Moving forward – what do you want to take with you

Moving forward – what do you want to take with you

Most of us are spending more time at home with physical distancing measures in place. You may have also noticed the way you’ve been eating or moving your body is different from your usual routines.

Now that the restrictions are gradually lifting, you may choose to reflect on the past few months and ask yourself:

  • What worked well for you and your family?
  • What didn’t work so much?
  • What’s the best way to move forward into yet another version of this ‘new normal’?

What health means is different for everyone

When we see social media posts telling us how to be active and how to eat, it doesn’t mean that that is going to work for us. There are no “good” or “bad” ways to be active or eat currently (or ever).

Your physical activity may have been different

Let’s consider how you have been moving your body:

  • You may have been less physically active than usual, but you felt more relaxed and spent more time with your family.
  • You may have been more physically active than usual, using this to get out of the house and have some time to yourself.
  • You may have discovered online exercise/yoga videos and found they really worked for you or didn’t work for you at all.

The way you have eaten may have been different

  • You may be eating more or less than usual. We know stress and changes to day to day routine effects what and how we eat. However, that you have noticed this means you may be more in touch with your appetite signs than you think. Being more aware of your natural appetite can help you listen in better to what your body is telling you. This can help you be a better role model for your children. Read more about being a positive role model around food and eating
  • You may have had more time to cook and this may mean you are able to become more interested in food and cooking to help nourish yourself better. You may have enjoyed cooking with your family.
  • You may have been feeling comforted by food and eating. This is a very natural way for our bodies to feel safe. This may lessen if things start to feel more “normal” and safe to you. However, if you continue to feel anxious it is important to seek help.

Key messages

We know there has been a huge variation of lifestyles during this recent time. No matter how you’ve spent the time, or what you’re doing now, know that your worth as a person (and as a parent) is not linked to your behaviours.

  • Allow yourself to eat. Trying to restrict food intake can actually can lead to eating more than you are hungry for. This isn’t a message we hear often as part of our culture, but try to tune into your body’s hunger and fullness cues where you can and allow yourself to nourish your body. Read more about intuitive eating and body trust
  • Drop the guilt. Guilt and shame doesn’t serve anyone. Reflect on it, learn from it, get help if you need it and move forward in the direction you want to go. Please do not talk about your weight or eating habits in front of your child (even in a ‘positive’ way), as it can have a long-term negative influence.
  • Find structure in this ‘new normal.’ Having regular meals and snacks and family meals are still important in finding structure in this new version of our lives, no matter what it looks like for you.
  • Take what you liked from the last few months and leave what you didn’t. When reflecting on this recent time as a community, there are things you will want to continue with moving forward, and others you’ll be happy to leave behind. Whatever you do, try to be kind to yourself.

Ask for help

Get help if you need it. If this time has raised any issues for you related to disordered eating (e.g. restriction, binging, over-exercising), there is help available. Speak to your GP or through the Butterfly Foundation