During this pandemic, I am guessing many of us have heard the terms “Covid 15” or before and after pictures of what we will look like after keeping our activity levels lower than usual. I too still have moments of panic that I won’t get my daily steps in or about how my body is changing slowly throughout this time.
Individuals who suffer from disordered eating, an eating disorder, or are currently in recovery from one may be in an uncomfortable position right now. Constantly having social media flooding with at home workouts because the “no excuses” vibe is trending somehow when there is a global pandemic happening right outside our doors.
The fact that personal trainers and diet industries are thriving off of our self-consciousness and “fat-phobic” fears right now is disgusting—I repeat, absolutely vile.
Should your biggest goal right now be getting your morning workout in before eating breakfast or 10,000 steps in before dinner? I think not (I am not trying to discredit people who actually enjoy working out right now—I’m glad you love it).
Our world changed, our lives changed, and with that our activities and routines have changed. It makes sense that our bodies will begin to change also, but if this is truly the thing you’re worrying about the most right now, try to realize you are not alone.
Here are five mantras that I have used, realized, or said to myself during this time to help with feeling comfort in my body, food, and the chaos around me.
1. You need to eat regardless of your activity level, period.
I definitely had a few moments of panic waking up and realizing I had to somehow get my morning workout in before eating my granola and yogurt. What you need to realize is regardless if you do your morning walk or daily push ups, you must eat. You need to nourish your body and make sure it is fueled and given what it wants, especially during this pandemic. And plus, how wonderful is it to eat a nice cooked breakfast every morning instead of rushing out the door to work or school?
2. It is okay to “lose progress” or take a break from working out during this time.
I hear you, home workouts are honestly the worst (if you love them, good for you—I wish I did enjoy getting sweaty next to my dining room table). Working out in your home which is meant to be relaxing and a safe space, is hard and may feel constricting. I am telling you it will not hurt you to take a rest from lifting weights or running every other day for a month or two. You will be okay. Your worth will not change, and your body may need the rest more than you think.
3. Everyone is in the same boat as you.
Even though many of us do have disordered eating or over-exercising issues, everyone is in the same boat, stuck at home where we eat, sleep, and repeat on the daily. I promise you, you are not alone in this feeling of food and activity-level guilt. I still have my moments of panic about being as weak as a noodle when I go back to the gym after this. But you know what? Everyone will be in the exact same situation as you, so take a second and breathe.
4. Your body is worth more than the way it looks—it keeps you alive.
I know many people will tell you that keeping your “gains” is more valuable than eating your favorite snacks in quarantine right now. But I would argue staying healthy and ALIVE is more important, period. Your body keeps your immune system alive and lets you function on a daily basis. You need to realize your physical attributes won’t help you walk or keep your organs functioning. You don’t need to come out of this period of time “fitter” than you went into it. I sure won’t and will not be praising people who do.
5. Finally, recovery does not need to take a halt during this time.
You may think eating more processed and canned goods will set you back from recovering, but honestly, trying new recipes and eating out of my comfort zone has been a light in the darkness right now. I am making meals with my roommate where I have less control of what is going into the meal, and I love it! But if it does go on the back burner because food and exercise are the only things you can control right now, that is okay. You will get back to normal or continue your journey soon.
Take care of your body during these next few months. We will get through this, I promise.