My health this year had its ups and downs. But sadly, it ended on a down. At the beginning of this year, I was fit and felt good. I could have run a 10km on any given day. I trained five times a week from cardio to weight training in the gym. Then COVID19 began to creep in.
Back in January, there wasn’t that much information about the spread and fatality rate of COVID19. The only information that I received was that Wuhan was in complete lockdown and that other Asian countries limited or closed their borders entirely. The Western countries didn’t take any action yet, so I was being careful with the information I had.
So I began to start limiting my gym sessions and by the start of February basically stopped going. As time went on, The Netherlands also went into a soft-lockdown which prohibited the gym from being open at all.
I tried for a month to train at home in March, which kinda worked for a while. I didn’t burn as much compared to the gym in terms of calories but was better than nothing. The exercises that I did were mainly kettlebell exercises, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and stretches. But it didn’t feel like real training, cause it was in my small room. It didn’t feel like play and the environment limited me compared to the gym.
At the end of March, I barely exercised and only burned between 400-500 calories a day on average. Besides my body, this had effects on my mental health as well. I look back now and notice that I wasn’t performing optimally. Somedays I felt lazy, unmotivated, or even had headaches for no reason.
My eating habits took the wrong turn as well. Last year, I rarely ate three meals a day. Intermittent fasting for 16 hours was like a normal occurrence for me. For example, I rarely ate breakfast. Then during this year, I began to get hungry more often in the morning and thus added an extra meal as breakfast. Which meant I consumed more calories while I trained/burned less.
Even though the gyms re-opened around May (from what I remember), I was still unsure about COVD19. There were lots of conflicting reports (and fake news) about the fatality rate of the disease. But I didn’t want to risk it and affect my family members. So I didn’t return to the gym.
All these things accumulated and I lost muscle and gained fat. This went on till the start of July when things started to turn around.
Around June two of my friends were training outside often. They invited me at the start of July and I immediately joined them for a day. I was happy, cause I felt like I finally did something to turns things around. Their training schedule didn’t suit my professional commitments, but I made it work so that I could train with them at least once a week. That once a week of intense training was all I needed.
Within those training sessions, we did many things from (shadow-) boxing, running, weight-training and more. Meanwhile, I learned one exercise that I liked and tried to integrate into my daily life. This was jumping-rope (or skipping-rope). With these specific exercises, I trained every day from July. I lost fat and gained back my muscle. I had so much fun and was feeling fit again. Not the level of the start of the year, but I felt like I was going to get back to that form. We even received two training sessions of a retired professional fighter that was training in the same park. Those sessions were really intense. This went on and on until the start of October. Then two crucial events happened which led me to the wrong habits again.
The first event was that my neighbors didn’t like that I was jumping rope within the house or balcony. I live in an apartment with three neighbors and one of them told me that they are hearing me jump rope and it annoyed them a lot. I was like okay, then I will stop doing that. I was a bit angry at first, cause they were restricting me in my home. I said whatever. I thought maybe if I was in their shoes, I probably would have been annoyed by it as well. But the one exercise that was burning a lot of calories got mostly removed.
Then the second event was that the two friends whom I was training with both got Coronavirus. This shocked me and my girlfriend, cause three days before the results of the tests, we were hot-potting with them TWICE in one weekend. After that news, we quarantined ourselves for a week and got tested. Luckily, we didn’t have anything. But that stopped the training sessions as well, cause we were being more careful for our families. This resulted me in training less again.
But at that time I was still determined. Also, since more information became available about the Coronavirus and its fatality rate, I was more relaxed about it. So I began going back to the gym. The only problem was that my gym introduced a reservation system. In the first week, it was possible to train 4-5 times. The second week however it became soo busy that it was only possible to train 3 times a week. Which meant I was basically back in March where I wasn’t training as much.
Then the second (psuedo-)lockdown came in December, which degraded my body back to the state of June. As of right now, I weighing around 90kg~ which meant I gained around 10kg~ this whole year and not in a good way.
While my body has degraded during this year, there were some positives as well. I got to learn exercises that I really enjoy like jumping rope. Also, got to train with a retired boxing professional which was an experience I missed.
During this year, I rarely got sick which is great. Maybe cause I avoided people more often, but usually I get a cold or fever around 3 times a year. This year I only had one fever back in January. (Maybe that was COVID and I didn’t notice it 😬).
When it comes to my mental health, It has been pretty stable even though my body degraded. This is mainly cause I feel like I’ve been pretty productive in other aspects of my life which will be discussed in the other chapters. But of course, the degrading body affected overall on my mental health. Nothing major luckily, but could have been better overall.
My sleep quality also has been alright this year, not the best. This is mostly cause I don’t have a consistent sleeping environment. On some days, I sleep at home and the other days at my girlfriend. This had an impact on my sleeping rhythm. I still sleep between 7-8 hours daily which is great. But I do feel like the quality has dropped around 5% based on nothing but personal thoughts. A great purchase though was a weighted blanket, which helped.
But all in all, my health has degraded especially regarding my body. Many reasons were outside my control which led to it. But also many, that I could and should have done better.
I shouldn’t have lost my habit of intermittent fasting.
I shouldn’t be dependant on my friends to train outside.
I should have kept my calories burn at least around 700+ every day.
I should have changed my diet based on the circumstances.
I should have created a better environment for me to train.
2020 was a bad year on my health overall.
For 2021, my health and especially my body will be a focal point. I’m tired of myself and sometimes feel disgusted that I let this happen. I haven’t felt this bad about my body in a long long time, and I’ve had enough. I promise myself that I will improve it vastly compared to now for the next year.
🟢 = Satisfied
🔴 = Dissatisfied
🔶 = Average
TLDR - Health:
- 🔴 Weight: 79kg -> 90kg
- 🔴 Daily Average Calorie Burn (Apple Watch): 824 -> 674
- 🔴 Amount of daily meals (on average): 2 -> 3
- 🟢 New Exercises: 2+
- 🔶 Sleep Quality: 7/10
- 🟢 Sick Days: 4~
- 🟢 Cold/Flu (no COVID19): 1
- 🔶 Overall Mental Health: 6/10