I’ve wanted to share this for a while. A few months ago the #GainingWeightIsCool movement was going on across social media. It was largely in effort to help people (mostly women) find self-love on the other side of various circumstances or as a way to show that positive body change doesn’t always come in the form of weight loss.
Here is my story.
A little over two years ago, I reached the lowest weight of my adult life at 116 pounds. In a very short period of time I’d experienced the following:
- Moved out of the home I shared with my ex-husband (who remains the most incredible person I’ve ever known)
- Moved to a different city where I knew no one
- I was a few years into owning a busy fitness business
- I started a full-time job that required a ton of travel
- My back injury (that I wrote about here) was at it’s very worst and nearly debilitated me
- I found myself living alone for the first time in my entire life
There was so much going on keeping me busy that I didn’t really have time to process the emotion that revolved around all of it. It was a whirlwind, and looking back on it now, I’m not sure how I got through those days as smoothly as I did.
Where the pain showed up for me was through food. I know and have worked with so many emotional eaters – those who turn to food and often binge to cope with their emotions. I am the opposite of this. When I am upset I can’t eat. I ended up at 116 pounds because during those months, I lived on protein bars, coffee, and a meal every other day or so. It was all I could manage. I carry a lot of muscle, and I can only imagine how low the scale would have gotten if I didn’t.
I got a lot of compliments through those months. People told me how amazing I looked and asked what I was doing. There were VERY few people in my life who knew what I was going through, so I’d thank them for the compliment and say something about training or nutrition.
But the truth is, the leanness of my body was a reflection of the sadness in my heart.
The sadness of losing the life I knew, my uncertainty about the future, and the challenge of learning who I was as a 30-something year old adult for the first time. It was such a painful time that it brings tears to my eyes as I type this now despite the fact that I’m happy. I felt like a failure in so many ways at the time even though I was far from it.
Today I fluctuate between 125-130 pounds (I think). That’s based on feel, as I don’t own a scale and occasionally check in when I go to the doctor.
The correlation between weight and happiness for me is very real. And so I think this is a great example of why gaining weight can be a good thing! I came out of a dark place and into the light heavier and happier.
What I want you to take away from this story is:
- Changing life circumstances doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
- Do your best to separate food from emotion – this is so difficult, but having awareness around how you treat food in tough times helps.
- Don’t go through major life changes on your own. I didn’t have to, but I did. It makes the healing process much harder and longer.
- Self-discovery at any age is empowering, even if it feels scary in the moment.
- You have strength in you that you aren’t even aware of yet. Your human ability to figure out the tough things is remarkable, and you can only appreciate it once you’ve gotten to the other side.
- Share your story to help others. There’s no shame in any part of it.
My goal is to always share a lesson I want you to takeaway from my story. This time, I invite you to share your story with me. I’ve written about this only once before and in a private women’s FB group that I run. Sharing my story has helped me come to terms with everything and move forward in a more powerful way. I am a big believer in healing through vulnerability, so if you are in need of that in any way, please feel free to message me. I’m more than happy to listen. It helps. I promise.
Thanks for reading this today. I hope there is part of my #GainingWeightIsCool story that resonates with you or someone you know. I’d encourage you to share this with anyone you know who could benefit. ❤️️