Just like The Weeknd, I come alive in the fall time.
That’s the only thing I have in common with The Weeknd, by the way.
The last six months of working from home and socially distancing hasn’t been bad for me, but it has been different (I refuse to call it the new normal though.) Initially I went through a grieving period when I realized my races were going to be virtual or cancelled entirely. Running is a huge form of stress relief and one of the few areas where I can feel normal or accomplished on a crummy day. So realizing that was getting yanked from me – and that both my gym and salon was going o be shut down for who knows how long back in March – was a disappointment I spent a good week or two coming to terms with.
However, there have been some silver linings with working from home and not being able to do anything.
The first silver lining – I saved money and got into a position to pay off my credit card. I had between $2,500-3,000 on my credit card in February. My student loan payments were frozen in March, so I took that money as well as what I was saving, made substantial payments and finally paid my card off in August. Pre-Covid I told myself I was going to pay my card off by December of this year, which was ambitious and honestly a little overwhelming when I would talk about my plans. I’m still a little in disbelief it’s actually paid off.
The next step in my financial plan – making higher payments on my car and getting that paid off in three and a half years, as well as building up a second savings account so my boyfriend and I can eventually put a down payment on a house.
My second silver lining – I stepped up my cooking game. My boyfriend and I agreed early on we would avoid fast food and limit going out to eat (we didn’t actually go to a restaurant until early to mid-June) in order to save money as well as make sure we were making the healthiest choices possible in the middle of a pandemic. I enjoy cooking and baking, so I figured this was a good opportunity to try some new recipes from the cookbooks I already own. At be same time, my boyfriend was having some health concerns that we think might be related to gluten sensitivities. He was trying some gluten-free options during the week and said he felt better going GF, so I decided to look p simple entrees and sides for him.
Thankfully there’s plenty of naturally GF foods – including fruits, vegetables, potatoes and rice – so slowly switching to gluten-free hasn’t been stressful or expensive. We’ve eaten plenty of Asian and Greek dishes, and I’ve been experimenting with GF desserts. I bought a cookbook for gluten-free baking in August and so far, we’ve enjoyed the brownies and biscuits.
The brownies use coconut oil and taste just like an Almond Joy bar. So far they’ve been a bit at the birthday party and open house we went to.
My third silver lining – I lost the last three vanity pounds. I started out food journaling in April and have been pretty lax about keeping up with it. However, cutting back on dairy and fast food, drinking water like a camel and slowly getting back to running and lifting has helped keep the weight off. Now all I need to do is stay away from vending machines once I’m back in the office.
I’m looking forward to what fall is going to bring in a few days and finishing up 2020. What’s on your fall agenda, friends?
My best wishes,