Lockdown and exercise/ body image – How I am managing it.

⚠️ Disclaimer: I am not a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Body Coach or anything like that. I am a woman in life long recovery from bulimia who is refusing to relapse during this lock down. ⚠️

How is your body image right now? Really, how is it?

I am seeing so much on social media and hearing so much in chats with my friends regarding negative body image right now. It’s making me so sad and it’s getting to me too. I am only human.

Most of us are feeling stagnant right now, regardless of how much we are moving our bodies. How can we not be? 🤷🏼‍♀️

While this is not the end of the world for a lot of people; there are people that are really affected by this. People who have/ have had eating disorders are going to be finding this extra tough. I know I am. The temptation to restrict food/ over exercise/ binge/ purge, etc. can become overwhelming for people like us right now.

For me personally, my old disordered habits rear their heads when I am feeling out of control (✅ who feels in control in this situation??) and when I start comparing myself to others too much (again, ✅, fitness adverts are invading my algorithms right now!).

While I can’t control what other people post, I am ensuring that I am using my right to scroll properly. I suggest you do the same with any posts that trigger feelings in you that you don’t want to feel. Please, just don’t look 🙈.

Another way that I am managing my body image is to get inventive with workouts so that I can’t get obsessed with one type. Dancing around with the duster, fun! Step ups while hoovering the stairs? Yeah, why not??

For me, incorporating movement in with activities I would normally do and when I would normally do them is key. I don’t constantly go around dusting so why would I up that? This forces me to not over do it and have rest days by proxy.

I am also following Yoga tutorials on line, Kettle bells/ dumbells work outs but I am ensuring that I am not doing these daily with no breaks too!

🔑 Rest days are key. Recovery is key. Basically, not over doing it is key. 🔑

If you regularly exercise anyway then try to stay within your normal routine but at home or ask your personal trainer for a schedule (if you have a PT) – watch how they will also  advise rest days!

🥘 Another big thing that affects my body image is what I eat, when I eat and how I feel when I eat.

My general ‘rules’ are:

  1. I eat what I fancy
  2. I eat when I fancy
  3. I eat when I am hungry

These are not rules as such, hence the quotations, but I do live by this generally. I have worked hard to learn how to listen to my body and don’t want to stop now.

Right now, I personally have a lower appetite than usual, stress and change does that to me. However, a lot of people I know are binging a lot more now, out of stress, out of boredom, out of worry, etc. Many complex emotional reasons.

My advice for this? If you feel hungry/ want to eat then eat. These are not usual times and trying to restrict will almost definitely lead you to a binge and make you feel worse about it. You may even feel more out of control and try new, destructive ways to claw this back.

Just eating the damn food will usually nip that in the bud. (Binge Eating Disorder is obviously a different story and I would advise following actual advise from professionals about this.)

⚠️ Again, I am not professional. I am just telling you what helps me.

As for body image itself, I find that what helps me is to follow a variety of shapes, genders, races, etc. on social media so that I am not constantly looking at people I think I want to look like.

I allow myself to see the beauty in people who look like me too -similar shapes and sizes, curls, big mouths, etc. Things that I think are beautiful for others but look wrong on me for some reason… I see their beauty and then remind myself that they see mine. We all see eachothers.

If that doesn’t work then I avoid the mirror until the feelings of ugliness leave me alone. It’s not like I am going anywhere. 🤷🏼‍♀️

As a parting ‘gift’ see the photos below. They are one day apart, my body hasn’t changed but you can see from my facial expressions that I feel differently in one than the other. Bad feelings do pass, I promise!

As now is usual, stay home where you can 🏡 and stay safe 💕

 

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