How To Love Your Body After Weight Gain

Someone is standing on a scale

Since this whole article is going to be jam-packed full of truth and vulnerability, about learning how to love your body after weight gain, we may as well just jump right into it from the beginning.

I have been avoiding writing this post for weeks.

It took until today for me to finally check in with myself and use some self-awareness to figure out why exactly I have been putting this post off, and I think I have finally discovered the root of my hesitation.

With 99% of the topics I discuss on this blog, I feel like I have them figured out. I have enough knowledge on the subject to be comfortable, through my education, my own research, or personal trial and error. When I talk about things and give advice, I do really feel confident that I know what I am talking about.

That isn’t to say I am perfect and that I know everything because I definitely am nowhere near perfect, and I am always learning.

But when it comes to my weight–that is one thing that I have never felt like I’ve had control over.

I was always an active child. I grew up in the coolest close-knit community where I basically lived outside with my friends or neighbors and only came inside to eat and sleep. I was on the volleyball team, badminton team, and the track and field team. I played soccer. I danced.

However, after my parents divorced and we moved, I stopped all of those activities, which caused me to start to gain weight. Because of that weight gain, I ended up becoming extremely self-conscious and insecure and basically starved myself in high school.

And it worked.

I lost a lot of weight in a fast period of time and I kept it off throughout all of high school. I had everyone complimenting me and telling me how great I looked, but I was hardly eating.

However, when I met my now husband, I started to slowly gain weight over a ten-year period of intense stress. I was overwhelmed, and always titering on the edge of burnout, so I began to stress-eat.

I gained over 100 pounds before my life all came crashing down and I was burned out and was put on stress leave in 2021 which was the catalyst for this entire blog. That started me on an intense self-love and self-care journey which naturally lead to me becoming healthier in all aspects of my life and losing weight, instead of because I was trying to lose weight, but because I was learning to love and take care of myself.

But even after all of the progress that I have made, I still feel uncertain about my weight. I have yo-yo dieted and lost and gained weight my whole life.

But that is the thing… I know many people need to read this post. And I think I also need to hear this reminder myself!

So we are going to do this whole thing together!

9 Ways to love your body after weight gain

1) Focus on your health, not the number on the scale

Okay, so we’ve gained weight. Now what?

In our culture, it can be so easy to focus on the number on that pesky scale. But even professionals in the weight-loss industry will tell you that the number on the scale isn’t an accurate representation of what is actually going on inside our bodies.

So many different things can cause us to gain and lose weight, from our monthly cycles, hormones, stress, health conditions, water retention and so much more.

Instead of making that number on the scale our main focus, we can shift it to just being healthier.

Health does not equal weight.

There are plenty of people with low body weights who are unhealthy, just like there are plenty of people with higher body weights that are healthy.

By focusing on the right thing, we can become happier and healthier in the long run.

2) Stop the diet talk

I firmly believe that diet culture and talk is so toxic. I have been guilty of falling into the diet cycle for years now, and I have tried pretty much every diet under the sun. From keto to high-protein, to low-carb, carnivore, to vegan, to Atkins… I’ve done it all!

They very rarely work, and I believe that is because we are focused on the wrong thing, and we don’t head to the root of our weight gain in the first place, which leads to decreased self-esteem and self-worth based on our success… even though we have set ourselves up to fail!

3) Up your self-care game

Gaining weight can be one of the biggest signs or symptoms that we need to focus some extra attention on our self-care.

I wish I had known this from the beginning.

But if you really think about it, whatever the cause of our weight gain (stress, health problems, mental health problems) it can most likely be improved or helped by focusing on our self-care.

4) Focus on the way you feel, not the way you look

This is easier said than done, but so many people feel like they need to be a certain weight, or look a certain way, instead of focusing on feeling their best.

This is not a healthy way to live and can cause more problems in the long run.

5) Figure out why you gained weight in the first place

This one might cause some controversy but I want to explain myself here.

I don’t want anyone to become hyperfocused on the reason they are gaining weight. However, it would be a good idea to get to the root cause of the weight gain.

This is because there could be an underlying cause that needs to be discovered and addressed, so we can proactively handle it. Doing this can help our health from getting out of control or even prevent irreversible damage from happening to our bodies.

6) Appreciate your body

Have you ever stopped to think about just how amazing our bodies actually are?

They can go through so much, and are capable of so many amazing things. So instead of criticizing our bodies, it can be great to change our mindset and be grateful for our bodies and all they do for us.

7) Stop body-shaming

This is your reminder that your body is beautiful and it doesn’t have to look like someone else’s body in order for it to have worth.

Body-shaming thoughts aren’t just harmful, they are unproductive. No good comes from them. Every time you start to shame your body, stop yourself.

I find it helpful to redirect negative thought patterns by thinking: Is this thought helping me or hurting me?

8) Get rid of negativity or any triggers

Do you have a family member or friend that is extremely negative or maybe even makes unkind comments about your body and/or weight?

Limit your exposure to them or go no-contact if possible.

You do not have to let toxic people around you, and they can do severe damage to your self-confidence and self-worth if you aren’t careful.

I have an uncle who has made unnecessary and unkind comments about my weight before. So I simply stopped going to things that I knew he would be at.

My mental health, self-worth, and self-confidence are worth more than small talk with relatives I hardly see, and being polite by accepting an invitation to something.

This goes for more than toxic people too. It could be something triggering on social media, or even a “goal outfit” that is unrealistic that we are trying desperately to shrink ourselves to fit into.

There is no point in holding onto something that stops you from becoming your happiest self!

Let it go!

9) Surround yourself with love and positivity

Once you get rid of the negative, you will have lots of space or room in your life for more positive things. It could be following cute motivational accounts on social media, or posting positive quotes, or affirmations on your mirrors.

Whatever it is, positivity goes such a long way, and our surroundings have such a huge effect on our mindset.

The most important thing to remember is that humans have a wonderful capacity for change, both on the outside and the inside. Just because our outsides change, it doesn’t mean we are different on the inside where it truly matters!

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