Like many folks, Chasten Buttigieg gained some weight during the pandemic, which left Americans eating more and moving less as venues closed and stressed levels soared.
In a Tuesday tweet, Buttigieg shared that he "felt awful" about his weight gain. But a friend's advice inspired him to change his mind-set.
"I gained twenty pounds during COVID and felt awful about it. Then a good friend told me 'maybe just dress the body you have and stop worrying about it,'" he wrote. "So I finally went and bought new pants. I'm very grateful for having such good friends... and also for these bigger pants."
"This past year has put us all through a heck of a lot," he added. "If you, like a lot of us, gained some weight while trying to survive a deadly global pandemic, consider me officially on your 'wgaf?' team." That acronym stands for, "Who gives a f*ck?"
Buttigieg's advice resonated with his followers, who had been struggling with the stress from extraordinary times themselves. "I was just talking about this! Thank you for sharing this wonderful advice from your friend," wrote Busy Phillips.
"I was told, 'this is the body that nourished you through one of the darkest times in modern world history. Love it,'" said Instagram user @rockmsockmmeg.
Others acknowledged the political realities that may have influenced a body change. "I gained 20 pounds, too, but I call them 'Trump pounds,'" wrote Twitter user @shiverinfront. "10 lbs from his family separation policy and 10 more when he was botching the COVID response and we were all sitting ducks."
"Sometimes I’m gracious and accepting, others I feel like I’ve been lazy. But at the end of the day, we’re surviving two global pandemics - Covid & hatred - and we’re doing the best we can," said Instagram's @beagledad81.
Chasten and his husband, Pete — the history-making gay presidential candidate and newly confirmed head of the Department of Transportation — have shared experiences from their life during lockdown as a gay couple. As grooming habits changed and salons closed, the pair posted photos of a bearded Pete with a shaved head. They even took the U.S. Census together to inspire others to do the same.
A study published earlier this year in JAMA Network Open said that Americans gained an average of about 2 pounds every month under shelter-in-place orders in 2020.