“I’m bored” has become my coronavirus catchphrase, as I’m sure it has become yours. I could only say it so many times before deciding to do something about it.
Picking myself up from the sofa, I marched to my bedroom and began rooting around my chest of drawers.
I emerged shortly afterwards, kitted out in a pair of old gym socks, some shorts and a Tottenham shirt. I was going for a run.
I’m lucky to be isolating at my parents’ home, with the South Staffordshire Railway Walk just a five-minute wander away. A perfect trail for a jogger just starting out.
To start off my new fitness regime, I made a return to a tool that I found useful during my last significant weight loss.
Couch to 5K
Couch to 5K (C25K), which back in 2014 came in the form of various podcasts, took seconds to download from the app store.
Within the hour I was out on my first proper exercise in weeks, with the narration of Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson to help me on my way.
There’s no point in me lying to you, that first outing didn’t cover me in glory.
I made it through with a nasty stitch, burning lungs and a pair of aching calves.
My most recent run was the culmination of several weeks of running every other day.
What had started out just a month or so earlier as a series of 60 second runs which left me gasping for air had now become a smooth, enjoyable 20-minute run. No stitch, no cramp, and barely a bead of sweat.
I even managed to sprint the last 60 seconds. It’s true what they say, a runner’s high really does leave you feeling on top of the world.
The diet side of the weight-loss equation is equally as important, although it may not feel like it.
Using the meal tracking app – Lose It, I set myself a calorie goal per day of 1,500 calories, not including calories burned through my walks and runs.
On my rest days in between runs, I like to take my cockapoo Teddy for a walk around the village, which adds up to a significant number of calories burned over time.
My gross intake tends to fluctuate between around 1,900 and 2,100 per day. This is why including exercise in your attempts to lose weight can make the experience all the more tolerable.
Tracking calories doesn’t have to be the slogfest it’s often seen as.
I eat almost everything I used to, albeit in smaller quantities and without my constant grazing throughout the day.
Switching to low-fat alternatives of your favourite foods can really make the difference in terms of calories and fat content.
The absence of alcohol from my diet during lockdown is also a big plus, and something I will need to consider post-isolation.
Tactics such as shifting from lager to vodka can lead to a substantially reduced caloric intake.
Weight loss is very much a process of trial and error.
One vital mistake I made early on was becoming addicted to watching the scale. I was weighing myself multiple times a day, every day.
I cannot begin to tell you the frustration that water weight fluctuations can cause you in this situation. The solution was simple.
I made Monday my weigh-in day, and now I get to see a much more consistent, and all-the-more satisfying, weight loss.
The one thing that concerns me about my regime is consistency.
I’m very much the type of person to stick to a strict routine and when this is disrupted, I can lose focus and fall off the wagon.
When lockdown is eased and I move back to my Nottingham apartment, I’ll certainly be purchasing a gym membership.
But to really ensure that I carry on with the momentum I’ve built up, I’ll be investing in a few sessions with a personal trainer.
Starting at a hefty 16st 10lbs, the first week saw me drop significantly to 16st 2lbs.
Three weeks later I now weigh in at 15st 6lbs.
That’s a massive drop of 1st 4lbs in just a month.
As a result of my training regimen, I feel better than I have done in years.
My belly isn’t poking out so much, my face is slimmer, I’ve gone down a t-shirt size and my legs are getting pretty toned.
There’s room for improvement but I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, and even more excited for where I’m heading.
Sometimes there really is little to do but make the best of a bad situation and I hope I can emerge post-lockdown as a healthier, more confident individual. Why don’t you join me?