Weight gain is a touchy subject. No one ever really tries to gain weight, you know? It can happen for so many reasons, all of which are valid and sometimes hard to face. Gaining weight is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you are overweight and happy and healthy, do your thing! But, for me, gaining weight was really hard on my mental health.
I am trying to be as transparent as possible for those of you struggling with me, or those of you who don’t see the same girl from high school. I have always been broad, muscular, and very tall. at my normal weight before the weight gain, I danced 6 days a week, along with cheerleading, and had a good amount of muscle on my 5-foot-nine-inch frame. I felt ok about my body.
I went on the depo shot birth control as a freshman in college. It gave me cushing which made me gain 50 pounds in one year. I was working out every day at my college gym, counting every calorie, and still gaining weight. That led the way for me to get discouraged and I gained another 5. I really lost my way and my sense of self. I wasn’t me, I wasn’t in control and I cried all of the time. A year after my diagnosis and my hormones have gotten better after switching birth control but weight is still an uphill battle.
I post a lot on social media, you know what I look like, and I really try to put my best foot forward, but it isn’t fun, at all. I am here to share what I have been struggling with but also the good that has come out of it. If you are struggling with weight gain, I hope you take something from this and know you are not alone. You are still you, you are still beautiful, and if you want to make a change, you can.
Negative Effects of Weight Gain
1. I am not the same me.
When I realized how fast and how suddenly I was gaining weight, I couldn’t even look at myself. I didn’t want to post anything, I didn’t want anyone from high school to see me in public, and it was all I focused on. My personality disappeared and was replaced with self-loathing and anxiety. I felt like I didn’t deserve to go have fun or show people how I looked or be seen. It was really hard to come out of that.
2. My fashion sense disappeared.
When nothing started to fit anymore, I gave up. My arms covered in the signature purple stretch marks from Cushing’s syndrome made it impossible for me to wear a tank top. My stomach where I gained the most weight made me terrified to wear anything other than leggings. My face, which got rounder made me choose turtle necks constantly. I never wanted to dress up because my fashion sense did not match my new body.
3. Athletics were out of the question.
I always wanted to go back to dance. But, with my new weight, I could no longer move like I used to and I was too self-conscious to go to class. Being athletic was a part of me for so long that I could no longer enjoy.
The Positives of Weight Gain.
1. I met the new me.
Throughout all of this, I took the time to figure out who I am. I started this blog, I worked harder in school, I found my voice and my creative outlet. I used something negative in my appearance to find something good in who I am. You aren’t just how you look, you are so much more than that.
2. I worked harder than ever.
I started personal training to try to combat the weight gain. It’s a slow process but I have never felt stronger. Making the choice to choose my health made me feel so empowered. Knowing I take a few hours out my week just for me, to work on me, and better myself is very empowering. For the first time in a long time, I was doing something for myself.
3. I am more empathetic.
I was always insecure but I never felt like I do right now. I always discounted those who gained weight and how it affected them. It is one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through (which granted, I am lucky that is one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through) but I understand the effect it has on someone’s mental health so much more.
What I’ve Taken Away from This.
If you are going through this, I am so sorry. I hope you understand that you are not alone, and a lot of people resonate with you. You will get through this and you are much more than a number. That doesn’t discount how shitty it feels when your favorite jeans don’t fit or when you’re embarrassed to see a peer in public. You can change if you want to, move and work on your body. If you don’t, use your voice to make others feel more understood.
If you haven’t dealt with this or you make fun of those who have gained weight, you’re an asshole. Most of the time weight gain is not from being a slob. Mine was from medicine. Some women have hormone issues. Some people have poor mental health. Anything you say we haven’t already told ourselves. Be kind or say nothing. I hope you never have to go through this.
Sending all of you love. You are not alone.