I'll admit it: As much as I tell myself that gaining weight is what my body needs right now, accepting the softer, less muscular body is not always easy.
This past weekend, my mind was occupied more than I would have wanted, by worrying on how much more weight do I need to gain to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea. I found myself looking at the mirror more than I should have, and not liking the thickened waistline I saw.
My BMI has reached 22.5 now, which should be pretty much ideal place for a woman, considering that the “healthy” body mass index is 19-25.
Even though the happy place and weight for each body is very different–there are women whose bodies operate the best possible way when their MBI-s are 25 or over–I still caught myself thinking about how much more do I need to gain, and how much more is my body going to change.
I don't weigh myself often, because I broke up with a scale years ago when I decided to start eating intuitively, but I do have access to one once a week. Since going “all in” in early December, I've stepped on it three times. The weight gain didn't happen quickly at first, but it is definitely moving up faster now.
But, I have decided that all these changes are not going to take away my confidence.
Because who I am on the inside, has nothing to do with my bodyweight. I'm still strong and I know where I'm headed–towards healing myself. And I want you to think the same way too.
Confidence is a decision. My very good friend, who is probably one the most confident person I've ever met in my life, once told me: You have to decide that you're confident. By keeping that in mind every time, no matter what you do or where you are in your life, you'll be unbreakable.
Just like the saying by Henry Ford goes: Whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right.
Whether you decide that you're confident or not, you're right. No matter the weight gain, other people's opinions, our own, maybe twisted perception on your body, none of those things won't affect your confidence if you don't let it.
Life Lessons from People Watching
This past weekend, we went to a lot of places with tons of people, so I ended up doing a lot of people watching. I like people-watching (anyone who doesn't?)
Just to clarify: I'm not a weirdo staring at people or even worse, judging anyone. Quite the opposite–the more different people around me, the more I understand and appreciate this variety, and the more I appreciate myself too.
There are so many different body types and sizes around us. And there are extremely confident people in each and every body type and size.
Most of those people's confidence doesn't rely on how they look, how much they weigh or how high their body fat percentage is. Because it shouldn't. Our bodies may change a lot during our lives, so if our confidence fluctuates every time our weight does, we're on a rollercoaster all the time.
Gaining weight is not going to take away our smartness, kindness and other values that we ourselves and people around us appreciate about us. If we keep that in mind, also our confidence will stay strong.
Book Your Flight to Freedom
Confident people are great role models. They are beautiful and strong, and looking at them makes me want to be more powerful and do more meaningful things in life too.
More important things like helping, teaching, inspiring those who need it. Be a role model too. Do more meaningful things than constantly lose more weight or eat less food.
In the past weekend, I came across this quote that changed everything for me:
“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Aahhh, how I love this quote! The moment I read it, something changed for me. And I keep that quote in mind every time when my confidence, pride and worth wants to fade.
People watching proves you that there's no correlation between dress size and confidence level, pride and worthiness. We see that many of those super confident people aren't picture beautiful, size 2 cover models. There's something else, not just the looks, that's so attractive about them. It's the way they talk, walk, what they say, who they are. It's the whole package, not the appearance.
Confidence is what we all should work on. That way we can find that freedom and make big, meaningful changes in our and other people's lives.
Lower Weight May Not Make You More Confidence
When I used to eat a very low-fat diet, was running 6 days a week and was my thinnest, I wasn't confident at all.
If my scale showed me that I weigh more than I “should have” (by my own irrational standards), my confidence level dropped immediately. But even if it showed me the weight I wanted to see, I was still constantly worried and insecure: What if I eat something “bad” today, and the number will go up tomorrow?
That was my value system – based on how much I weigh and how I look.
When I was running marathons, I did well until my goal was to actually run faster. Performance-oriented goals can really boost your confidence. But it all went downhill when I started collecting junk miles, with the only goal in mind to be skinny.
If you're a perfectionist like I was back then, you keep setting yourself smaller and smaller numbers to reach (lower weight, less food), the deeper into not happy, not confident zone you dig yourself.
Instead of being more, you end up being less confident, because you never stop chasing the next low number, and you're never satisfied.
If you're recovering from an eating disorder or hypothalamic amenorrhea, and you have to put on weight to restore your health faster, you may feel like every pound you gain robs a pound of confidence. Instead, try thinking that gaining weight means gaining pounds of happiness, health and confidence.
Our confidence should never depend on our appearance, but on what we can do. Weight gain won't rob our confidence if we don't let it.
Make the decision to be confident, no matter what. Throw the scale away, if you used it to constantly check in fear, whether you've gained anything. It won't help you on this journey.
Achieving your other, not appearance-looking goals goals, like restoring your health, getting stronger, not taking anything personally, are the ones that make us strong and confident people.
Edited: I am now recovered from hypothalamic amenorrhea. If you need help with your recovery, we can work together and I can help you. Don't put it off, do your best take your health back as soon as possible!