Quarantine Chronicles: Comparison

I’m sure you, like myself, have seen your “screen time” exponentially increase in the past few weeks. Now, more than ever, we’re desperate to connect–I watch more people’s Instagram stories everyday than I do Netflix. I think it’s equal parts curiosity and boredom that have lead me to this almost voyeuristic lifestyle, but like not in a creepy way.

You know what else has gone up exponentially for me? My insecurities. And it’s not like before where we could all be jealous of each other’s vacation spots and nights out on the town. Now, it’s much more personal. We’re being “invited” into each other’s homes in a much more intimate way. We’re opening up our partners and families even more so than we did before to our social medias. It’s not just the highlight reel of the fun stuff, now it’s everyday life.

And yes, I know those things are still heavily edited, but my brain isn’t always the most reliable at translating that to me. You see, in the past 7 months–interesting how it correlates to how long I’ve been dating my partner–I’ve gained 30lbs. Call it love weight or poor diet or shitty side-effects of medication I was on; whatever it is, it has torpedoed my confidence.

Before you say it, yes I know I don’t “look fat”. I don’t necessarily feel it either. But what I do feel is the fact that I can’t fit into any of my jeans or shorts anymore. The fact that my face is rounder and less defined, and that no matter how I sit the rolls of my tummy are plainly in sight.

I’ve found myself obsessively scrolling through the Instagrams and TikToks of influencers who have “perfect bodies” and skin and hair and everything in between. Also, can someone please refer me to the God that made Madison Beer??

All jokes aside though, the past few weeks have been very hard on my confidence. There’s a seemingly endless supply of girls and women to compare myself to. It gets overwhelming sometimes.

What’s really funny, but also not, is that in the midst of all this comparison and feeling like shit, I keep having this realization that I actually finally look like what I always thought I looked like when I was 30 lbs lighter. I’ve struggled with body dysmorphia for as long as I can remember–it’s like my eyes have this weird mechanism that adds 20 lbs to my body anytime I look at it or see it in pictures. But now that weight is actually there. My belly is actually full of rolls and my thighs really could suffocate a grown man (sorry mom).

There’s almost this weird peace that comes over me sometimes because my body finally matches up to that stupid mechanism in my mind. I don’t have to feel like I’m adding 20 lbs cause I actually already did that.

Everyone has their own struggles and things they wish they could change, and I’m sure a lot of you are probably dealing with the same increased anxiety as me. Even though it seems impossible right now, unplugging for a little while is genuinely one of the best things you could do for your mental health. Trust me. Just break the cycle of comparison and anxiety and fear and self-loathing right off at the source.

As for me, I’ve shifted my focus to feeling stronger and being proud of my body for what it can do instead of some goal weight. So instead of feeling like a failure if I don’t exercise one day, I just miss it. And if I eat that doughnut or slice of pizza, it’s not the end of the world–cause that’s already happening, lol.

Be kind to yourself and your body.

xoxo,

Ali

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