The Difficulties of Losing the “Quarantine 15”

A story of dieting during the pandemic



Quarantine 15? What to do about weight gain during the pandemic.

Tom Caton, Editor in Chief

Dieting for weight loss is something that can be very difficult to stick to. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started last year and we were all forced into lockdown, many of us found ourselves stocking up on and eating greater amounts of unhealthy comfort food. Unfortunately, stocking up on that comfort food has caused weight gain amongst many Americans.

Sometimes referred to as the “quarantine 15” or “covid curves,” it refers to weight gain throughout the length of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although these terms have become the brunt of jokes on social media platforms, weight gain is no laughing matter.

I personally have struggled with weight almost my entire life. It was in sixth grade when I started to “blow up like a balloon.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 12-year-old boy’s weight can range anywhere from 67 to 130 pounds. When I was 12 years old, I was considered overweight at about 150 pounds. However, as the years progressed on, my weight continued to rise.

I was constantly bullied because of my weight. I heard almost every insult ranging from “fat” to “pig” and anything else that was very derogative. This only caused me to eat more.

At the beginning of my freshman year in high school, I know I weighed a little over 200 pounds. By the time I graduated high school, I nearly weighed almost 300 pounds. I knew that being only 17 years old at the time, I should not have weighed that much.  I tried everything to shed off those pounds, but nothing seemed to work and I would confide my stress with food.

When I began my freshman year at Cal U, I weighed approximately 305 pounds. That year, I took action and started exercising at the gym and eating healthy. By the end of freshman year, I dropped more than 20 pounds and I never felt better. It felt so good to lose that amount of weight. Instead of gaining that “freshman 15,” I happily lost it instead.

Unfortunately, I quickly gained that weight back by the time sophomore year had started. I began to eat carelessly and stopped going to the gym. I would even eat food when I was bored, which I know is extremely bad to do.

At the start of the pandemic, in March 2020, I weighed in around 290 pounds. However, being stocked up on food and nowhere to go, I began to eat again. I dreaded every time stepping onto the scale and seeing a big number appear. Within a few months, I had easily gained well over 10 to 15 pounds.

Fast forward to present day, I vowed to take action and lose weight, no matter what I would have to put my body through. It saddens me to know I am overweight and I am in denial that I have let my body and eating habits get severely out of control. So, I began a diet to lose weight on Jan. 18.

My diet consists of this app I have downloaded onto my phone, counting calories—as in watching and logging what I eat throughout the day—a little bit of exercise, drinking plenty of water, and being sure to avoid any unhealthy foods.

The app on my phone is called “Lose It!” and it is definitely keeping me on track and helping me lose those pesky pounds quickly. This free and easy-to-use app is simple. You keep track of what you have eaten throughout the day, stick to a diet plan that works best for you, and should see results shortly afterwards.

I chose this app because my mom inspired my sister, Megan, and I to download it and give it a try. We were all in agreement we wanted to lose weight. Furthermore, my mom became involved with a class of other fellow people who wanted to lose weight and this was the app that was recommended.

Being on a diet is difficult because I always have cravings and always think of breaking it. I put myself on a very strict diet and began to count my calorie intake for the day. Seeing how many calories are in certain foods shocked me and I started eating healthy.

My biggest inspiration to lose weight is for my sister’s wedding that will be occurring in just about three months at the end of May 2021. Not only do I want to look good for my sister’s big day, but I also want to feel good as well.

Like I stated before, being on a diet is challenging. I sometimes feel like a crazy person at times because I want to snack on some chocolate or something else that is considered unhealthy. To crush those cravings, I choose a healthy alternative like fruits or vegetables. Also, I began to take my dog, Barlow, on more walks around the neighborhood to get in a routine of exercising.

Of course, you can always choose to have a cheat day and eat a little unhealthy for the day, but do not let it get out of hand.

At the beginning of my diet, I weighed in at 311 pounds, which is the heaviest I have weighed in my entire life.

I told myself, “This will be the highest number you’ll see when you step onto the scale. Don’t let it get any higher.”

After only three weeks of dieting, I am happy to announce that I have dropped nearly 15 pounds. I currently weigh 297 pounds now. However, I am still 100 pounds overweight for a normal 21-year-old male, according to the CDC. While it is a good start, I have a long way to go to get to my goal weight of at least 250 pounds before my sister’s wedding. Ultimately, my goal is to get to that healthy, normal weight of about 200 pounds by the end of the year.

We can all struggle with weight and the pandemic is not helping at all with that issue. I hope that some of the tips enlisted within this story here can help if you are trying to lose weight yourself.

Sticking to a diet is not easy, but I am taking it one day at a time and one step at a time.