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Weight Loss Tips: What are Your Quarantine Challenges?


Hey everyone, it's Dr Angela here.

We just opened up the office again this week after it was closed for three weeks. We wore our face masks, and we have kept our social distancing. We wiped everything down with these bleach cloths and my MAs and I are wearing these pink gloves to prevent our hands from getting contaminated!

I actually was able to talk to people for the first time in a long time. So it was awesome for me and others. The first thing I ask is 'How has this affected you?' What have your struggles been?

And so I want to talk about that because everybody has a little bit of a different story, and give you some tips for how to manage this.

If you don't already know me, I'm a board certified Obesity Medicine physician. I practice in Olympia, Washington, and I'm also the founder and creator of Journey Beyond Weight Loss, an online program, which helps people lose weight and keep it off.

So people are giving me different stories. So some people would say, you know, I'm used to working from home. I know how to use zoom. I've done this, I'm, I'm totally used to this. The only thing that's changed for me is that I'm not going out to restaurants anymore. And they're losing weight! And I'm like, that's awesome! Keep up the good work, right? So very good. So they're not having any eating problems with this.

Other people who are working from home things are changed for them because they're not working from home on their own anymore. They've got other people around that are driving them insane! So for example, maybe this is you, right? So for example mom is still working from home. Dad has been laid off and is worried about the finances and is eating constantly, and then there's a kid around who is baking. So there's that and that makes it hard for sure.

I have patients who are in the, the banking and finance worlds and they are working 12 hour days! They're in working with people on their investments. The stock market's going crazy and so they're constantly having to help their clients navigate that craziness. If they are in the banking world, then the banks are just like overrun with loans, with Small Business Association loans. And so they're trying to get all of that taken care of.

So these people are working 12 hour days, at least six days a week and sometimes even on Sundays as well. So they're not taking, or they don't have the time to plan and prepare so they're struggling. I have patients who are teachers - they they're not teaching in the classroom anymore. Some of them are teaching online or the kids have gotten the Google Chromebooks. The kids may or may not have internet access. And I'm thinking of this one patient of mine, she's really worried about those kids who don't have internet access. How are they going to stay caught up? She doesn't want them falling behind. And so she's taking all of this on herself. So that's been really, really hard for her. Some mothers (or parents in general really), have been thrown into this working from home plus being the school teacher, plus being the caretaker!

Just lots of things to juggle all at once all day, and they're just like going crazy. So they're having a hard time with eating properly. I have patients who have elderly parents who they are usually visiting, They can't visit them and so they're worrying about them. I have patients who have kids that are in high school, they're seniors, they're not going to be graduating. They're don't get their prom. There's so much sadness around that. And that's been really hard for them. I've got patients who've got kids home from college and the college kids are just bored sick and they're baking, and they're bringing crap in the house! So again, I have patients who say they can't exercise, their gyms are closed, so they're not exercising the way they ordinarily do.

And that's what keeps them sane, so now they don't have that release. And so they're using food to cope with this feeling of things just not being normal. And they're baking themselves, you know, stuff for themselves. So again, like there's just so much that can be going on that can really make weight loss difficult during this time. And I want to acknowledge that.

So here's what I want you to do. First of all, take a deep breath. Okay, a nice deep breath! First thing - be compassionate with yourself. Be super compassionate with yourself. Do not let yourself go into that shame spiral. I actually call it the 'rabbit hole of shame' where you just end up being ashamed of yourself for having eaten crap food. And then you feel guilty and then you're using food - either just give up or you start using food to sooth those, those negative emotions, and then you just end up in a rabbit hole!

So don't allow that to happen! If you are struggling with food, the first thing you need to do is to be very, very compassionate. Remind yourself, everyone struggles, Okay? Everyone struggles! You're not the only one! Everyone is struggling.

The second thing is to either pull out a piece of paper and a pen or get a note on your cell phone and write down what your next meal is going to be. And if your next meal is going to be tomorrow, then write down everything that you're going to eat tomorrow. Put it in writing so that you can refer back to it so that you can remind yourself when you're tempted. No, this is what I'm going to be eating or if it's on this piece of paper. Okay? So write down what you're going to eat. Make sure that you're doing the basics, that you got your protein with each meal, that you've got your healthy fats with each meal and that you're very, very careful with carbs and sugar, okay?

And make sure you're eating wholesome real food. If you need to go to the grocery store to get wholesome real food, go get wholesome, real food! Don't be eating crap out of the pantry. I had a patient who was just eating the ramen noodles because they were there because she was scared to go to the grocery store. It's okay to go to the grocery store. Really! Just wear your face mask. Stay six feet away from people and wipe everything down. And when you come home from the grocery store, wash your produce off - any produce that's been sitting out - wash it off with soap that will kill the Covid germs. So that's the second thing is to plan your meals.

The third thing is to get rid of the crap that's in the house. Now if you're living with other people and they still want to eat the crap, then have in a special cupboard for them or even better - out in the garage! Okay, but otherwise if you can throw it out, throw it out! And the reason I say that is because it's either going to go to waste, which means throwing it out 'waste' or it's going to go to your waist. Which would you prefer? Don't be giving it away - we don't want to put it on other people's waist either! So just throw it out and don't feel badly about doing that either. The other day I realized that I was using this quarantine as an excuse to drink wine. And so I would have a zoom call with friends and I'd pour myself a glass of wine, maybe two glasses of wine, and then the next night I would have more wine. And then I realized the day after - that it was like - wait a minute, I'm waking up and not feeling good because I'm drinking just because the the bottle of wine is open, so I'm not going to do that anymore! I just went and I just threw it out and I just decided, you know, I don't need that stuff. It's best if it's just not tempting me, so don't hesitate to just throw it out.

So those are the three things that you can do. Number one, be very self-compassionate. Number two, plan your meals, write it down and follow your plan. And number three, get rid of the crap. Get rid of the crap. Don't let it go to your waist. Let it go to waste! And then the other thing I want you to do is to go to Journey Beyond Weight Loss. We've opened up some new recipes there so you can practice your cooking skills and also sign up for the waiting list.

The Journey Beyond Weight Loss is a 12 week online course that I do. And I just finished the January course. I'm going to start another one in May. You'll hear more information about that as long as you're on our email list. So make sure that you get on the email list. It's Journey Beyond Weight Loss. So do that! And that's all I got.

I'll see you next time. Okay. Take care. Bye. Bye.

To your health!

Dr Angela


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