• emmanuellegammage

How did lockdown affect my relationship with my body?

Hello, oh my goodness - it's been forever?! I've always loved this blog but real life kind of got in the way. But I've been thinking, I should make time for the things that bring me joy, so I'm back with a topic that means the world to me - my body.

I've been exercising for years - some of it unhealthily. After my recovery from anorexia I turned to weightlifting at the gym. At first I loved it, it made me feel strong and capable (something I hadn't felt, ever).

But it soon turned into another way of 'managing' my body. I went from wanting to be as slim as possible, to wanting to be curvy. Health took a back seat in favour of my appearance.

I spent a lot of time trying to find a balance in the gym because I genuinely did enjoy going, but I couldn't deny that a part of me wanted to change my body - which isn't a far cry from an eating disorder, considering my history.

My body definitely did change. I grew a lot of muscle and toned up. I also felt healthy - I was nourishing my body with all the good stuff. But like I said, I couldn't shake the desire, or need, to live up to a body standard.

Then lockdown happened...

Going into lockdown I was nervous but in all honesty, I was relieved too. I was thankful that I didn't have the option to go, so I didn't feel guilty for not going. Because let's face it, fitting in a workout can be pretty damn hard sometimes.

I spent time doing home workouts at first but I found them boring and unchallenging. So I turned to yoga - something I've wanted to properly get into for a long time. First I completed a Yoga With Adrienne 30 day challenge and then I carried on practicing most evenings.

It gave me a rejuvenated love of movement, but it also helped me find peace. Yoga is about listening to your body and moving in tune with it. It's an act of self-love. It asks you to turn up exactly as you are. It helped me find strength in both my mind and body. It made me feel connected to the Earth and my body. It didn't feel like a punishment.

It taught me to focus on my body as a whole, rather than individual pieces that need fixing or toning or growing.

Lockdown made me realise that going to the gym wasn't a priority.

I most definitely lost muscle and lost weight, and that took some time to adjust to. But I knew I was treating my body with the love and respect it needed - with nourishing movement and food.

When the world regained some normality...

and gyms reopened, I was excited to move my body in different ways, but I was nervous that I would fall into old ways.

To be honest, I haven't had time to go to the gym. And lockdown made me realise that it's ok. I don't need to grow a booty to be pretty. Hell, who cares about pretty?

Yes, my body has changed a lot in the last year. But we're not supposed to stay the same.

I've found ways to move my body that I once would have deemed inferior. I walk a lot, I've even been on a few runs and actually enjoyed them! I still practice yoga and I've bought a skipping rope (what a throwback). When I have time for some heavy lifting I love it, but I don't hate myself when I can't get to the gym.

So while lockdown had it's downs, it also changed my mindset for the better. And I am so thankful for this time to heal.

Of course, it's an ongoing project! We face new challenges and we learn how to heal and combat them. Isn't that the wonderful gift of life - each day, each hour and each second brings growth.

I've missed you.



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