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Let's Talk About Food in Quarantine

Health at Every Size
Photo by Bonnie Pacheco

If, like me, you have any history whatsoever of restricting foods, going on diets, or trying to change your body, I'd be willing to bet that this quarantine is bringing up some complicated feelings about food.

There's nothing like a crisis for altering your eating habits. Whether all this change kills your appetite, or drives you to the pantry for comfort, food is intimately connected with your coping. Your body is incredibly wise, she knows your circumstances are unstable, she knows your environment is threatening and stressful. Food is a tool for regulating the nervous system. It's a brilliant, healthy coping mechanism. Carrying a few extra pounds is an insurance plan against unpredictability.

There's a very good reason our bodies might want to hang on to extra weight right now. That reason is 100% in our best interests.

Meanwhile, it seems like we can't turn a corner on the internet without running into someone's joke about getting quarantine fat, or fear of getting quarantine fat, or plan for avoiding quarantine fat. Let's quit this nonsense about fat being an unacceptable thing to be. A larger body is not a moral failure. Sometimes, getting fat is our body's wise plan for keeping us healthy. When we worry out loud about gaining quarantine weight, we tell everyone in the fat community that we're terrified of being like them.

Allow yourself a little grace. Treat your body like the intelligent guide that it is, give it the honor of your trust. Ask "What does my body want to eat right now?" Not "What does some influencer tell me I should eat right now?" Your body has hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary experience under its belt. It's not out to get you, it's got your back. (Teeheehee pun intended). Allow yourself to experience the pleasure of food as a coping mechanism. Spare yourself the guilt.

Also maybe take a moment to examine why we're so collectively afraid of gaining weight. Even once we learn that our weight is independent of our health, that we can be healthy at any size, there's a mountain of social stigma to contend with. Will I be unattractive? Will people think less of me? Will I be afforded less priviledge? Get passed over for raises and jobs? Become invisible? Be unloveable?

Health at Every Size
Photo by Shoog McDaniel

The scary thing about being fat is not that there's anything wrong with your body, it's the cruelty of other people. We are the ones who create the social conditions that make life harder for fat people, who cause our own fear and disordered eating and captivity to the body ideal. We have the power to change that. To start seeing fat bodies as beautiful. To actively separate worth and virtue from body size. To stop disparaging our own bodies, to have fun and live the lives we want in the clothes we want, right now. As we create a world in which all bodies are accepted, loved, and sacred, we liberate us all, thin people included.

If you're ready for that world, but you're not sure how to get from here to there, I'm offering a six-week course called Intro To Attuned Eating: Healing Your Relationship With Food, Coming Home To Your Body. If you want to free yourself from the food rules, start trusting in your body's wisdom, and turning to it for guidance, please come join me.

If you're over feeling guilt, shame, and stress about your food choices, this is for you. If you want to be enveloped in a world of body liberation and loving encouragement for six weeks, this is for you!

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