How the Pandemic Changed Me

Here we are a year into a pandemic, and we can reflect and see how the pandemic has changed us. A year of quarantine, presidential elections, racial injustice, and life’s challenges will change you. Add on a global pandemic, and it’s one of those memorable years of your life.  Usually, when I reflect at the end of the year, I look at accomplishments and setbacks I’ve had over the year.

I feel following the year 2020; survival alone is an accomplishment that trumps all others.   There were many losses and gains during the pandemic.  People have lost many loved ones this year, I have been blessed not to lose too many families to COVID, but I have experienced many losses this year.  I’ve also gained so much more.

This pandemic has changed me in so many ways: physically, spiritually, mentally, and relationally.  This year I could categorize as three r’s: removal, revealing, and restoration.  As I wrote early into the pandemic, throughout it, all God is still good.  I don’t think anyone can say they haven’t been changed from all this.  I wanted to share what has changed for me over this past year.

How the pandemic changed me physically?

Physically? I’ve gained some weight in all the right places.  I haven’t felt so good in my skin in a long time.  I’ve gained about 13 pounds. I’m about 7% more body fat than I was last May, but I am in a completely different space in my life. I have nothing to prove and am happily living an active lifestyle.  I am no longer prepping to be on stage for a figure competition.

I have mixed emotions about bodybuilding. I loved prepping.  The regimen being told what to do. I focused on a goal and seeing the results of my labor.  When it comes to how I eat and how I move, it looks completely different than a year ago.  Over the last year, we had to adapt in all areas of our life.  It’s been the most transitional year for some people.

The word “pivot” was a common annoyance and, at some points, a necessity.  Over the last year, I’ve learned to love so many different forms of movement. I now train differently, and my body feels different. I’m no longer rigid and stiff.  I don’t panic if I miss a workout session, and I am really moving my body every day how I feel I should move it somedays its yoga, barre, pilates, weight lifting, kettlebells, running (those days are rare), playing, medicine balls. It is very random because my goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, not hit a certain number on the scale or body impedance.  It’s liberating and freeing and enjoyable, not a task or a to-do to check off. It’s an “I get to try” or “I get to do.”

I’ve had so many new experiences this year by just trying and doing.

I also feel that my body has changed but for good. It’s softer and not so chiseled. I’m still super strong, and I still love to box jump, but I feel more fluid and less creaky in my motions. Recovery is a major priority for me and something that I incorporate daily.  I feel amazing in my skin, and my confidence has increased this year.

How did my mental health change during the pandemic?

That has been a mental change in this pandemic. I have gained so much confidence in myself and my abilities.  So much so that I left the gym I was working for to work for myself and, by the grace of God, have been booked solid since.  A year ago, I was praying for clients. Now I have a waitlist, app members and each Bible and Bootcamps round keeps growing.  All because I decided that if I trust in God and believe in His promises, He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I have entrusted my business and ministry to God, and He has blessed me abundantly in this last year.

How did my spiritual health change during the pandemic?

My spiritual health has changed too.  I have always prayed to have an intimate relationship with God and to find others. God has supplied me with that and so much more. In the last year, I have been in God’s Word more than ever before, and it has been the peace I needed to weather the uncertainties of this world. My faith and trust in God have grown exponentially throughout this year and really given me the authority to step into God’s calling for me.  I feel bold in my faith and eager to be used for God’s glory.  The passion has grown fervently within this last year.

How did my relationships change?

My relationships have changed as well. As I said, this has been a revealing year, and from the companies I represent, my church I was attending, and some personal relationships have ended.  I’m not sure if the pandemic caused these revelations or my growth, but I am finding that there has been much pruning in my relationships. And God has brought people in my life that I never knew existed. I often prayed for them, but when you see answered prayers in new connections. It’s exciting.

My family has also grown stronger over this year which I am grateful and blessed. We weathered a very challenging year some families didn’t end the year more connected. There were many stressors and strains but we focused on God and He truly delivered my family through the bad times.

The pandemic has changed us

This pandemic has changed us all. Some things may have been revealed that you didn’t know that needed to be addressed.  Some people may have been removed from your life unexpectedly, and you may have gained a few pounds from filling or controlling your feelings with food.  But when you count your blessings, you realize that “God is still good,” and sometimes changes is for good. Even if we can’t see it now.  God is always for our good.

Check out my podcast

I’m a co-host for a podcast called Fit Black Queens podcast. We share the black girls’ perspective of health, wellness, and fitness, and I’d love for you to subscribe and see how my co-host has changed during the pandemic. As well as other episodes.

So, my question to you is: How has the pandemic changed you?  Are you carrying forward with the good or staying stuck in the bad?

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