I didn't really realize it for years, but I've understood it now: The reason why we're so afraid of gaining weight is simply feeling unworthy if we do so, and lacking confidence.
We think that some weight gain is the worst thing that could ever happen to us. 54% of women would rather get hit by a truck than be seen as fat.
That's because we're insecure, lack confidence, and don't realize how much potential we really have.
Here's something really cool to think about also… I LOVE this message.
4 Things to Understand About Gaining Weight
Here are four things that I'd like you to think about, if even some weight gain is completely terrifying for you.
1. Sometimes weight gain is necessary.
What I like to tell to girls who I'm helping with hypothalamic amenorrhea (and the same is true for those who are going through anorexia recovery) is to make the following mindset shift: With every lbs/kg you gain, you're gaining HEALTH, not weight. Yes sure, you do gain weight, but this weight means that you're getting healthier. I want you to focus on HEALTH.
Because aren't you tired of having no energy, having low libido, feeling exhausted, being moody and irritable? Also being cold is really annoying, and losing your hair isn't fun either, right? If you could fix some of these things with a little bit of weight gain, isn't it worth it?
2. You are not becoming a less qualified person in your job just because you gained weight.
This one is true especially for those who are working in the fitness industry, because they're feeling like they're using their credibility as a trainer.
I have to say that I have had the same thought in my head: Do I fit this job anymore? Maybe not so much because of my weight gain (although a bit of that too) but mostly because I've lost so much strength. Can I still be a trainer if I can't bust out pull ups? If I'm unable to squat even 100 lbs because my back is screwed up?
But I know that my qualifications did not go anywhere just because I put on weight or injured my back.
3. Getting lean doesn't fix all (or any) of your issues.
Recently someone told me that she has come to a much better place regarding her body image, but once in a while, when things aren't going as well as they should in whatever area in her life, she tends to think that she needs to work out more.
We think that the more we work out, the better we prove ourselves, and somehow magically, the issues we had will disappear. This is our hope to control at least something, during the times when other things aren't going that well.
But does working out more (or dieting harder) change anything? No. We still have the problem that we were first facing, that had nothing to do with our body. We need to get to the root cause of our anxiety, because trying to fix it by running or lifting more is not going to change anything.
4. You don't become a better person when you get leaner, or worse when you gain weight.
You would probably never decide about someone's personality, kindness, smartness, etc just based on how lean she is. You would NEVER decide that she's a good person because she looks lean, and bad person if she has visible stomach fat. (or do you? You may want to seek help).
Why do you then thin that other people judge YOU and YOUR personality based on how you look? Give them a chance to see the real you, independent from your weight.
What would you do if you never had to worry about your weight?
All the fears that I mentioned come down to one thing: feeling unworthy. Don't they?
We fear that we're less respected when we gain weight. That we have nothing else to offer to the world besides our lean body. That's actually kind of sexist… I feel that by living our life with the main goal of losing more weight or getting super lean, we're actually supporting the idea that women are put into this world to be pretty. Right?
I want you to start thinking about few things:
Imagine living on a deserted island.
How much energy would you put into leaning out, if you didn't have to worry about others judging you? Cutting calories back even more, because you need to, no matter what, lose the weight? Would you worry about eating a banana, because that would screw up your low carb diet?
Let me tell you what I would do if there were no one else around me:
I would move to feel good, because that's what movement does to me. I would eat enough to feel good. I wouldn't under eat. I wouldn't over eat, because that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't weigh my food or myself. I would have no reason to think about my weight constantly, because I would be the only person and there would be no one around me.
Think, what a freedom! And that's honestly pretty much how I live anyway.
Can you see how much of our obsession with weight is caused by worrying what other people think? Which only comes from feeling unworthy. We want approval, love and respect and think that keeping our bodies lean is the way to achieve these things.
And of course, we want to feel good in our bodies, even without external pressure. That's why we would still want to move — because movement makes us healthy. That's why would still eat mostly whole foods — because they fill our bodies with energy so we can feel good. But we would not push ourselves to extremes if we didn't have this external pressure to look the way we think is approved by others.
Think, what would you do with your time and mental energy, if you stopped being so worried about your bodyweight?
This one is really important, because I feel like us women are wasting our potential. We could do SO freaking many important things in life if we only let ourselves.
We all have something to share with the world, things that would allow others to live a better life too. But we simply don't do it, because 1) we have no time because we choose to spend it on losing weight 2) we feel that we're unworthy, we have nothing to share, no one cares.
But no one can ever find out about you because you're busy being on diets!
Maybe you could start a blog. Maybe you can start raising money for whatever is important to you, so that others can get help. Maybe you've wanted to get out of this old job that you hate but you have no confidence in yourself and because you still think your weight must go first. Maybe you're unhappy in your relationship but still think that either you're not worth anyone better, or won't find anyone until you've lost weight.
We can do SO much better than this. Please don't let your weight obsession dictate your life. You gain some weight — so what? It does not change ANYTHING about you.
Get really, really confident by doing things that really matter, but also the things that you thought you're not capable of. You WILL make a difference in the world if you put some work into it. If you have your health, there are no things that you cannot do.
Are you recovered from hypothalamic amenorrhea and want to start training again? Do it safely, without losing your period again. Check out my online program, Simple Strength for Women.