Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing a post about a pandemic. Let alone diet culture in a pandemic.
Because in the middle of all of this — *waves hand around at the insanity of life right now* — it seems silly to focus on body shape and size, doesn’t it?
But over and over again in my feed, I’ve seen everything from “How to Avoid the Corona 15” to “How to Get a Six-Pack in Quarantine.” I’m sure you have, too.
At first, I rolled my eyes. Because, really. REALLY? Losing weight and getting shredded isn’t something I care about regularly, let alone when I’m sheltering in place. (In fact, we have a whole video series on why diet culture is B.S.)
All of the focus on it seems not just tone deaf but also incredibly privileged. Like, where is the perspective on what’s really important? If our main concern is losing muscle or gaining weight, then obviously we have it better than so many others right now, right?
But on the other hand, I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about those who struggle with food and their bodies — and how this stressful time is likely to compound a lot of those issues, whether you’re aware of it or not. In a time where it feels like everything is out of control, I can understand how it would be easy to use food and workouts as a way to control something, anything.
While I see something like a push-up challenge or a unique home workout to be fun and a bit of levity in a scary and lonely time, others may be triggered by it. Or even feel shame by not being able to complete it. What’s self-care for me, may not be for someone else. And vice versa.
We always want to be mindful of what we post and share. And, usually, I have no problem getting on my soapbox and damning diet culture to any and all who listen — especially the big businesses that benefit from exploiting our insecurities and promoting a single ideal body type/look. But, as I really sink into what that all means right now to us at the individual level — in this crazy AF time — there are just two words that come to mind: grace and ease.
It’s always important to remember that everyone is doing the best they can and likely dealing with more than you’ll ever know. But now more than ever, that’s especially true.
If you’re using workouts to cope with the stress of everything? Grace and ease.
If you eat past the point of fullness? Grace and ease.
If you do nothing but watch Netflix? Grace and ease.
Above everything — to yourself and to others as much as you can — grace and ease.
As we’re in this incredibly lucky and privileged position to even go down this philosophical rabbit hole, please know that we’re here with you … however you’re getting through this. Be kind to yourself (and to others) and practice self-care the best you can.
Grace and ease. Grace and ease. —Jenn