I don’t care if you exercised. If you got a personal trainer and toned up, trimmed down, fitted back into the clothes you wore before the pandemic hit. I don’t care that you got moving, went from couch to 5k, or beat your personal best. I don’t care that you want to be a “better version of yourself” by the summer and that you can’t wait for the gym to reopen because your bikini body is in sight.
I don’t care if you lost weight. If that exercise routine “paid off” or if you went on a diet. I don’t care for the details, the smoothie recipes, the before and after photos, the “I feel so much better now” posts on Facebook and the endless photos of colourful salads. And I really don’t care that you’re looking forward to the day when you can have one glass of wine again as a treat.
I also don’t care that your skin is glowing. That you tried every product recommended by influencers in order to get the “good skin” Instagram told you was vital, and that you believed you needed it because you’ve been stuck indoors for months staring at your own face. I don’t care that you’ve battled your wrinkles, pores, and spots to win the skin texture of your dreams.
I just. Don’t. Care.
But I do care that you’re happy. That you’re alive and smiling and full of hope for the future. I want to see you in person once all this ends and I don’t care what you look like. I want to see your happy face and I want to hug you so hard that we both laugh and maybe even cry. I want to sit with you, on the same sofa, and ask how you feel inside. Hear about the joy of new hobbies, all the things you’ve been doing, and your plans for the future. Reconnect with the version of you who survived this and came out the other end comfortable, and really fucking relieved.
The body you have has got you to this point. Move because moving feels good. Eat because eating feels good. Forget about what others say are “good” habits or “bad” habits and just do what feels right for you. We’ve come too far for all this bullshit to take hold once again.
My body will leave lockdown 3 (on the evidence so far) at about the same weight, BMI and body fat percentage as I went into lockdown 1.
But the toll is so much more than those numbers. I’m physically exhausted. I could run 20 miles before the pandemic without any worry, It was a fun thing to do as a longer run. I ran ultras and was reasonably competitive. Now, I’m struggling to hit my weekly targets at all. Worse, I’m tired and unhappy. I’m not sure what feels right anymore, what right even is. Hope feels a long way off even now.
I realise that’s not a great response to your call to positivity, and is a perversion of your intent. I know also I’m one of the lucky ones in lockdown with a stable well-paid job and no children or family that need attention or care. But still the toll.
Hopefully soon we can all share the hugs, the laughs the tears and the relief.
It is a great response because I want people to realise that focusing on how your body *looks* is even less important now. But I’m so sorry to hear that you’re suffering from exhaustion and are unhappy. I hope that spring will start to bring your energy levels back, and that the easing of lockdown measures helps you to get out and about in a way that starts to improve your mood. It’s been a long hard slog and we’re not there yet, sadly. Sending lots of hugs your way x