If you’ve put on a few ‘coronakilos’, you’re not alone. But body confidence advocate Taryn Brumfitt wants you to embrace those curves and love yourself – every last gram.
At the beginning of 2020, I posted a photo of myself staring into a mirror at the gym wearing a hot pink ’80s inspired leotard with the caption “Me, considering how much ass to kick in 2020.”
Hmmm, well that didn’t exactly go to plan, did it?
Step away from the mirror, leotards off, inspiring and cheery ‘you’ve got this’ memes to the side. The only asses that we’re getting kicked in 2020 were ours: loss of our jobs, lives and livelihoods – without a doubt it’s been devastating.
But the battle I didn’t see coming was the battle so many Australians waged against their own bodies, the ‘coronakilos’ war.
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Surely it was inevitable for a large part of the population (I’m looking at you, fellow emotional eaters) to put on some weight. It happens. It’s the ebb and flow of life isn’t it, to put on a few kilos and to lose a few depending on our levels of stress, lifestyle and diet?
But the newly coined phrase ‘coronakilos’ just gave us another reason to worry, and feel shame and fear about bodies. During a time when people are losing their jobs and losing loved ones, shouldn’t losing weight be the last thing we’re obsessing about?
Life beyond this pandemic will never be the same and now is a perfect time to consider how we want to re-emerge from the crisis, asking ourselves questions:
What lessons have I learned?
Who do I want to become?
What can I do better?
How do I live a more connected and conscious life?
We are being called on a global scale to reprioritise how we live our lives, and that includes our obsession with diet, calories and the wobbly bits. Can we really go through what we’ve been through and still say “Does my bum look big in these jeans?” And more to the point, do we want to?
Surely this pandemic has highlighted the need to sort out (once and for all) our dysfunctional relationships with our bodies. It’s well overdue.
So how do we reclaim our positivity and acceptance of body image as we emerge from COVID-19 lockdown?
There are a million strategies I could give you on ‘all the ways’ to embrace but that comes later, we need to begin at the start. The $64,000 question you need to ask yourself is this:
What would your life look like if you didn’t worry about how your body looks?
How would it feel to go to the beach in your bikini and not have a care in the world? How would it feel to experience freedom with food? How would it feel to move your body for pure pleasure and enjoyment, rather than punishment? How would it feel to ride your partner like you’re at the rodeo… with the lights on!? How would it feel to not be a slave to a number on the scale?
How would it feel to be free of the burden of hating your body? Truly. Really. Deeply.
Ask yourself those questions and listen to how your body responds – she wants in, right? Her hand is raised, saying pick me, pick me. Your body wants to be loved, so desperately.
If your body could speak she would whisper these words ‘I am your body, I am yours until our final breath, nourish me, respect me, enjoy me but above all else, be kind to me.’
If the pandemic has taught us anything it is to give less shits about the stuff that doesn’t matter and give more shits about the stuff that does.
How important really is cellulite and the jiggle in your bum compared with the wellbeing of your family and friends? Is it possible we’ve taken everything for granted and the pandemic has been the greatest gift of enlightenment we’ll ever experience in our lifetime?
It’s time to deeply reflect… where have you been and where are you going? Most importantly, how do you want to see out the rest of your days? Embracing your body, or being at war with it?
Embrace Your Bodyby Taryn Brumfitt is published by Penguin Random House Australia.