Remember to Love the Body Getting You Through a Pandemic

Before the pandemic started, I was working out every single day and was in pretty good shape. Jogging was my coping mechanism for stress so when the gyms closed down, I didn’t handle it very well. I didn’t know how to work out and I was so overwhelmed with all the changes. Previously, my relationship with my body had never been bad, but I always felt self-conscious when I felt out of shape. I used to be on the bigger side but I finally started getting into shape when I went to university. For the first time, I felt great about my body as opposed to just okay. I liked being in shape and it made me feel good, so slowly getting out of shape was making me extremely anxious. I was so stressed that I couldn’t get out of bed, given there were other things going on, and I couldn’t bring myself to work out in the same way I used to. To top it all off, the guy I was dating at the time had the audacity to tell me I was letting myself go. To be frank, I had gained 15 pounds and I was nowhere near the point of being unhealthy, but that comment definitely threw me for a loop. Honestly, it made me feel like shit.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry about it; I cried a lot. It felt like no matter what I was doing, I was just packing on the pounds. My big jeans, the ones I bought for when I was bloated, didn’t fit me anymore. I broke down on the floor clutching them. Nothing in my closet was fitting me properly, and I didn’t understand why. I realized something needed to change, and no, it wasn’t my workout routine, it was my mindset.

I came to the realization that I needed to cut myself a break. Yes, I was the heaviest I had ever been. Yes, my jeans weren’t fitting me. Yes, it was extremely difficult to accept. But my body was doing something amazing. It was surviving. It was holding onto and undertaking so much stress. It was pushing me through, and it was doing its best, which is all I could ask for. I decided to be thankful for my body for getting me through it all as opposed to hating it for reacting in the way it was. My point is that you need to love the body that is getting you through this pandemic.

I have gotten back into working out, and I know it will take a while before I get back into the shape I was in before the pandemic. But for now, as it stands, I am going to be thankful that my body is getting me through this giant change.