Editor’s note: Cathrine Shinn lost 100 pounds using Diet-to-Go, and has managed to maintain that weight loss for two years.* We regularly catch up with Cathrine to learn her tips and tricks for weight loss, healthy living and more!
- Current weight: 230
- Goal: Maintenance
- Time since losing 110 pounds: Two years.
Dealing with social isolation and the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic is hard enough, but add in a move to another state and the responsibility of taking care of a loved one, and the challenge is taken to a whole new level.
That’s been the reality for Cathrine, who sold her home in Maryland and moved to Illinois to take care of her mother right at the peak of the stay-at-home orders.
But Cathrine hasn’t maintained a 100-pound weight loss for more than two years for nothing, and she figured out a way to power through. We sat down with Cathrine to learn about her experience and her creative ways to continue eating healthy, staying fit and taking care of herself mentally.
Talk to us about your experience since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and governments started implementing social distancing. What’s it been like for you?
My experience is probably similar to many. How do I stay healthy when everything around me is different than I’ve ever experienced? Just before the closures, I temporarily relocated to Illinois to help transition my mother to managed care. At the same time everything began closing, including my gym, I sold my home and had to return to pack and move my belongings. My stress level was through the roof and I didn’t have access to my gym, which is one way I have managed stress in my life for almost two years.
You, like many people, work from home all day. What are you doing to ensure you stay healthy?
Caring for my mother and working full time has been difficult! One thing that has become important to both of us is routine and provisioning. Having my meals delivered and ready to go helps me manage my diet and allows me time to complete my work. It also affords me time to plan activities and provision for my mother — puzzles, adult coloring, keeping in touch with loved ones, measuring items to make a favorite recipe. It has also limited trips to the grocery!
Another thing I did was create a challenge for myself. Not having to get ready for work led me to get lazy. I saw something on social media that asked if 8 p.m. was the appropriate time to change from your daytime PJs to your nighttime PJs. That was me. I decided I was going to wear actual clothes during my workday. Stretchy clothing has been a curse for me in the past. It is too easy to put on several pounds before your clothing reminds you. I also use my favorite perfume every day. It makes me feel more normal, even if I’m the only one enjoying it!
What sort of exercise are you doing and why is it important for others?
My mother is physically very fit. Prior to my arrival, she walked 1/2 an hour every day on a treadmill and did 100 sit ups and 50 push ups every day. One of the routines we established early in the shelter in place is walking outside twice a day for a total of 5-6 miles. She loves this and looks forward to each walk, so we do NOT miss. We go in a different direction each time and have found beautiful places to walk. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we meditate. I’ve also borrowed a bike from a friend and am able to add a ride several times a week.
I miss my [gym] machines and especially the weights. I have also replaced that with yard work in both my mother and father’s homes, but I am looking forward to returning to my gym.
How do you take care of your mental health?
It has been difficult! I am very social and the isolation is awful. I am making an effort to reach out to friends by phone and video every day. I allow myself time to watch a favorite show. I was able to visit my father this weekend and helped him plant his garden, a hobby he taught me to love. The thing that makes the biggest difference for me is exercise.
How do you ensure you’re eating healthy? How has Diet-to-Go helped with that?
Being home all day, every day is hard. I have found myself slipping in my resolve to not snack. It is also the first time since starting Diet-to-Go that I have lived with someone else and been responsible for preparing meals that are different.
I have had to be more conscious about drinking water. I also bought some herbal tea which is something I used when first losing my weight.
Diet-to-Go allows me a constant reminder of portion control and healthy meals, protein, fruit or vegetable and a grain. It also helps to have a variety of options, something I would not have had access to with the food shortages we’ve all experienced. I look forward to ordering my meals every week!
Have you found any silver lining with staying at home?
Yes, my awareness of the importance of relationships. It is easy to get busy and not make enough time for people you love, or take relationships for granted. Social distancing reminded me of how my relationships impact my overall well being.
What’s your silver lining working from home? Share a bit of positivity in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.