fbpx

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my biggest fear used to be gaining weight. No, really, if you would’ve asked me 3 years ago what I was most scared of, I wouldn’t say sharks or losing a family member… I’d say “getting fat.”

I always thought that being ‘thinner’ or ‘fitter’ was the only thing that’d make me happy and I NEVER thought it was possible to gain 45 pounds, stop dieting forever, and actually be confident in my body.

But then the universe decided to teach me a lesson. In the summer of 2016 I gained 45 pounds in just 2 very emotional months. Every day looked like this:

Wake up, look in the mirror, cry.

Talk myself out of taking a fat burner and doing fasted cardio, cry some more.

Get dressed for work and have another breakdown because none of my clothes fit me. I was a personal trainer then so I’d wear yoga pants and T-shirts and hope my clients didn’t notice my weight gain.

Drive to the store after work and get binge food.

Binge eat on cereal, cookies, trail mix, ice cream, and anything else I could find.

Call my mom and tell her I’m ’okay’ before falling asleep into a food coma.

I had many happy memories that summer too, like meeting my boyfriend, traveling to different places, and later moving to Canada…but all my experiences were felt through a dark cloud of bulimia, poor body-image, and depression.

 

A pic of my transformation from bikini fitness competitor to a happy human ?

 

It’s SO hard to gain weight and love yourself as you are in a society that’s telling you not to…

So here’s how I became comfortable and eventually confident in my new, larger body:

1. I stopped hanging out, talking to, and following fat phobic and diet-obsessed individuals. This is #1 for a reason because I can’t stress this enough. Unfollow all the people that post about “summer bodies.” Unfriend those who are documenting their diet on social media. Don’t engage in conversations about dieting, weight loss, or self-loathing.

2. When things got really hard, I’d chant “This. Too. Shall. Pass.” The truth is, time will pass and things will change. And I’m not necessarily referring to your body changing… I’m referring to your PERCEPTIONS about the given situation. Example: Have you ever looked back at old photos of yourself and thought “OMG, I looked sooo good! How did I not think so?!” What makes you think that won’t happen again in the future with photos you’ve taken recently? 

3. I stopped going to the gym and instead started hiking, practicing yoga, and dancing in my underwear when I was alone (preferably naked; no seriously, get comfortable with being naked with yourself!

4. I’d tell myself that our bodies are NOT meant to stay the same throughout our lives. When we compare our bodies to the one’s we had in the past, we’re disregarding all the ways we’ve grown and developed in those different phases of our lives. Depending on where you’re at in life, here’s some perspective for ya:

  • The weight gained in high school was necessary for your hormonal development as you transitioned into womanhood.
  • The extra pounds from college came with those crazy how-did-I-even-survive-that-night type of memories and the late-night study sessions that were accompanied by pizza, friends,  laughs, and education.
  • The weight gained during pregnancy was followed by birthing a beautiful MIRACLE into this world. Please don’t disregard the amazingness your body is capable of!!!

Repeat after me:

It’s natural and normal for my body to change.

It’s natural and normal for my body to change.

It’s natural and normal for my body to change. 

5. I focused on my education. I decided I’d rather be smart than skinny because that’s what I would encourage my little sister or future daughter to be.

6. I focused on everything else I GAINED besides weight… relationships, adventures, memories, experiences, and a new-found love for wine… All the things I deprived myself of out of fear of “getting fat.”

There’s more to life than having the “perfect body” but you won’t realize it until you let go of that expectation. Instead of trying to get your old body back, I invite you to focus on the new, more-evolved version of YOU and let your current body peacefully accompany who you are NOW.

And to deepen your self-love and confidence journey, I put together a list of my best transformational journal prompts for healing and self-love!

Enter your info below to get them!

Enter your name & email to get 21 healing journal prompts! 💖

  • Angie Woehler says:

    This is such a great blog post thank you for sharing. I have struggled with this recently as I have decided to give up diet culture for good and start to heal my relationship with food. The thoughts of wanting to be smaller are so persistent though.

    I was looking at my grandma’s picture book yesterday from 1944. She was 19. She and all of her friends were so fabulous, rocking their 1940’s bikinis and dresses, looking like such babes! They were not super skinny, no abs in sight and had fuller hips and legs, but looked so great and CONFIDENT. In 2018 we are bombarded with images of the thinnest and most toned, defined and “fit” woman and are tricked into thinking that this is the ideal body. All I ever wanted was a flat stomach like the fitness models and no matter how much I starved myself or how many miles I ran, the pouch around my waist never was small enough to look like the pictures I would constantly look at. Sometimes I wished I lived back then in the 40’s so I wouldn’t have spent 15 years obsessing over being “too big” when in reality I was never big, I have experienced thin privilege my whole life. I wish I could go back to my 13 year old self and tell her everything I know now.

    Thanks for all your wisdom!

  • Lize-Mari says:

    Thank you so much for this!!!! I really needed to hear this after a divorce and years of not feeling good enough. But im happier than ever and have an amazing daughter. And i know i can be proud of my body that is not the same because….its normal and natural for my body to change!!! And i will not allow my life to be based on my body image for me to feel im good enough!!!! Thank you thank you x 1000000000

  • Annabella S says:

    Thank you so much for all of your posts on your blog and instagram. I can’t tell you how much I look up to you and hope that I can actually love myself one day. I’m 15 and have hated my body seriously for over 4 years. It was almost a year ago now that I didn’t think I could go on in such a fat body. I was disgusted to call it my own and wanted to cut all the fat off. I was sick, both mentally and physically then. I am happy to say I actually have improved which is something I never thought I would say, however I still can’t look at my body without wanting to break down into tears. It’s gradually gotten worse since school started and I’ve had to wear shorts for cross country meets, and these past few days I have felt so fat and miserable because I have been eating more than my liking and am afraid to see the light of day and what my weight will be.

    I just want to say though that your posts have made me look forward, and I want to thank you. Thank you for being the amazing person you are❤️

  • Sera says:

    Thanks for your motivational article. I too have started to gain weight after being stick skinny all my life…A desk job, a recent marriage to my love…all playing a part….Now I feel more confident to face my changing body in the coming years..

  • >