Thanks to ingrained societal standards and The Media™, weight gain is more often than not seen as a negative, apocalyptic-level occurrence, especially by me, a person who likes to pretend not to be influenced by these things. I like to walk around pretending that what I weigh or how I look doesn't matter, but it does, because of society!
After a recent agonising year of illness and medication leading to weight loss, I'm finally well enough to eat like nobody's watching. This, in combination with the medication that does work, has caused me to gain a ton of weight.
My usual strategy is to avoid scales and only use them when I'm feeling strong enough, but I made the rookie mistake of weighing myself at the wrong time and realised I had gained a lot of weight. Luckily, it didn't affect me as badly as usual (I say as badly, because I still cried) because I've figured out a few ways to deal with unwanted weight gain.
The most important thing you can do is done before stepping on the scale. Are you already having a bad day? Don't do it. Is it nighttime and you've been eating a lot all day? Don't do it! Preferably, you should weigh yourself in the morning, before you've eaten and also not when you're on your period. That way, there won't be weird variations that will make you panic.
If you're me, you might cry when you realise that the number on the scale looks a lot different from the last time. I'm here to tell you not to panic. In the grand scheme of things, does this matter? It might matter to you, yes, and I'm not downplaying that, but does it matter enough to make you ugly-cry? Probably not.
If you're like me, you might start down an anxiety path of "This is yet another thing I have to worry about. My whole life is a mess what do I do..." Try to gain some perspective. To make myself stop crying, I asked myself if I'd rather still be ill or gain weight.
Don't make any grand plans
The last thing you should do is make big plans. Don't decide you're cutting out every food group except broth because, invariably, you will fail, and that will make you feel even worse. Hold off on any decisions or dieting plans until the next day, when you've gotten some distance and you're not making decisions based off of your emotional reaction. No, you don't need to jump into a diet right this second. Chill.
Find new body role models
This is the funnest part. We all have a celebrity, public figure or someone we know that we look at as body role models, right? Well, if you've gained a lot of weight, it might be time to switch it up. Changing your frame of reference will change your perspective.
Don't look at Kate Moss after you've gained weight and think you need to work towards that. Trust me, that's unhealthy and it will only serve to make you feel worse. Find a way to make The Media™ work for you this time. Looking towards a confident, "plus-size" woman will show you that you don't actually have to feel bad about the way that you look and that it probably is all in your head (but only this one time — don't tell any men).
Strategise your next move
Now that you're a bit more removed from the situation and you've found some positive new role models, you can strategise your next move. Do you still want to lose the weight? Does it make you uncomfortable? Now is the time to plan ahead, when you're out of freak-out mode and can look at it from a better vantage point.
- Do you have any tips for dealing with unwanted weight gain?
- Who's your current body role model?