If you are like me, the time of sheltering in place has meant lots of extra time at home to cook family dinners or even order restaurant take out. I've put on a couple of extra pounds and while I refuse to beat myself up about it, I know I must develop a plan to lose the extra weight. After spending some time with God, these are a few ideas that came to mind and I want to share them with you, if you too are interested in dropping the quarantine weight.
5 Tips on Dropping the Quarantine Weight
Tip # 1. Ask God For HIS Insight. It's easy to step on a scale, see a number that you don't like and create a plan for weight-loss, but how about you approach this time differently? Despite the horrific nature of Covid-19, our time of quarantine and sheltering in place has been a gift where everything slowed down and we were able to connect to God. Instead of jumping on the most popular fad diet, or committing yourself to only drink smoothies for the next two weeks, or some other quick weight loss scheme -- how about you inquire God.
God knows all about our bodies. He knows our personalities. He understands our genetic make-up, He knows what foods we should put in our bodies, and foods that we should refrain from. How about, this time as you contemplate the method of dropping your extra pounds, that you ask God for direction and strategy?
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Tip # 2. Develop Systems to Ensure Success. Whether its weight from our time in quarantine, emotional weight from difficult life experiences, or just extra pounds you've accumulated from past pregnancies and life in general; to lose the weight you must develop systems or habits that will ensure your success. Want to hear something crazy? When I was single and worked an office job, I needed to go to the gym at 5:00 am. To ensure my success, I developed a routine of sleeping in my workout clothes, so when my alarm went off, I wouldn't have to think about anything except brushing my teeth and bolting out of the door. Maybe your system isn't sleeping in your gym clothes. Maybe instead, it's planning out your healthy meals, and logging into an app like "My Fitness Pal" to track your calories and the foods you are eating. Or maybe it's drinking more water, and set aside days on your schedule when you will work out.
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
Tip # 3. Get an Accountability Partner. One of the best ways to stick to a goal is to share your goal with those you know who will pray with you and hold you accountable. It's too easy to slide into denial, make excuses or revert to old habits when things get hard when you don't have an accountability partner. Find someone that you can call or text. Ask them if they would support you on this journey by praying and asking you how you are doing, as you and God, together, walk the path of dropping the quarantine weight -- or any weight you've accumulated.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
(It's me, fresh after a morning workout at OrangeTheory Fitness!)
Tip # 4. Give Yourself Grace. Recently I went out for a run in my neighborhood. For the first mile I was really hard on myself. My legs felt like heavy logs and it seemed as if I were lumbering on the sidewalk instead of gracefully running like a gazelle. As I jogged past homes in the neighboring subdivision, I spoke negatively to myself and about myself.
"Ten years ago you were so much faster. Now look at you, you are slow as molasses!"
"You are so slow. A power walker could pass you."
I felt so defeated as I ran. As I ran, I regretted every bit of ice cream, fried fish, and fries I had consumed while in quarantine. But then something happened, as I continued to breathlessly run in my neighborhood, I shared sidewalk space with other runners. As we passed each other, they each waved and flashed me wide, toothy smiles.
These weren't "pity smiles" or "look at that poor lady" smiles. These were the smiles that said, "Hey, good to see you." or "Hi, there, I see you." I realized that all the while I was beating myself up internally, about how slow I ran, my neighbors were encouraging me and giving me head nods of support and approval. I learned the importance of giving myself grace and not allowing strangers to be kinder to me than I am to myself.
Satan would love for you to feel condemned about carrying extra weight. He would love for you to be discouraged and engage in negative self-talk. However, as you go on this journey, make the promise to yourself that you are going to love yourself, which means giving grace to yourself and being kind to yourself as well.
Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
Tip # 5. Small Steps Lead to Big Victories. My nature is to be either all in or all out. Sometimes this gets me in trouble. It means that I start strong but I don't always necessarily finish strong. With dropping the extra weight, take small steps. The weight didn't come on in one day, and it won't fall off in one day either.
I believe Dr. Seuss said, "inch by inch, life is a cinch." So take small steps. Start with adding more water to your day. Replace an item on your plate with a fruit or vegetable. Instead of starting immediately with running a mile, try walking in place during tv commercial breaks. When we see God, He will lead and guide us step by step to drop any extra weight or burdens that we may be carrying.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21
Dear God, thank you so much for providing me everything that I need to offer my body to you as a living sacrifice. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me to have an abundant life, and it is difficult to do this when I am unhealthy, heavy and overwhelmed by extra weight, whether it be physical weight or emotional burdens. Thank you for speaking to me, and revealing a personal plan for me when it comes to shedding the extra weight. I want to be strong, healthy, active, and at my most optimum, so that I may serve you fully. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Did this blog post bless you? Please send me a message in the comments and let me know. I always enjoy hearing from you
Kacie Starr Long is an author, talk show host, and the proud wife of Alfred T. Long Sr., when not writing, Kacie enjoys sewing. She works alongside her husband with their non-profit, Jacob's Ladder Ministries which provides programs and resources for individuals who have been incarcerated. Kacie is passionate about one of their programs, Sew Hope, which is a sewing school for previously incarcerated men and women. Connect with Kacie at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via her YouTube page for more inspiration and encouragement.