a nationwide lockdown is not the time to start a diet

i’ve talked openly about trying to balance my relationship with food and looking at improving my overall general health rather than obsessing about weight loss. however, being a bigger woman, my bmi does put me at an increased risk than others at developing complications if i were to be diagnosed with covid-19. i would be lying if i said that my size does not worry me about this pandemic.

despite this, there are loads more beneficial things i can do during this pandemic than focus on stressing my body out with fad diets and inevitably binge eating. i am limited in things i can do really. i was looking forward to getting out more during extra day light hours and less rain however there’s now a risk with that so i will be isolating most of the time. i don’t care what size my body will be during or after this pandemic but i do care about the state of my mental health.

so rather than focusing on weight loss and diets whilst we stay at home here are the ways i am going to focus on improving my health during our lockdown. none of these are going to stop me from getting unwell, the only things that lower your chances of catching coronavirus, covid-19, is frequently washing hands, social isolating and hopefully, when it’s readily available, a vaccine. but there are a significant amount of things i can do to help me feel good.

  1. exercise. i have body priviledge enough that i can find a way i enjoy moving. i love dancing, i like yoga, i like weight training. i have some weights, a resistance band, a yoga mat and an internet connection. i have spotify. i also have to encourage movement in my daughter for her home school ‘pe’ lessons. each day we are going to find a way to have fun moving for 30 minutes, at least five times a week.
  2. getting a good night sleep. there’s no alarm to set, no worry about the school run and no fear when adam will be out the house working, because he will be home. we can take it in turns to do the early mornings with felix, we can both focus on getting a decent amount of sleep each evening.
  3. staying hydrated. water helps us feel better and helps us to stay healthy. it is not going to prevent or ‘wash out’ a virus but it is going to help keep my body working as well as it can.
  4. fresh air. when and as we can i do want to make an effort to get outside for a walk because we don’t have access to a garden. if we can’t get outside then opening up the curtains and windows for a little bit each morning can help make me feel a bit better and ‘fresher’
  5. cooking with my family and including as many colours as i can. we are currently using a hello fresh subscription to get fresh veg and try new meals. we are cooking from scratch a bit more and i’m really enjoying it. i’m paying attention to my fullness levels as much as i can and leaving some for lunch the next day.

most importantly, right now we are going to feel every emotion. it is okay and valid to feel those emotions in the moment. we are seeking something to control but i urge you to try to let go of some of that control. let your body feel and heal through this weird time. focus on what feels good. take time for self care. seek an online therapist in the meantime. reach out to friends. let people know if you are struggling. turn off those news updates if they’re worrying you.

you do not need to diet through a global, viral pandemic

it is okay to gain or lose weight or go up and down

it’s okay to admit that you’re struggling, it’s okay not to be okay

however you need to process this time, try to do it in a way that is nourishing for your mind and body. it’s not the time for focusing on restriction, its a time for peace, calm and trying to make our way through this unprecedented mess.

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