Bill’s Journey Takes an Unexpected Turn
This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.
By Bill Kimm
Last Tuesday, I became a statistic – one of more than 25 million people in the United States to have tested positive for COVID-19. I started to have symptoms on Sunday afternoon, couldn’t get up on Monday, went to get tested on Tuesday morning and my fears were confirmed an hour later. I have COVID.
To be clear, I have a mild to moderate case, and for that I’m very grateful. It could be much worse. So while I struggle, I am also thankful. It’s been over a week now, and I don’t feel much better. COVID fatigue is real. I have no energy. Taking a shower and getting dressed is exhausting. I can be standing and moving for about 10-15 minutes, then I have to lie down. The breathing is hard, my chest hurts, the cough is relentless. It’s not a funny disease.
But this is a healthy eating / weight loss blog, so let’s talk about it.
Very early on, I recognized that I had two ways of doing things. I could take a break, beat COVID and focus on eating healthy and losing weight once I feel better, or try not to change course while getting what I need to improve my health. I think COVID forced my hand. Thursday, I lost the ability to taste, which meant the food was no longer desirable. I decided to turn this into a positive. I haven’t snacked for over a week! I have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that’s it. My cravings for food are almost gone and the desire to snack is nonexistent. It’s amazing how much we eat just for the sake of eating.
Luckily my wife and kids have all tested negative so since I’m quarantined in our spare room they can prepare my food and deliver it to my door. Knowing that I want to try and stay focused on eating healthy, they measure all of my portions so I can always record what I eat with each meal. To be clear, my first priority right now is to give my body the nourishment it needs to recover – I can’t sacrifice this for weight loss goals. But given that I’ve been eating fairly healthy this week, and the fact that I just don’t have the energy or desire to eat much, leads me to believe that having COVID isn’t going to delay my loss efforts. of weight too far. . This situation is not ideal, but I make the most of it.
Not tasting the food is weird, let me tell you. Your brain fights it. Your brain knows what you’re supposed to be going through, but your taste buds don’t let it happen. I also tried to turn this into a positive. I eat more broccoli, more cauliflower rice, and more vegetables in general with my meals. I can’t taste anything; I might as well eat things that I’m not a big fan of.
That’s not to say I haven’t tried sneaking some candy. My daughter was so caring and made me brownies last weekend to help me feel better. Even if you try to be good, if your daughter bakes you brownies, you eat the brownies! I was sad that I couldn’t taste them, but the feeling was so sweet and I felt a little better that night.
I have COVID. It halted any progress I was making with my exercise, and honestly, I don’t know how much of a setback it will be. I don’t know when I will feel good and strong enough to run or train again. But I told you very early on, no excuses this time. So while COVID is a hurdle I didn’t expect, I’m not going to let it derail me. I will turn this huge negative into a positive. I am going to eat less and eat healthier, and I hope that when I can break my quarantine I have some good news to share.
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