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What About the Quarantine 15?

I’ve got to tell you that I am concerned, and I think you should be, too.  Our country is getting sicker and sicker as our obesity problem continues to progress. Have you gained the quarantine 15? Has the threat of Covid-19 changed things? Let’s find out!

What about the Quarantine 15?

Have you weighed yourself lately? Are you at your pre-quarantine weight or has the Quarantine 15 taught you a lesson?

I ask this because I am not at my pre-quarantine weight. Nope, and I am not happy about it. So what happened? For me, the weight gain has been insidious. The weight came on slowly but steadily.

Although I’ve kept up my exercise routine, I’ve also stayed busy taking care of everyone else and keeping the house stocked with supplies and necessities. I am not a stress eater. In fact, when I am stressed I typically lose a bit of weight. But I would counsel anyone coming to me for advice that if you’re not constantly on top of your nutrition, one little thing slips through the cracks and add up to big things.

Two Key Things That Contribute To My Weight Gain

I’ve been able to identify 2 key things that contributed to my weight gain and am currently 2 weeks into losing it.

  • My daily movement decreased. It’s simple. I stopped traveling for work (and hustling through airports). I Stopped running errands, including walking the grocery store isles. I’ve done more and more online. Kid’s activities stopped, so I haven’t been running them all around town…The list can go on and on.
  • I started baking again.  I made excuses about the cookies, breads, muffins, and brownies being for the kids. The truth was that I was making treats I enjoyed. I would “drive-through” the kitchen and grab a “bite” of this or that. The problem is that it all adds up – quickly.

How I am losing my Quarantine 15

woman doing planks on yoga mat

So what am I doing to lose the weight?

The first thing I did was start wearing my fitness watch all the time. Mine tracks steps, calorie burn, heart rate, and more.  With this information, I am able to clearly see how many steps I am taking along with the calories I burn during my workouts.

If my output is too low, I add in another walk with my dog or more time on my bike ride or run. I’ll throw in some additional core or upper bodywork, too. Basically, I do whatever it takes to get the activity my body needs to at least maintain my current weight- but more when possible.

In terms of my nutrition, I’ve dropped my carb intake to 20-50 per day. Taking out sugar has decreased my sugar cravings and kept my blood sugar level all day. I am less tired in the afternoons and am more focused on what I am doing. Quite honestly, I haven’t felt this good in a long time, and I am not quite a month in. I am steadily losing weight (which is exactly how I gained it, steadily). I expect that in another month I’ll be at my pre-quarantine weight.

So what’s everyone doing to keep the weight off, bring the weight down or keep themselves healthy during this unprecedented time, and why am I so concerned?


Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. Further, it’s associated with the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

If we look a little closer we can also see the economic consequences, which run both deep and wide. The most recent data on economic and societal consequences from the CDC is from 2008, when the obesity-related medical expenses were estimated at $147 billion. Productivity in businesses also suffers from obesity-related absenteeism which is estimated at $3.4 billion to $6.4 billion annually.

Here’s the kicker, if you search online, you will find hundreds and likely thousands of articles written specifically about how to stay active and make healthy eating choices during our quarantine (which began in March 2020) and help with that quarantine 15 everyone is talking about. Meanwhile,  we have seen upsetting numbers and trends about how exercise is decreasing and sleep is increasing (this could be good), since President Trump declared a national state of emergency on March 13, 2020.

CNBC posted a study done by Evidation Health that tracked 68K fitness trackers (Apple watches, Fitbits & Garmins). They were able to isolate behavior changes in specific cities before the 3/13/20 announcement and compare them with activity logged after 3/13. Here are their findings:

  • Activity levels in the US on 3/24 were down 39% from activity levels on 3/1.
  • Sleep time increased by 20% post 3/13, when compared to pre 3/13 numbers.
  • Anxiety levels increased by 29% when data pre 3/13 is compared to post 3/13 activity.

It stands to reason that many people have not been able to go to the gym since the quarantine started.  While many gyms are closed, others require a reservation and face mask.

According to a Moring Consult poll, as of July 13, 2020, only 20% of Americans said they’d be comfortable going back to the gym. 25% of Americans never plan to go back, according to a OnePoll study.

Have you gained the quarantine 15? Has the threat of Covid-19 changed things? How can you get rid of this weight? Let’s find out!


How to Continue to workout during Quarantine

Similar to the way companies are changing, out of necessity, to accommodate employees working from home, the fitness industry is changing, too. Gyms and fitness studio goers are looking for ways to continue their fitness program, from the safety of their own homes.   Fitness companies have jumped in to fill this gap.

At-home equipment companies like Peloton & MIRROR were already making a mark in the fitness industry pre-COVID, touting their technology, convenience and quality instructors. What COVID-19 has officially done is expedite the “working out at-home” conversation.

Since the quarantine, virtual fitness has met the needs of many for their fitness fix. After all, when you work out virtually, there is no need to find the most stylish gym attire or feel uncomfortable wearing it in front of a gym full of fitness folks, which can be understandably intimidating for many people.

Benefits of working out from home 

girl doing squats on pink mat

Much like working from home, there is not a commute back and forth to the gym which can take valuable time. I am sure others agree that time is at a premium, especially when trading sleep in the mornings or family times in the evenings.  Instead, people can roll out of bed and start a workout program before changing out of their PJs.

Money is a great benefit of working out from home due to not paying a monthly gym membership. When offering virtual classes, gyms and studios can provide instruction to a limitless number of people, and location knows no bounds.

