What will you do next?

Lockdown is finally easing (for most areas of the country) and things are really starting to return to a version of normal now, and hopefully we will keep moving ahead in this same direction onwards and upwards, out of lockdown and back to as near to normal as possible.

Reflecting back on Lockdown itself and the government’s road map out, there are some real similarities with lifestyle change, and maybe some lessons we can all learn.  Whether you think Boris has done a good job or not, or whether you believe the conspiracies or not, we have taken a gradual approach to returning to normality, and so far, it seems, so good.  Pretty much everything the government predicted to be able to happen, happened when they planned it to, and Covid is under control to some degree.

Storm in a teacup

This whole pandemic can be likened to weight loss and lifestyle change in many different ways.  When we first learned about the virus, a lot of us (including me) were dismissive and thought it was a storm in a teacup (a phrase I used regularly in February and early March).  Is this perhaps a lot like how most of us behave and react when we are on that path of eating recklessly, drinking excessively and generally leading an unhealthy lifestyle? We think ‘Oh, it will be OK, it won’t affect me, it won’t catch up with me’, but sooner or later it does, and our clothes get tighter, our weighing scales start telling us things we don’t want to know, we struggle to breathe when exerting ourselves, our blood pressure goes up, and we start to feel generally a bit rubbish, physically and emotionally.

Much like Covid, our lifestyle can get out of control very quickly if we don’t get a grip on it, and start to practice some social distancing from the things that do us harm.


When the government realised that things were getting out of control with Covid, we had to put the brakes on, so we went into lockdown.  This is kind of like what we do when we decide enough is enough, we get to a point where we know we cannot continue in the way that we have been and that we have to make some changes. We have to do something or we are going to suffer the consequences in the long term, for our health, our happiness, even our relationships with our families, as no one wants to be a burden as they age, particularly for reasons that they could have done something about. We make a snap decision that this it, we are making some changes!

What did we learn in Lockdown?

Well, for most we learnt that actually, if we have to, we can adapt very quickly to a new way of living and working, if the impetus to do it is strong enough, and  we have enough support around us.

Who would have thought that we could all just stop going to work and school, seeing our friends and families, and only go outside once a day for exercise? Those first few days of lockdown when Boris had told us we could only leave the house for essentials were like a mourning period for me, distraught that I would have to school two children of vastly different age and ability, not be able to see my support network of family and friends, and the huge worry of both my husband and I being self-employed.  But how quickly we adapted to our new normal.  We realised we were still able to communicate with our loved ones, still see their faces, and that one way or another we would get through this, we just had to think differently.  We started wanting to help others feel OK too. We video called, texted, checked in on neighbours, we bought shopping for others so they didn’t have to leave the house, we respected the rules because our lives depended on it, and we were all in it together. We realised that all the material things didn’t matter, all we wanted to make sure was that ourselves and our loved ones were safe and healthy.

‘Being in it together’ is the vision that we have always had for Be Strong, because as lockdown has shown us, when we all want the same thing,  we can achieve great things together. We just need a good enough reason to do it in the first place.

The road map

Easing of lockdown saw the introduction of the ‘government’s road map’ and whilst it has been a slow and at times frustrating process, as I said at the start of this article: so far, so good.

Lifestyle change should be just the same.  It wouldn’t have done the country any good to lift all restrictions and go back to the way things used to be, have us back out shopping, visiting friends, hugging and kissing all and sundry, back in our workplaces and schools all in one go.  I think what we have all come to realise is that we have to take it step by step, one phase at a time, towards a new way of life.

Easing of lockdown is very much about trying something out, see if it works,  see how the virus reacts, if all remains under control, we will carry on and  then try something else and see how that works. And so on and so on, taking baby steps, towards our ‘new normal’.

A ‘new normal’ is exactly what we are aiming for with lifestyle change.  The aim of lifestyle change isn’t to go back to our old normality of eating and drinking recklessly and being careless with our health, once we have achieved our goals.  The aim of lifestyle change is to learn to live differently, forever, so that we can stay in control of our health and wellbeing, as well as our weight, for the rest of our lives.

Much like with the pandemic, it’s about learning to live in a new world, with new parameters and rules, but the end result being we stay well, we stay healthy and we keep things under control.

Personal growth

For many the Covid-19 Pandemic has been a time of personal growth.  It’s been a time for many to look at their priorities and decide exactly what it is that they want from life, realigning work and home priorities, enjoying the simpler way of life, spending time with those most important to us, taking the opportunity to invest in their health and wellbeing and understanding how important it is to focus on the things that you can control and forget the rest.  For all of us, I think it has been a wake up call, that we only get one shot at this life, and we should live it to the full, in as healthful a way as possible.

I have seen personally, some astounding changes in people through lockdown, people taking up and enjoying daily exercise, giving up drinking, eating better and healthier, participating in challenges, leading an all round healthier lifestyle. Then there are those that it has sent off the rails, drinking more, eating more and really struggling emotionally.

And as we move through this next phase on our way to our new normal it is yet another opportunity to reflect and evaluate our lives, and the way we live them.

The Future

As we start to move towards our new normal, post covid, we should take advantage of the opportunities that lockdown has given us, of the space that we have had to think, and work out what is important to us. Some of us have had more time to take better care of ourselves, do more exercise, eat better and drink less, and as time progresses we need to work out how we can make this a part of our new normal.

Some of us haven’t had that luxury, and life has got even busier and harder, some of us may have suffered loss or illness, our friends and family who are key workers have juggled it all along with home schooling and the lack of social support, but as things change, hopefully things for these people will start to get a little easier.

However you dealt with lockdown and our route out, there’s no doubt that we are now at another cross roads.  It’s time for us to decide where we go from here. Is it time to make some permanent changes? Is it time to get a grip on our health?  Is it the #50DayFit Challenge? Whatever you decide, seize this opportunity, devise your road map and make the post-covid version of you, the best yet.


Leave a Reply