others I’ve studied (Fitness experts, Researchers, Physicians, etc.) in that, in addition to reducing stress and proper sleep/recovery, returning your body to a healthy weight for your Age, Sex, Height, etc. is arguably the single best thing the average person can do to make their way back to overall health.
Am I suggesting that losing weight will cure the Coronavirus? Of course not.
Am I suggesting that losing weight is the only factor in good health? No.
Am I having fun answering my own questions? A little.
What I am suggesting is that achieving a healthy weight was always a worthwhile endeavor, but it is even more important now. To learn about the challenge, read on…
Firstly, I am going to be walking the walk right there with you. At the time of this writing, I have already gone from 182lbs to 165lbs, and my goal is to shed just a few more before returning to a lean bulking stage.
REMEMBER: Your goal is not my goal, and my goal is not your goal. #StruggleTogether #IMadeThatUpJustNow #DontGoLookingForIt
Secondly, I’m issuing a challenge to you to follow the steps below.
- Pick a REASONABLE and healthy weight loss target for a 12-week period (You may want to talk to a doctor first)
- Some experts suggest that losing between 0.6% and 1.0% of your body weight per week is optimal for maintaining muscle (LBM), which is important to keep metabolism up, strength and agility up, and to improve aesthetics (if that matters to you)
- Take INTENTIONAL action every day
- Post about your PROGRESS using the hashtag #BoredAsHealth
- Email Me if you’re looking for some help to get started and/or stick with it
The (Recommended) Process
IMPORTANT NOTE: Everything below is a recommendation based on extensive research and personal experience through my specific lens as an individual. If you know better, by all means, go for it. This is what I understand to be the most effective method to achieve the desired results, but I am flawed and openly invite suggestions to refine the process. With that said, for the average person, I think this is a helpful start. I hope you do as well.
Write/Track your numbers:
- Calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) – just a fancy way of saying how many calories you burn per day as an individual
- NOTE: This is not an exact science, but it’s INCREDIBLY more useful than hoping and guessing
- Choose your target weight loss over the next 12 weeks (Remember: Reasonable and healthy)
- Every Morning (After going to the bathroom):
- Weigh yourself (nude for most accurate results)
- NOTE: Weight fluctuates daily > A weekly average is much more accurate than periodic weigh-ins
- Weigh yourself (nude for most accurate results)
- Every Week: Take a progress picture(s) of yourself (same mirror and lighting – be consistent)
- Workout for at least 20-30 minutes (Don’t overthink this one. Be safe, but just move.)
- Track your calories (For the statistically best results) – OR – “Just Pay Attention” to what you eat
- Sorry, but the data shows that the most successful long-term weight loss sustainability comes with a price…watching what you eat (Strict at first, then slowly default to mental management/”Good choices”)
- Once you learn the basics of how many calories are in the things you eat, you can now eat smarter and simply allocate calorie consumption for the things that nourish you AND you enjoy the most. Keep in mind that a Professor once proved to his class that you can lose weight on junk food alone if you restrict your calories to consume less than you burn. Biology doesn’t lie, people.
- Plan ahead:
- How are you going to sustain this once you go back to work? Maybe it’s cutting back on gym time but being slightly more restrictive on the diet (i.e. one less bag of chips or coke; slightly smaller potion sizes; more filling foods, etc.)
- Who are you going to do this with? What are you going to do to hold yourself to sustainability?
- Don’t lie to yourself. Be real. Be forgiving. Be intentional.
- Post About Your Progress with the hashtag #BoredAsHealth
- Pictures (With clothes please)
- Motivation and words of encouragement
Talking to a doctor may be a good idea to start.
You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight.
Tracking your calories is not a FOREVER practice. It is a matter of creating dietary habits that, by nature, become less taxing on the brain to keep.
This is a starting point, the beginning of a beautiful journey with no end – mentally prepare yourself for that.
Believe in yourself.
Read above again.
Move now, figure out the rest later.
With love and faith in us all,