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Gaining MS Momentum

By Matt Cavallo

The hardest thing about COVID, has been putting on the COVID-19. I mean the 19 or so extra pounds that I put on as a result of quarantine. Many of you who read my articles each month, know I started the year trying intermittent fasting. I’m in my midforties now, so the weight doesn’t melt off like it used to. I also live a bit of a sedentary lifestyle because I sit all day for work. So, I definitely have more calories coming in than going out.

When quarantine first started, I was diligent about intermittent fasting. I had more energy as a result and I was exercising and riding my bike before I would start my day. I really had positive momentum to achieve my diet and exercise goals.

Then quarantine didn’t end. Little by little, my discipline for intermittent fasting faded. There was also a correlation between my energy level and intermittent fasting because as I started to eat more, I began to workout less. After starting the year strong, I am ending it right back where it began. A little overweight, over tired, and desiring a change. 

The problem now is I am comfortable. I say things such as, “I will try again after the holidays.” Or “I can’t start now because of the holidays.” The problem is I started saying and thinking that back in August with no holidays in sight. 

The problem is I gained negative momentum. I gave myself a lot of excuses for why I could let myself slip. Now, I feel gross. I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I can say I want to change things after the holiday, but I right now I don’t have the energy to make a change. When you become sedentary, something has to happen to change that momentum.

The weird thing about quarantine is I don’t have to get dressed for business anymore. I can wear a t-shirt and sweatpants for my Zoom meetings. There is a psychological connection to looking good and feeling good. Maybe one thing I can do to change the momentum is to start dressing for work each morning. Even though I don’t have to be in the office, I should still dress for success. If I start looking good, maybe that will help me gain momentum towards feeling good.

Another thing I might do to try and gain momentum is to involve others. Maybe I could find out if there is someone else who is feeling the way I am and we could push each other to achieve our goals. That could be someone in my family, a friend, or a coworker. Just someone to be accountable to. 

Another momentum builder should be the way I feel. MS is hard enough without the extra weight making me feel lethargic. Remembering how I felt when I was exercising and intermittent fasting should be motivation enough. 

When you have a MS and fall into a pattern of comfortable sedentary behavior, you may need to find a way to gain momentum to change that pattern. For me, that might be dressing for success, finding a partner with similar goals, or focusing on behaviors that make me feel good. What will help you gain momentum to achieve the change you want?