Sarah Stultz: What are you doing to better yourself?

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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I don’t know about you guys, but those memes on social media about making sure to try on some jeans every couple weeks during the pandemic have a lot of truth to them.

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Let’s be honest. I didn’t always stick to my healthy eating before this pandemic, so to be in the middle of this pandemic has been an interesting situation.

While we’ve had more time to go on walks and I’m doing more cooking from home, having a little extra time can be dangerous, too.

About a month into the stay-at-home order, we rediscovered an old homemade pizza recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows I love pizza, so after searching all over town for yeast for the dough and finally finding some, I’ve been making that pizza about once a week.

Then there were the cookies. We hadn’t done any baking for months, so our key baking ingredients were either a little old or a little short, so after buying fresh ingredients, one Sunday afternoon we decided to try a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Our excuse was that we were going to drive around and leave them on the doorsteps for some friends, but we had to sample them, too, right?

About a week ago, I received a message from a friend here in Albert Lea who has hosted some healthy eating and lifestyle challenges in the past. She told me about a new challenge that was starting this week and asked if I would be interested in participating.

I knew it was time to right my ways and went on to check it out.

I decided it would be a good opportunity to be part of something like that and regain control over my habits at a time when we don’t have much control over other things happening around us.

The challenge started Monday, and while we’re only in the first week, it’s exciting.

It has me thinking about how we’re using this extra time we’ve been given during this pandemic and how I want to come out on the other side when things return to some sense of normal.

Are we using this time to better ourselves, to learn new skills or to get some projects done around the house? Or are we watching hours on end of television, settling into poor eating habits and letting the chaos of the world bring us down?

While I believe it’s good to have low-key days every once in a while — sometimes we need to set aside time to just relax — we have to actively set goals and strive to move forward, too, even as things are halted around us.

What are you doing to better yourself during this pandemic? I’d love to hear.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.