Mark’s Fitness Fell Flat During Quarantine — Now He’s Making a Comeback
2020 has been a mad rush. And for many of us, healthy eating, exercise, and self-care habits have been derailed.
If you feel ready to get back on the right track, we are with you. Three members of our editorial team are making big changes for the new year and they offered to take us on the tour. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be following Laura as she lets go of her sugar habit and relaunch her fitness routine, and cheer on our dynamic duo, Bill and Mark, as they work hard to lose weight and improve. their health. Here is a healthier 2021!
By Mark Spoor
When I started at WebMD a little over 5 years ago, I was – let’s just say – a little off-brand.
I was not very active. I had spent the previous 12 months as a freelance writer and editor at home (where all my food is). Before that, I was in sports media, where they wouldn’t let you eat anything that wasn’t fried.
I was heavy and I knew it.
Since I wasn’t feeling well and had just started a new job at WebMD, I figured it would make sense to have a physique, something I hadn’t done in years.
This meeting will always be known as “my kicks”.
I was the heaviest I have ever been (quite a bit) and, as a bonus, I had prediabetes. This first part was bad enough, but the second part scared me. After all, I have a wife and a daughter who is now a teenager. I needed energy. Plus, I needed to make sure I was going to be there for them. So I had to get back on track right away.
I went headlong into fitness. I was in the gym in our office building every weekday morning at 7 am. I have never failed. I was a slave to routine. I would start with 20 to 30 minutes of elliptical workout, then follow through with some weights and some core work. I could do all of this, sweat a good sweat and still be at my desk at 8:30 am. I had no excuse. I also cleaned up the diet. Very strict on weekdays and a little more lax (but not crazy) on weekends.
The work paid off. I got compliments in the office and at home, my numbers were going down and I was feeling good. Plus, I was proud of myself for overcoming my health issues.
And then came COVID-19.
When we started working from home in March 2020 we all thought it would be for a week – 2 weeks maximum. So I really wasn’t worried about slipping. I moved my workouts to the garage and went old school: push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, planks, and a few quick walks around my neighborhood.
It all sounded good, but some important things were working against me. For one thing, I wasn’t really getting the cardio workout I needed. Walks weren’t enough and I don’t like running. As, really do not like it.
Did I mention that I don’t like to run?
Worse yet, all my food was just steps away. Again, I thought it would only be a week or two, so I figured a few snacks here and there wouldn’t matter.
Before long, snacks became a habit and workouts weren’t as strong as they needed to be, so the numbers went up. They are not as tall as they used to be. My “thin clothes” still fit (albeit a little differently), but I can say a change, so frustration and disappointment set in.
Therefore, I start the second round.
For Christmas, my wife bought me a stationary bike and a Peloton subscription. I worked there for about a week. The sweat is back, but the food is still there, so is the stress of having to change things, not to mention the COVID stress.
I need responsibility. This is where you, and this weekly blog, come in.
Each week I will share what happened in my journey of redemption. My friends Bill Kimm and Laura Downey will also be sharing their stories. In fact, over the weeks you will probably read Bill and I engaged in a friendly conversation. We’ve been friends for years and that’s exactly what the guys do, especially the guys who have worked together in sports.
One of the doctors here at WebMD, who is actually a weight loss specialist, is also going to give me some advice along the way.
We will all keep each other honest and hope to motivate you to take the trip with us.
Mark Spoor is the health editor at WebMD. He has spent over 2 decades in sports media, working with groups like the NCAA, NASCAR and the PGA TOUR. Most weekends you can find him and his wife, Chris, cheering on their daughter’s softball team.
Although Mark has spent a lot of time with athletes, he isn’t, so fitness has always been a challenge. He hopes this effort will help him get one step closer to winning this battle.
You can follow Mark on Twitter @markspoor.
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