I have heard jokes around social media and encountered memes about putting on the literal Covid-19. As in putting on 19 pounds since the COViD pandemic has begun. The memes may seem cute and funny, but behind everyone posted, one could reach someone self-conscious about the weight they have put on.
The past six months have been a roller coaster of stress and emotions. Every single one of us has had our routine and life thrown off-kilter. This pandemic has mirrored grief in many ways. Along with pain historically also comes stress and cravings for comfort foods that may not have been in our diet before the pandemic. Many gyms and yoga studios are still shuttered or operating on limited hours. Kids and family are always around us now, leaving little time for us to get away for a quick run or a zoom yoga class.
I have a few thoughts to share. First, love yourself and your body. This body of yours has carried you this far and is enduring a pandemic to the best of its ability, like your soul. Be gentle and tender with yourself; you are still here persevering and living.
Second, take off the elastic pants. The first thing we do when we feel bad about ourselves is putting on our worst biggest and frumpy clothes in attempts to hide. Trade out your elastic-waisted pants or shorts for a maxi dress or something in your closet that makes you feel like you remember. Staying in our self-loathing clothes feeds the cycle of our feelings of unattractiveness, and we are punishing ourselves. Deep down, we think that we deserve shame for putting on the weight when we should feel acceptance for our bodies. Our body is sustaining us, carrying your physical form and all the sadness, fear, anxiety, and hopes you have been holding onto or letting go during the pandemic.
We know these feelings all too well, and this pandemic is intensifying them because it feels so isolating. Stop in and see us. You don't have to buy a damn thing. Just let us be the bearers of love to you, of affirmation, of compassion. Tell us about what you've been going through, tell us about your struggles and the small joys in your life. We love our people precisely as you are right now. All women welcomed and loved, in all the sizes of women-ness. You are beautiful right now, as you are, and we see you.