ALLENDALE, MICH. — If you’ve gained some extra pounds during the pandemic don’t worry you’re not alone.
It’s been easy to lose touch with our daily eating and workout routines but some people have taken this time as an opportunity to get back on track.
Eric Murray, the assistant swim coach at Grand Valley State University, grew up an athlete, but tells us the past 6 years he’s struggled with his weight, gaining 40 pounds post college even though he’s kept active, even doing triathlons and strength training he wasn’t where he wanted to be. So during the pandemic he decided it was time to step it up and get his health on course.
In March his life as a coach came to a halt when the Coronavirus Pandemic hit and things started closing down in the middle of the NCAA’’s championship in Ohio. Which meant more time at home and less time pacing on the pool deck cheering his team on.
“During the first month of COVID, and shut down, I was eating a little bit more just because I didn't know what to do. Each week, I was gaining about one to two pounds, and I'm like, Oh man, this is starting to get up now to my highest weight that I've ever been. So then pretty much right before June, I was like, okay, this has to stop, I have to do something new,” says Eric Murray, Assistant Swim Coach at Grand Valley State University,
Murray was still working out by going on daily runs, but in a time with little control on the world, he knew it was a great opportunity to seek professional help.
After meeting with a dietitian and nutritionist, Murray learned how to portion and plan out his daily meals and quickly started to see a difference.
“So my first official week that I started my new diet was the first week of June. Then I kept going, and I lost my first 10 pounds in about two weeks. I was like, sweet, this is like a perfect track. But then it got harder, then it got harder. I kept with it and kept stuck with it. To the point where I would always cook my breakfast, always cook my lunch, always cook my dinner because I was home all the time. So that it was easier to do it that way.” says Murray.
A hard journey with a few cravings along the way, but worth it at the 14 week mark, Murray hit a weight loss of 31 pounds going back to coaching a new, healthy version of himself.
“I think that now showing them that I was able to succeed at this giant task. It really shows them saying you know, he did this goal,” says Murray.
A goal accomplished and Murray's hopeful it will leave a lasting impression on his team.
“I think if we see a difference and our coaches and who we look up to, I think that gives us the outlook that we can make a change as well,” says Nicole Taormina, GVSU Senior Diver.
Murray hopes to not maintain his weight and work on building more muscle back.