How Kevin Lost 40lbs During Quarantine


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How Kevin Lost 40lbs During Quarantine

Making the Most of this Quarantine Quagmire

When COVID hit the US and I learned I would not be working or for the most part leaving my apartment at all for the foreseeable future, I decided I needed to take advantage of that time and do something I’d been telling myself I was going to do for a while: lose some weight. 

Around 5 years ago I became interested in powerlifting and so my training became dedicated to increasing my strength (particularly in the “big 3” lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift). In order to achieve this goal I started increasing my food intake. A lot. Over 5 years that had started to spiral out of control. My strength did improve significantly over that time, but then I found myself sitting around 230lbs and in the worst cardiovascular shape of my life. I’d had the intention of working on my cardiovascular fitness again for about a year, but each time I started I would end up getting frustrated and give up because it was not where it used to be and no matter how much I forced it, I couldn’t just magically be back to the runner, swimmer, or rower I was in the span of 1 week. So I would inevitably go back to focusing on lifting heavy weights. 

Then quarantine forced my hand.  I couldn’t go to the gym and hit the weights anymore for I didn’t know how long, so I decided to buckle down and focus on my nutrition and work with what fitness options I still had. Over the course of about 6 months (from March-October) I managed to lose about 40lbs and got my cardiovascular fitness to a point it probably hasn’t been since high school, and also the highest vertical jump of my life (now I just need basketball courts to open back up so I can put it to good use!). 

My 5 greatest takeaways from this process that you can use on your own journey were:

  1. Learn how to cook meals at home.  Eating out was never a daily occurrence for me or anything, but pre-quarantine I was probably eating out around once or twice per week.  Over the past 6 months I have eaten out fewer than 5 times.  Now while that is not entirely necessary, it really helped me learn how to become a better cook (and my bank account thanked me, too). My cooking skills improved drastically during this time and I learned how to use all sorts of kitchen appliances I wasn’t’ previously familiar with (no free pub so I won’t name any specific brand, but an air fryer changed my life).

     

  2. Track your average weekly weight.  My goal during this period was weight loss and improving my cardiovascular fitness.  I didn’t have a specific number in mind, just more so a way I wanted to look and more importantly, feel.  And in order to achieve those goals, I knew I had some excess pounds to shed. So, I weighed myself first thing every morning, but I wasn’t concerned with my daily weight.  At the end of each week, I calculated my average daily weight for that week and then compared it to the previous week, as that gave me a better sense of whether things were headed in the right direction.

     

  3. Find someone to help keep you accountable. This one may not be for everyone, but I personally enjoy and am driven by accountability. I had a friend who had similar goals during this period, so we would keep in contact and update each other with our progress in order to keep things on track. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t sometimes turn competitive in terms of certain running times (or weights lifted once I got back in the gym) and while that certainly is not the point of this as it’s about personal improvement, I’m a sucker for a little healthy competition.

     

  4. Remain flexible.  So back in takeaway number 1, I mentioned how I pretty much quit eating out cold turkey. What I failed to mention up there was that I was going to the lake every weekend once summer began and eating homecooked meals and desserts to my heart’s content (and oftentimes beyond).  I would definitely go overboard on the weekends, but this seemed to work for me. I would get back to weighing myself on Monday and my weight would inevitably have shot up from where it was on the previous Friday but sure enough as the week went on and I was back on track, it would drop and I would almost always find myself at a new weekly average low. This is why you cannot be concerned with the scale on just one day and have to be looking at the big picture.

     

  5. Stay Consistent and Positive.  I started a program of lifting and cardio from my apartment when quarantine began, and I was diligent about getting my workouts in and tracking my food and weight. I am someone who does better with structure so when I have a goal in mind, I usually stick to that structure to achieve it (part of that structure just happened to include those wild weekends at the lake). Once the gym opened back up at the end of May, I started a new program now that I could hit the bigger weights again. I found that I had lost strength during quarantine, which I knew was inevitable, but I did not let that discourage me and spiral into eating to gain back that weight and strength. I stayed focused on my goals, set new standards for my programming based on my strength levels at the time, and kept pushing forward.

    -Coach Kevin

 

Sometimes opportunity presents itself. Kevin had goals he had thought about for some time. Instead of continuing to postpone them, he grabbed the bull by the horns and set his mind to making some changes. Staying consistent and having metrics to gauge helped him stay focused and moving the needle in the right direction.

If tracking your weekly weight is mentally challenging for you, you can really use any metric. The key is to stay consistent with checking in on that same method. For example: try your goal jeans on each week. Is your shirt fitting better?

Write down what you ultimately want, and have a few action steps on place. Find an accountability buddy and get to it!

 



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