Work based stress, a change in commuting pattern + coronavirus = weight gain of 6lbs

By March 21, 2020Weight Loss Diary

I started 2020 with the best of intentions for the year and for my blog but three things have had a say in my progress i.e coping with the aftermath of an office fire, a change in my commuting pattern and finally, the coronavirus.

Coping with the aftermath of an office fire

My Instagram post on 7 March 2020 articulates my feelings on this matter as follows:

STILL HANGING IN THERE: In January 2020 we finally moved back into our Enfield office following a fire on 5 November 2018. Just a few weeks ago I was looking forward to settling into our newly refurbished office and getting on with life as usual after a hard-fought 15 months of recovery I looked forward to life as usual in a busy Legal Aid firm but fate was not done with us yet and partner illness was to have a say.

I read somewhere that 1 in 4 businesses in the UK do not survive an event like flood or fire and I am learning first hand why this is the case because the combination of the fire and partner illness means that our firm now faces an uncertain future.
Please keep us in your prayers guys.

#fire #insurancebroker #firefighters#fireman #instagram #rescue #smoke#firefighting #firetruck #insurance#insurancebroker #business#healthinsurance #finance #money#entrepreneur #life #realestate#commercialinsurance #insuranceclaim#broker #insuranceagency#insurancepolicy #insurancelife#financialadvisor #insurancebrokers#smallbusiness #claims#theyoyochronicles

Below is a photograph of me at the back of our office on 8 December 2018 trying to clear the building of our damaged belongings.  Worried about the risk of cancer, we threw away all the cutlery and crockery that was covered with sticky and stinky oily soot.

Dealing with a change in my commuting pattern

With my mood low and feeling anxiety-ridden from developments at work, my eating and exercise routine has completely gone out of the window.  First, I was struggling with a new commuting pattern travelling into Central London and then out again to Enfield Town in zone 5.  Then I tried a bus route which on paper should have been the magic bullet.  I found that commuting via public transport was taking on average 110 – 120 minutes and on the days when I had to attend meetings with colleagues and advisers outside our office it took even longer.

In the end, the best route to commute turned out to be two wheels with me getting on my bike. So my trust old but reliable bicycle has been commissioned once again once I installed lights which I can re-charge using my mobile phone cable.  Here is a photograph of my bicycle below taken on 26 July 2018.  You will find it posted on my Instagram page as well if you scroll down to the summer of 2018.

I don’t have to worry about the security of my bicycle like I have done in the past in and around London.  In fact, I think I have had about 3 bicycles stolen.  It is lovely to be able to park my bicycle in the meeting room each day.  It is not a short bike ride and  I remember worrying about my fitness levels when I contemplated cycle commuting in 2018.   However, I have not found the commute challenging so far and I put this down to the work that I did with Odell to increase my fitness level over 14 months. Cycling has proved so much easier than using public transport and with the coronavirus becoming more and more of an issue, I did not have to worry about self-isolating.  I find that cycling is also helping me to keep down my stress levels.  However, now that the advice from the government is to work from home, I have had to give up the cycling commute and I am going to have to find a different way to ensure that I get my hit of cardio every day.


Like the rest of the world, I have been watching developments closely.  What this virus has shown us is that we are only as secure in health terms as the weakest link. By weakest link, I am referring to poorer health care system in and around the world.  I hope that a positive outcome of this virus is that we look to strengthen healthcare systems across the world. I have been posting a lot about the coronavirus on my Facebook page because this is where I communicate with lots of my relatives in Nigeria in particular so do follow me on Facebook if this is of interest to you.
I have always reacted to stress by eating more.  I thought 14 months of eating clean had changed that but it has not.  When I am not worried about work, I find myself worried about the coronavirus and in the process, my portions have been creeping up.  I have not been following Odell’s advice to stick to eating carbs for breakfast and as I have been afraid to go to the gym for fear of catching the virus, I have not been working out. The irony is that I live near a green area where I could take calming walks in the evenings and I have a treadmill in my back garden just begging to be used.
Part of the reason for my anxiety is that I had completely changed my habits around eating.  I was buying fresh salads every couple of days or so.  With advice from the government to practise social distancing, I will not be able to go to the shops so often.  When I did go to my local Sainsbury’s I could not buy peanut butter, eggs, rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, toilet roll, kitchen roll and so on.  It was a real shock to the system.  I managed to do a full shop so I have food at home but not items that I would normally buy.  I am going to have to plan my meals very carefully to avoid gaining weight.

I am going to miss being able to pick up ready-made salads from the supermarkets while we are in semi lockdown to stop or slow the spread of coronavirus.  This is a package I took to work just last week with yoghurt and raspberries for breakfast and a huge M&S house salad for lunch.






















Dealing with a weight gain of 6 lbs


You will not be surprised to learn that have gone back up to 144.6 lbs. I was not shocked when I weighed myself because I could feel it in my clothes but it is a backward step and I am a bit sad about it.  It has shocked me sufficiently into cleaning my treadmill and having a test workout.  I had a lot of anxiety around taking off the cover and cleaning my treadmill. I was half expecting a confrontation with an angry family of foxes.  There was no confrontation in the end but they had left a couple of unwanted parting gifts.

As for me, I am going to have to find a way to workout to not only reverse the recent gain but keep working towards my goal. More on that in my next blog.

Until next time it’s

#NoToTheYoYo  #YesToAstableWeight #NoTimeToPauseForMenopause #YesToAstableHealthyWeight #Menologues #WeightLossJourney


Author Julie

Lawyer (co-founding partner/solicitor of a legal aid practice), blogger, feminist, lover of fashion & beauty. I believe that there are two types of people - the living and the dead. Age has nothing to do with it.

More posts by Julie

Join the discussion 2 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.