What I Gained with the Weight | Fuel for Freedom

What I Gained with the 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.

I am allowed to take up space

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.

What I Gained with the Weight | Fuel for Freedom


I’ve gained laughterI 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 still tend to resemble Sheldon.
I still tend to resemble Sheldon.

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!

gelato bar

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!

It's okay to believe you are beautiful

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!

She is clothed with dignity and strength Proverbs

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.

It's funny because we ask God to change our situation, not knowing He put us in the situation to change us

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!

dog with elephant ears costume


13 thoughts on “What I Gained with the Weight

  1. Beautiful! And consider, if you are still struggling, that you may yet have even more strength, love, laughter, patience, and other to-be-discovered gems to gain as you ‘gain’ perhaps a few more pounds? Funny how ED says the opposite will happen but indeed it does not, if we hang with it a while.

    I love thinking of this in terms of that stupid company cereal that came up with the idiot slogan “what will you gain when you lose?” Whenever I hear it on their commercial, I think, “well, so far, as I’ve lost, I have gained: isolation, loneliness, deprivation, a bony ass, frustration, hopelessness, 10+ years of misery, lost opportunities, etc etc….so perhaps I don’t need to have any more of your cereal!”

  2. I really love this, because of all of it is true. When your body starts to regain life, it’s so much more than a number. It truly is new life in so many respects.

  3. This is awesome! The best part is gaining the love of food 😀 I think about all the amazing foods I’m eating now and cringe knowing that the old me wouldn’t have enjoyed any of this!

  4. Oh my gosh! YES! You look beautiful!!!
    I love that about asking God to change us. I couldn’t understand why God would not save rescue me for so many years!!! But my head prayer was “Please take this from me!” yet my heart prayer was “…..but keep me thin.”
    Now, thank God, I am perfectly happy where I am and when I think about it, it’s the weight I started at before losing all the weight and getting so skinny and falling into all the bulimic mess. It’s a different mass now because a lot of it’s muscle but I would have DIED if I saw this weight (170 lbs) on the scale before. Praise God!
    I am so happy your have found recovery and are sharing it with us.

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