I hate my body and the pandemic is aggravating my insecurity. What should I do?
How do I love my body and feel body positive despite the unfavourable weight gain, coupled with the inhibition in the movement and the uncertainty of what the future holds. I hate my body, why does it have to be me?!
Does this sound like one of those monologues that have preoccupied your daily regimen? Are you being triggered by how your body is changing and finding it difficult to embrace the new normal? Are you feeling overwhelmed with the extra pounds you have gained in the pandemic induced lockdown a.k.a Quarantine 15? [Quarantine 15 was a recent trending word that meant coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic with an extra 15 pounds. It is a word to describe the weight gain in pandemic.]
Stop saying that you hate your body because we all have different bodies and there should be no yardstick to compare it!
Researches have pointed out that –The COVID-19 lockdown produced behavioral, psychosocial, and environmental changes which, through a variety of mechanisms, has led to widespread rapid weight gain amongst certain populations worldwide. We have termed this phenomenon ‘covibesity’. There has been an increase in food shopping, food takeaways and an increase in alcohol sales.
Furthermore, the combination of working from home, online education, and social media usage have all caused screen time to surge. The food industry has intensified online advertising focused on children. A swift response is needed from all stakeholders to prevent covibesity becoming a pandemic. How do we overcome body image issues and stop hating our bodies? What exactly is body positivity and why is self-care so important in these trying times?
What is body positivity and how to inculcate it in the pandemic?
‘Body positivity is a social movement of accepting your body irrespective of the way it looks and to feel good in your skin is the very crux of body positivity. It does not matter what shape, size, color, scars your body has, irrespective of your gender or the changes it has undergone in due course of time. Respecting your body and providing it the nourishment it needs is a sign of you having a healthy relationship with your body.
This pandemic has been an eye-opener in a way that we have spent a lot of time giving room to our emotions and facing our deep hidden feelings. Indeed, this period has been a stressful one. Self-care becomes a pivotal form of taking responsibility for coping up with these rough patches.
You can check out Now&Me’s platform that propagates an empowering room to have conversations on various segments including body positivity. Allowing yourself space to get familiar with your body hair, stretch marks, the extra fats and curves, acne, etc. is super crucial. And once you become familiar with them, adorning them for as they are is a step towards self-love.
Maybe you are not happy about it and feel the need to cause a change. That’s okay. Maybe you are feeling anxious about bringing a change. That’s okay too! Whatever it is, giving yourself the room to let it be as it is and loving it for being a part of you is important. Maybe you don’t feel like putting yourself through a strict routine and being hard on yourself. So be it! There’s no right or wrong way of going about this. Loving yourself and being gentle throughout the process is all you gotta do!
Maybe the process looks like a lazy weekend Netflix party with a steaming bowl of Maggi or it could look like sweating it out in your new athleisure tracks and concluding your day with a wholesome bowl of veggie soup.
Strategies to help you to navigate your way out whenever you feel like you hate your body due to the extra weight gain
Understand that it’s a Pandemic
No-one in their wildest dreams had imagined this degree of uncertainty, anxiousness, isolation, and restlessness. It’s very human of you to feel this way. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Stop comparing your past self with you or just stop any form of self-comparison.
Social Media for Social Good
Do you really want me to say this to validate the fact that the Quarantine Glow-Up is just a hype you shouldn’t actually really care about? Maybe like they say it, the real glow up was always internal?! Be careful about what you are consuming. Social media has turned into a platform to compete and compare. Beware of this detrimental impact, and try to incorporate a change by reducing your scrolling time. I really, strongly believe in the following equation, CREATE > CONSUME. So, go create some art!!
Eat What Makes you Feel Good
On some days you could indulge yourself in a sinful feast. And that’s okay! But do keep in mind to take care of your nutritional requirements along with.
It could be in any form, dance your heart out, go for a walk or maybe just stretch a bit, sit and meditate. Do whatever makes your endorphins excited and release the feel-good hormones!!
Indulge in a self-love prep talk
One of the things I look forward to in my day is dedicating a time slot to just sit, relax and let go of any tension. Meanwhile, I get really busy obsessing over with my own self and celebrating my quirky and unique traits. I totally deserve my shower of affection and so do you deserve yours! Go ahead, choke yourself with a beaming ray of self-love and warmth. You could decorate your face, put on some make-up like an artist if you like, or just appreciate the rawness of your subtle yet loud existence! Whatever it is just make sure you don’t settle for any less adoration from you.
Find out what works for you
Experiment with yourself, try out new things, see what you like and dislike and hence accordingly incorporate those things in your daily regimen. Maybe you feel good moving around during the evenings when it is windy or you like sitting and staring at the sunrise in the morning. Maybe you like to have a lighter meal at night or love to start your day in a slower manner. Find your balance and stick to whatever promotes your mental and physical wellbeing.
Avoid Weight-Related Jokes
If someone’s unintentional mockery is triggering you, then you should try to have a conversation with them and let them know about how you are feeling. Please avoid social media memes and jokes if they feel like personal attacks.
How can Now&Me help you incorporate body positivity?
Talk about how you feel and uplift someone in need. Be vulnerable and have no shame in feeling a certain way. They are your feelings and it is important to give yourself the room to feel them non-judgmentally. Be relatable and talk about things that really matter. If you are feeling gluttonous, talk to someone. You might be surprised to learn new facts on how everyone is embracing their changing body.
So, don’t be ashamed if your path to self-love in the pandemic is not a linear one. Actually, it shouldn’t be either! Give yourself the time and space to be and feel. That’s all you need and that’s sufficient. You and only you should decide how to take proper steps to love yourself and your body. Stop pulling at your skin. Love your body, it takes you places. Love your body for it is your home.
Edited By: Batool Kamry