The past few weeks has turned our world inside out. Things that seemed so simple a few weeks back are now out of reach. From seeing friends and family, going to the gym or fitness classes, seeing clients/customers and going to appointments, we are all now in quarantine (if you are not yet- kindly :STAY HOME!). What a change. And for us creatures of habits it can really trigger a lot of uncomfortable feelings. #somanyemotions
And, as if all this wasn't enough, I've seen many (wayyy too many) companies/health coaches take advantage of this time to shame people on potential weight gain and give their '3 top tips to avoid weight gain'. Well I got 3 top tips for you!
Wow that felt good :). And it's not just about "not gaining weight" these people are also telling people that "Coronavirus is not an excuse to give up on your goals". WTF, really? Sorry that being stuck at home, trying to make ends meet, worrying about my health and my family's health and dealing with all my own feelings is more important than said goals. Urgh.
There are a lot of things to be worried about recently, but weight gain SHOULD NOT be one of them.
Got 99 problems but weight gain is ain't one.
Our routines are shifting. We are maybe more sedentary then we use to be. We may be relying more on food for comfort. And all of that is ok. There is nothing wrong with moving less. There is nothing wrong with eating more. There is nothing wrong with using food as a coping mechanism (See last article on Coronavirus and Nutrition).
Here are a few reasons Why you should not give a f*ck about gaining weight during the quarantine:
1- Weight gain is not a bad thing, and even more so in a friggin pandemic.
2- Weight gain should the least of our worries when people are losing their jobs, getting sick, and dying. Put things into perspective.
3- We are collectively living through a really difficult time. There is a lot of emotions to process and your job right now is to take care of yourself, not control your weight.
4- Gaining weight is better than gaining COVID-19. Again, perspective.
5- Fuelling your body is so important to stay healthy and support your immune system.
(PLUS: Food restriction and weight loss may worsen your immunity.)
6- No matter how your body looks today, and when the quarantine end = Your value does not change. You are amazing, worthy and valuable as is.
7- Using food for comfort is NOT wrong. It's actually a really efficient way to find comfort in these times. Give yourself permission to eat.
8- Trust your body. Weight fluctuation is NORMAL, your body will find it's perfect spot.
9- Using physical activity as a way to ''burn'' calories OR earn food OR to combat the "quarantine 15" is not a healthy approach. Physical activity should be away to take care of yourself, release stress and feel good. Moving your body is a privilege not a punishment.
10- WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT A BAD THING.
Now the big question.... What are you making weight gain mean about yourself? If you find yourself obsessing about your weight right now, you are not a bad person. Please don't take this article the wrong way. This is not meant to shame you, but rather, make you realize how strong the diet culture is, and hopefully reduce the anxiety and stress you may be feeling. Ask yourself: What if I did gain weight? Is it really the worst thing?
The fact that weight gain is a concern during this pandemic, shows us how strong the diet culture is.
Well it's not a surprise but the diet culture has taken over Coronavirus. But our job is to recognize it (it's sneaky!) and fight back. You are more than your body and health is more than your size.
It's ok to find it hard right now. When feeling out of control, sometimes we focus on things we do have control on (i.e. nutrition and physical activity). But remember that obsessing about food and your body is not a long term solution, it's distraction that is actually causing WAY more harm than good.
Please share this article with people who may not understand the impact of promoting weight loss during these times.
I am here to support you. If you are finding it hard to manage your relationship to food and your body PLEASE reach out.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.