During all of this self isolation, wellness has become more important than ever. Taking care of yourself, mentally & physically is crucial. To keep my mind out of what I call “the dark place” I’ve been constantly working out, morning, noon & night. If you follow me on the gram you already know, lol.
While the workouts obviously help with taking care of myself physically, it is also a big part of keeping my mental state in check. Endorphins truly keep my mood up. Doesn’t currently help with me falling asleep at night but during the day I definitely don’t feel “down”. I’ve also lost 10lbs which is a great byproduct. The weight loss is actually quite funny because most people are actually gaining weight & here I am doing the opposite, lol.
Also, I think I should also say this is not a productivity competition. This is a pandemic. Many entrepreneurship “gurus” have been pushing that if you don’t come out of this situation doing something then you’ve wasted time. This is such bull. If you had no intentions to ever start a business, a youtube channel, a blog or podcast, don’t feel pressured. Don’t let that train of thought take a toll on you mentally.
These things require dedication that doesn’t just happen over night & they don’t make you money just by starting them. If you aren’t interested or dedicated, self isolation/time at home is going to make it happen. Not to mention, some of these things require some sort of monetary investment & this is not the time to be spending money on things we might not even be interested in at the end of the year.
All these unnecessary narratives add to some of us feeling down & are just completely unhelpful right now. Take care of you. Whatever that means for you, do it & don’t feel guilty for not doing what someone else is.
Unfollowing these “gurus” or whatever they are has been the BEST thing for me. I don’t need a soul telling me how I should be feeling right now, you don’t know me ma’am.
Fitness & Wellness
Anyway, to begin let me say I am not a fitness/health professional, I’m just sharing what works for me. Always take the advice of the professionals you work with before starting any workout programme.
Now, if you follow me on Instagram you know I pretty much dress for the day in my workout gear to encourage myself to workout at least once day & I typically get two workouts in on a good day. Days where i’m just not in the mood I try to at least do one. This really didn’t start as a thing to lose weight or anything it was legit just me finding a “thing” to keep me on some kind of schedule or routine as well as to almost be a distraction & boost my mood at the same time. Eating clean is also really good for feeling good. It starts on the inside. I definitely don’t feel my best when I fill up on junk food.
In addition to working out & eating well, something else I do is listen to my fave podcasts while I get my work done. Some people like music but I love murder mystery/true crime podcasts. They keep me going so if you’re not a fan of that type of thing then these aren’t for you at all.
- Crime Junkie Podcast
- Today In True Crime
My Self Isolation Workouts
Before all of this I always had a personal trainer & I tried to workout a minimum of 4 days a week. During self isolation I’ve tried to maintain this & if I go beyond that then I’m overachieving. My typical schedule include the following workout days.
Everyday – Cardio & Core
2 Days – Lower Body
2 Days – Upper Body
Heres some tips if you’re trying to get into working out right now;
- If you’re working from home, get dressed in your workout clothes & use whatever downtime you have. Take your hour lunch break & get your blood pumping.
- Choose workouts that fit your time schedule, 15-30mins is great. (My core workouts are sometimes as little as 5-10mins). Break up the session in two, do cardio for 15-30mins then whatever muscle group workout later in the day for another 15-30mins.
- Cardio can be as simple as taking a power walk, a jog, sprints or jumping rope. I love going outside to do whatever cardio workout I have scheduled. Fresh air is unmatched.
- Try to get in a core session after each cardio/strength workout.
- Don’t worry about not having equipment, search “bodyweight” workouts. You need nothing but yourself & some space.
- If the workout is a little advanced don’t be intimidated. Push through & modify the moves where you have to. For example, if you can’t do a full push up yet, do them with your knees on the floor until you level up. Joint issues? Search “low impact” workouts to avoid having certain moves in the video.
