Things to Love about Gaining Weight

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

  1. 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?
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.

    For those of you who don’t know Ashley Graham, she is   g o r g e o u s  and  s e x y  and  c o n f i d e n t
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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?
  8. More of you to love and more love to go around.
  9. 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.

-Ed Sheeran

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,
Lucy

End the Pursuit of Perfection 

Anybody hate shopping for clothes because you have to face yourself in your mirror for an extended period of time? Not only do you have to look at yourself in full view set in bad lighting, but you also have to put clothing on that may or may not fit right. And you have to decide if it looks good enough on you or makes you feel good enough to buy, and the process goes on and on.

Almost every time I go shopping for clothes I end up going through the thought cycle starting with “I’m gonna feel good about myself no matter what I see in the mirror”, followed by “oh this would be better if I got a bigger/smaller size.” And then those thoughts mutate just enough to turn corrosive and I face the “if [x] were bigger/smaller/more this, I would look so good/feel so good/etc….” and “if I just looked like this person then I would get this outcome.”  It is around that time that my mind starts to believe those thoughts and shopping stops being fun or exciting.

But what if we didn’t have to believe those thoughts? Once we recognize we those things our minds tell us, it is easier to stop playing it over and over on repeat.

The next thing is to recognize is the fact that perfection does not exist.  I’m going to repeat that… PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST.  How freeing is that?

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Release yourself from the pursuit of perfection and accept your imperfections.

Our imperfections are what make us unique.  They are what make us lovable. What says an imperfection wasn’t meant to be in the first please? Who says that may be undesirable, anyway?

Don’t strive to be prefect. Strive to be you.

Does anyone else experience thoughts of not being enough like this? How do you deal with them?

Have the courage to be yourself.

Love,
Lucy

How to Love Your Body 

Easier said than done, right?  Well step 1: focus on what your body does for you. 

It’s usually during the summer that I feel the most pressure to look a certain way.  I mean, how hard is it not to with all of the ads and magazines and what seems like every social media post out there.  Queue the “get that summer bod” and “best diet to burn fat” and “eat your way to a flat stomach” flashes here.  I know I can’t be the only person out there to get at least a little drawn to these messages. Other than the fact that these promises are often accompanied with questionable nutrition plans, there is a much more disturbing message behind these ads. 

They are telling you flat out that no matter what your body looks like or how you feel in and about it, you should be striving to look like the airbrushed models on top. Because if you aren’t, then you are going be behind or something in the running for bikini bods. It is almost a subliminal message that is brainwashing us into thinking that we should always be focused on being skinnier and looking perfect. All so that they can sell more magazines, dieting products, you name it. 

Sometimes I feel offended by these medias assuming I am always trying to lose weight! No, I am not the skinniest person, nor am I the heaviest. If I don’t have legitimate health issues, what is the problem?  I get mad that our society bombards us with the message that skinny equals attractive, when it is kid not the case! CONFIDENCE and loving yourself and your body is what is attractive at the bottom line. 

So what to do about this? For me, this is a struggl sometimes, and the easiest thing is to start simple. 

  1. Create a list of things that your body does for you. It’s hard not to be grateful for what you have when you realize everything your body does to keep you alive and kicking.  In every single person, there is a heart that beats all day and all night, thousands of times a day, and has been beating every day of their life! How amazing is that? But you can get more specific, like I love my legs because they enable me to run miles at a time. Or I love my feet because they keep me standing up and let me run around work all day while I serve food at the dining hall. Or whatever it is. 
  2. Create a list of things you love about yourself or personality that don’t include your body. Sometimes focusing on the body is hard, but it’s easier to start with something as simple as I am a loyal friend. Or I love that I am funny or hardworking or always willing to lend out a hand. 
  3. Create a list of things you love about your body.  Even loving your eyelashes counts. Or your toes. Or your butt. Or your eyes.  Or teeth. Or hair. Every little thing counts. 

Simply recognizing the processes that your body goes through to keep you living and protected and growing and learning is the best way to start the road to self love. 

I hope this food for thought helps anyone who might be struggling with body image. You aren’t alone! 

Love, as always, 

Lucy