Flashback to a couple of months ago; I was skinny, I had visible abs and my legs were ‘to die for’. Simply said; according to instagram I was #goals. That hashtag kept turning up under my pics but somehow I didn’t feel that way. I started to realise that what I posted online influenced others. Was this really the message I wanted to send? No, it wasn’t. And that’s why I decided to start my journey of gaining weight and began taking those fist steps to self-love and self acceptance.
Those countless pictures I took on the beach never made it to instagram, and why? Because my perfectionist self felt like they weren’t ‘good’ enough. You couldn’t see any definition on my belly, my arms looked fluffy, I always found a reason not to post them.
It might have not been that clear but even though I looked fit, at each fat percentage measurement I scored quite high. And yes, even in comparison with those who aren’t considered fit. And like that grew the ‘obsession’ of having a lower fat percentage. Having been in a caloric deficit for so long my metabolism was completely screwed up and I had to eat less and less to maintain my weight. It came to a point where even staring at a brownie practically made me gain a kilo.
Then one day I decided it was enough. Yes I wanted a lower fat percentage, but I wanted more than that. I wanted to be able to enjoy life, feel comfortable in my own skin and above all; be a worthy example. Having lost so much weight my feminine curves seemed to have disappeared completely. It was time to make some changes!
Switching from losing weight to gaining weight was scary and I think it’s needless to say that I wasn’t happy with the fact that I gained 5 kilos in my first 2 weeks of bulking. Of course this was mainly water weight that my body held on to due to the sudden changes but still F-I-V-E Kilo’s, I felt like a balloon. Instantly my jeans were too tight and this was a constant reminder of the weight I had gained. The people around me were surprised, did this fit girl actually gain weight? Lots of them even wanted to ‘feel’ my fat. The first month was though.
It didn’t help that so many people felt like giving their -clearly not asked for- opinion. Both on the internet and in real life people called me anorexic. Meanwhile I was working my ass of to gain some weight. Then there were the people who thought it was okay to call me fat -like seriously?!- Or with a voice of disgust had to mention how obvious my weight gain was and that I’d better do something about it before I turned into a little piglet.
One day it came to the point where I was crying in my bed. Who were these people thinking they could pin their opinions up on me? I dragged myself in front of my mirror and stared at my newly gained fat. It was that moment that I decided something very important; I thought I was beautiful no matter what. I was done listening to the opinions of others and letting them hurt my self esteem. From now on I was going to do what I desired. Finding happiness, it’s as simple as that.
I did not feel uncomfortable in my own skin because of myself but because of the opinions of others. Staring at myself for a really long time made me realise that if I forgot about the ‘standards’ of todays society for a little while my body was just that; my own body. No need to criticise it, no need to find ‘imperfections’. This body had kept me alive for the past 20 years and all I did was hating it. My body deserved to be loved instead of loathed. And actually it had been loved all those years but constantly hearing that I shouldn’t, that I had to look a certain way to be beautiful had completely faded those positive feelings away.
That said I didn’t care for the 9 kilos I gained over those 4 months. I was happy with them and proud of my achievements. And yes I do want to lose some of the extra fat I gained but there’s no need to hurry. I’m happy with where I am in the moment whilst working on further progress.
If I look back now I also don’t see any problems with my physique from a couple of months ago. The biggest difference is not physical, it’s the confidence and the acceptance of who I am regardless of that I look like. I hope you can find that same acceptance and be at peace with yourself. Nothing is more destructive than your own mind. Then again, nothing is more powerful than your mind either. Use it in your advantage and make the best out of your life!