I have gained weight since tearing my ACL. It may not be that noticeable, but it has happened. I haven’t been able to work out, which is tough because, as I have shared before, exercising is a great source of joy in my life (like yoga!) and because I love to eat. Now, already over a month into my new sedentary lifestyle, I have already noticed a smaller, slower appetite. But this doesn’t mean that eating habits don’t die hard… And even though I have been eating less, I have still noticed myself gaining weight.
My initial reaction is an overflow of self-doubt, shame, worries of social standards, and any other negative thought. How terrible is that? Not only am I in physical pain from my surgery, but I am experiencing completely unnecessary emotional stress as well. How terrible is it that I feel bad about my body when it is working overtime to give me back my normal life, but I have the automatic fear of NOT looking “perfect” (as if it were attainable for anybody anyway).
So I have decided not to let it bring my happiness down. Why should occupying a few more inches in the world have an effect on how I feel about myself and the joy I experience in life? The people in my love me for being myself. And right now, carrying an extra layer of skin around is still part of me, and they still love me. In fact, I feel more loved now than ever. And guess what? This has no correlation to my weight or perception of my weight.
Life is about moving through change. We all go through different cycles and stages at different points in our life. There is an ebb and flow. And this change is okay. It is inevitable! You might be at a point in your life where you cannot do the things you might want to (like lay on the beach in the warm weather because it is, at least in Virginia, snowing and below freezing.) In my case, the thing I cannot do is exercise, work out, be active at all, and even getting myself in and out of the car without assistance (thank you mom!!). But this too shall pass, and there will be a time in my near future where I will be able to be active and live the lifestyle I want. (Aka go to a yoga class, go for a run, lift weights, or even bike on a stationary bike without pain.)
If this is one of those times where you need to love where you are right now, no matter what point on your journey it may be, here is a list of great things that come with gaining weight.
Things To Gain With Weight
- Bigger Boobs. As a member of the “itty-bitty-titty-committee”, I am not going to lie about this one. It’s nice to have more of my girls present and accounted for. Why not enjoy it?
- Time to appreciate qualities in yourself other than your weight….and whatever else might come with it. Used to having abs you can see through a shirt? Me neither. But I am used to how my normal stomach looks and feels, and this is not it. Instead of taking time out of our day to stress and worry about it, let’s take the opportunity to think about things you might not notice if you just stopped the thought process at your appearance. While staying ” a great quality about me is my 6 pack” is always nice (again, nothing I have been able to claim), try reaching deeper for something like: “I love how patient I am” or even “I love that I am able to take care of my cat”.
- At least for me, gaining weight means looking like this goddess.
Ashley Graham is one of my heroes. She is makes amazing strides for body acceptance, and truly redefining what the “accepted standard of beauty” is. If gaining weight means looking more like Ashley, I look forward to it.
- Focusing on confidence. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It matters how you present yourself to the outside world. If you are confident in yourself, other people will feel that. Trust me, I know this is harder than it looks. It is hard to deal with change, even just to accept it. So embracing the change enough to embody confidence? That is tough. But it is this step out of our comfort zones that allows us to grow.
- Practice in accepting what is. That feeling of accepting yourself in a new and different state that you aren’t used to is just great practice to sit with yourself and get comfortable being uncomfortable. What are you able to offer yourself now? Are there new things you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
- Re-framing your definition of yourself. You aren’t living the ins and outs of your normal life, which means stepping out of that story you tell yourself everyday. The story about how you are, who you are, the way you “should” be, or what you “should” be/look like. As our bodies change, it forces us to jump out of that definition we have of ourselves. This is a chance to open your story to anything you want it to be. What about your story can you let go? What is a new lens can you view your entire person through?
- Take up space in your life. I think that the desire to be tiny and take up less space, physically, in the world is linked to feeling a lack of permission to be here. And that does necessarily mean not mean here on this earth, but rather not granting yourself permission to be yourself, to really claim your aspirations, or even speak your mind. What mental space is free for you to take up as your body claims more physical space for you?
- More of you to love and more love to go around.
- Embodying more feminine energy. Gaining weight means more curves, right? When have curves not been a great womanly quality? How can gaining weight help you move into your expression of your feminine side?
Just remember life is more than fittin’ in your jeans.
Have a soft heart with yourself. It is tough to love your body sometimes, but just remember there is really no right way to be. The only right thing to do is be the most authentic expression of you.
Love, As always,