We’re in a unique scenario right now where a huge chunk of the world is all experiencing the same thing. Lockdown, quarantine, self-isolating, social distancing (phrases I never want to hear ever again once this is all over) – whatever you’re calling it where you are, it’s safe to say this is something new to us all.
And with new experiences comes new discussions. Great, right? Well yes, in some respects. For example, it’s great that decent pay for NHS staff and working from home accessibility is being discussed, but what’s not so great is all these conversations about weight suddenly cropping up out of nowhere. As if we didn’t have enough body image woes to worry about, now it’s become one of major talking points during a pandemic – like washing my hands until they look like Leatherface has started making a range of gloves doesn’t stress me out enough!
The thing is, like most stories, there are two sides to this one. More families than ever are starting their day with virtual PE lessons, outdoor exercise is being embraced and healthier home cooking has become a necessity for most of us – and who can say any of that’s a bad thing? I’m certainly not against kids doing more exercise and a daily dose of fresh air, that’s for sure. And, of course, there’s the very rare gift of time that many of us have been given during lockdown to actually fit a workout into our otherwise hectic days.
But, of course, as with anything to do with weight, diets, exercise and all that gumpf, there’s also the horribly negative stuff that comes along with it. People are beating themselves up about not moving as much as they usually do, perhaps because they’re feeling lethargic or experiencing mental health issues, or maybe because everything is just shit and they’re lonely and they can’t be arsed to do jumping jacks in their living room. As a result, I’ve seen dozens of people going on about gaining ‘lockdown weight’ as if it’s the worst thing that could possibly happen right now.
HELLO! We’re in the middle of a PANDEMIC! People are dying. Workers are losing their jobs. Local businesses are closing down. The government is ballsing everything up. You’re using every last ounce of strength you have to keep going while you’re separated from your loved ones, your plans are being cancelled and you can’t find any god forsaken toilet roll in the supermarket. The last thing you need to worry about, you lovely, precious, glorious human being, is putting on a few extra pounds while staying at home and keeping yourself and the rest of us safe.
Let’s rewind a few weeks when Adele posted those photos and we all lost our minds. She looks bloody gorgeous – but she always has. She is so much more than those photos; she is talented, funny and a modern day cultural icon. It doesn’t matter whether she’s decided to spend lockdown jogging along with Joe Wicks every morning or if the trip from the living room to the kitchen and back is her daily exercise, she is still all of those wonderful things. She is more than just her weight.
And so are you! Alright, so we can’t all be Adele (if only…) but you are worth more than your weight. We shouldn’t be judging people for eating a little more and moving a little less during quarantine, just as we shouldn’t judge those who have lost weight during this period. And, more importantly, you shouldn’t judge yourself for those things.
It honestly, truly, doesn’t matter. You are literally surviving a pandemic and we’re all just trying our best to get through this rather rubbish time. We were all beautiful before we went into lockdown and we will all be beautiful once we come out of it. Right now, being fatter isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you – but getting through this safe and well is the best thing that can happen to you, so let’s all just focus on that.