My Clothes Don’t Fit: Normalizing Body Changes During A Pandemic

Monserrat in a dark turtleneck, looking straight at the camera

Monserratt: 

There is no question, life has changed during the pandemic. We have had to adjust to spending more time indoors and at home, commute less, reduce our in person social interactions, and  the resulting rise in our level of anxiety as we try to navigate this situation. 

To cope with this new lifestyle, some of us have adopted new eating habits, incorporated new foods, explored new flavors or maybe resourced to comfort eating as a means to temporarily escape from our reality. Whatever the reason, some of us have gained some weight.

Believe me, I’m right here with you! Some of my clothes don’t fit comfortably any more, so I’ve stopped wearing them. 

What should I do? Should I throw them away?

This feels like an unreal situation and a part of me hopes that things will go back to normal. I wonder what life is going to look like at the other side of the tunnel. Should I evolve with the situation, or should I keep resisting it? 

It would seem sometimes like my mind wants to go back to the past and keep the things the way they were before change happened. It sometimes feels like my mind just lags and drags the denial for as long as possible, while my body knows better, moves on, evolves and adjusts. 

It’s my choice, and it’s your choice too. 

The reality is, things are not going to go back to where they were before, so I’m deciding to make lemonade. 

I choose to believe my body is wise, to believe that my body, my health and my well being can adjust to this new life and reach a new balance. I believe that I am so much more than my body, I’m also my emotions, my spirit and my mind. So I will do my best to care and nurture these parts that make me up. I will accept and meet myself where I am at, because only that way I can move towards creating an environment in which I can feel at peace in my body and my life again. 

Whether it is a walk in the park, a breath of fresh air, a day away from my phone, singing my favourite song to the top of my lungs, a meditation session, an early sleep night, a sexual experience, a new pair of pants, a cookie, or a nutritious meal, I’m here for it. I’m deciding to cultivate an environment of wellbeing for myself, around myself and in whichever way and shape it looks like for me, and I invite you to do the same for yourself.

Chris in a sleeveless blue shirt and necklace looking at the camera

Chris:

As I’m writing this I’m wearing a me-made shirt that’s a few sizes too small. It rides up my stomach, is a little tight, and the shoulder seam is a suggestion at this point.

My body’s made more than a few changes this year. I’ve found comfort in endless rest whenever I can find it. Food’s also been comforting for me this year, eating from new places and trying new flavor combinations has given me something to look forward to. 

I think it’s important to remind ourselves that our bodies our trying to keep us alive during a global pandemic, and that looks differently for everyone. For me that’s been weight gain, wearing stretched out jeans, and small shirts, but I’m ok with that.

Which isn’t to say that I’m never hard on myself.

But, I think one of the best parts about sewing is that we get to make clothes that fit our individual bodies. The size I was when I first started sewing isn’t the same size as I was earlier this year before the pandemic. I was a lot kinder to my body then, and I need to remember that I need to be that kind to my body now. Even if I can’t go out, or enjoy the same things I used to do, I can at least do that.


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