As this persistent and life-altering pandemic continues to affect our lives, I hope that many of you and your families have only been affected by one of the less worrisome affectations – COVID-15. That’s the common term adopted for gaining all that extra weight while staying home in self-isolation.

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Happily, I’ve been pretty much a see-saw in that regard. I go up a few pounds, I lose a few pounds, but after several months experiencing this, my baseline weight seems to have stayed the same. That is, just under a well-fed free-range walrus, but consistently over my ideal target of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson immediately after a 16-hour all-in full body workout.

The one thing I may have that is a bit out of control is my male pattern balding, which for some reason appears to be heading to a record COVID-15 follicles remaining around the side of my head, but that’s a column for another day. Let’s focus on this one on those unwanted isolation pounds, and what you could do to shed those in a timely manner. Before you’re panic-Googling COVID-60.

1) Begin an aggressive exercise regimen coupled with a strict diet.

HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Well, it was worth a shot. But seriously, considering the advice I’m about to give, you might want to at least research some healthy lifestyle choices. Let’s start over:

1) Try using mind tricks to eat healthier.

I’ve never been so grateful for my high school shop class choices – whittling and house painting. I decided to try carving cauliflower and broccoli to look like chicken fingers, fries and Whoppers. Then I would paint them to make them even more realistic. In retrospect, I should have experimented with food colouring instead of using house paint. NOTE: always keep the phone number for Poison Control in an accessible spot in your kitchen.

 2) Root around your household storage spaces for old exercise equipment and books to be frugal.

Why pay for newer, more modern concepts and gear when you may run across an old Jane Fonda workout video? Or maybe you’ll even score one of Suzanne Somers’ dust-covered Thighmasters. In a pinch, you could try adapting the famous veterinarian Pepe Trampolino’s VHS series, Calisthenics For Three-Legged Housecats.

 3) Drink more water.

They say it’s great for flushing the body. I have no exact calculator for how much flushing you’ll have to do as individuals, but I think a reasonable baseline would be between one to 17 litres a day?

 4) Install a mirror on your fridge, and always approach it naked, every time you are feeling hungry or wanting to “bored eat”.

And I mean a regular mirror, not one of those funhouse mirrors that can make a well-fed free-range walrus look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson after a 16 hour all-in full body workout.

 5) Set regular times for your meals and eliminate snacking.

Sure, farm animals graze all day long, but as humans, we need to have some consistency in our lives. There are many schools of thought – three square meals a day, several small meals all day long – I’m not a doctor, and I’m not even sure I finished school, so maybe schools of thoughts on proper eating habits should be left to professionals. Okay, maybe at recess you could have a few chocolate chip cookies, but for the love of Pete, work those calories off with some skipping or running.

Well, look at that. Out of space for this month already! I truly hope that I can get back to writing normal columns soon, and that you’re staying safe, weight loss or gain aside. I’ll see you next month, after I’ve had a chance to get my shrunken cargo shorts over to the tailor.


  1. Hi Dan:

    Re point number 5, wherein you say “…I’m not even sure I finished school.”

    I didn’t know you were such a heavy pot head back then. What got you off the stuff? You seem to be clear headed these days.

    Re your hair challenged gourd: You know what they say: Grass doesn’t grow on a busy spot. However, it doesn’t grow on concrete either. You don’t come across as a cement head to me, my friend, sooo…

    Re the mirror thing: Just make sure the mirror reflection starts at the shoulders and ends at the waist line. This is especially important after having taken a cold shower. Belly-button innies are OK, but…

    • Hey Brian!

      So hard to know how I kicked my bad habits, but I clearly hashed things out somehow!

      Funny you mention grass and concrete, I’ve spent most of this summer trying to encourage grass seed on a swath of concrete so as to have less sidewalk to shovel this winter. Having as much success as I am with my Rogaine shots…

      Yes, mirrors, man’s least best friend! Thanks for the feedback and chuckles, apologies for missing them as long as I did this time around!


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