Quarantine Quiet

It’s been a very busy and exciting few weeks. So much traveling and so much entertaining! Just kidding. No real traveling. And the only person I consistently entertain is myself. But it has been busy. Let me catch you up.

4 weeks ago I was going around saying things like, “gee I’m never alone” or “what’s it like to be alone?” and “I don’t think I’ve been alone since last March”. Well as the universe does, it heard me and gave me exactly what I wanted. Immediately.

3 week ago we got a call that a family member tested positive for Covid and we needed to go take care of them. It threw us into a tailspin. How do we do this? What do we do? Well, what we did is that I moved in with them for 10 days of quarantine. My job is fully mobile and all I needed was an internet line to make it work. So I packed a bag and within hours moved myself in to help out. Here’s what I learned:

  • PPE works. I wore two masks and a face shield and thoroughly washed my hands and surfaces. After 10 days of quarantine, we both left the house Covid free (2 tests to prove it)
  • Besides work calls and family check-in time, I was completely and utterly alone for 10 days. I had lots of interactions with my jailbird, but most of the time I had to keep my distance, so the conversations were short and quick.
  • I did miss my family. But it was an amazing respite for 10 days. Lots and lots and lots of alone time. I didn’t hate it.
  • My jailbird is as strong as an ox. It’s amazing how resilient we are as humans. He was luckily asymptomatic the whole time, but it’s hard to be trapped in a room (although a comfortable one). He did it like a pro. No complaints. No trying to breakout.
  • I went for long long long walks. I went in the morning. I went at night. I went if it rained. I went if it snowed. There was nothing else to do. And I loved it. Even though the path was small and I felt like a hamster spinning the wheel, it felt so good to be outside every day. I posted some of the pics from my walks below. There’s even one of me wearing my very sexy headlight. Not sexy maybe, more Blair Witch Project, but you get it.
  • Although I got points for taking care of someone like Florence Nightingale, it felt like a selfish indulgence. It was quiet and calm and peaceful.

Thank you universe for hitting me in the face with exactly what I asked for. What should I ask for next? A billion dollars??

Speaking of ox – it’s the Lunar New Year! The year of the ox. Strong, reliable, resilient. Like my jailbird.

2 weeks ago I came back home with a renewed sense of calm. I feel like I should rent that time out to people. It could be a new thing. I could call it Quarantine Quiet Time Spa! Without a deadly disease being a part of the experience, it would be perfect.

Last week went back to “normal”. Family, work, etc. I’m still walking. Let me say just a few words about the walks. The walks have been very impactful. The walks get me out of my head. They get me away from screens. They get me outside, in the very cold air. Sometimes I talk to people on my walks. Sometimes I listen to podcasts or Howard Stern. And because it’s me, never do I listen to music. I’m a weirdo. I know. I usually walk alone. Even when I walk with people I walk alone. I’m a slow walker. I’m also short and my stride is smaller. That’s my story.

Since Christmas Eve, I’ve walked atleast 10K steps a day. It’s what the kids would call a streak.

Who knows when it will end. I’m not worried about it. I’m worried about 1 million other things, but my walks and my time alone are not one of them.

Happy new year. Happy weekend.

That’s a selfie with a headlight- you’re welcome
This was when I went for a walk with family and they left me behind to be murdered

Intermittent slowing

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite. It’s always been my favorite. Growing up it was the only meal we had at home that resembled what other people ate…kind of. I mean my parents didn’t make coffee, they made chai, but we did have toast! It wasn’t made from soft, fluffy white bread like Wonder – we had something that was literally called Brick Oven. Brrrrrick oven. The name literally told you what it would feel like in your stomach. But at least it wasn’t Indian food. Although sometimes it was Indian food, but that’s another story.

I’m an early riser. Even in high school I woke up early. These days it’s 7am on average in Covid days because I’m not commuting. Before that, I was up at 5:30 or 6 and out the door by 7:30ish. That’s a lot of breakfast time. So much breakfast time that on some days – not always – I had two mini breakfasts before lunch. Two! And because it was mostly non-protein…even though it was simple stuff (toast, etc), it didn’t help. Help what you ask? Help my di….my die…. my diet! Phew. There I said it.

I never say that word. Shockingly I’m hardly ever on a diet. Seriously. I know I probably should be, but I’ve never been obsessed with my weight. I mean in high school I wanted to be thinner and I started walking more and lost some weight before college, which was great. My first few years of college I actually lost weight because the food was gross (this is pre-vegetarian friendly years in the country), this was also great. Plus I was in love and drinking my suppers away – it was all good.

I’ve talked about this before, food was a really important part of my childhood. What other family do you know that drove from Harrisburg, PA to Queens, New York for lunch? Ours did. We did it multiple times a year. That’s also what counted as “vacations” for us.

