Google your favorite celebrity. As you begin typing their name, chances are you see “weight gain” or “weight loss” in the Google drop-down search “suggestion.” This, of course, isn’t alarming, considering much of society and the media today is focused on weight loss and negatively shaming weight gain. In reality, your weight should not define you. It’s normal to feel a bit self-conscious at first after gaining a few pounds, and we are here to help you fight those weight gain blues and feel confident no matter your size or the number on the scale.
1. The Scale Doesn’t Matter
In the grand scheme of things, nobody will care that you went up from 150 pounds to 155, or from 120 to 130. Nobody will notice when you gain or lose a few pounds here and there. The only person you are concerned about, the only person causing you to stress about your weight fluctuation, is yourself.
There are several factors that contribute to the number you are seeing on the scale. You might be storing water due to that bag of salty chips you just ate (“water weight” is a real thing), you may have your shoes on, the scale might be broken, or you may be in the middle of your monthly cycle. Weight is tricky because it really does fluctuate every day. You will weigh less in the morning and more at night before bed. As for muscle, there is no way a scale can calculate if you have gained muscle. You may think you are “gaining weight” when, in reality, you are losing body fat and gaining muscle
2. You Are Not Alone
You’re not the only person who gains a few pounds once in a while. Many people struggle with weight fluctuations. Though weight loss is more talked about than weight gain, the reality is that people are more likely to gain weight than to lose weight. Keeping up a diet and exercise routine is difficult and sometimes life gets in the way. Though you may feel like nobody around you is gaining weight, some of them are. Seek support from real women in your life or do some online research. There are many chat forums and blogs surrounding weight loss and gain. You may be surprised to find that they are feeling the same way you are and how supportive everyone is.
3. Shut Out Society
It’s hard not to feel self-conscious when surrounded by unrealistic societal ideals and the glamorization of weight loss. Gossip magazines and tabloids pick on celebrities over a five or ten-pound weight gain. Your friends are constantly talking about their weight and their goal of “losing weight.” They feel amazing when they lose their first two pounds and self-conscious when they gain the pounds back again. Why should it matter what your friends think about your weight or what you believe they think about your weight? The only person you need to please is yourself.
Society glamorizes weight loss and thin size two figures, yet does not recognize how unobtainable these ideals often are. Most people do not have personal trainers, fancy chefs, or several hours each day to work out. Don’t compare yourself to the images you are seeing. Ask yourself why you are uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable because you feel your health is compromised? Are you uncomfortable because your clothes are fitting differently? Or is it because you are comparing yourself to others and trying to look like the images you are seeing?
If you discover you are uncomfortable with your weight gain because you feel as if you are constantly tired, short of breath, or unable to perform some of your favorite activities, understand that weight fluctuates. If you realize you have gained weight and want to lose weight, a few small changes can help you become healthier. There is no need to be upset about your weight gain. Instead of complaining to your mother or confiding in your friends about your weight woes, devise a plan to feel healthier and more confident. Get motivated and get moving! Know that there are ways to control these fluctuations and understand that the few pounds you gain don’t have to stick around.
5. Weight Doesn’t Define You
Your weight says nothing about your personality. It says nothing about your goals, your tendencies, your strengths, and weaknesses. Your loved ones will not stop loving you if you gain a few pounds. It will not make you a lousy mother, wife, or friend. The ball is truly in your court. You can be upset over gaining a few pounds, or you can smile, knowing that you are still the same person. You are still beautiful, funny, smart, and absolutely unique and special. Don’t ever let an inanimate object like a scale or a magazine affect how you feel about your body and your self. Happiness is not, nor should it be, dependent on a size, a number on a scale, or how you look in comparison to those around you.
6. All in All
Be uniquely you and never let your weight overshadow who you are as a person. Please note that there is typically no health concern related to a slight or even moderate weight gain. There may be something to be concerned about if you have a sudden, rapid weight gain or loss or if you gain weight despite eating healthy and exercising. Talking to a doctor about a weight gain may be a good idea, even if you are comfortable with your appearance, to make sure your weight gain isn’t associated with a thyroid problem or other health concern. In general, there really is no reason to let your weight get you down and stress you out. You are beautiful no matter what number is on the scale.