- Last but not least, don’t over do it. This is about you. Start out slow, you do not need to workout as many times as me (or anyone else) especially if you’re just starting out. Go at your own pace & take it one day at a time. Me getting to where I am with this today didn’t happen over night, there were many days in the beginning of this all when I struggled to find the strength to get up & work from home much-less workout.
Is There A Diet?
Now this is what people really want to know, most people think I have some magical formula for this but honestly I don’t. I’ll tell you what I eat & my logic behind it for you to take from it what you will. As always though, do what works for you & your body.
I don’t restrict myself from eating ANYTHING. If I want it, I am 100% going to eat it, while clean eating is important I also believe in enjoying life & I love food so there’s no way to enjoy life for me without having tasty food & tasty food isn’t always the healthiest. So I genuinely can’t sit here & tell you to cut out everything “bad” & only eat clean. What I’ve found to be true for me is that the more I tell myself I can’t have something is the more I want it & then when I do allow myself a “cheat meal” I completely over do it. So for me moderation works better than completely trying to cut something out my diet & its honestly been a success thus far. If I want rice, guess what? I’m going to eat it. Only about 3 spoons of it but the craving is satisfied.
Those of you on my Instagram know I eat what I want. I don’t hide it either I’m very honest about the “bad food” however you must also note that on these days I ensure I workout twice without a doubt. If I know I plan to eat something “bad” I go extra hard in my workouts that day. I also don’t eat the “bad” food with something equally as bad. So, on Thursdays when I have fried chicken, I eat it with essentially an entire head of lettuce & sweet potato, not rice. If I have rice, it’s with a baked protein, catch my drift? That way I get the “bad” food that I’m craving without completely sacrificing an entire meal as far as “clean eating” is concerned.
Additionally, I literally don’t really drink anything other than water. I drink A LOT of water. My little water bottle holds about 4 cups of water & I am constantly filling it. I can count off the top of my head that I fill it at least 4 times (before & after both workouts). However, I know the actual is more than that so I’m already way ahead of the recommended 8 cups a day.
I’m not a big fan of juices/sugary drinks, but I do love me a Pepsi every now & then. I have not cut Pepsi out my life, I still have one every now & then or a glass of whatever juice I may want (if ever). If you like to drink sugary drinks I would recommend reducing your intake if you’re trying to lose weight. Try natural fruit drinks instead to satisfy that craving but in going with my theory, I wouldn’t completely eliminate them super suddenly without weaning yourself off slowly first. You might find yourself craving them more.
I do drink alcohol. For me its balance lol, I don’t drink sugary drinks otherwise, purely water so I think that wine or a Red Stripe melon here or there won’t kill me. 🙂
Nope! I absolutely do not count my calories. As a Jamaican, my feelings are very important to me & I base everything on my feelings & spirit, lol. Seriously though, my personality doesn’t allow for calorie counting to be efficient. Took me a while to understand this about myself but I become very obsessed with the numbers & its just not a good look. The calorie counting method tends to make me starve myself & not eat the things I crave which leads me into “cheat meal” overeating dilemma. That being said I do not count calories anymore, I listen to my body. To go further with that I don’t eat too much I eat just enough to feel satisfied but not stuffed.
For the most part I eat a protein with sweet potato & almost an entire lettuce. I’m pretty simple with my food because I hate food prep so I just wash a ton of lettuce leaves & boom, a “salad”. So, yeah, I don’t count calories or any of that I just eat based on what I want in that moment & try to create balance in each meal. If you KNOW something isn’t healthy, don’t over do it.
My first workout is usually done while I’m in a fasting state so l eat afterward. I have never really been a fan of breakfast so I have a protein shake instead. The shake includes whatever protein powder I’m using at the moment, half a frozen banana & half a cup of oats. That usually is heavy enough to keep me going until lunch. At the same time as my protein shake I usually have my coffee too because that’s a necessity & I do use sugar. I’ve been trying to cut out the sugar but honestly coffee just doesn’t taste good to me without sugar & milk. Reducing the milk & sugar is a work in progress. I will say though, I’m using a lot less of both.
