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Power in numbers

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Sep 13,2020 - Last updated at Sep 13,2020

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

These are unprecedented times. Doesn’t that mean I have the green light to enter unprecedented territories when it comes to my diet and exercise or lack thereof?

Is it just me or has it been hard to focus on eating healthier when all the COVID-19 news just makes you want to eat more?

Is it just me or is there anyone else out there who has forgotten what a scale is let alone taken it out to use it?

Is it just me or is this social distancing making me want to feed my emotional hunger as I find myself emotionally distanced from my friends and loved ones?

Is it just me or do you find yourself craving all the comfort foods under the sun?

Please tell me there are some parts of my struggles that you understand because I need to know that I’m not alone in this fight!

This COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on my healthy management. Yes, I’ve been eating healthy salads, fresh fruits and vegetables but as soon as that news comes on, I find myself reaching for the salty pistachios and popcorn and anything else that I can eat mindlessly in front of our television set. With kids home from school and days that seem to blend into each other, I can hardly remember what day of the week it is much less how many calories I‘ve consumed. 

Perhaps like never before, the entire world is on the same page. I’m picturing now all the people from every single country who are glued to their news broadcasts and are munching on anything they can get their hands on as their nerves get the better of them. The fight is fierce but we are not fighting alone. Somehow there is comfort in that fact.


I’m not alone


When I remember that I’m not alone in my fight, there’s a new sense of “I can do this”. It may not look perfect yet, but I can certainly shoot for daily progress. You and I both know that our overeating is directly tied to our restless emotional state that is forever seeking to fill the void. We are constantly seeking to be comforted and unfortunately, somewhere along the line, we started, using food to soothe ourselves.


When food 

became a comfort


I was a 16-year-old first-year university student away from my family and feeling homesick. I somehow discovered that cheese was my best friend so I ate anything that had cheese in it, like those fried mozzarella sticks that ooze with that delicious stretchy cheese I would dip in red marinara sauce. That progressed to buying a block of sharp cheddar cheese and eating it even after dinner when I wasn’t at all hungry. That was my first experience of eating when I wasn’t hungry, just for the sake of feeding my discomfort. A dangerous habit was born then, one that may not kill us quickly, but increases our chances for a host of problems including diabetes, stroke, heart disease and many types of cancers.

I cannot ignore the fact that continuing on this destructive course increases my risk for way too many diseases. I remind myself of this fact so that when I look at that plate in front of me, I interrogate it and make sure it passes the test for healthy options.

We have to insist on becoming our own best advocates especially in these desperate times when COVID-19 threatens us all. Scientists agree that overweight and obese people fare worse if they catch COVID-19. So it’s not enough to wash my hands to keep myself safe. I don’t want to be at an increased risk for complications because I just couldn’t say no to chocolate, too many nuts or too much carb. The best offence is a great defence. Let’s make it harder for this virus or any other illness to hit us.

Tell me you’re in because there’s power in numbers and I don’t mean the number on the scale! I mean that we can fight this battle of the bulge as an army of people that lift each other up and encourage one another to do what’s right. Stay safe, stay healthy, and above all, NEVER GIVE UP!


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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