Body Image, Weight Gain and COVID

Oh hello, it’s been a while.

Apologies for the radio silence on here! I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t posted in over seven months.

Why not, I hear you ask?!

Self-doubt, angst, social anxiety, the usual. Fear has been holding me back, and we all know that the biggest obstacle to success is fear. Luckily, I am now fearless like a lion (I’m not, but I have missed blogging, so here we are). Without further ado…

Weight gain has been a focal point of the COVID lockdown; you’ve probably heard jokes about the “quarantine 15” or terminology such as “lockdown bod”. Unsurprisingly, I don’t find jokes with underlying messages of fatphobia particularly amusing.

I have previously written about why you shouldn’t comment on someone’s weight (whether that be weight loss or weight gain), and this is relevant now more than ever.

Not only have the jokes about weight gain (i.e. fatphobia) increased considerably over recent months, the COVID lockdown has seen a sharp rise in eating disorders. Humour that relies on weight stigma masks diet culture’s connection to body shame, misogyny, and classism. “I need to socially distance myself from the kitchen LOLZZZZZ” might seem like a light-hearted, throwaway comment, but it further stigmatises weight gain and is highly triggering for many.

I’ve experienced varying levels of negative thoughts about my body for as long as I can remember, and like many, this has been amplified over lockdown. Every anxiety has been intensified, and comparison is at an all-time high.

It takes time, patience, and conscious effort to undo the body shaming that has been picked up over the years. Having previously been diagnosed with potential hypothalamic amenorrhea (potential as my contraception at the time may or may not have been masking an underlying abnormality), consistently working on my relationship with food, exercise and my body is a priority.

I know that I’m happier and healthier at my current size vs. four years ago, but the constant influx of “quarantine 15” posts have brought up old insecurities and shame.

As always, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this (unless your thoughts are steeped in fatphobia, in which case I would kindly ask you to bugger off).

Has lockdown had an impact on your body image? How have you dealt with this?

Mell x

4 Comments

  1. Brilliant post. Totally agree. I was concerned to find that the body fat machine in the gym gave me a level of 26%. Anyone who knows me will know it’s much less, but what worries me is that lots of women who go there are being told their fat levels are too high with all the negative consequences. I’ve since discovered this machine shouldn’t be used post exercise and I had just done two hours of cardio! So important that gym trainers are properly trained as lots take their word as gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting post – thanks so much for sharing this so openly! I ve been finding it hard before COVID to avoid self criticism related to weight and body image and living at home during the pandemic certainly made it much harder at some point of time as our habits change.. However, I am slowly working on it too as I want to challenge this and be free and loving to myself. One of the good thing recently was to get out on holiday and go to the beach, swim, enjoy just being in touch with water and nature without focusing too much on how that swimming suit fits (I did however increased my workout routine before then but slown down now we are back) …focusing more on what we eat and how we treat ourselves and our bodies started to become more important. Yoga been my life saviour too and mindfulness. I have been doing online Yoga with Adriene and Adriene is amazing when it comes to language about our bodies and how exercise as well should be done with ‘what best for you’ in mind. I never been really overweight but I weight quite a lot because I have heavy bones, so even when I was size 8 at 170 cm of height my weight was 75! Think recent time teaching us that we should be kind to each other and mostly to ourselves as our bodies are working hard to keep us well no matter which shape or size 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear that the lockdown has stirred past insecurities. Are you feeling better? I agree that this pandemic came with a weight challenge for the world. I mean, it is stressful and people stay at home, it is hardly a surprise, no? I suppose we must not take it too seriously, we are all trying to cope as best as we can. Of course, body shaming is never fine, and it is a wonder how this became embedded in the culture. Social media is not helping at all, too.

    Like

    1. I am feeling better, thanks! Although I still definitely have moments where I feel ashamed of my ‘new body’. 100% agree, social media can be a blessing and a curse! Hope you’re well 🙂 x

      Like

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