Dealing with Post-Lockdown Weight Gain
By Rania Dawud
I have had one too many conversations about weight after lockdown was lifted this summer.
The three-month lockdown, that much of the world had gone through this past spring, has changed a lot about our lives and our routines. Coming out of it was refreshing at first, until you realized you had to catch up with all the things you failed to do during quarantine.
Suddenly, staying at and working from home granted us an excess of free time, sending us scrambling to find new activities and chores to do. A common pastime was to explore new dishes and experiment with new recipes. Speaking for myself, and I’m sure you can agree, cooking and baking were a very therapeutic and productive way to pass the time. Who hasn’t at least tried to bake their own loaf of bread?
Body-image issues are often closely related to powerlessness, and with uncertainty and helplessness looming over us, we take it out on the one thing we can help, which is ourselves. The messiness of trying to adapt to a new way of life had us spend too much time with ourselves, unfortunately leading us to picking out all our flaws and giving them far too much attention.
In addition to that, staying at home threw off much of our typical schedules. Our routines relating to food and exercise were enforced with much less formality and commitment, which is why it is not unusual that most of us found that we had put on a few extra kilograms on our hips and thighs.
But that’s okay, it’s important to remember that this has been a rough year for everyone. How many plans have been interrupted by an unexpected pandemic with no end in sight? It’s been difficult to make any long-term plans, and, frankly, a few extra kilograms are a relatively minor concern compared to the other adjustments we’ve had to make this year, from online classes and work, suspended trips and worries of stranded family members; so, we should really cut ourselves some slack.
The journey of self-love and a positive body-image can be uncomfortable. It is a process that will force you to learn how to forgive yourself, and we don’t typically view ourselves as something to direct forgiveness to. In the end, it is not a linear process and will naturally have several ups and downs, but it is certainly a doable feat to manage.