We all now that weight gain might be hard to accept, whether you're you're recovering from overtraining or hypothalamic amenorrhea or gain weight for another reason. Here are some things that help you to deal with your weight gain better.
Especially when you're recovering from hypothalamic amenorrhea, weight gain is inevitable, at least in the beginning. You may or may not be able to lose some of the weight later. But you shouldn't be focusing on that. You need to focus on accepting your body, no matter how much weight it needs in order to feel safe, to be able to activate your hypothalamus again, and to start menstruating again.
In today's video, I'm talking about some things to keep in mind if you want to make your weight gain easier for yourself.
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If you'd rather read the post than watch the video, here's what we're talking about:
1. Know What the Weight Gain Is Good For
You need to gain weight if you really want to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea and get your period back. There's really no other way.
Just getting your period is not the point. The point is improving your health through that, because without period, you have, or will develop soon, other health issues. Without a regular period, you can't be healthy.
When I started my recovery, I was really tired and exhausted from… Feeling so freaking tired and exhausted! I also had serious insomnia.
My workouts weren't what they used to be. I had lost my motivation. Sometimes I couldn't finish my workout. In fact, I had stopped doing very high intensity interval workouts because I just couldn't complete them.
I knew that this kind of exhaustion couldn't be good for me and I had to do something about it. Deep inside I knew I was probably doing more exercise than I should, so taking a break was the way to go.
I had to take a break from working out, and I had to eat more. Sure enough, it meant gaining some weight but I accepted it. The way I was living my life was not healthy. If gaining weight was part of getting healthy, I had to do it.
2. Stop Body Checking
Once you start gaining weight, you start checking yourself in mirrors all the time. Wherever there's a big window, you check yourself. Every time you use a bathroom, you pull up your shirt to find some confirmation that you still have some visible abs. Or you do it to see how “bad” it has gone, meaning, how horrible your stomack looks.
This is not helpful. When you're recovering from overtraining, or gain weight for another reason, body checking is not going to make anything better. All it does is creating more disappointment and feeling like you're a failure.
You know that you're going to gain weight, so stop checking yourself in every mirror.
3. Give or Throw Away Clothes That Don't Fit
There's no point in keeping those clothes that used to fit you, but no longer do. They're a constant reminder of what you used to be like, so you keep living in the past if you still keep them. Instead, get clothes that actually fit you and you start feeling better immediately.
Some people keep those clothes as “motivation” clothes. They hope that once they recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea, their bodies settle and eventually they lose the weight again and fit into these clothes. Or if they don't have hypothalamic amenorrhea, they just hope that one day, their weight will be X or W or Z again so they can wear these clothes.
But this weight loss may or may not happen. Chances are that your hypothalamic amenorrhea weight was little too low for you, so you may not lose anything. Having those clothes in the house makes you feel like crap then.
We live in the world where weight gain is seen as a bad thing — although it isn't, at least not always. But this idea — smaller is better — is still sitting in the back of our minds. That way, there's no sense in keeping those clothes.
If you do end up losing weight later, you can always buy new stuff. For now, get rid of the clothes that no longer fit you.
4. Unfollow People On Social Media
Take a look at your social media feed and see who you are following. If you find pictures and videos of lean ripped abs, perfect butts and super muscular or skinny bodies (whatever your “ideal” bodies look like), you need to stop following these accounts.
It's totally not these people's fault who post these pictures. They can do what they want, but if you feel that they're making you feel bad about how you look like, it's time to clean up your feed.
Instead, find accounts that are about other things than getting super jacked by using this diet or doing that workout. Finding positive role models that aren't lean, skinny or jacked, has been extremely helpful for me personally!
5. Keep Your Eyes On the Prize
This last point is actually a bit similar to the first one. But your goal — why you're gaining weight — may be something even bigger.
Maybe you want to get babies? You can't get pregnant unless you're ovulating and menstruating, and to do that, you may have to put on weight, if you have hypothalamic amenorrhea. There's just no other way around that.
Maybe you want to make sure to have healthy bones in the future. Not having a period and losing bone density are closely related.
Maybe your prize is finding freedom from food and exercise prison that you've spent living in for the last five or ten years.
The way I think about my weight gain is this: My weight and body fat are the reasons why I'm finally sleeping and feeling more rested again.
Whenever I find myself little frustrated with my belly rolls or cellulite, I tell myself that this weight allows me to sleep better and it also allows me to eat what I want, because in addition to my physical health, I've found real food freedom on this whole journey.
Keep your “WHY” in mind to make the weight gain easier.
Stop body checking. When you're gaining weight, you know that you probably lose some muscle definition and put on fat, so why to check yourself all the time?
Take a critical look at what and who you're following on social media. Stop following accounts that don't serve you and make you feel great but do the opposite.
And finally, keep your goals in mind. What's your prize? Is it becoming a mom, is it finding food freedom, is it strengthening your bones so you can enjoy healthy, active and independent life as you age?
If you need more support with your HA recovery, my ebook, programs and FREE 20-minute coaching calls are available for you! I get back to every email, so let me know how I can help.