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  • Damaris Chanza

Let's Talk About Weight

Updated: May 27, 2022

It's no secret that January is when gym membership purchases increase. With New Year resolutions on everyone's mind, so is weight. More specifically, losing weight.

I am not fat by any definition, but I am the heaviest I have ever been. I'm also the happiest I have ever been. I'm only 4'11 and pre-pandemic; I was 117lbs. Just last week, I weighed in at 142lbs. This may not be a big jump and may not mean a lot, but it did to me mainly because my clothes didn't fit.

Since I had never gained a significant amount of weight before, I have never had to buy a ton of new clothes all at once. As someone who doesn't like wearing athleisure, not having my jeans or dresses fit was heartbreaking. I even had the dreaded experience of putting on a pair of pants, taking a breath then instantly having the zipper pop. It didn't feel very good.

Now, I know my experiences may be different from others because I am still healthy and otherwise don't have issues with weight. However, I know that pandemic weight is something that most of us are dealing with. Being quarantined for so long kept us all more sedentary than we might've usually been.

So let's take a moment to talk about weight loss. Countless articles list different ways to lose weight, count calories, and modify your diet. They're hard to ignore, but I try to avoid these types of articles entirely. But, with the idea of weight in your mind, it can be easy to get sucked in.

I would like to remind everyone to take their own life into perspective before buying that gym membership or changing their habits entirely. After all, February is when new gym members are not as committed anymore. Resolutions are no longer immediately on people's minds, and we forget our gym membership even existed until our bank statement arrived.

So before the infectious weight frenzy starts, I'd like to give my two cents on the subject.

Unless your weight affects your health or ability to do the things you love, it means nothing. Yes, a weight change can be jarring, but think about why you gained that weight. Remember to factor in that we're two years into a global pandemic where quarantining is encouraged.

Has your relationship with food changed? Mine did. I used to eat one small meal a day then snacks for the rest of the day. It wasn't even a weight thing; I was just the type who would forget to eat or only eat when I felt I was starving. Now, I have alarms on my phone that remind me to eat when I'm busy, and I'm better at acknowledging the signs of hunger my body provides. I've also made a more conscious effort to include veggies I don't like in more of my meals. Admittedly, I try to disguise the flavor, but it's a start.

Then there's your level of movement. How are exercise and activity already integrated into your life? I work from home, so I sit at a desk for hours at a time. I also live in an attic, so I constantly go up and down the stairs. I have pets that I walk and play with around the house. I, unfortunately, sprained my ankle and could barely walk for a month. My couple of months in physical therapy also gave me exercises that I still do to heal. Now that it's cold, staying active, even if only yoga stretches, helps keep me warm.

My point is you have to evaluate your life and think about the best things for you without thinking of societal standards of skinny or fat. There is some adjustment that comes with weight gain or loss. For me, it was spending more money than I had ever spent on new clothes all at once. But, my relationship with food improved. I found ways that help my body feel better. It took some time, and it'll probably take some more time to get completely comfortable with my new body, but I can say that I am happy with it. I still feel beautiful and healthy, and happy without feeling the need to make many changes. You might feel the same or not. It's up to you to decide on your own.

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