Body building training and body image 2 years into the pandemic

At the very beginning of the pandemic, before there were mask mandates, I anxiously continued to workout at the gym up until we emigrated. I was in the best shape I had ever been, my body image was great, I was loving my modest but steady gains.

The gyms shut the week we landed; I reverted to some body weight exercises with the small amount of space available in a crammed house undergoing major renovations. I wasn’t enjoying it, in and of itself, but I gave myself kudos for doing something with what I had. I appreciated it more once I got my first job back in Canada; it became what I did during my precious breaks to disconnect from the emotionally gruelling efforts that it took to do that much emotional labour. Nonetheless, I loss my gains, and I wound up with a more neutral body image.

What little I was doing stopped following my first promotion due to a combination of factors (renovation progressions, schedule changes). My eating habits also took a nose dive. Still my body image held steady at neutral to good on most days, but there were more times than there had been in a while where that wasn’t the case.

It took a lot of patience, vetting of gyms, efforts to attain my 2nd jab, etc before I returned to free weight workouts at a gym. I was starting to regain lost strength and size, my body image was soaring… And the gyms are shut again.

Photo by João Santos on Unsplash – a person in a dark room about to emerge through a small brightly lit square above them.

It took more this time than previous ones to start regaining strength and size. I feel the steady aging of my body. I worry as things, slowly but surely, progress on the emerging family plans that once there’s a kid in the picture, rightfully being prioritised in my schedule, even getting back to where I was, much less build beyond that, will be less likely. Only time will tell of course. I will resume going to the gym in the meantime when I can and feel safe doing so. But I am sitting with the possibility that my current body shape is the peak it will be in relation to the remainder of my life. It’s not dreadful, I’m not being harsh against myself but it’s definitely short of what I aspired to before the pandemic.

In every life some rain must fall. In the grand scheme of things, parenting, remaining reasonably safe from COVID, etc is more important. My body does most things I care for it and need it to do (episodic illness notwithstanding.) I like it, I’m definitely glad to keep it, and continue taking care of it as best I can despite all the things making that a challenge.

Writing this is helping me find motivation to revisit at home exercise options. I have some equipment and I know of body weight based options. Let’s see if I manage better this go around of pandemic restrictions.

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