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Our Pandemic Bodies

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Just read this opinion piece in the NYTs...non subscribers should be able to read 10 articles/month so hope you can. the gist of the article is that the pandemic was the pits and it did a number on many of our bodies. Not to mention the mental stress that many of us experienced. Now the diet industry is coming for us....and here at Spark we know "diets" don't work long term.

The article really hit home because I've been obsessing about my body. I actually didn't gain any weight but my middle seems to have found a life of its own. Even though I walked ALOT for months there was no gym or real hard cardio workouts. And the strength and flexibility work slipped. Even with the gyms opening up we were careful and kept our visits fewer and shorter. To top it off with my osteoporosis I shrunk another inch! emoticon Now this isn't a medical opinion but I wonder if being shorter means the same pounds are getting squished into a smaller space?

Regardless, instead of patting myself on the back for maintaining I'm looking at my middle and asking what I need to do. What I need to do is accept it for what it is. To keep doing what I've been doing which is eating a healthy diet, exercising every day, getting back to yoga and strength work. It'll come or it won't and that's OK.

This last paragraph is one that really resonates with me and will be something that I keep in mind every day.

"If there was ever a time that we should be kind to ourselves and to others — especially about our bodies — that would be now. You’ve been living through a pandemic and doing your part to end it. That’s reason to feel good."

How are you all dealing with the post pandemic life?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This time has allowed me to focus on my health, and commit to Spark. Walking, stairs, resistance bands, jumping jacks - a variety of strategies were implemented. Now that I am at goal, I can see the head games being not so kind when looking in the mirror. Seriously?! Why are we our own worst critics? I am resisting that evil little voice.

    Great blog. emoticon
    55 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2234490
    57 days ago
    emoticon I was battling with my health. Now getting back to exercising and healthier eating.
    58 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    emoticon emoticon
    58 days ago
    There's no way around it. Even if we reach normal weight, we'll never look like we did in our youth. I don't feel too bad about this, and I'm glad you don't either, Martha! Your attitude of acceptance is admirable. Keep on enjoying your beautiful, active life!
    58 days ago
    emoticon Love the last paragraph, we should be kind to ourselves we have been through a lot.
    I am hanging in there with the pandemic. I keep walking but so much slower than I once was. I will work on that. emoticon
    58 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1884311
    You said it all! Thanks for sharing the article. I'd been saving these to read when I have a chance. My own mother has been having a lot of difficulty during this pandemic. Mostly with memory issues. We all know that exercise has a way of reversing those memory issues. She still isn't able to get out as much as she'd like to. She's no longer able to drive herself! She's only 82-years-old for goodness sake! She's completely gone downhill since this pandemic started. Why? Because she couldn't/can't go anywhere! Not even leaving her home! (She's living with my brother in Iowa.) We can't come up with any other better situation for her. So, yes, this pandemic has really changed lives. Not only Her's but ours too. There are some things I can change for myself though. I'll be working on those.
    58 days ago
    I agree. The last year has been crazy. I find as I get older, I don't lose weight but it changes location on my body.
    58 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    58 days ago
    getting back to gym pool has been very good on my physical and mental health. I need to start some strength training again.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    59 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    59 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    59 days ago
    The pandemic has been harder on everyone than we ever expected and, even in "good" times, the world could us a little more kindness.

    59 days ago
    59 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    Just like most of my life, I have see-sawed. Put on 10 then attacked it and lost 15 and so on. I have ended up 15 lbs lighter but it hasn't been consistant. I will be glad to see this over. It has cause such pain and animosity. I am working on making new routines to get back to my healthy level.
    59 days ago
    Never went to a gym anyway, so did not miss it. Recumbent bike, rebounder walking and weights at home. Jack LaLanne chair exercises. Body shape is what it is. So far, still alive. One day at a time. Still not out and about, too many non vaccinated around here . Still no haircut, that bugs me the most.
    59 days ago
    Happy to say that my "COVID 15" was a loss NOT a gain - actually was a bit more than 15 pounds! I just kept doing what I was doing in terms of exercise and diet - actually tweaked the eating plan a bit to get me "unstuck" and losing pounds that I'd gained for a couple of years 'pre-COVID'. Being retired sure helped - no layoff, work, homeschooling stress to deal with, just the sadness of not being able to do some of the activities that I love - like singing with a choir at nursing homes - because everything got shut down.
    59 days ago
    I've been doing ok. LOT's of walking, too! The thing that works for me, is my Sheppard Pilates, DVD. For bring in my inches. I restarted it in March. Already brought in 2" in my hips. It IS a hard workout, so I do baby steps. THAT is how I am being kind to myself! emoticon
    59 days ago
    I hear ya sister!! Strength training got lost in the Pandemic. I didn't even do any core work! I also noticed my middle is getting mushy! I am headed out to Montana to visit my younger sister Julie for two months and she will whip me into strength training posthaste. Then when I get back I will rejoin the gym.

