To prevent herself from spiralling when she was furloughed, Shar Reid, 30, a trainee solicitor from Doncaster, focused her attention on her mental and physical wellbeing.
Earlier in 2020, I had just moved to Doncaster to start a new role as part of my training to be a solicitor. I had only been there a few days when I was sent home – I have asthma, (very mild) but it still means I was in the ‘at-risk’ category for Covid. About a week later, I was furloughed.
I was absolutely devastated – I cried a lot those first few weeks. I’d worked so hard for this training contract, going to law school part time for two years. Now I was so scared there was going to be no work for me after furlough. I felt like my life was falling apart.
To make matters worse, I was on my own. I sat and watched Netflix all day, wallowing and feeling sorry for myself. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was eating crap and feeling pretty crap. I knew I was spiralling – and I had to do something to pull myself out of it.
Before lockdown, I had been exercising regularly at the gym, doing a lot of weightlifting and making good progress. It was the thought of losing all that hard work that gave me the kick I needed to do something. There was so much in my life beyond my control – my job, Covid – but one of the few things I did have power over was my own health and wellbeing.
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I had a Fitbit Charge tracker, but hadn’t paid too much attention to the numbers on their before then. But in lockdown those numbers became my guide – I made it my goal to get in a workout, and at least 10,000 steps a day.
While I’ve always been a meal planner and relatively healthy eater, it was all the snacking in lockdown that really got me. I also got into baking – which can be problematic, if you’re the only one around to eat what you make! But I wanted to lose some weight and I knew that in order to do that, I had to be burning more calories than I was eating.
I started keeping track of my meals with the MyFitnessPal app, making sure my daily total calories in were slightly under the total calorie burn on my Fitbit every day to stay in that calorie deficit. To help prevent myself from snacking too much, I tried intermittent fasting, keeping my eating window between 12pm and 8pm, which really prevented me from falling back into the habit of late night snacking I’d developed.
Sill, I tried not to get too fixated on