YES, I’VE GAINED WEIGHT.
There, I said it.
If you found an old picture of me from my freshman year, you’d see a girl who certainly didn’t gain the “freshman 15.” She lost it… plus some. She was fit! She was healthy! She was–dare I say it–thin!
But she also felt like a failure. She wasn’t fit enough, healthy enough, thin enough. She wasn’t small enough, even though if she got any smaller she’d vanish into the air. But that’s what she wanted. She wanted to be perfect, and perfection demanded unraveling everything that made her a unique human being. Anything that made her stand apart from the rest of the world.
Over two years later, I’ve finally gained enough weight that I notice it in pictures. I know no one else can. I look so much healthier than the sick girl from freshman year, but there’s no denying it.
I’m bigger. You can see more of my body in the frame. My arms are no longer sticks that disappear behind friends’ heads. You can no longer see grass in the background through the gap between my thighs.
Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m no creature from The Blob. I’m still petite, still small. In fact, I could probably still stand to gain a few more pounds. But believe me when I say that, with how underweight I was at my lowest, I’ve gained way more than that little girl in the photograph would allow.
So, I’ve gained weight. I’ve increased the force of gravity on my body. Awesome.
I’ve gained laughter. I can smile again. I can listen to a joke and not have to force my lips into something that looks more like the Joker than a supermodel’s pearly whites.
I’ve gained a love for food. Food can be an important part of my life… without being my life. There are still lingering fear foods, but I can go to a restaurant and not have a heart attack for eating from the bread basket or going out for dessert afterward. Some day soon, no food will be off-limits. I’m coming for you, cheesecake smothered in whipped cream and ooey gooey sauce!
I’ve gained patience. Anyone ever tell you how annoying it is to pay attention to a conversation when all you can think about is how to cut calories out of your next meal?
I’ve gained a genuine love for my body. My thighs? Perfect for squatting. My butt? Comfy for sitting at my desk all day. These arms? All the better to lift heavy things with, my dear!
I’ve gained strength. Physically and mentally. I can walk stairs without having my heart race. I can accept struggles as part of my journey. A weak moment doesn’t make a weak person. And you best believe I have the confidence to know when I just owned something!
So I’ve gained a few (or more than a few) pounds. But I’ve also gained life. I’m not afraid of living now. I don’t want to shrink away, make myself smaller. I want to take up space, to have my voice be heard. Because why not? Why not embrace who the Lord wants me to be? Who I have the potential to become?
I’m not who I used to be.
I’ll gain weight throughout the years. I’ll lose some. Just as we are not static, our weight is not set in stone. It moves with us. It helps us embrace new passions, new activities, new milestones.
Don’t focus on what the scale tells you that you gained. Focus on what your soul tells you that you gained.
No questions. Just your thoughts!
P.S. Did you know anger spreads easier than joy through the internet? So here’s a big hunk of happiness for you!