I’m very fortunate to say that I have never felt very self-conscious about the way I looked. And when I say that, I don’t mean to say that I have always been confident in my appearance, but rather that I accepted that I didn’t have an established idea about my appearance, my looks, my weight, etc. I would be fully aware of my appearance, but I honestly would just avoid dwelling on it or avoid giving it much thought. I felt like there wasn’t much negative change that came along over the years, which is why I never felt the need to confront my insecurities. However, quarantine has been difficult. It’s been difficult to stick to the eating and healthy habits that I’ve sustained in the past. It’s been difficult to see people still keeping their bodies maintained during quarantine. It’s been difficult to be so self-conscious of my body for the very first time in my life.
During quarantine, it has definitely been a trend for me to eat a lot more unhealthy food while I’m stuck inside all day, stressing about the worries that come with COVID- online school, my safety, loneliness, and so much more. I eat when I’m bored, I eat when I’m stressed, I eat when I’m happy. I can feel the amount of physical activity in my life decreasing. No more biking to class, gym visits at the ARC, or walks to the MU. For the first time in my life, I am seeing a change in my appearance that I cannot come to terms with. It is so demotivating to see my clothes not fit anymore and to not feel confident in any of the outfits that made me feel self-assured in the past. I feel so discouraged from even trying to make a lifestyle change because I feel like the goals I want to meet are hopeless.
Present day, I am still not where I want to be in terms of my weight or confidence levels. But, I do know that I want to change that, which is a step in the right direction. I want to stop comparing myself to what my friends look like. I want to be motivated to take care of myself again. I want to be just as accepting of my own body as I am of everyone else’s.
By no means is this easy for me to write, but I want to put this out there for anyone else feeling “The Quarantine 15.” I preach and am a strong supporter of self-love and accepting all bodies, but I know it is so difficult to believe in those messages when looking at your own body. It is so easy to encourage and stand by every womxn who has made so much progress for us in terms of body positivity, but I cannot look in a mirror and admire myself like I do with others. This is not a cry for help, but rather a way for me to come to terms with and reflect on what I can do to feel good in my own skin during a time where there is little you can put faith in other than yourself.