Lockdown: Why Body Image May be Taking a Hit
Alanna Brown, Founder of Positive Eating and GRLKND's Nutritionist
In light of Adele's fire birthday pics and the general reaction around her weight loss, I think it's an important time for us to remind ourselves, that... 'you are NOT a before picture'. You do not need to lose weight to be celebrated. Also, let's remember that Adele is a 15x Grammy award-winning artist and a delightfully respected woman, before she is a championed 'weight-loser.'
PS: Please don't subscribe to the restrictive and damaging weight-loss methods being celebrated online. They're inaccurate and can be extremely harmful! So, with that being said, let's catch up with our delightful GRLKND nutritionist, who's inspiring the masses in 'positive eating.'
What's been your personal experience living and working from home during this time, and how has it impacted your mental health, daily routines and eating habits?
Due to COVID19 I have lost about 80% of my work, but I was working almost every day before this all happened, so I wasn't too unhappy about a forced break to be honest - however, as I grew up in a very low-income household, I was worried about the possibility of having to dip into my savings to pay rent etc.
The thought of going backwards is very scary! However, I am lucky enough to get Jobkeeper [supplement] through a gym that I work for - This means I have a certain amount of guaranteed income, which has significantly reduced my anxiety and stress during this time.
Right now I am working maybe once or twice a week for a NotForProfit - running a food waste reduction cooking class via ZOOM and packing bags of produce for people in need - a lot of food relief organisations that provide meals for vulnerable groups in the community have had to shut their doors or reduce operations significantly. Knowing that there are people who struggled before the pandemic and that are now potentially even more vulnerable really puts everything in perspective. I feel so lucky to have a roof over my head, warm clothes for winter and access to fresh food.
I have been focussing on eating well and moving every day- which for me means I am doing yoga every day and going for a walk. I am making all my meals from scratch which is so lovely and also means I have produced much less food waste! I also got back into baking sourdough which is very relaxing! I have been eating a bit more than usual, as a lot of people are since we are spending so much time at home - but as I have generally been a little extra active I this all balances out eventually! I also mostly choose [and would advise to choose] healthy snacks like dips, fruit and whole grains to make the body feel good.
What would you say to a young woman who may be suffering with negative body image right now?
It is completely understandable to be feeling like this at the moment. [Our entire routines have been thrown, we're grieving the loss of normalcy and spending a lot more time indoors. Please remember that your body's dimensions were designed to fluctuate during these seasons, and so are your thoughts around how you perceive it. You are loved and whole and worthy during all of these seasons!]
My biggest tip is to unfollow ANY social media accounts that you find you are comparing yourself to or that don't make you feel motivated or valuable - they are not helping! Make time to talk with your friends or family and connect with people who do make you feel good.