Lunch falls somewhere around 2pm & is my heaviest meal. This is also when I either have my “bad” protein or “bad” carb if I want one on any particular day. Otherwise the meal is my pretty clean/standard lazy food with protein, sweet potato & lots of raw veggies.
After my second workout at about 5:30pm I have one of two things. Either another protein shake but this time with only protein powder & water or something very light, maybe “lettuce wraps”. For my lettuce wraps I’ll cut up some protein & wrap in lettuce leaves like mini tacos & that’s it, no carbohydrate. Typically I only do the solid food option in the evening if my second workout was super intense. After this I drink a cup of green tea with honey & lime juice to end the day. Most people do the tea in the morning but I just find it fits better for me at the end of the day, in the morning I just want to jump into my workout.
P.S If I feel like having a Red Stripe Melon beer at any point of the day, I’m gonna have one, lol. There is also a 6 pack of ice cream bars in my freezer that I will eventually finish (comfort food is essential). 🙂
My Current Favourite Instagram Pages/Youtube Channels To Find Workouts
Here’s a collection of the pages I’ve been following for my self isolation workouts. I save them in advanced & categorise them (particularly in my Instagram saved items) so that when I’m ready to workout a particular area whether upper or lower body they’re just a click away.
- Peloton – This may not work for my Caribbean readers (sorry☹️). If you’re in North America/Europe you should definitely download & try out the workouts! They’re not limited to their bikes/treadmills.
Handy Workout Items
I tend to use only bodyweight workout videos because I don’t have dumbbells or other gym type equipment. During all the self isolation shopping or whatever I have gotten myself a few items to aid the home workouts. If you truly get into this the way I have then you might find these useful too.
Mini Bands – These bands are awesome for lower body workouts.
Tube Resistance Bands – Great for upper body, eliminating the need for dumbbells. Includes arm & for leg attachments.
Ab Wheel – Gives a super intense core workout including obliques since the wheel can turn in either direction.
Sweet Sweat Waist Trimmer – I’ve had this for quite some time (before the pandemic) & while there’s no guarantee this works, I love working out & seeing that I’m sweating in my core region. The thinking is that by heating isolated muscles you intensify the workout in that region. I think it works well for me. 🤷🏾♀️
RENPHO Body Scale – I’ve had this for over a year & I love that it gives an idea (I would never think its 100% accurate) of your body composition & shows you your progress as you move along in your journey. For me its less about how much I weight & more about each measurement (BMI, muscle, fat, body water etc.) being in the healthy range. Since the last weigh in I showed on my IG I’ve decided to weigh in monthly on the same day (to ensure my body is in the same place as far as my cycle goes to avoid bloat etc).
I hope you guys found this post helpful & have been finding me somewhat motivational to workout during all of this. The final message I have for you on the topic is to just gradually make small changes to your day to day life, nothing too drastic. This way they are things that you can continue to do as time goes on & it won’t feel like you’re “trying to lose weight”. You will just find yourself naturally making healthier choices daily & the weight will therefore be lost over time.
By no means am I trying to be a “fitness influencer”, my entire goal in posting this stuff was to encourage others to get active & keep well both mentally & is physically during the pandemic. Especially with all this time at home many of us are having going a little stir crazy. I absolutely LOVE getting messages from you guys showing me your post workout selfie or your new workout mats! It’s just so nice to feel like we’re all in this together so I hope to get a message from you soon! 🙂 (or not as long as you feel encouraged to get started I’m good! lol)
Let me know in the comments what small change you plan on making as far as your personal wellness is concerned as we face our new normal.
Until next time,
I love the part where you state this is not a productivity competition– keep up the great work!
Such a good read! I need to get back into working out . For me, I’m all about the high intensity work outs and feeling the burn but I’ve had to put those on pause for a while because of a bad knee (sucks!).But I’ve been really gravitating to yoga recently so I think I’m gonna add that to my personal wellness/self care routine.