Body Kindness During Pandemic

Photo by Roberto Hund on

Dear Soft Hearted Loves,

How can we have gentleness with our body changes during this global pandemic? Some of us lost our muscles or gained more flesh. Some of us lost touch with movement that was empowering and felt good to our bodies while others gained a more mindful relationship with food and ditched the punishing ups and downs of diet culture. For some, not being able to get beauty services the way they once did may even trigger gender dysphoria. There’s so much compassion to be had with whatever happened to your body during this traumatic time.

I believe we can have great compassion for bodies as we are in fact facing trauma with this pandemic. The adverse childhood experiences survey (ACES) was first created by a doc who noticed his patients were gaining weight after a weight loss surgery and it was correlated with trauma. I believe our relationship to food is deeply attached to childhood. We go to a bottle of powdered milk or a breast or other source for milk for nourishment, comfort and attachment. I believe we go back to food over and over for nutrients and so much more. And that’s okay. But when a trauma like this pandemic happens, it’s perfectly understandable that people will feel their eating or bodies are not where they want. We can have great compassion for the baby within who needed and needs nourishment plus so much more during scary times.

Furthermore, not accepting the trauma that came up through body changes during the pandemic may leak over into shame or negative thoughts of self. Radical, deep acceptance will allow us to move and eat with attunement more than shame will. Shame may get us on a diet or to temporarily obsess and control, getting further and further from any actual sustainability and acceptance. Plus would we love a child only when they fit xyz body image or once they lose the weight they gained over the pandemic? What about your child within? Can we send some compassion and acceptance to her right now? I love your inner child no matter what. This stuff is hard, let’s keep helping each other be as compassionate and accepting with our bodies as possible.

With kindness,

Dr. Joharchi

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