This is Tim’s article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, April 20, 2020
You have heard of the Freshmen 15, the 15 pounds most college freshmen gain. Well, if you are anything like me, you could say the same thing about the COVID-19 pandemic since the quarantine started. Snap Fitness had to close, and Mother Nature has not seen fit to give us any real spring weather, so I haven’t been able to get my equipment out in my yard. No hammer swinging, no cement block dragging and no tire flipping combined with a closed gym has made Pastor Tim tip the scale a bit higher than he would like.
My weight has been a lifelong battle for me. I was as high as 356 pounds back in the mid-2000s. I weighed in yesterday at 217 pounds. Summer is coming and with it comes half marathons and mud runs (I hope!). I’d like to be around 200lbs by that time, so I have some work to do.
Anyone who has struggled with their weight knows all of the tricks of dieting. The trick isn’t to go on a diet at all because anything you can go on, you can go off much easier. What I would recommend is lifestyle changes. That is where you can really transform yourself. Most online companies are going to charge you for this information I am about to give you, but here it is for free. We will call this Pastor Tim’s seven steps to prevent gaining the dreaded COVID-19 (pounds).
- Exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be a 4-mile run, it could be a walk to the end of the block. Don’t say that you walk a lot doing other things; as much as I hate to tell you this, that doesn’t count. You need to do something specifically for the point of exercise every single day. Get a pedometer and make a step count goal and reach it every day. Do something because…
- You need to limit your exposure to TV and video games. These activities, while super fun and totally good in controlled circumstances, promote two waistline- destroying components – inactivity and snacking. Find something to do that requires you to move. It will literally add years to your life.
- Eat actual meals. I live by myself, so this one can be difficult sometimes. Don’t just snack all day or “graze.” Snack foods, even so-called healthy snack food, lack nutrition. They may be high in carbohydrates and low on protein. That means you can only eat one meal a day and still be hungry because that meal can last 16 hours.
- Understand why you are eating. Look, eating is a gift from God. That is a Biblical truth, but like so many things in life, abusing a gift makes it dangerous. If you are eating because you are bored, angry, frightened, or upset is hazardous to your health. God gave us the ability to eat for nourishment and contrary to popular belief, we have no nutritional need for Cheetos.
- Keep your routine. Go to bed at the normal time and get up at the normal time. I know that our lives have been disrupted in terrible ways, but with this newfound freedom, you can maintain your routine. If you throw your body off by not taking care of it and keeping it on a routine, then don’t be surprised when your physical appetite starts to go haywire.
- Set physical goals and meet them. How many push-ups can you do? Squats? Sit ups? Set some goals and work to achieve them. Every day, I do 30 + the date push-ups and 5 + the date pull-ups and 100 crunches. Those are goals I set (still working to get through the whole month on the pull-up one. I can get to about day 20 or so before I have to break into 2 sets). But these are goals and they give me something to work toward rather than the bottom of a pint of ice cream.
- Fasting is a Biblical principle that is to bring clarity to our lives. But it is also good at cutting calories. Intermittent fasting is great for that. It says that you only eat at certain times of the day. Many of us struggle with snacking at night, which is absolutely the worst time of day for it. Set a time of day that you don’t eat afterward. You will find you go to bed earlier and sleep better.
These are just a few tips to help you during this time of quarantine. The day is going to come when we want to go back to our normal life and when that blessed day comes, we want to be prepared to enjoy that. That won’t happen if we don’t take care of ourselves during this quarantine.