Last updated on December 16th, 2021 at 11:06 AM
It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where weight wasn’t such a thing, but body image can still be a tricky issue for so many of us.
Especially right now perhaps, with the pandemic having left many of us with a bit of weight gain (absolutely normal, for those who need to hear it!) and Christmas and New Year approaching.
Undoing the damage of toxic ‘diet culture’ is going to take time and work, and we can’t necessarily just flip a switch when it comes to how we feel about our bodies.
What we can do though, is pay more attention to wise reminders to go easy on ourselves and channel a bit more self-kindness.
“I’ll be honest with you, during the pandemic, I have like most people made far too many visits to the biscuit tin – I know I have,” says ITV’s Lorraine Kelly, 62.
“And I’ve not been able to go to my exercise classes. Yes, I know we can do a workout online, but it’s not the same for me.”
She is keen to get back to her routine, she adds – because she enjoys it and it makes her feel good.
And if you’re feeling a bit rubbish about your fitness levels dropping or last year’s jeans not fitting right now, you are not alone. Could we do with just being nicer to ourselves about that sort of thing?
“Absolutely! Gosh yes, definitely!” says Kelly, who has one grown-up daughter, Rosie, 27. “It’s fine. I’ve gone up a dress size – big whoop! I’m not going to stress about it, and that’s alright, we just have to cut ourselves a little bit of slack.
“Of course you don’t want to go down an extreme road and end up needing the fire brigade to get you out of your bed! But it’s all about moderation, isn’t it? Feeling healthy, feeling fine, feeling good about yourself if you can.
“It’s been a really scary time, it really has. We are going to have a lot more people with mental health issues and we are going to need to be talking about that more, and make sure it’s matched with action so people can get support. But absolutely, we need to cut ourselves some slack.”
For Kelly, the focus during this challenging chapter has been “mental” rather than “physical wellbeing – although that, of course, is very important,” she adds.
“What has saved me, mentally and physically, is my dog [Angus], taking my dog out for a walk.
Honestly, I know that sounds so simple, but he’s a wee border terrier, and taking him for a walk every day, and being able to talk to him and tell him everything because he’s a great listener!
That’s been a brilliant thing to do. It gets you outside too. I don’t think we all appreciated before this how important it is to get outside. And that we need other people.”
She acknowledges she was “incredibly lucky” being able to continue going to work safely throughout the pandemic too. “I certainly needed that routine of going into work every day.
So I’m really grateful and very lucky I was able to do that,” says Kelly. “That and my wee Angus kept me well.”