During the lockdown – like many other people all over the world – I gained some weight. According to a recent study, Americans gained half a pound every 10 days in quarantine, coming out to around 20 pounds of weight gain in a year. As I opened up to you here in the past, I have struggled, and still do, with an eating disorder. It has been a long and difficult process, and it is never-ending. So, while I have found some ways and systems to help me navigate through my disorder, I face obstacles from time to time. That lockdown weight gain was one of those obstacles.
Most of us have experienced changes to our routine in lockdown, including changes to our diet and how much we move or exercise. This may affect our bodies and, potentially, our body image. For people like me, who suffer from an eating disorder, this is a potentially dangerous situation. So, to avoid entering a downward spiral that would lead to a disaster, my girlfriends and I wrote a few tips to help us in difficult times. Here are some of those tips that hopefully could help you as well.
Thank your body. Our body is an amazing thing. We should thank our bodies for their functions rather than the way they look. I thank my body when I walk. I thank my body when I see a beautiful sunset. I thank my body when I lift a heavy box. But I also thank my body when it is in pain, when I can’t gather the strength to get out of bed., or when I can’t fit into my jeans because I put on some weight. It’s crucial to thank our bodies, even just for being and supporting us.
Exercise to feel good (not as a punishment). Exercise releases endorphins, which makes us feel happier. It is a great way to feel better about yourself and relieve some built-up stress and tension you may have. There are many ways to exercise at home, from online workout apps to YouTube videos. Most importantly, any exercise you’re doing should be for fun or to stay healthy. Please remember that exercise should not be a punishment to your body – it should be something you enjoy doing!
Practice some self-love. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. This is a difficult time for people all over the world, and you are doing your best. Replace negative thoughts with some kind words, as cheesy and cringy as it may sound. At the end of the day – you are absolutely perfect as you are. Not just due to what you look like in the mirror, but because of all the wonderful things about you that you don’t even realize – the things that everyone else sees. Just getting through this difficult, confusing time is a massive achievement and is a reflection of how resilient you are. At this time, it is important to be kind, especially to yourself and your body.