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  • Tori Sipe

The Quarantine Fifteen



I know that since quarantine started I'm not the only person who has gained some weight. It's impossible not to, being isolated in your home, not being able to go to the gym, being able to drink everyday, there's just too many factors working against you. And that is okay. It's okay that we've put on a couple extra pounds during this time. If an extra cookie or glass of wine makes you feel better, do it! Responsibly and in moderation of course. I've been on my own weight loss journey since June 2017, right after the Penguins won their fifth Stanley Cup. I was able to afford a professional trainer for a year and the benefits and knowledge I gained was tremendous. It was worth every penny spent on it. And don't think, oh well, she probably didn't have any debt or had a lot of savings or something. Definitely not. I had to budget hard to be able to afford that. I was practically living paycheck to paycheck.


But I made it work. In 2010 I was 130 pounds, and then over the next 7 years I made it up to 190. My back hurt, I hated the way I looked, and my depression was taking over tremendously. My husband, who was my boyfriend still at the time, said I was beautiful, but it still didn't matter, because I felt like shit, all the time. I was fed up. So I joined the gym, and that's where it all started. Shout out to Crunch Fitness because they are crazy awesome, and I'm so glad I found a gym I love where I don't feel intimidated going there working out next to Thor. Shortly after I was approached about training and thought, I think I can make this work, financially, because I had no idea what the hell I was doing.


Short back story. Growing up I didn't like the outdoors, sports, or physical activity of any kind. I would sit in my room and write and draw things. We ate a lot of fast food growing up, and I don't exaggerate when I say this. As a young adult in my 20's I could only cook one or two things, neither were healthy, and I would drink multiple bottle sodas a day and have fast food 2 or 3 times a day. This would continue on until this whole journey started. My last time going through a drive thru was January 18th, 2018. I was hungover from a friend's birthday and needed Arby's. Always my go to hangover cure. Growing up my dad was the general manager of an Arby's, so I've had a lot of Arby's in my life. I had already started weening myself off soda to the point where I still had half a cup left in my combo meal that I didn't want. After that, aside from a couple of bourbon and ginger's, I stopped drinking soda permanently. Those bourbon and ginger's turned into bourbon on the rocks by the way.


People even ask what I drink now, because I don't like coffee. Yes I'm one of those psychos who doesn't like coffee. I only drink water, tea, and alcohol. That's it. I don't miss soda at all. Not once. I had to train myself to hate it. Which was hard, because it used to be so comforting, and a delicious treat, but I would feel so groggy and gross after drinking a giant bottle. So I had to harness that feeling and say to myself, "Do you want to feel this way?" and eventually it stuck. It took a tremendous amount of my will to accomplish this, and it wasn't easy. Mainly because I stopped that a mere six months after I started training. Oh I still miss fast food from time to time. Sometimes I crave an 8 pack of Chick-Fil-A nuggets or when I'm drunk a shitty Taco Bell taco, or an Arby's beef and cheddar when I'm hungover, but I do not relent. We threw a Halloween party last year and got three Taco Bell party packs and it was tempting as hell to have one taco, but I did not give in.


I'm not going to lie to you either and say that I've been vegan, or keto, or sugar free, or whatever because that's not true. I love food. I love, well loved, going out to dinner and having extravagant meals. I eat tacos, fries, burgers, steaks, all kinds of food. I definitely still eat food that's bad for you. It was my personal goal to never go through a drive thru again and I'm proud of that. There's so much better food out there, that's both good and bad for you. Cookies are my weakness. And at the start of the quarantine, so were desserts. I kind of stopped eating desserts and sweet treats, unless it was a cookie, and only every now and then, back when I started working out. Since I wasn't drinking as much sugar, I wasn't craving it, so I didn't crave dessert either. I used to be the we're ordering dessert person, but now I'm the how many appetizers should we get person, or the let's have a cheese plate for dessert person.


My husband works for a dessert restaurant. Tempting when people hear that, but I never wanted him to bring home anything unless it was chocolate mint cake, I'm not a sadist, which sometimes would go two months before making an appearance on the menu, and then it might sell out. I am one of the people who have been laid off during this time, so sitting at home, alone, the first couple weeks, while my husband was working, I was bored. I wanted cake, and cookies, and parfait, and umm, I think I gained some weight. Add that to the modified drinking we've been doing, which I know you lushes have been too, and I cringed when I got on the scale. Also add in we can't go to the gym, and there's no where to go, so my couch definitely has an impression of my ass in it.


So now, here we are. I went from 190 in 2017 to 148 in February 2019 to 170 now. The Quarantine Fifteen. I haven't gained fifteen pounds during this time, but I'm definitely ashamed of myself about how I backtracked. I was so close to my goal. But you know, life happens. I got married, my dog beat cancer, twice, I changed jobs, I got laid off, and now I'm in this quarantine still just hanging out. Working out at home is such a challenge. I've done it, but I have limited resources, and limited space. I'm lucky to even have a gym mat and yoga ball, and a couple of other small things. I wish I had an elliptical or a dumbbell set, but I don't, and not a lot of people have that either. I'm lucky that the park is in walking distance of my house so I can go for a run or jog when I want to. I know that I'm fortunate to have those things available to me, so why haven't I been working out everyday?


I know that it will take time for me to get back to where I want to be. And I know there's no fast track because I've done the work before, and I can do it again. Maybe it's okay that we've gained weight during this time. Maybe it's okay that some of us have felt sad. Maybe it's okay that we've had an extra glass of wine because we finally get to let loose a little, since there's not much else we can do. I just wanted to remind everyone that we're all going through this thing together, and it's all going to be okay. No matter how much weight we gain, and whether or not we want to change our bodies or keep them the same, it's all good. Enjoy this time everyone if you can, don't let the little things you can't change get into your head. We'll get back in the gym someday. And if you want to kick it on your couch still, that's fine too. Stay safe, everyone!

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