I am sure you have heard, said it, or read it. There are several memes and sayings about the weight we will gain in quarantine. Here are few examples of what I have seen and heard:
“Try your jeans on at least once a week to make sure they still fit.”
“Please help me have social distancing from my refrigerator.”
“I tested positive for having a fat Butt.”
And do not forget all the before and after memes displaying the person before quarantine as a fit-looking individual and then the after quarantine individual as someone who has gained extra pounds and looks how most would consider “fat.”
Some may say, well don’t you want to encourage people to be “healthy” during this time. Yes, we do want people to be healthy, but there is a lot more to health than what the number on the scale says.
Health encompasses how we move our body, what we eat, how we treat our body, and how we feel – not just our weight.
Therefore, there is a lot more that can be done at this time to encourage people to be healthy other than indicate that they need to stop eating. Plus, this also sends a message to our children that even in the face of a pandemic, the number on the scale is something we need to worry about. At this time, we need to focus on being thankful for what we do have in our lives like health, food, shelter, and for those that are fortunate enough to still have an income, we need to be extremely thankful for that. None of those things indicate that we need to place a high importance on dieting or a drive to achieve some unattainable body type.
To counteract diet-promoting and weight-gain talk at this time, let us try to use some of the following phrases instead.
- Let’s take a walk because it is a beautiful day (as opposed to “better walk so I can still fit into my jeans”).
- We just got some sweet and tasty berries from the store, so we will have them for a snack while they are fresh (as opposed to “we are going to have a snack of fruit, so we do not gain too much weight from eating cookies”).
- These homemade cookies taste so good because I made them with you (as opposed to “be careful how many cookies you eat because swimsuit season is coming”).
- We are going to do this funny exercise video to get the wiggles out (as opposed to “I need to move because I can see my waistline getting bigger”).
I have said this before, and I will say it again: Our children listen to everything we say and observe everything we do. Many of our children are concerned and worried at this time because we are living in a worldwide pandemic. If we are spending this time talking openly about our concerns of gaining weight or not fitting into clothes, then this may transfer to them as an additional worry.
If you are encouraging healthy habits for your family, make sure the goal is overall health, not the number on the scale, a jean size, or a swimsuit style.