Remember that infamous line by Kourtney when Kim lost her diamond ear ring in the ocean and was balling her eyes out?
Talk about first world problems huh? That line has since became a popular meme used in a situation where people are so caught up with petty issues when there are actually bigger problems at hand.
That meme comes in real handy in today’s topic- MCO weight gain. There’s absolutely no doubt that almost everyone is having a harder time to fit in old jeans, noticing a double chin peeking out while brushing their teeth and blissfully ordering yet another Biscoff Cheese Cake or Choco Jar online during Covid-19.
William Dietz, MD, PhD, chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, says that being encouraged to stay indoors means that we are less active. Combine this and being literally a few steps away from the kitchen and on top of the anxiety that comes with a deadly pandemic, you have the perfect situation for weight gain to happen.
So you’ve gained a little weight during a bloody pandemic. It’s the least of things you should be worried about, let alone allow people to belittle you about it. We totally understand, it’s not as easy to look away at those videos of people on Instagram sharing their daily work out routines, staying in shape, proudly showing off their unshaken principles of eating healthy. It does get to your head.
So we’re here to relief your mind from the self-loathing thoughts you can easily be caught up in especially in today’s ultra-connective world. Here’s why it is okay to gain weight now or ever, really.
#1 Dieting Might Increase Your Stress Levels
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A study entitled Low Calorie Dieting Increases Cortisol reveals that when you obsess over what goes in your body too much, you might experience an increase in your stress levels. In other terms means; dieting, or the restriction of caloric intake, is ineffective because it increases chronic psychological stress and cortisol production. This may not be true for everyone, it’s good evidence that worrying about your weight can make you more miserable especially during these times of uncertainty and bleak future.
Registered dietitian Rachel Berman outlined that dieting can quickly create a link with your self worth. You will associate your inability to stick to your diet as a reason to self-loathe too.
"When you're following the plan, you feel fleetingly good, but when you're not, you can feel as if you're failing and are not good enough,”
-Rachel Berman, Dietitian
#2 Healthy Body Over Thin Figure
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While it’s easy to feel heavily impacted with your weight gain, you have to remember that your MCO weight gain is more often than not just a few extra pounds and not to an extent that you are surpassing your healthy BMI. We often worship the stick thin figure that has been indoctrinated into society as the social standard of beauty to a point that any body shape that does not fit in that description is considered wrong and undesirable.
Developing a cute muffin top over the course of the MCO does not mean that you are at the brink of obesity. Natalie Buchwald, LMHC, Founder and Clinical Director of Manhattan Mental Health Counseling advised that we must shift our focus from body image to developing new skills. Seeing yourself progress will boost your confidence while being in the present in the flow of the practice will likely be a pleasurable experience which in turn, give your worry a break. Thus breeding a more positive and healthier psyche.
#3 Your Body Is Smarter Than You Think
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What most of us need to be more attentive to is what our body is trying to tell us. If we listen to it, our body will tell us when it’s hungry, thirsty, when our mind needs entertainment, when our nerves need calming and when we need sleep.
The problem is that we often turn a blind eye on these signals due to the fear of not performing as good as how the world expect us to be. Being more in tune of these hints will eventually lead you to discovering that as your activity levels slow down, so does your appetite, or you might find that an emotional need is driving your hunger, in which case, you might be better served by turning to a non-food alternative.
Also, our body is a temple and we need to treat it with respect. You can begin by thinking and speaking to your body with love respect. Commit to replacing any negative thoughts you have about your body with thoughts of gratitude for number of things you have achieved with the help of the vessel you are in.
So if you’re one of those people who are enjoying the quarantine with endless workout routines, good for you! If you’re a part of those who are indulging a little more. Good for you too! What’s the need to vilify one or the other? Quoting Kourtney K.,"There's people that are dying." So do what you must to keep yourself sane and happy.
The only diet that you need to perhaps is a social media diet, limit your intake of content that may lead you to compare and scrutinise your own body and achievements in life. Above anything else now, your mental health is what you need to prioritise, without that working at its best, you will find it a lot more difficult to focus on your studies or to navigate unemployment.
Change body scrutiny to body positivity okay! Denise Chan with her friends; Adam Lobo, tech enthusiast and vocalist of rap-metal band, Dragon Red; as well as beauty guru and animal lover, Mina Ros have a lot to say about this topic too in What’s The Feed: Body Positivity