For the first time since quarantine, I tried on a pair of jeans.
It was a random Wednesday, I was experiencing quarantine fatigue and wanted to escape from my sweatpants. I grabbed my favorite jeans from the bottom of the drawer and stood in front of the mirror to try it on. It wasn’t until I put the jeans on that I realized that I had gained weight.
Before quarantine, this pair of jeans fit me perfectly! I used to slip into them with ease and wore it with utmost confidence because it accentuated all my curves and made me feel good. Now, I have to hold my breath and suck my stomach in just to button my jeans. I looked in the mirror and all I saw was the weight I gained. My lower belly became more visible through my jeans, the tight waistband highlighted my muffin top, and my thighs looked bigger than I remembered. Looking at my own reflection, I couldn’t help but feel sad and frustrated. I thought to myself, how did I let myself gain weight? Now that I am constantly at home, why didn’t I work out more? Why am I not eating healthier?
Over these past eight months, life as I know it has changed drastically; from having to stay at home every day, going to virtual classes, and finding new ways to connect with family and friends. I didn’t realize how this pandemic is taking a toll on my mental health and my body. Not knowing what the future holds brings me a sense of stress and anxiety that I have never experienced before. And since my mental health affects my physical health as well, it is only normal that my body weight fluctuates. Instead of criticizing myself, I need to learn to accept that quarantine weight gain is normal.
As someone who has struggled with body image issues her whole life, I like to think that I have learned to love and feel comfortable in my body. But the truth is, the journey to self-love is an ongoing process. There will be days where you’ll feel insecure about your body, days where you’ll battle your inner demons telling you that you’re not enough, and days where you just don’t feel good about yourself. Body positivity cannot be achieved in just one day, but slowly and steadily, through many ups and downs.
And to everyone else who is currently experiencing quarantine weight gain, this is only a down among your many ups in this long journey to self-love and acceptance. Many people’s lives have been turned upside down by this global pandemic, where we all have to adjust to new ways of living. These are rough times and it is only fair to be kinder to yourself!
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, let yourself take a break from Chloe Ting’s workout and watch Netflix in bed instead. If you just want to indulge in your cravings, go ahead and eat that giant chocolate chip cookie. We are all just trying to find comfort in things that make us feel good during these tough times. Instead of stressing about quarantine-15, you deserve to focus on being happy and treasuring your time with your loved ones. Quarantine weight gain is normal and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The most important thing you can do during this quarantine is to be kind to your body and to be kind to yourself.