It’s easy to let that voice on your shoulder tell you, “This is a pandemic, who cares about weight management?”
By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS, Medical Director
Like most people, you are home-based until further notice. Your life is turned upside down. It’s very possible you or your family have suddenly lost a source of income. None of us knows what is going to happen next.
One of our biggest worries is food. As an obesity expert, I feel it’s my duty to speak with those of you who may be battling the chronic disease of obesity during a time of crisis.
Throughout life, everyone is forced to deal with a crisis, probably more than one, in fact.
Whether it’s the death of a loved one, a job loss, financial upheaval or a personal relationship change, the way we manage diet and exercise during these times can dictate how we manage our weight and the role food plays in our lives.
Crisis management in the age of coronavirus
As we all learn to cope with the anxiety and uneasiness of COVID-19, our daily lives are unexpectedly thrown off course. The safety and security of our daily routine no longer offer the foothold that helped keep us grounded.
Right now, it seems like a Herculean task to focus on weight loss or weight management when chaos is swirling around us.
But that’s precisely what I’m recommending.
While individual weight loss pales in comparison to a public health challenge like COVD-19, when you drill-down to someone who is battling the chronic disease of obesity, losing sight of continued weight loss can offset the progress made up to now, and quickly bring on significant regain.
Small weight management steps can reap big rewards
While we cannot control COVID-19, other than following the CDC’s recommended precautions, we do have full control over what eat and how we move our bodies.
While everyone’s situations are unique, based upon your health, occupation and exposure risk, we can actually find comfort in the ability to control our nutrition and exercise protocols.
Make no mistake—COVID-19 will be defeated and life will get back to normal.
We don’t know right now how long this health crisis will last or how we will be affected. But we can control how we manage our stress and what we eat and drink.
Regardless of your stage in the bariatric journey—pre-op, post-op or weight maintenance, you have the power to keep yourself on track.
Doing so will help bolster your immune system and increase your resistance against any health challenge.
By eating high-quality, ‘real food,’ you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to help ward off contagions.
Adapt your fitness program, if needed
Find comfort in the stability of your reliable and unwavering weight loss program, but make smart changes to optimize your safety in these times–
Case in point: Working out at the gym. While gyms are now closed, you can still start a regular walk/jog around the neighborhood. (While doing this, make sure to diligently practice social distancing, by waving to people and not getting close to them).
As an example, one of my patients has replaced the elliptical at her gym with running the stairs to her walkout basement in her backyard.
Modify your fitness routine to your home and start sweating!
Stay safe, calm and informed
When the clouds of this virus fade and regular life resumes, I hope you can look back on this crisis and be proud of your resilience, your fortitude and your tenacity, when it comes to staying on the weight loss track.
Remember, while we are in the midst of uncertain times, you are still in control.
May you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. If you have questions, please feel free to DM me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about your risk and the symptoms of COVID-19 by visiting hackensackmeridianhealth.org or the CDC web site https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.