I was never thin. Ok maybe that’s wrong. I was thin for about a year in elementary school. I had pneumonia and an enlarged heart situation. Spent a few months in the hospital and then bedrest for another few months. I missed half a year of school. When I went back everyone was very curious and I felt famous. I’d lost a lot of weight, my hair had grown out and I was a bit yellow from an iron deficiency. Not exactly hot stuff, but I loved it. It was very dramatic and fun. By the summer it all wore off and I got back to my normal self. The life threatening illness was fun while it lasted.

My parents never talked about my weight. I never remember my mother or father ever saying anything positive or negative about it. It just was what it was. That’s not to say I didn’t try all the new fads and classes that came out. I’ve done Spin class, Zumba, SlimFast, the Beyonce cayenne cleanse, yoga, Weight Watchers, etc. I tried them all, but mostly because I was curious and I’m into new things. Did I lose weight, sure. But I never fluctuated all that much. 5 up/5 down if I was lucky. I was also never that devastated or excited by any of it.

Now, at 48, I’m not on any real medication (besides Progesterone which has changed my life, we can talk about that someday) and I haven’t had any real health issues (knock on a BIG piece of wood). I’ve never had a doctor sit me down and say,” you need to lose weight.” This could also be because I avoid doctors as much as I can but whatever.

All of this is a very long winded way of saying…I’m not that into diets. Ask my friends. I don’t really talk about it. I’m not really that interested. I know beautiful, dear people that go from one plan to another. That are in a constant state of diet. There’s always a comment about what they’re eating and how bad they are doing. It’s seems sad to me – and exhausting, but I get it. I think I’m the freak here, I get it.

At the beginning of Covid we tucked in and started doing what everyone did. We cooked. We baked. We ate. We drank. We’re still doing it. Shockingly – I didn’t gain weight. I didn’t lose weight, but there was no uptick. While I was cooking, baking and drinking I listened to podcasts. Lots and lots of podcasts. One was about Intermittent Fasting (IF). Basically reducing the amount of time in a 24 hour period that you can/should eat. It’s not about what you eat exactly – it’s focused only on when you eat.

There’s 3 big methods of IF: alternate day fasting, periodic fasting and daily time restricted fasting. The podcast I listened to was about alternate day – which is restricting calories to 500 on fasting days (every other or every two days, however you choose to do it). The health benefits are beyond just weight loss. Clearer mind, better mood, etc. It also seemed less restrictive because it doesn’t focus on what you eat, as long as you’re staying to a calorie reduction. I mean you can’t eat donuts as your only meal but it seemed doable. So I tried it. It was super duper hard. Not eating for a 24 hour period was not my thing. I only did it for a couple of days. One day fast/one day eating. It lasted only 3 days. By the 2nd day of my full fast I was done. Did I eat a vat of ice cream – no. But I needed a meal. I was light headed and not feeling great. So I was done. Back to my usual.

A few weeks later I was reading an article about another method of IF. Daily time restricted fasting – or 16:8. Don’t eat for 16 hours, eat for 8. That seemed like a small change. 7 of those non eating 16 hours would be sleeping hours. How hard could that be? Again I was curious. So about two months ago, maybe more, I started doing it. No food until noon or 1pm. Then I eat normally until 7pm or 8pm. I’m still trying not to go nuts during the day but I’m not doing any real restrictions. I have a carb. I have a glass of wine. Maybe 2. It wasn’t easy, I’m going to be honest. I like my morning time and I like my breakfast, as I’ve said. But it wasn’t that hard either.

Something started to change. Something really really slowly started to change. I lost a pound. It took me a really long time, but I lost a pound. Then I lost another. Slowly. My clothes started feeling better. No one can really tell. Then we went away for the weekend and I had a piece of coffee cake for breakfast. The next day I had another piece. But nothing happened. I came home and went right back to the 16:8. No big deal. A few days later I lost another pound.

Again – will anyone notice, probably not. It’s really a small, slow, and I do mean slow, change. But it feels good. And it doesn’t feel like a diet. More importantly I’m still doing it. The longest I’ve ever done anything else is Zumba (and I may get back to that too!).

Just sharing my very long, very slow moving journey. I’ll be hitting my goal weight (although I don’t really have one) by 2027.

Planking?

Looks like someone’s been taking (blurry) pictures with my camera.

This is called planking I think. 20/20 did a report on how it’s all the rage. Do you still watch 20/20? I do, even though I don’t think it’s called that anymore. Apparently you are supposed to snap shots of yourself planking in all kinds of different places.

It looks like excercise to me.

Here’s what my two lunatics were up to – not sure where my husband and I were, but I’m sure we weren’t planking, ahem.

Please note – there are photos below with my kid’s faces on a stove top. No children were harmed in this silliness. Please don’t call anybody.

102_1650 102_1653 102_1646

102E1639 102E1640 102_1617 102_1618 102_1620 102E1638 102_1616 102E1636 102_1611 102_1612 102E1635

UPDATE:  my son told me this morning, after I’d written the post, that planking is OVER. This was last year and they do not do it anymore. Just so ya know.