Pandemic Ponderings

Who would have thought that in such a short period of time our lives would be so disrupted? I certainly never imagined I would find myself holed up in my house with only very brief and necessary outings that involve a face mask, gloves, and a whole lot of fear.

For those of us who are significantly overweight, the pandemic comes with at least two unique and difficult challenges. First, we now know that obese individuals, and especially those with diabetes and/or heart disease, are in the high-risk category for life-threatening complications if they catch the virus. Second, “sheltering in place” makes exercise more challenging and creates an environment conducive to mindless eating of emotion-numbing, sugar-laden/carb-laden foods.

Being high risk for complications comes with a lot of emotional baggage. Like everyone else, we miss our social lives. Yet we also realize that being sociable could be a death sentence. I found myself not wanting to leave the house for anything for the first few weeks. Gradually, I reached a point where I could ride comfortably in the car and be outdoors for some brief activities being sure to be fully masked and avoiding people. I hated it. I still hate it. I’m a sociable person by nature, and not being able to do things like visit friends, share a hug, etc. has been difficult. But I keep in mind that I am at risk, and if I happen to be one of the asymptomatic carriers, I could place my friends at risk. So I have chosen to comply.

Much has also been written and reported in the news about how our eating habits have changed, and not just when it comes to snacking. With restaurants being closed, many folks have resorted to takeout only or cooking on their own. In fact, many people, my wife and I included, chose to explore our culinary interests with the extra time we had on our hands and due to our desire to avoid as much public contact as possible. It was fun to explore new recipes. But we also had to be cautious and do our best to make sure we weren’t covering up our emotions about the pandemic with food. We were both worried about gaining weight.

Restrictions are now slowly being lifted in many places. I’m not going to delve into the debate over that. But if you are part of the high-risk category like me, I encourage you to continue to take precautions, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding crowds. We can all remain hopeful that scientists will find a way to expedite a vaccine or that “herd immunity” over time will make it safe to be around each other again.

I also have a suggestion for you to help combat boredom. Pick up a book! In fact, I have a book that must might interest you very much! It’s only $5.99 if you have a Kindle or $14.99 in paperback. If you live somewhere where libraries are open, you might be able to find it there, too, or you can request that they get a copy. For more information, visit hopefortheheavy.com/book

Stay safe!

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