Affirming mantras about our bodies, body size, and food during a global pandemic. #CopingWithCOVID19

May 2020


These mantras are associated with a blog post on fat phobia and our changing bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are applicable other times, too. 

My body is one of the only things I will have with me throughout my entire life.

My body can be an important form of comfort during this pandemic (and other times). It can also protect me.

The way I feel in my body, present it to others, and have it responded to is important.

*My body is attractive and deserving of love and intimate partnership in whatever form feels good to me.

My body has value and meaning as it is, or what it is transitioning into, whichever is most helpful to me.

My body is deserving of nourishment and food that comforts me and tastes good.

It is natural and normal for bodies to change and evolve over time.

Food does not have moral value. The type and amount of food I eat has absolutely no correlation to my value as a person or the type of care my body should receive.

I will do my best to treat my body as I would the body of a little child: with gentleness, compassion, and softness.

It is okay if I have complex feelings about my body. This makes sense given what I might have been taught, my experiences in my body, and how others have responded to my body.

If I feed myself during this pandemic, that is enough. There is no one right way to eat during this time (or ever).

Whatever size clothes I need are okay and important. My clothes help me function in my body and are a form of comfort and protection.

No one has a right to make demeaning comments about my body.

No body is more or less valuable than another, even if others say this is so.

My body is deserving of protection and care.

There are people who affirm and love me and are interested in caring for my body, despite the actions or words of others.

Heavenly Mother wants me to feel safe and comfortable in my body. She affirms my body as it is, or what it is transitioning into, whichever is most helpful to me.

*There is disagreement among the body positivity and fat activism communities whether or not there is a role for attractiveness and beauty. We are multi-faceted human beings who clearly do not solely function to be attractive for ourselves or others. However, I believe there is a place for feeling attractive or beautiful for people that have been historically stigmatized, such as fat folks. I was not told I was attractive or beautiful in my family of origin, and it is part of my own therapeutic work to see my body as attractive on my own terms.

LMA is PhD-holding boss lady that teaches child development to university students. She cares deeply about issues that affect women+ inside and outside of our Church.


  1. I wish I could say all those things to myself and actually believe them. I have been at war with my body my whole life. I am so battle weary. My size has always dictated my self worth. I would like to have just one day where I didn”t cry either inwardly or outwardly about it. I have shamed myself so much that I find it difficult to find anything desirable about it. Even though I have been married almost 30 years I am still amazed that my husband finds me attractive and wants to be intimate with me. He could tell me every single day how much he desires me and I just cannot comprehend it. I had to starve myself to get down to and maintain a normal weight while we were dating and then married. I remember crying and apologizing to him on our wedding day saying I was sorry he had to marry a fat wife. He was dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe I could make such a statement! Here we are almost 30 years later and the fierce battle continues. Now my weight affects my health and my abilities physically. I have prayed and prayed for this war to end. I have tried so many battle plans. Everyone seems to have a strategic plan for me. None have ever worked long term. The next phase of the war rolls on. Why can’t I just be me?

    • Thank you so much for what you shared here. With all of the fat-phobic messages we have been taught about our bodies, it’s no wonder we have things to process and manage. I wrote in the piece linked at the top that the ideas that fatness causes poor physical health is rooted in fat phobia – I hope you were able to read it. In reality, these issues can stem from a number of reasons, including poor medical care doctors provide fat bodies and the fact that doctors are so awful, overweight or fat folk do not go to the doctor to avoid being shamed about it. You should just get to be you. You shouldn’t have to change your body. The systems that make us feel shame and embarrassment about our bodies are what need to be changed. The idea that everyone is able to do the same things with their bodies and has the same abilities is also rooted in ableism. Different bodies have different abilities, and that’s okay.

      So you hear someone else say it: Your body is a valuable and important body. You deserve to be loved and cared for and be intimate if that feels good to you. You deserve kindness and compassion. I hope so much for you you’re able to feel that. It’s okay if it’s a process. We’ve been given these messages and taught these things our whole lives – of course it’s very hard to let it go. Sending so much love and care and kindness, LMA

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