Please be aware that issues regarding body confidence, weight gain and struggles with food are discussed in this post. If this may trouble you in any way, I urge you to put yourself first and not continue reading.
A few weeks ago now, I experienced what I can only describe as a total outfit and body confidence crisis. I was away at my boyfriend’s house, so I had packed limited clothing options, and I started to get ready to go out and realised I looked ‘fat’ in everything. I put fat in quotation marks as I am fully aware that I am not in fact, at all ‘fat’, but I am the biggest that I have ever been (we’ll get to that). Cue full blown breakdown and any concern from the last 9 months of constant weight gain to let itself out.
I have been trying to gain weight for about 3 years now, so it’s not like this is a sudden revelation to me. It’s more that I have totally surpassed what I had expected to gain, what I was told I should gain to be healthy. That along with the fact that a lot of the weight I have gained I have done so quite quickly. I never envisioned that the number on the scales increasing would also mean such a drastic change for my body too. Silly, huh?
Whilst I try not to depend on scales, I did weigh myself after this “incident” and I came to realise I’m the heaviest, and the biggest, that I have ever been. Whilst I am happy to now be a healthy weight, I’m willing to admit this is something I am also struggling with. I’m proud that after all these years I can say that I’m healthy, but having new curvy bits has taken me a little bit by surprise. I try not to let a number influence how I feel about myself, but when I’m also battling with a ‘new’ body, the combination can be pretty scary.
So, I suppose I am writing this as a sort of open letter to myself, and to anyone else who has struggled with food and body image. I have to remind myself that it’s normal to have these moments, to look at your wobbly bits and wonder why you need them, to want to change aspects of yourself. Because, let’s face it, everyone has insecurities. But I cannot undo the progress that I have made. Being bigger is not bad. Having a tummy does not make me fat, or ugly, or worth any less than when I was smaller. My weight does not define my worth.
And this is how I deal with weight gain and changes in my body. I dust myself down, I pick myself up. I have bad days, yes. Days where I wish I was thinner. Days where I put on clothes that used to fit my smaller frame, and get sad that they now won’t go over my thighs. But that also reminds me of the strength that I have had these past few years to get to where I am now. A bigger me, sure, but a better me. A more healthy me. A me that will not let my insecurities get the better of me. A me that will learn to love my ‘new’ body because it is beautiful, just in a slightly different way than what I am used to.