The pandemic and the pounds | Opinion

The pandemic and the pounds | Opinion

Ellyn Laub Special to the Sun Sentinel Oct 15, 2020

Columnist Ellyn Laub admits it's not easy keeping off the pounds during the pandemic.
Columnist Ellyn Laub admits it’s not easy keeping off the pounds during the pandemic. (File Photo)

OK friends, let’s admit it. Keeping off the pounds during the pandemic has not exactly been easy. In fact, you could say that it’s been darn near impossible. Television has not likely been the only thing we’ve been binging on during these long days at home, right?

So I’ve been trying to move myself every morning to counteract those extra calories — whether it’s pickleball, a power walk or even working out in front of the TV with all the YouTube videos I’ve downloaded. I’ve got yoga workouts and ballet barre, Essentrics and Zumba, Silver Sneakers and low-impact training, workouts with balls and weights and bands. You name it, and I’ve got it in my arsenal. And to tell you the truth, this has all been quite interesting.

But here’s the problem. For some reason, except for pickleball out in the hot sun, I never really get on a really good sweat as I used to at the gym. I miss my in-person classes, especially spinning and Body Works classes. Yes, I know you’re going to tell me that the gyms have been open. But I haven’t yet been comfortable with the thought of working out so close to others. And wearing a mask during a workout doesn’t fly for me. So, again other than pickleball, I tend to keep my workouts to solo activities.

Ellyn Laub

(Courtesy / Ellyn Laub/Courtesy)

But once I’ve completed my morning exercise routine whatever it happens to be each day, and after I’ve had my green smoothie, iced all the body parts that need icing and sit down to have my lunch, that’s where the problem begins. Because once I sit down the eating and snacking seems to continue right through until dinner and beyond. And even though most of what I’m consuming is on the healthy side — popcorn, hummus, apples, celery, homemade kale chips — it still continually goes on and on and on. Oh, I do take a few breaks here and there. It’s a little hard to crack open those pistachio nuts while I’m practicing my guitar.

And then on many days, although not every day, when it gets to be about 5 p.m., or sometimes earlier, I start to think about having a glass of wine or a dirty martini or a bloody Mary. And when I think it’s not such a good idea to drink by myself I rationalize that I’m drinking with the Gilmore Girls or the Housewives of New York. Sometimes I participate in Zoom happy hours or FaceTime visits with friends, which makes this all OK.

Nonetheless, I’m here to tell you that my clothes all still seem to fit. Even the ones with zippers and buttons. So that’s a good thing. But I’m also going to confess that my mind has been making a much bigger deal out of keeping it that way than I like to in real life. In other words, I find myself planning meals, snacks and workouts and cocktails all of the time. And reading about new ways to keep off the pounds or old ways too. And believe me there is enough information out there to keep me reading until my eyes are about to fall out of my head. And lots of it gets confusing, never mind contradictory. Low carb, low fat, eat like a caveman or eat like an herbivore.

A few friends have been on Weight Watchers and they’ve been looking wonderful. But I’m sure that if I’d count every point assigned to every morsel of food I put in my mouth, I would need to be institutionalized. The latest deal if you’ve heard of it is called intermittent fasting. No counting calories, fat grams or points, only hours. I fast for 16 hours, which is not so hard if half of that time is spent sleeping, finish eating at 5 p.m., and eat nothing else until 9 the next morning. Easy peasy. Except now I just read a new article that scientists have found that it only works on mice, not so much on people. Oh, well, there you go. What should I try next? Maybe a cocktail.

Ellyn Laub is a Coconut Creek resident.

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