In December 2019, Chuck Stefanosky, Independence Director Strategic Sourcing & Procurement, made a commitment to get in better shape. He started meeting with a nutritionist to learn how to eat better and exercising at the gym at his office. His routine was working well until the COVID-19 pandemic hit and changed everything.
Like everyone else, the pandemic caused many disruptions to Chuck’s normal routine. Since he had to work remotely, he didn’t have access to the gym at the office. With the closure of non-essential businesses, all gyms in his area were also closed. He was also concerned about his eating habits. He knew that being at home more could lead to stress eating or snacking out of boredom.
Making the Best of a Bad Situation
Surrounded by uncertainty, Chuck made the decision to turn the situation into a positive experience. With stay-at-home orders in place due to COVID-19, Chuck was going to be spending a lot more time at home, so he decided to take advantage of the opportunity. He made a commitment to himself to stay healthy during the pandemic and work on reaching his health and wellness goals.
No Gym Required: Working Out at Home
While he was never a fan of working out at home, he started using his daughter’s indoor cycling bike.
“While working out at home is a new thing for me, I really enjoy it now,” he said. “The bike is a great way to burn off energy. With this bike you can stream a variety of sessions, live and recorded, with different instructors to fit your mood.”
For a social person like Chuck, the new workout routine also provides a sense of community and social interaction, something he misses about working out at the gym.
“You can see the instructor, view other people’s stats, and race against them,” he said. “There are also contests, which make it more interactive.”
Chuck rides the bike four to five days a week. He liked it so much he even ordered his own!
Staying on Track
As for food, Chuck committed to only buying healthy food to avoid the temptation of indulging in unhealthy food and snacks every time he passed by the refrigerator.
“It was a lot easier to stick to my diet at home than I thought it would be,” he said. “I’m able to control my food and portions more easily. With only healthy options in the fridge, it’s easier to stay away. And if I do grab a snack, I know it’s healthy.”
Most importantly, Chuck downloaded MyFitnessPal, a free calorie counter and diet plan app, onto his smartphone. The app allows him to track his workouts and food intake.
“It’s really easy to use and helpful,” he said. “Once you record what you’re eating, you’ll see where you’re overeating and that will help you adjust. It also connects to the bike to track my workouts. It’s very motivating to see what I’ve accomplished at the end of a good workout.”
Self-Care During the Pandemic
Overall, Chuck has lost 38 pounds since January (he lost 20 of those pounds since being at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Most importantly, he feels great, physically and mentally.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since college.” he said. “I feel such a sense of accomplishment. It feels good to know that I did something for myself, especially during these uncertain times. I wanted to come out better and healthier than when I went in, and I did it.”
While reaching his health and wellness goals were his main priority during this time, it was also a welcome distraction.
“This was a nice outlet for me during this time. I found it relaxing. It gave me something to focus on, other than the news on the TV,” Chuck said. “While I’m ready to go back to work and move forward, I definitely plan to continue this healthy lifestyle.”
Chuck’s Tips for Success
Regardless of where you are in your health and wellness journey, today is a great day to start making healthy changes: get up and get moving and be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods. Here’s some final advice from Chuck to get you motivated.
“Set a goal and make it realistic,” he said. “Most importantly, keep going. Don’t give up!”