COVID-19: weight stigma and change

Black and white photo of a building shows thin curves and fat curves Photo by Joakim Nådell on Unsplash

It’s finally happened. A group I drop in and out of online was discussing an upcoming online meeting. A member asked if they had to have video on: “It’s just I’ve gained a few pounds since this all started.”

I’ve seen the jokes and memes about fattening the curve. But this was different.    Here was someone ashamed to show her real face to the group. All because she‘d gained a few pounds.

I like food. I like cooking. I especially like cooking for others, particularly groups of friends who like food too along with laughter and talk. The pandemic has put a stop to that last one but I’m hopeful in a few weeks that will change.

We are into our fourth month of this new reality. Maybe it’s the sunshine, the heat and Finally seeing friends and family, but I’m more relaxed and hopeful. I know it won’t be easy but I’m okay with our new normal.

Not fine But okay. I wasn’t really okay in month one of the pandemic. But chocolate helped. So did comfort food like soup, stew, macaroni and cheese.

People talk about eating their feelings. And maybe they do, but comfort food is healing food. I needed to heal. We all did.

The fact is comfort food is familiar. It’s something we know. We are living in a time when we don’t have control and there’s lots that’s unfamiliar.

I’ve thought a lot about comfort and security, how we build it, sustain it and make it grow.

I won’t judge anyone For what you did or didn’t do re health and fitness and nutrition during this time. I don’t care if you Gained 15 or 50 or none at all with the ongoing sheltering in place rules.

The underlying message about gaining weight is that you’ve let yourself go. That you failed. I think that’s wrong. You found what you needed to cope with this phase. You’ll find something else to cope with the next phase. It will balance out if you let it.

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