Biscuit-based anaesthesia

I’ve had three conversations today about weight gain during the RoRo lockdown.

That’s three more conversations than I’d want to have about weight gain, and two more than were helpful. Well, I say three conversations; I mean two conversations and a BBC article about weight gain. Plus Girl Housemate went on Slimming World last week and went on a 12km bike ride at the weekend, which is making me feel most uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing, right? I do NOT CARE if I have gained weight during lockdown.

There, I said it.

I’m not even sorry.

Getting through lockdown has been hard enough – stressful enough – frightening enough – without worrying about my weight as well.

I didn’t have access to a sheet cake in the first few days back in March, but if I had done, this would have been me:

Goodness only knows that the inadequate response by our inept government, the terror of not knowing whether there were enough PPE provisions for care homes, elderly people, the vulnerable, watching good people lose jobs or risk redundancy as the capitalist economy shut down, the heavy social burden of caring for children and vulnerable relatives falling on the shoulders of women already stressed by the pandemic…

Of course I pursued intoxication via biscuits.

Biscuit-based anaesthesia is great, because it’s like drugs, but not. This is because fats and sugars create a feeling in our brains like taking opioid drugs (like heroin!), which really takes the edge off the feeling of fucking panic that courses through your veins when anyone mentions dying alone as the result of some fucker not wearing a mask and coughing in your face.

Anyway, I forgive myself for eating all the biscuits I could buy during my early panic, because now I have calmed down. I mean, I’m no less anxious about us all dying from an invisible, uncontrollable plague, but I have reminded myself now about breathing techniques and careful mindfulness and talking about feelings with other people.

I am even encouraging myself to make healthy choices – like not eating an entire cream tea by myself when I ordered one from an incredible local business the other day, but instead, spacing out the delicious goods over the course of several days. (I didn’t make my share last as long as Boy Housemate, but he’s a freak and doesn’t like sugar. And he was forced to eat Girl Housemate’s share because she went on Slimming World two days before the tea arrived because she was worried about gaining weight during lockdown. I won’t lie, I ate her share of the crisps with absolute glee.)

Look, my point is, of course I’ve gained weight during lockdown. I’m sure I’ve gained lots of weight, and the sight of my face in the camera during my many, many video calls is starting to distress me, but I’m also not going to start punishing myself for coping.

What I am going to do, and what I am doing, is reminding myself every day that I deserve nice things AND healthy choices, that I can make good choices between chocolate and cucumber, that I can take the exercise I can manage on a regular basis, and that if I’m having a bad day full of existential terror, and I accidentally eat all the biscuits, I don’t start berating myself for that, but instead accept this and let it go, as part of my coping process.

And this all sounds very self-acceptance-y and caring and integrated and thoughtful and kind, but I did also send 2kg of sweets to my best friend so she’ll be as fat as I am when lockdown ends…I’m not that angelic.

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