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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

It’s hard not to have negative feelings about my body right now. I’ve been sitting 8 hours a day, not getting as much exercise, walking around kind of hunched over because I hurt my back and generally not fitting into my clothes as well (god I hate jeans and bras). Honestly, I just kinda feel yucky. The worst part of that feeling is the anticipation that it will get worse with the inevitability of round 2 of COVID-19 hibernation at home.

Does anyone else feel as discouraged as me?!

Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash

Here’s the thing, I LOVE the fall. Like all of the other basic bitches, I LOVE PSL and apple picking and the pumpkin patch and haunted hayrides and Halloween and alllll. the. things. But this year, it just seems like the joy has been sucked out of it. Stupid pandemic. I’m really just upset for the kids who can’t trick-or-treat – I’m selfless like that (ha!). I’m not sure how this impacts my perception of or feelings towards my body, but I’m sure there’s a link!

I keep trying to amp myself up with some coping mechanisms:

  • “Do yoga!” I tell myself, “tune into what your body is telling you!” True, but it seems like scheduling it into my workday is an insurmountable task and heading over to the community centre where I normally do yoga is a total mixed bag of emotions.

  • “Go for a swim!” – uh-huh…just as soon as I’m allowed back in the water from my freshly micro-bladed eyebrows. #priorities, amIright?

  • “Eat all the Halloween candy!” – oh ok, that sounds right*.

I think I’m ready to try something new in terms of how I relate to my body: stop giving a fuck about what others think of it. I’ve long been aware of the fact that I place too much stock in strangers’ opinions (which I can’t even confirm because they are strangers – nor would I want to confirm even if they weren’t strangers), but for some reason, I find myself constantly projecting what I think they think. I know I’m not alone in this, but it’s just such a weird thing. I read a really interesting blog post on Wait But Why (super brilliant and relatable blog) and I’ve thought a lot about when and why I project, but I still haven’t managed to kick the habit entirely. It’s frustrating!

Do you know what helps though? Having someone in your life who literally gives zero fucks. I’ve recently met such a person (you know who you are) and I have to say, I’m constantly in awe of how they speak their mind and march to the beat of their own drum. Sometimes conforming to the rules makes sense (unidirectional entrances and exits makes sense at Metro during a pandemic!), but there are lots of times when the "rules" are actually cleverly disguised, rather archaic social conventions that are cumbersome and serve no purpose other than to make you yield to the preferences of others (or at least not prioritize your own).

So new goal for the next few months: cultivate self-acceptance through self-compassion and moving away from assuming I know what everyone is thinking. Maybe I can even enjoy a PSL while doing it!


Emotional eating gets a really bad rap but here’s the thing, eating is an inherently emotional activity. Think about sharing a Thanksgiving meal with your family or a hot bowl of soup when you’re not feeling well. Think about the joy and excitement of unpacking your trick-or-treating haul when you were a kid or how that morning coffee signals it’s time to wake up and get started. None of these are “bad” (if we’re assigning moral value to food, which we’re not).

I think emotional eating gets a bad reputation when we talk about it as a coping mechanism…eating all the ice cream after a breakup or feeling out of control for craving sugar while dieting. To that I would say 1) it’s ok for food to be a comfort, but maybe it shouldn’t be our only coping mechanism during hard times and 2) our bodies are smart and don’t like calorie restriction – craving sugar is a very normal (and inescapable) bio-physiological response to the perceived threat of not getting enough food. I don’t think those cravings mean we're out of control, I just think our bodies are trying to tell us something.


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