When it was announced that all gyms in NYC were going to be closed, my first reaction was oh crap.
Sticking to an exercise routine can be incredibly difficult for me. It’s so easy for me to skip a day or two and suddenly fall completely off the wagon. To avoid that, I make a routine that makes changing my mind at the last minute difficult - by signing up for workout classes that I can’t cancel last minute or making gym dates with friends.
I always workout better when I’m not on my own. Having an instructor telling me what to do and having people around me keeps me focused and stops me from slacking off. When I can’t do a class, I use apps like Sweat, which have timed routines to make sure that I‘m getting through as much of the workout as I can. But being able to do those workouts means I have to have weights and other equipment that I don’t have the space to store in my apartment.
Exercising in quarantine sometimes feels impossible.
It’s just not that easy to exercise in our apartment – we need to move furniture around to get enough floor space and Marvin always wants to participate.Ignore the messy room and my annoyance in the video below to see how eager Marvin is.
I knew that if I was going to avoid becoming sedentary – I was going to need to find a new workout plan.
A couple of weeks ago, I was reading Money Diaries on Refinery 29 and read about someone doing online workouts with Chloe Ting while they were stuck inside. I checked her out, tried one workout and ended up being super sore for two days. The workouts aren’t terribly long, require no equipment, and are often part of workout plans that keep me on schedule. Each day also contains multiple videos, which allows me to split it up throughout the day either for the sake of time or to give my body a rest.
Since Z and I have been trying to run in the park after work, I’ve been trying to do these Chloe Ting videos before I start my day. However, getting out of bed has never been my strong suit. My friend Lauren has become my accountability buddy, which has been a lifesaver – by trying to do the workouts at the same time it forces me to get out of bed, since I know someone else is counting on me. We’re two weeks into the Summer Shred Challenge and so far, it’s been working well.
The interesting part about doing this challenge while being confined to this apartment is that I have no real way to know if it’s working. I don’t have a scale or measuring tape. I’ve mostly been living in leggings and sweatpants, which means that I’m not really noticing if my clothes fit differently. It’s a new world for someone who is as self-conscious about my weight as I am.
I’ve struggled with body confidence for as long as I can remember. Even though I have a pretty fast metabolism, I am always super conscious of the size of my thighs, the roundness of my stomach and the way my love handles stick out. Logically, I know that it’s not as bad as I think it is, but it’s hard to emotionally believe that. I struggle with feeling guilty about eating unhealthy foods or taking time off from the gym or not obsessing over a number on a scale.
Thinking about going months without a scale reminded me of a notebook that I kept when I was 17. It was a weight journal – where every day I weighed myself, wrote down the exercises I had done, and gave myself a goal weight, as well as “encouraging” notes. I was 5’5” and 110 lbs. and yet my notes to myself included “Weight control is a must!!!” and “I need to get this weight under control. Then I SERIOUSLY must tone!!” It’s hard for me to look back at these and it’s also hard to know that even if I don’t write it down, I still think some of these thoughts.
Even though I know I could order a scale or measuring tape or find some other way to check for results – I am pushing myself not to do it. I am going to try and use this time to feel comfortable in my own body. I don’t know what that feels like and I’m not sure what that looks like – but hopefully by focusing on eating (relatively) healthy and making sure to do some kind of exercise on a regular basis – I know i’m moving in the right direction.