Weight gain isn't always a bad thing. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that in some cases, it can actually be a very healthy thing.
It's just that it's incredibly hard to accept. We're in the middle of the endless dieting madness where everyone is trying to lose weight so that gaining weight would equal to the worst nightmare.
Thinking that the thinnest person is the best person is very common in our culture right now, so we go as far as putting weight loss in front of everything else, even our health.
I have absolutely done that and maybe you have too.
Accordingly, weight gain is supposedly a bad thing, no matter what.
We gain a few lbs or kilos, and we get so stressed about it…
We're also so worried about what other people think…
We think that we're constantly being judged by others.
We think that we could control other people's opinions which would all be positive, if we only lost weight.
You know that it's not true. We can never control other people's opinions, no matter what we do or how we look like!
Weight Gain Is Not Always a Bad Thing
But in reality, weight gain might be a good thing. It can be a side effect that comes with recovering from overtraining or hypothalamic amenorrhea. It really is a small price to pay, if we think what we get in return — a healthy, functioning body and balanced mind.
If starting intuitive eating means that we go up a pant size, we should celebrate the fact that food is no longer controlling us, instead of getting depressed having to buy slightly larger pants.
Weight gain is actually much smaller problem than we think.
Your Weight Gain Is Often Not Even Noticeable
You may know that what other people think of your weight shouldn't matter to you, yet it does. And you keep thinking: What does X, W or Z say when they see me next time with all this weight that I've gained?
Know that you're creating yourself far more stress than you need to. Most people who gain weight recognize it when they put on clothes and notice that they have become a little more snug. They automatically assume that everyone else notices it too.
I just recently talked to a friend who said that she started eating a little more freely, stopped counting calories and started to trust her intuition a bit more. She was sleeping better and was less stressed about her food.
However, over the course of few weeks, her clothes had become tighter. She was worried if others will notice, it they will judge and if she should go back to her old habits of eating low fat foods and count calories to lose that weight again.
I couldn't tell that anything had changed about her body. She didn't appear bigger to me.
Think about it — is it really realistic that gaining an inch or two centimeters on your waist, will show? It absolutely doesn't. Most of the time, no one will even notice. They don't feel your pants getting tight!
People Don't Care About Your Weight
To be clear, I don't think that it's only okay to gain weight if it's just a little bit so that no one sees the difference. Not at all.
You need to get your body to the weight that is healthy for you and that is easily maintainable. Easily maintainable means that you don't have to be on diets and work out like it's jour job, to maintain that weight. The weight that is right or you is effortless to maintain. And remember that your natural weight and goal weight may not be the same thing.
But of course, there are people who do notice that you have gained weight. But that doesn't mean they have something to say about it or that they keep thinking about it non stop.
Maybe some people do. Maybe you have found yourself doing it. Have you? Someone has gained some weight and you're wondering: What's going on? I wonder if she's still eating “clean”? Is she exercising at all anymore?
Yes, you may have these thoughts crossing your mind. I used to sometimes, however rarely, think that way when I was very obsessed with my weight.
But throughout my own journey of hypothalamic amenorrhea and recovering from it, recovering from overtraining and gaining a lot of weight to make it all possible, I don't have these thoughts as much any more. In that sense, I am grateful for my long recovery that made me re-evaluate so many things in my life, including the importance of my own or someone else's bodyweight.
I don't spend time on thinking why someone gained weight. I don't think you do either. So there's no reason to assume that all the people who know you are constantly thinking about your weight gain. WE ourselves are our own worst critics, nobody else.
Sometimes People Do Notice And Get Curious
Yet it's not impossible that other people are wondering — like I said before, especially those who are obsessing over their own weight — why you gained weight.
I had this conversation with one of my group class clients who told me that some people in the class were wondering what's happening to me when I was gaining weight to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea.
No one ever asked directly me, and I don't know what I would have responded them back then if they had asked.
However, if it happened now, I would probably say that I needed to gain weight in order to recover from overtraining and hormonal imbalance. If they want to know more, I'm happy to share it because I feel that there's value in sharing our struggles. Doing so can help to educate and help others and bring these important things to people's attention.
Of course, you never have to explain changes or decisions that you have made regarding your body, to anyone else. It's your body, your health. You are the only one who has the right to decide what you do with it, and it should never be anyone else's business.
We make a bigger deal out of our weight gain than it's really worth. We think that everyone is going to notice every single gram we gain, so we need to get back to our old habits like counting calories, avoiding carbs or whatever it is that we think will help us lose weight again. We believe that we must do it although we remember well how detrimental and time consuming it was.
If that happens, think, what your core values are. Do you want to be a slave of your rigid diet and No pain, no gain training mentality again? Or are you okay with some weight gain so you can live freely, move your body the way that feels good, and keep your weight balanced effortlessly?
If you put on weight to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea and want to throw in the towel because you gain weight, think, are you ready to put your health back in danger? Or would you rather live in a body that is full of health, just a little bit heavier?
These are some things to think about. Once you've lived in your “new” body for a while, and you've done the mindset work to create better relationship with it, I hope you stop thinking about your weight so much.
Do you have hypothalamic amenorrhea? Learn how to eat to recover from it.
You can also apply for 1:1 coaching with me!