For the past nine months, the joke of gaining the quarantine-15 has circulated the media.
“We are seeing a lot of these images or jokes about weight gain,” said Emily Caire, LSU registered dietition. “Then there is this added pressure of not gaining weight. While engaging in exercise and a healthy way is a great thing to do if you are motivated during a quarantine. But some people weren't feeling that level of motivation.”
Having extra time in solitude allowed people to become inactive, causing a series of effects on people's body image.
“COVID has affected our weight in many different ways," said Melissa Mapson, Fitness and wellness coordinator. "Some people have lost weight, gained a significant amount of weight, or just look very different from what they are typically used to.”
With limited access to gym facilities and proper food, quarantine allowed more time for visual stimulation from social media and self-awareness.
“If you are at home constantly and you have mirrors around you all the time, and you are constantly looking at yourself," Mapson said. "And you are not active, and you can feel your body changing.”
Having to form new routines and finding the motivation to do everyday things can heavily impact your mental and physical health.
“One of the primary impacts of COVID-19 on body image is that disruption of what we would typically do," said Crystal Loup, Health coordinator.
"So whether that would be a fitness routine that you are used to doing, meal prepping and mealtimes, planning those meals accordingly, our sleep schedules," Loup continued. "All of those things were uprooted and shaken up.”
Tune into the body talk discussion series hosted on ImLeagues to learn more about body image issues and how to overcome them.