Quarantine 15? Lose the Extra Pounds With This Self-Care Plan 

Interview: Dr. Mimi Secor

Dr. Mimi Secor DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is Nurse Practitioner from the Boston area. She has been specializing in Women’s Health for over 40 years, is a national speaker and consultant, and is an international bestselling author of Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life At Any Age.


Many people are back in the office and also dealing with some extra weight they put in quarantine. Jokes about having the the Quarantine 15 abound. As people start to make their way back to the office, they may also be experiencing anxiety around COVID-19, too, and this could make it difficult to focus on maintaining your ideal weight. Here’s how to both lose those unwanted extra pounds and improve overall health and wellness.

Follow my self-care plan to effectively lose those unwanted pandemic pounds. P.A.N.D.E.M.I.C. Easy to remember and very effective:

                P: Plan (and Prepare). Have a plan and stick to it. “Fail to prepare or prepare to fail.” Have daily goals like packing a healthy lunch and drinking more water.

          • Have a PLAN and stick to it
          • Create a ROUTINE
          • Set weekly goals 
          • Set daily goals: Keep simple, easy
          • Set alarms: bedtime, exercise, etc. 
          • “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”

                A: Accountability and Support. Find a supportive friend/buddy you can talk and exercise with. This greatly increases your chances of success.

          • Someone to check-in with Weekly
          • Source of Support and Accountability
          • Might be an exercise buddy, friend, trainer, coach
          • NOT a family member

                N: Nighttime. Prepare for evenings when you are more likely to have less willpower and be more tempted to indulge. Also focus on getting good sleep.

          • We all “Sundown”
          • Less will-power at night
          • Tempted to indulge
          • PREPARE for evenings
          • Hid “goodies”
          • Healthy snacks
          • SLEEP is KEY (7-9 hours)

                D: Diet. Eat healthy foods—focus on protein/healthy veggies and drinking lots of water.

          • Eat healthy foods
          • More protein
          • Healthy veggies
          • Good fats (small amount)
          • Fruits (small amounts)
          • Drink more water

                E: Exercise: Any movement counts toward your daily total. Do what you enjoy. Don’t worry about structured gym workouts you can’t do right now. Focus on what you can do and make the most of it. Walk, run, jump rope, dance, try an online workout, etc.

          • Total Cardio = 150 minutes /week
          • Do what you ENJOY
          • “The Habit is more important than the Intensity”

                M: Mindset. Developing a positive outlook/mindset takes practice. Like any habit, give yourself time to develop this very important skill.

          • Develop a positive+ mindset
          • Especially about yourself
          • Takes practice
          • Like any HABIT
          • Mirror Mantras:

                I: Inspiration. Practicing self-affirmations inspires us to feel better about ourselves. Place sticky notes containing positive messages on a mirror to see/read out loud every day. Statements like, “I can do it,” “I’m worthy,” “I am getting healthier,” “I am beautiful just as I am,” help build a positive self-image and confidence.

          • Human connection
          • Hugs, intimacy
          • Produces Oxytocin =
          • Calming, relaxing effects
          • Helps thinking too
          • Pet cuddling might help too

                C: Cortisol. Cortisol levels rise with stress, so self-care strategies can reduce cortisol and help reduce the risk of gaining weight and may help you lose weight.

          • Stress increases Cortisol
          • Contributing to weight gain
          • and inability to lose weight
          • Self-care reduces Stress and Cortisol
          • Diet, exercise, water, sleep, love, touch, joyful activities

Following these 8 pillars of health will help you to achieve and maintain your desired level of health.

How to Avoid Stress Eating

  • Remove unhealthy foods from your work/ home environment
  • Drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, like chopped up veggies/hummus,
  • Eat protein regularly to control carb cravings.
  • Cope with stress in healthier ways, like exercising, listening to music, gardening, outdoor exercise, deep breathing (inhale, 2, 3, hold, 2, 3, exhale, 2, 3, repeat 3 times minimum).
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Sleep also helps reduce stress eating by reducing daytime fatigue. Daytime fatigue often drives us to eat less than healthy foods and fuels overeating, in general.

Final word on exercise—
lower stress and boost mood

Exercise is a very effective stress buster. “Food is the most abused drug and exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant” —Anonymous. Any amount of exercise can be helpful. Even skipping roping or dancing for a few minutes can lower stress levels and help boost mood.


Available for Interviews: Dr. Mimi Secor

Dr. Mimi Secor
 is a popular National Speaker and Consultant, educating advanced practice clinicians and consumers around the country and the world. She is the author of the book, Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life at Any Age.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.



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