    Good luck with your plan. emoticon
    60 days ago
    Great blog! I also managed to enter perimenopause during the pandemic. Talk about a changing body. :|
    60 days ago
    I havent gained weight during the pandemic, but the body shape has changed. And I can tell you @ 4 ft. 10.5 in., there is no room for junk in the trunk. So, with you're having said you've shrunk in height, the answer is a definite YES, it makes a huge difference in how our weight looks on our body!

    Definitely this is the time to be kind to ourself as there's so much to deal with. But the other important thing is keep on practicing the healthy lifestyle habits!

    Thanks for sharing the blog adn the link.

    60 days ago
    I lost 20 lbs. At first I gained a couple then I had to participate in tele-health for 8 weeks because someone doesn't understand the technique. I didn't either the week before I did it the first time. Mainly I started logging food, being more mindful and drinking more water. I had to drink water because I refused to buy a case of diet soda. Like Thoms1. I deal with loose skin a couple of places.

    Not long before she died (at 97) my mother was bragging about only weighing 124. She was 137 on her wedding day and normally carried about 150-155. When I was a child, she was almost 5'4". At 97 she was closer to 4'11".
    60 days ago
    The biggest change during the pandemic was curb-side grocery pick-up. Walmart started this before it got crazy and was something I thought I would never use...wrong. We ate more fruits and vegetables when meat became so expensive. DH's sugar numbers are down and more stable. I've lost 4 lbs. (not a great loss, but I'll take it). We have some exercise equipment here. With almost 5 acres, we are able to get in some long walks. For us, it hasn't all been bad and for that I am eternally grateful to the Powers that be. Others were not so fortunate.

    Great post. Thank you! emoticon
    60 days ago
    Enjoyed reading your blog. emoticon
    60 days ago
    Since most of the shrinking we do is in our spine - those same pounds are being compressed into a smaller space - and I'm actually rethinking my happy weight as a result of 1.25 inches lost - before 2020. Sigh.

    Well, since maintenance has pretty much been the same hard work that weight loss was - very little has changed in my life - except - ugh - the spine shrinkage. So - I'll just keep on keepin' on.

    60 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I really have not gained weight. My middle section is such a problem for me. I work out at the gym and at home. The abs just are always my problem - I am 5'3", have given birth, am 66 and don't know how to get rid of this short of surgery. Thanks for a great blog.
    60 days ago
    Weight number is ok, waist number is too high. Getting more active every day and more days at the gym.
    60 days ago
    60 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11945874
    Guess I timed out' with reading 10 articles---But I get the gist from you. It was not easy at all w/ the pandemic and my DH laid off work END of February so it has been a very long haul! ... (I think we have done pretty well, but I do know it is harder on him. Also (for me) dealing with continued chronic pain issues----It is what it is. but is like similar to bills that pile up for some----It's a lot to carry. I know we are all in the same boat though, and making the most of it. Thanks for a very nice blog!
    60 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    60 days ago
    Wow what great insight. Will have to work on this thank you.
    60 days ago
  • TZAPP22
    I was rather lucky, my kickboxing gym did virtual classes right away and out door classes as well, then they reopened pretty early on so I have been doing my intense workouts. I also added yoga which has helped toning and muscle definition as well. I did fluctuate a bit with the weight periodically when there was nothing to do so I ate out of boredom, but overall I am in a really good place, as I also incorporated prayer, meditation and quiet time to help my peace of mind too.,

    60 days ago
    Kindness to ourselves and others is ALWAYS a good thing... but especially when we've collectively come through something "big", like... um... a pandemic! I'm patting myself on the back with each gentle step forward. Last weekend's kayak outing. Finally going maskless with the trainer (everybody vaccinated). Getting to a hardware store.

