Why do we do that? We gain weight and all of a sudden we hate ourselves, our bodies, our place in this world. We slouch down, cover our bodies, turn our heads and cry. Why? Because it feels awful and we’re embarrassed. And that’s the part that’s bugging me.
It’s not the uncomfortable part of gaining weight that’s bugging me. OF COURSE we feel uncomfortable! We know what it’s like to feel good, to be healthy, to fit into clothes. We know how it feels when someone says “HOLY S**T…you look fabulous!”. I mean, that just feels nice. We stand a little taller, walk a little proud. We’re simply more confident.
And no, I’m not talking about being or getting “skinny”. I detest that word, as many do (stay tuned for a new campaign in January). But, it just feeeeels good to be healthy. Clothes fit. Skin glows. Energy is high. We sleep better. We’re lighter…physically, mentally, emotionally. All because we’re healthy.
And being the opposite of that…well…it feeeeels bad. I get it. Trust me, I do. You eat terrible food and feed your body poorly. You don’t move your body like you should. Your jeans and shirts are too tight so you live in leggings and tunics. You avoid seeing people you haven’t seen for awhile because you know when you leave they’re going to say “holy smokes, she’s really gained weight”.
Trust me. I know. I’m 10lbs heavier right now than I like to be. And while my gain has a lot to do with medical issues I’m having, nobody wants to hear about that and I certainly don’t want to get into it. So, I shirk back, hate getting my picture taken and shame myself to my good friends and my mind all day long.
Well…I used to. But, over the past few weeks I’ve had so many women confide in me about their embarrassment over gaining weight. They ask how I don’t berate myself over the weight gain that I’m so open about and how do I push through? The answer: well, I do. I do berate myself. I talk down to myself. I pinch my belly fat, shudder and call myself “Fattie”.
But I’m done with that crap. I realize I push through and get back to healthy for one simple reason: I love being healthy. The thing about gaining weight is that it puts you in a place to reflect on how good being healthy feels, particularly coming from a time when you’re really not feeling healthy at all. I’m using my knowledge of what it’s like to feel healthy and fit to motivate me. I’m letting it be the driving force to help me get back to feeling amazing. You can do it too.
Weight gain can be a major trigger for a slide into depression…so…this is when you need to start reflecting on what it feels like to be healthy. I’m serious. Do this exercise right now:
- Take out a pen and paper.
- Think about how you feel right now.
- Write 10 sentences about how you feel about your health and your body right now; the more raw and real you can get here, the better. Don’t soften it. Be tough and be honest with yourself. I know you have a “weight-gain-berating-reel-of-crap” you say to yourself. Write down the words you say to yourself in the anger and quietness of your mind. Write the words you would be appalled to say out loud if someone else was listening. Pen to paper, write those words down. Every single ugly word.
- Read those 10 sentences once, all together.
- Have a little cry, it’s okay. This is hard. Now…get mad.
- Cross those sentences out and promise yourself for the next 4 weeks you’re not going to say those sentences again.
- Now, reflect back on a time when you felt healthy & strong.
- If you don’t have a time in your life when you’ve felt healthy & strong, visualize what you think it’ll feel like.
- Write down 10 sentences about how you feel when you feel healthy and strong. Strong words. Powerful words. Motivating words. Words of love and confidence. Find those words and write them all down.
- Read them. Read them at least three times. Highlight them. Star them. Put hearts around them. Love yourself.
- Put them somewhere you can read them (at your bedside table, on your fridge, in your workout bag, wherever).
- Now…get to work.
Sure, you can dwell on your weight gain. You can crucify yourself and berate yourself until the cows come home (that’s a long time, cows are lazy). You can make yourself feel like the worst person in the history of people (I highly recommend you don’t do this). You can trudge through your own misery and self-dislike (I won’t use the word hatred, but I know some of you are there), or…
OR…you can get to work. You can come at it from a place of acceptance and love. Come at it from a place of getting you back to feeling healthy and strong. Gaining weight…it happens to the majority of us. Sometimes it’s medical and sometimes it’s laziness. Sometimes it’s just about lettin’ the good times roll. Sometimes it’s the fact that life has gotten in the way and you’ve forgotten how important you are. I won’t accept that it’s a lack of time. I draw a very thick, bold line there.
Turn your weight gain into a positive. It’s tough, but you can. Reflect on how you feel right now and move forward. Remember the power you used to have when you were fit and healthy. Remember the confidence. Remember the pride. That’s how it feels to be healthy and strong.
Gaining weight happens. Oh yes it does, but how you come out of it and get back to healthy is up to you. I highly recommend proper nutrition and exercise. No shakes, diets, pills, wraps, no magic. Just you, your list, determination and confidence. Stop berating yourself and start remembering how you can feel. You can do it. It’s time to get back to healthy. It’s time to get back to pride. It’s time to get back to confidence.
I’ve got you. If you need me, I’m here. Trust in that. 100%. I’m here.