Lighten UP! Vacation Eating Edition
Lighten UP! Is a recurring special series of the Running Life Podcast. This month we had intended to tackle complicated feelings around spring break, holiday candy and "vacation eating"; instead it felt more apt to discuss "vacation eating" in a different context as "extended Spring Breaks" in metropolitan areas have turned into Shelter-In-Place extensions as late as mid-June. Though many of us are holding hope that we can resume small group gatherings like family dinners book clubs or birthday parties, large gatherings may not happen until we have a vaccine or widespread serology testing.
Many of us have turned to distracti-baking and comfort food during this period, and our feelings about elastic waistbands and the consequences of weight gain are valid. Never fear, The Big Guns are HERE to tell us how to LIGHTEN UP! as our Spring Break turns the rest of the year into a big ol' slice of Minnie's special pie.
March 11, 2020 was a turning point in the United States, the day statewide efforts to flatten the COVD curve began in earnest. Up till that point, we had able to keep an eye on the news and hold on to hope that it wouldn’t affect us very much. Doing so was hardly naive, it’s self-care. It wasn’t yet time to panic, and efforts to flatten the curve, if effective, would prevent us from getting there.
Another thing that happened on March 11- the BAA announced the Boston Marathon, the oldest in the country, would be postponed for the first time since inception in 1897. Most of us grieved, then let go of, our Spring plans...or totally distracted ourselves with the immediate challenges of working via Shelter-In-Place orders while monitoring distance learning. “It’s just for a few weeks” we thought and told ourselves we’d do it come fall.
This coming Monday is the third Monday in April. Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, and Boston Marathon Day to the rest of the country. The economy is expected to open back up with the worst of the curve behind us by late May, but large group gatherings like sporting events, parades, concerts and races are unlikely to resume until we have a vaccine. We need to prepare ourselves for the very real possibility that Boston, or any other thing we’ve been planning for the fall, is unlikely to happen.
That’s a scary thought, I know. It feels unfair, like realizing you’re at mile 5 instead of mile 21 of the marathon you’ve been running. The headlines are still scary and depressing, and I for one am still actively avoiding the news for the sake of my mental health. How in the WORLD are we supposed to Lighten Up right now?
The same way we always do! By bringing in THE BIG GUNS!!!! All of whom, by the way, are wearing sweatpants AND NOTHING ELSE. Dalia Kinsey is The School Nutrition Dietitian, and Jummy Olawale is a Gottman Method Therapist. I’m Coach mK, Founder of The Fitness Protection Program. We hate Diet Culture ALMOST as much as we hate Hustle Culture and Productivity Culture, and we’re gonna tell you all about it, and give you persepctve in hopes we can all LIGHTEN UP! Just a little bit so we can preserve ourselves for the long haul and serve our best selves up when the people we love need us to do so.
HELLO LADIES! How are you doing?
Jummy, what concerns or themes are dominating your therapy sessions lately?
Dalia, is your district prepared to meet the dietary needs of vulnerable populations through the summer? What’s the current outlook?
Jummy- tell us what we need to do or consider in order to prepare for a much longer haul than we originally anticipated.
Dalia, many of us have been ‘vacation eating’, telling ourselves this would only be 6-8 weeks of disruption. Now that we realize it could be much longer, should our thinking shift?
Both of you- Weight gain is a real source of anxiety and stress for many people, especially since we are moving less on top of our disrupted schedules. Vapid or not, it’s on our minds and weighing heavily on our souls as ‘failure’ or something else we wil have to ‘fix’ later. What do we do?
Dalia Kinsey is The School Nutrition Dietitian utilizing a background in public health and school nutrition in preventative health care. Jummy Olawale is a Gottman Method Therapist; she helps couples rebuild healthy, shame-free relationships by re-framing difficult conversations.