    None of this has anything to do with the shape of the body... but I'm celebrating being ABLE to do these things!

    emoticon and emoticon for bringing up this important need!

    60 days ago
    Also agree whole-heartedly with that last paragraph. Granting oneself and others grace is in order and will serve all of us well.
    60 days ago
    Dealt with a lot this past year -- pandemic plus retirement plus sale of business plus sale of house plus purchase of house plus move half way across the country: happy to try on a golf skirt yesterday and found it still fits!

    Kindness, compassion, gratitude for my body in not letting me down. I took the best care of it I could -- and I am getting old and don't look like a 20 year old anymore!!
    60 days ago
    I must be in the minority, I've not gained.
    60 days ago
    I didn't gain any weight because when I stress I don't eat. And I felt stressed by all that was happening and not know exactly what was what. I still feel sluggish and felt like life was passing me by as I just SAT and SAT all last year!!! I couldn't go out and walk as usual and I couldn't go to my gym every day either. I feel like we all lost a year. I think it is true that even those of us who did not gain weight still lost some of the toning from just sitting around.
    Hopefully we will all get back to our happy routines and get on with life. AS you say - it is what it is.
    60 days ago
    Alot of how we feel is our attitude. Mine needs constant reminding that I am working hard to stay/be healthy and that should count for something! Not perfection but the effort is there. I actually lost during covid but I find myself thinking but not enough! We should be happy that we survived the pandemic! Lots didn't and I pray for those families.
    60 days ago
    Yup, that middle problem showed uo, more than 5 pounds worth! Thanks for the honesty. I am on a 19 weeks quest to lose 20 pounds, Just in time for Ironman Hawaii. Not me, my son!
    60 days ago
    yep i gained 15 but it is so sow coming off but i continue to walk daily eat healthy and I am happy with me Hugs
    60 days ago
    Keep doing what you are doing Martha. We can't expect our bodies to remain svelte as we age unless we prescribe to ridiculous amounts of weight training and/or plastic surgery. Remain active doing those activities that you enjoy, eat good food but not too much and remember to laugh...a lot! emoticon
    60 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Believe me I know what you mean. I may have lost 10-15 lbs during the pandemic mostly due to walking and mindful eating but not going to the gym and doing strength did not do my body good.. Flabby arms, flabby stomach and goodness knows what. I am going back to the gym in a couple of weeks to work on these things. Good blog! emoticon
    61 days ago
    I had already read that article this morning, but after I saw your blog, I went back to it again AND checked out the articles linked to it. All great!

    We came back to the USA from a month in South America on March 1, 2020.
    China had locked down on January 23rd so I knew things would change for us too.
    I was carrying 4 extra vacation pounds. I NEVER deprive myself when traveling. The pounds always disappeared. This time NO, they didn't at least not until I returned to Spark in September.

    All that said, I know exactly what you mean. My weight is OK but my shape is different.
    Partly since I wasn't wearing a bra (described in a recent blog) but also because even though I kept as active as possible, the intensity wasn't there. For me at least, intensity matters.

    Still, considering the suffering nearly 600,000 American families have endured, I will thank my pandemic body for getting me through this, along with those who took the recommended precautions to keep me safe.

    Your blog made me really think this morning.
    Thank you!
    61 days ago
    Yep, I gained some pandemic pounds and have taken them off, but that middle of mine ...bigger than before. I'm with you; going to do my healthy walk and love my life. 👌
    61 days ago
    I really enjoyed Sanjay Gupta's podcast this week. The episode was titled, The Body that Got Me Through. It was so encouraging. I highly recommend it - just about 25 minutes.
    61 days ago
    Agree. A little self-kindness and compassion is in order. Focusing on taking care of ourselves, not beating ourselves up.
    61 days ago
    Trying to be kind to myself! Great read and thank you for sharing!
    61 days ago
    I’ve gained 10 lbs!
    61 days ago
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