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I stopped going to the GYM after the pandemic started and here is the result

ASHOOR

Administrator
Staff member
At the start of the new year, I like to make note of my weight and other numbers related to my health.

On Jan 1, my weight was recorded at 185 lbs. (Body Fat % of over 28%) By early March , just before the pandemic lockdowns started, I was at a high of 187.4 lbs. I had never weighed heavier, not even close. No idea why, but probably a combination of factors.

Then Covid19 hit and everything changed for me. For worse or better? Well, let us find find out. The logic below may surprise you.

First off, a bit of side note: in addition to my office job, where I am sitting most of the day, I was also doing Uber part time, where I could be sitting in my car for 3-4 hours at a time. And while I don’t eat much junk food, when you are working Uber late nights and feel hungry, it is easy to snack on junk food and this adds up over time.

Also, although not a Gym rat, gym has always been a regular part of my lifestyle, routinely going an average of 3-4 times a week (sometimes ever more) for the better part of the last 10 years or more.

In other words, I did what is required to keep my weight in check (which I was somewhat successful at) And speaking of GYM, the one I go to had shut down as the pandemic started. My last visit was March 9.

So with no gym, working from home and still in winter time, first few months of working from remotely were a bit tough. There wasn’t much physical movement, other than the occasional 15-30 min walks I did with my wife when weather permitted (time was no longer an issue during the lockdown)

From March through mid May or so, my weight hovered around 182-185. There was some weight loss but nothing major.

Then in early June, some restrictions were eased and the city where I live reopened parks and hiking trails. I am a big fan of the latter, going once or twice a week in the summer. From the first weekend they reopened, I was there to hike! And I never stopped! I would go hiking almost every other day (sometimes on consecutive days) despite it being physically demanding and tough on the body, at least at the trail I frequent (length of 6 KM both ways, with lots of elevation points)

Fast forward to the end of summer, and my weight had gone down from a high of 187.4 in early March to 177 in early September! And even more amazing? My BF% went down from around 28% to 20.8% at the moment (still a bit high and working to bring it to 15% or lower)

And as I write this, as we close this strange year, I am sitting at 174.8 lbs and 20% BF! So I have lowered my weight by a full 12 Lbs and my Body Fat by 8%.

I must add that I had some set of weights at home and bought more during the summer. Since I am working from home, I have made it a habit to do weights almost daily, and several times through the day. I make it a habit to get off the computer once an hour and do weights for about 3-5 mins. I do this several times a day (so that is 15–20 mins a day). This was another unplanned activity that I sort of incorporated into my new covid routine and has proven pretty valuable (according to my scale, my muscle mass has gone up from 38% to almost 42.5% in 5 months (June to November)

The funny thing is that I achieved these numbers somewhat accidentally. In other words, even thought my weight was higher than I wanted it to be , I never committed to do the impossible to lose weight. But a series of events, one leading to another -including some luck - and next thing you know, I am suddenly at my ideal weight. For the record, last time I was at this weight was more than 7 years ago (back when i was 33 and I am now 40 years old)

So there you have it: stopped going to the gym (not by choice) and replaced it with constant walking, better diet choices and lots of hiking, and I have lost more weight than ever. I was actually worried I may gain some weight back once winter is here and can no longer hike. But luckily, I haven’t only maintained it, I have lost some more. The milder winter so far has helped me continue to walk 2-3 times a week . Basically, as long the temp is at hovering around -3 or higher, I can walk with no issues. In fact, am writing this on Dec 31, having just come back from a half hour walk.

So moral of the story: if doing the same thing over and over is not helping, try changing it, even completely if possible.

BTW I am not here to argue against going to the gym. Not at all. In fact I missed going to gym. I am just saying that if one thing doesn’t work, try changing it or adding to it. For example, you could try hiking like I did and I guarantee you will see weight loss.

And last but not least, another huge difference maker for me were my use of technology. While I have always took my phone and listened to music while at the gym, I took it to a new level. In 2020, my Apple Watch became an integral part of my outdoor walks. I also got into trend and bought wireless earplugs , which makes walking more fun and easy. And finally, and although I was already a fan of podcasting, I became even more interested and would load my iPhone (or watch) with hours of my favorite podcasts and just listen and listen! (In addition to music of course) . So I now look forward to my walks because that gives me time to listen to my podcasts!
 
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