How a 10 lb Weight Gain Saved My Life
A little dramatic? Okay maybe. But seriously if I didn’t gain 10 pounds while studying abroad six years ago, I don’t think my life would be the same. I would for sure still be preaching the quick fix diet hacks and trying to convince you that my workout program will give you a six pack. They say when we hit our lowest point we are open to change. I didn’t know it in the moment, but looking back, I am grateful for the low (or high in regards to the scale).
So why was gaining weight so impactful?
It allowed me to experience a new culture. I was able to try new foods, shop at farmer’s markets, and eat with the locals. I’ll never forget those meals shared with new friends, and the laughs we shared. There were many times my flat mates and I would cook meals together which allowed us to learn more about each other and our backgrounds. Fun fact - I lived with 3 girls from Australia, 1 girl from Canada, 1 guy from Minnesota, 1 guy from Tasmania, and another guy from England. I can’t forget my flat neighbors who were from Egypt, China, and more. We were fascinated by the way we each prepared meals, and I was definitely known as food safety police of our flat.
I discovered Nutella and the joy of a cold cider on a hot beach day. Why is it that we constantly have to label foods as ‘bad’ and ‘off limits’? Emotional eating is not always a bad thing. It means we are living, feeling. When I look back on these ‘binges’ I can identify what triggered them, realize I’m not a better or worse person for them, but comforted me in the moment.
It allowed me to live in the moment. I am pretty sure gelato became a post-meal ritual. I didn’t think twice about ‘splurging’ on dessert or a new food. I just said YES to everything, which leads me to point 3….
It forced me to dig deeper into why I wasn’t happy. When I came back from my 6 months in Perth, I was so down in the dumps. I remember being so upset and disgusted with myself, feeling like a failure for my body. None of my clothes fit, despite exercising (sometimes 2-3 hours per day) to make up for the goon (boxed wine) and french fries the night before. I was upset that I didn’t have the confidence to say no. My priorities were out of whack. While I was saying YES and living in the moment, I was also beating myself up for it later on.
I lost myself with the weight gain, but it allowed me to find myself, learning more in the end. When I was finally sick of the dialogue in my head, exhausted both physically and mentally for the way I was treating my body, I found another way. I started to listen to what my body needed. I surrounded myself with people who would fill my bucket, and force me to be the best version of myself, but giving grace when I wasn’t. Not a hot surfer boy nor a washboard belly was going to make me happy if I wasn’t happy with myself. I started to just do what felt GOOD, regardless of how my choices would be reflected on the scale. I stopped worrying about others and society’s standards of beauty and did what was right for me.
Instead of beating yourself up about your weight, why don’t we take a step back, and ask the hard questions. What else is going on in my life? Why am I so hung up on this stupid number anyways? Am I happy with the way I am treating my body? When we learn to let go of the rigid rules and respect our amazing bodies the way they deserve, that is when the magic happens. It doesn’t happen overnight, and let me tell you it is hard, but it is worth it when you get to the other side. I still have days where I have to get my mind in check, but it is much easier now.
If you can relate, I would love to hear how. Feel free to comment below, share this with a friend, or book your free discovery call to chat more, and find your fierce.