It was labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, but for me, I labeled the coronavirus with quarantine a life-changer. I’m a veterinary assistant working full-day and every day at a veterinary institute. Every day before the lockdown started in March 2020, I would drop my 8-year-old son off at school and then head off to work.
It was nothing short of devastating for me to be in quarantine, staying at home day after day. I’m going to tell you exactly why I call the coronavirus and quarantine a life-changer for me.
Ok, I’m like everyone else, I suppose. I was consuming more kilojoules, sugary drinks and processed foods than ever while in quarantine. It was only when I had some unpleasant symptoms, which included dizziness and fever, that made me decide I had to go for a medical check-up.
True, I didn’t test positive for COVID-19, but I was told I had hypertension. After seeing how much weight I’d picked up, the doctor also said that I should be warned about diabetes.
When he saw the alarmed look on my face, he quickly added that it is possible to lower your risk of diabetes by up to 94% just by losing as little as 5% of body weight. If you weigh 148 pounds like me, that is just 6 to 8 pounds – more than achievable.
The doctor was our kind family doctor and he said I should read up about intermittent fasting. With the coronavirus honing in on people with diabetes, I was ready to do anything just to look and feel better.
Doing research, I read that occasional fasting can help reverse Type 2 diabetes and that some people have even managed to stop insulin treatment altogether after intermittent fasting. The way of eating involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating. It has benefits, too, such as weight loss, which immediately appealed to me.
With further research, I discovered that this way of fasting could help with protecting one against all those diseases one absolutely dreads, such as diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease. My mom had Alzheimer’s and I’d do anything to avoid getting such a tragic disease. I imagined the horrified looks of my colleagues if I had to return to work and they saw my new girth. The very thought was enough to spur me on to start changing the way I was eating. No more guzzling for me.
Even though I saw the doctor on a Thursday, I didn’t say to myself ‘I’ll start on Monday.’ I knew I had to start right away. I was going to control my meal portions and cut back on salt, too, because of the hypertension part. I was going to be looking at more whole-grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, only eat carbs with a low glycaemic index, ensure more moderate helpings of protein and also avoid saturated animal fats and trans fats.
Intervention with a Clever Eating Plan
I was determined to see where this better, more wholesome food intake, together with the intermittent fasting added in, would take me. Reading about how even strokes and heart disease can be prevented with lifestyle changes, I knew that the quarantine and lockdown had been somewhat of a blessing in disguise for me.
Guzzling and no exercise had taken their toll on my health and my weight. Intermittent fasting is taking a break from eating – not snacking between meals. This is when our insulin levels go down and our fat cells release stored sugar, and we lose weight and gain health.
The truth is, health problems are more likely if you’re overweight, and serious health issues might well be yours, too, unless you step in now and turn things around.
I’ve continued these new healthy habits in the post-Covid era and will continue to live the healthiest lifestyle I can – for myself and for my family.