Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders, Body Image Issues – Please use discretion.
So, I’ll be honest. This stay-at-home order has caused some unhealthy food-focused thoughts to creep back up on me. I’ve struggled since I can remember with feeling like I was bigger than my peers, feeling like I always needed to lose weight.
I remember in 5th grade, we had something like a “health fair” where we all went to different stations and had our hearing checked, eyesight checked, and were even weighed in front of each other. Wtf.
My friend and I stuck together through the fair, and we both felt so uncomfortable and hyper-aware of how our bodies looked. At only 11 years old!
And I remember seeing her weight was 10 pounds less than mine, and I mentally freaked out. All these negative thoughts about my body started coming up, and I just remember feeling like absolute sh*t.
Maybe you went through something similar too. If not, I bet you compared yourself to other girls your age. Most of us have noticed negative body talk that older women (our moms, aunts, grandmas) inflicted upon themselves at some point in our childhoods too.
Or how about those disgusting magazines from the 2000’s that showcased celebrities who had gained weight or (GOD FORBID) showed cellulite on their beach vacations. They were shamed, and nobody thought twice about it.
Those women were deemed undesirable, and as a young women seeing things like that, if you shared any of their physical qualities, you thought something was wrong with you.
It makes me sick and angry thinking about it.
Even though I do believe we are seeing less and less body shaming these days, what we’ve already witnessed and can remember so clearly in our minds will always be part of us.
In my adult life, it’s taken years to change my way of thinking and make thoughts about my body much more positive and uplifting. It’s an everyday battle.
Some days, I wake up and feel super confident, have that IDGAF attitude about my appearance, and can love and accept every curve and “flaw” I have. I love days like this.
But, days like this sometimes send me into a spiral of bad habits. Just hear me out.
They make me forget to nourish my body with things that make me feel good. I’m eating whatever I feel like. Sometimes they lead me to skip workouts, even though I know after moving my body, I feel 1000x better.
Sometimes they even cause me to body shame or resent other women I see who are nourishing their bodies and working out. Causing me to body shame women who are doing what I was doing two days ago? WHAT?
Sound familiar? Unfortunately this is all too common for so many of us. I’ve talked about it many times, but I thought it was important to talk about it in a new light today because we are all sharing similar circumstances now, and I know I’m not the only one having a hard time.
Now, eating anything we want is completely and totally fine. Not working out – that’s absolutely acceptable too. If you never eat a fruit or vegetable in your life and never step foot in a gym, THAT IS OKAY.
But, I think especially during times like we’re in now, it is so important to do what makes you feel good as an individual.
It’s important to be gentle with ourselves. It’s important to know that negative body image thoughts thrive during times of uncertainty like we’re in now.
Start combating these creeping-thoughts by asking yourself or writing down some of these questions and answers…
When do I truly feel my best?
What was I doing before the stay-at-home-order that made me feel like my best self?
What can I do right now that will make me feel better today?
What kinds of foods give me energy and promote a long, self-love-filled life for myself?
What are some mindful activities I can do to help me show appreciation for my body?
I have a whole post about How to be Body Positive and Navigate Weightloss where I go into finding your reason for wanting to lose weight.
The bottom line is – if your reason for changing your eating habits or working out more is that you want to look like someone else or change your appearance for vanity reasons, you are not doing it with significant meaning and love your yourself, which can turn into a very unhealthy eating disorder mindset quickly.
I think most of us will agree that we want to honor our bodies in every stage, and also do what we can to support ourselves and encourage a long and healthy life.
The battle of being body positive and loving myself though everything and also wanting to put better things into my body is an everyday struggle.
It’s hard for me to want to “eat healthy” because I have (and so many of us have) been conditioned to think that if we want to do something different for ourselves, we must think there’s something wrong with us currently.
This is so far from the truth. Can you relate to those thoughts?
I believe mindfulness can really help us during these times of uncertainty. Simply remembering to thank our bodies for all that they do for us can completely reset our minds and empower us to take control of our mindsets.
What do you think about all of this body talk? How have you been honoring your body during the quarantine? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.