And learning how to just... be.
I think we can all come to the agreement that 2020 hasn't been what we expected. Thankfully, we aren't void of all good news (thanks, John Krasinski).
The thing about 2020 is - it's still a fast-paced world. We are still a society living on our phones, with a constant desire to be doing MORE, because simply sitting and enjoying a moment is no longer good enough. A global pandemic can't even stop this trend (odds are, it's actually worsening) and you can't really blame us; we have the world at our fingertips. But this is causing a domino effect of something much larger than some TikTok dance moves.
Fat-phobia is at an all-time high.
Instagram stories, tweets, memes, you name it - are covering our social feeds every day with jokes about how much weight we're all going to gain during quarantine. At first you might laugh at the relatability of the statement because you just baked yet another banana bread, which of course you'll be eating all week. But then that statement gets thrown out like it's the norm, and you start to ponder its accuracy and stress about whether or not it's happening to you. Follow that up with some fire emojis under Adele's weight loss photos and you've got a double whammy of: 1) a learned fear of getting fat, and 2) PRAISE AND ATTENTION for being skinny! Guys, we've got it all wrong - I commend Adele on her hard work and commitment, but she has been beautiful in all of her stages.
So, chances are society has probably already scared you in the past about weight gain. This comes from the false association of the two words "healthy" and "thin." (Hint: one is not always equal to the other.) While there certainly are health consequences to gaining significant amounts of weight and a balanced diet and regular physical activity are important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a couple of pounds on the scale does NOT need to be your top priority during a global pandemic.
Most of us have a bit more time on our hands right now, and in the words of Tyga, we're bored in the house and unsure of what to do with ourselves when we aren't constantly on the go. So we grab our phones to stay busy and connected to the rest of society, we see fat-phobic comments and home workout videos, and we automatically crave MORE. More out of our bodies, more out of our purpose, and more out of our self-worth.
Now, let me stop you right there for a second. Everyone needs to hear this:
Your worth is not determined by how many workouts you did during quarantine, how productive you stayed in the house, or how your body looks when you come out of this.
If you ENJOY working out, YouTube home workout videos are a perfect place for you to start (mine are linked on my homepage)! But they are not the answer to everything, nor are they meant to be performed too frequently, without adequate nutrition and recovery in between.
If you're finding yourself over-exercising on multiple occasions throughout the day, restricting foods during the day and then binging at night, or not getting enough rest between workouts, maybe it's time to talk to your body. It sounds silly, but listen to it - it's trying to tell you something!
Sometimes our bodies just need to exist and do nothing else. Just be present. Get off your phone, stop reading about the latest diet trends or worrying about what size pants you'd like to fit into, and just simply BE. Go outside, meditate, whatever it takes for you to connect to your inner self. While you're there, remind yourself that you are good enough. I promise, you are.
The field of positive psychology explains that talking to ourselves in a positive light (called positive self-talk), actually has a beneficial effect on our behavioral response to certain situations. This could be as simple as waking up and saying, "hey girl, you're looking good today!" to your reflection in the mirror.
I encourage you to discover whatever it is that your body needs to hear every day for you to feel good in your own skin, rather than stress over the extra time you had today that you could have been squeezing in another workout. If instead you choose to do something that serves you mentally, I commend you, my friend.
Have you found a method that keeps you from addictive exercise behavior? Let me know in the comments below, or contact me using the tab above! I love connecting with all of you and helping you find the happiest, healthiest version of yourselves. Follow me on Instagram @fit.bybrit for some more tips!