Chronicles of Lockdown: I Did Not Imagine I Would Gain This Much Weight
Sometimes, Nahh, a lot of the time, I am overly self-conscious of everything about my body, no matter how many times I try to wear an unbothered face. “Do I look good?”, “Do these clothes fit well?”
Each time I pass by a mirror or glass, I make a quick glance to assess myself. One thing I never really had to worry about, however, was actually gaining weight.
I was so confident that I was going to lose whatever weight came my way. My mum always said she never understood how no matter what it is I ate, I never got bigger. “Mr. Ikun Pelebe” (Mr. Flat Tummy) she called me any time she wanted to tease me and I lived in that fantasy for the longest time.
In retrospect, this was at a point when I was constantly under stress, so burning calories was a given. The stress of school always burned the calories away.
Walking from one end of the school to another for lectures at least twice a day was enough workout for me. But, somewhere in a very tiny corner of my brain, I knew that once I got out and started living a bit more comfortably, I would definitely put on some weight.
However, I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly. In the space of a year and a few months, I went from a 69 or 70kg guy to an 87kg guy, the curse of working from home.
While it comes with its perks, like free time, flexibility, and things like that, they never tell you that it also comes with weight gain if one isn’t careful. Suffice it to say, I was not careful.
After the first few months, post-service spent at home, my clothes started to get tighter and since clothes do not shrink that quickly, I knew the other thing had to be happening. I WAS GAINING WEIGHT! I didn’t want to look, or worse, feel bloated, so, around late September last year, I hurriedly joined a gym out of fear and a desire to return my body to the days of slenderness.
Thankfully, the flexibility of my work allowed me to attend diligently. Of course, I felt healthier and fitter after a week or 2 of running the treadmill for at least 1 hour every day, Yoga, and some other cardio.
The problem persisted nonetheless. I was still getting bigger. Only this time, it was muscles. I knew I had to stop before my arms ripped all my shirts and after a month, I stopped going and depended on my home workouts.
I downloaded a workout app, dusted my gym shoes, got some jumping ropes, and jogged from time to time burning as many calories as I could. Then came Corona and the lockdown.
Unlike before the outbreak of the virus, when I still burned calories by jumping buses on my way to Ikeja every week and walking from Along to Underbridge to my class, along with my home workouts, I suddenly had nowhere to go and so did the calories.
I was stuck inside the house, repeating each day, eating, and sleeping for the most part. So, I decided that I was going to use this lockdown to help myself and amp up my workout regimen.
I had all the time to make this happen. At the start, I was so focused. Doing the stretches, the push-ups, the pull-ups, planks, the jogging, all of it. Did this for 2 weeks, every day, 5-6 in the evening.
Subconsciously, I was waiting for instant results, I had to convince myself with each passing workout session and reminding myself that it is a process, but it is not easy straining your muscles, pouring out all the sweat and not seeing results. Human expectation and all that.
At some point, I got frustrated and stopped for a few days and kept wondering why nothing was really happening. The annoying part of the whole weight gain was that I was not consuming a lot of food. On some days, I barely ate twice a day.
Why wasn’t I seeing results? It was not long, I started to slack on the home workouts. I convinced myself that work was the reason I was slacking, but, I knew. I was just lazy and frustrated.
I decided that if I was not going to be working out consistently in the meantime, I would at least make sure that food was not going to be an issue. I reduced my eating to once a day, and still, no real results. It felt like I was stressing myself in vain.
I tried my best to restart workouts several times, but something always stopped me along the way. First, my arms started to ache from too many aggressive push-ups.
I took a break to heal and when my arms were fine, I resumed workouts again but it started to rain and I could not go outside anymore. It got so bad one time that I sprained my ankle while jogging.
It just seemed like the lockdown wanted me to put on that weight one way or the other. I gave up eventually at that point. I wasn’t seeing results and I was getting hurt on top of all that. I told myself that my best bet would be to manage myself as best as I could in the meantime.
I became even more self-conscious than before. I take my time walking past every mirror or glass that reflects images, assessing how I look, paying attention to not only how I looked in what I wore, but, how big I had gotten as well.
“What happened to my flat tummy?”, “How did my thighs get so big?”, “How did I get here?” All questions that creep into my head once in a while now.
Not to mention how big my head had gotten. It gets worse when people who have seen your “before and after”, constantly remind you that there has been a drastic change. I have always wondered how people put on so much weight and I realized during this lockdown that sometimes, it isn’t as easy as just not gaining weight.
It takes serious effort. Plus, you think you notice how big you are until someone shows you a throwback photo. But in the end, I have learned to love me for how I am and I learn every day to be comfortable with how I am.
Of course, I don’t have the 6 packs, but, staying healthy and fit is more important. So, I will do just that. I start workouts again this week. So, I need your prayers that I remain steadfast this time.