You would hope that the ability to have unlimited students, evergreen virtual workouts and less physical space would eventually lead to decreased expenses and higher profits for gyms and studios.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s working out today. For now, gyms are suffering from devastating profit losses. Gym chains like 24-Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym have filed for bankruptcy. It’s also been reported that many of the country’s 40,000 independently owned fitness studios “may not survive the shutdowns.”

Although I still see great possibilities for our health/fitness industry in the future for both fitness providers and fitness consumers. Let’s talk about Peloton again.

The New York Times wrote an article called, “People Are Panic-Buying Meat, Toilet Paper…and Pelotons?” In this article, we learn that Peloton’s stock has soared 95% since March. This values Peloton at $10 billion, or twice as much as the gym chain, Planet Fitness.

The physical Peloton bike has a hefty price tag ($2,245) that people are increasingly willing to pay. They also have 2.6 million paying members/subscribers who work out an average of 18 times per month and pay $39 a month for Peloton’s quality content.

I have to tell you that reading The New York Times article hit close to home for me, because I am one of those people that purchased a Peloton in March of 2020, and my husband and I both LOVE it! It just may be the answer to your Quarantine 15. It surely keeps us moving!

Virtual Workouts

Experiencing quality content and instructors first hand has certainly made me a cheerleader of virtual workouts. When a company is literally able to hire the best instructors and trainers in the country and share them with 2.6 million people, magic happens.  Trust me.

So, not only could there be big profits up for grabs for the gyms and studios that are agile and quick to take advantage of our current state of Covid-19 affairs, but the benefits could and should absolutely be realized by the fitness consumers as well.

We certainly haven’t conquered Covid-19 (yet) or the long lasting consequences of it like the quarantine 15. We’ve got a long way to go. Until then, we can play a role in helping our country get healthier. We can be an example by “walking the talk” and taking care of ourselves, including regular fitness.

What is important in your life?

If you take inventory of what’s important to you in your life, and I mean truly important, I’d guess you mention at least a few of these things:

God, religion, faith, church, family, friends, our health – mind and body, the health of our family & friends, education, opportunity, our freedoms, peace of mind, forgiveness, relationships,  each new day, gratitude, hope, hobbies, sports, exercise, challenges, improvement, jobs that provide for our families. Think about it for a minute. What are you grateful for?

If you want to take it one step further, write down what you’re most thankful for. It’s powerful to do this, as it actually brings them to life.

Now that you’ve thought it through, I want to know if there is anything on your list that has a monetary value or something that you can hold or touch with your hands.  I’d be surprised if there are many.

Did health make your top 5 list? I am betting it did. And if it didn’t, I challenge you to take a harder look at what health actually looks like in your life.

  • Does healthy to you mean decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and stroke?
  • How about keeping up with your children or grandchildren, playing with them on the floor, throwing a ball or going on a bike ride?
  • Does healthy look like losing weight so you can feel more confident in your own skin?
  • Maybe it means pushing yourself to your limits and seeing how far you can go.
  • Some people want to be able to train and participate in competitive races, either independently or as a group.
  • Other people use exercise to manage their depression, stress and anxiety.
  • I would be remiss to not mention the endorphin rush that can be felt during and after workouts.

Here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter how you define health or why you choose to exercise. What matters is that you’re clear on your “why” and that your “why” is bigger than any excuses you might have.  Because I promise you that there will be a time when you need to remember it. In fact, that time might happen often.

I think it may be easier for some people to think that fit people just have an innate love for or desire to exercise.  Although that’s possible in some cases, it’s certainly not true 100% of the time! Fit people can even and have gained the quarantine 15.

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Stop making excuses

If you are ready to put your excuses to bed, checkout what Mel Robbins has to say about motivation.  I really appreciate the ways she talks about it. Here’s Mel.

“At some point, we all bought into this lie that you’ve got to feel ready in order to change.

That at some point, you are going to have the courage and the confidence to change–and, frankly, that’s it’s total bullsh*t.

You may be reading this right now and you have these incredible ideas and what you think is missing is motivation.

That’s not true.


Because the way that our minds are wired and the fact about human beings is that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable or scary or difficult.

Our brains are designed to protect us from those things because our brains are trying to keep us alive. Your brain is wired to stop you at all cost from doing anything that might hurt you.

In order to change, in order to build a business, in order to be the best parent, in order to be the best spouse–to do all those things that you know you want to do with your life–you are going to have to do things that are difficult, uncertain, or scary.

Which sets up this problem for all of us: YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO FEEL LIKE IT.”

If motivation isn’t a thing, then how does one commit and follow through with getting healthy?

I say it has to do with making a commitment to yourself and having the discipline to keep that commitment.

If you’re ready to commit or re-commit to a healthier you, I want to help!

I’ve created the “Beginner’s Guide to Working Out At-Home,” and I’d like to gift it to all TWL followers.

You’ll learn how to create & use an at-home gym that will cost less than $75. You’ll get “go-to” exercises for each piece of equipment, accompanied by a description, trainer tips and pictures.

This guide is valued at $27, but I am giving it to you in hopes that it will help you get closer to your health goals.

Let’s get started,

[email protected]



This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase through one of my links. Please see my disclosure for more information.

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Erica Merrill

Erica is the owner of Live Thrive Grow where she coaches individuals by assisting them in starting their own at-home work out program. Erica specializes in strengthening physical and emotional fitness. Erica lives in Texas with her family and is a complete exercise enthusiast.

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  1. I have yet to gain the quarantine 15. I’ve actually been trying to keep myself more active during this time compared to normal. Thanks, for the great tips.

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