When I received my driver’s license in my sophomore year of high school, I weighed around 125 lbs. But as high school continued and even as I entered college, I experienced more stress and Anxiety. I didn’t eat much and even lost weight because I was eating so little. At one point, I weighed 109 lbs. That may not sound so scary, but considering the fact that I’m 5 ft 8 in, it is. My weight never dropped below 100 lbs, thank God, but I definitely knew that I had to make some lifestyle changes.
I’ve been keeping track of my weight, and I’ve been steadily gaining. In July, I was 112.6 lbs. In August, I was 113.6 lbs. I weighed myself today, and the scale read 115.8 lbs.
I still want to gain more weight, but I’m happy to see that there is a significant difference in my weight. I’m even happier to say that people notice the difference in how I look. I haven’t gotten people exclaiming about how “skinny” I am. Instead people say I look “healthy”.
I’m also happy to say that I’m eating a lot more now. When I was dealing with the worst of my Anxiety, I’d be lucky if I ate two meals in one day. Most of the time I just wouldn’t eat, or I would eat a lot of snack foods. I felt terrible, had no energy, and experienced headaches all of the time. I never fainted, but I did experience wooziness at one point, and was scared enough by that one experience that I knew I had to change.
Yesterday I ate four meals and was snacking throughout all of my morning classes. What a big difference.
If you are dealing with the same issues, I understand how you feel. There are so little resources on how to gain weight healthily, as compared to the plethora of resources instructing people on how to LOSE weight. Being underweight is not generally seen as a problem by society. They say, “You’re skinny, big deal! Wish I could lose 10 pounds.” People do not understand how it is a struggle when you are not losing the weight intentionally, or consistently hear negative remarks on your appearance. My family often told me that I had nothing to worry about. Even when I would look in the mirror and not like what I was seeing.
Contrary to what people may think, having people tell you “You’re too skinny, eat more” is not generally an encouraging remark. Instead it only makes you feel self conscious, or even less inclined to eat because you feel depressed.
But the thing is, you CAN do it. You can choose to eat more, you can go to the gym, you can gain weight again.
Initially, I struggled with eating when I would feel upset. For so long, I simply avoided eating when I was feeling sad or stressed, it was hard to break the habit. But there are things you can do. Generally I would distract myself, so I would be able to eat and not overthink things. There are several different options that you can choose, listening to your favorite music, watching a television show, or surrounding yourself with friends and family. It often helped me to eat with someone rather than just eat by myself.
By doing these things, you get used to eating normally again, and will even find comfort in eating when you are upset. You get excited about eating again, and look forward to certain dishes.
Other than molding your environment to be more “eating-friendly”, you can of course make your food more appetizing! What kind of dishes to you love to eat? Do you have a favorite restaurant? Or know someone who is a really good cook?
Unfortunately, my family does not cook very often. We often eat take out or leftovers. My grandmother cooks for me sometimes, and I’ll eat that. But because I often associated eating with fast food, I became turned off to it. Worse comes to worst, you can always cook for yourself. Find recipes online for dishes that you find appetizing. Swing by the grocery store, grab your ingredients and follow the instructions! You get better with practice, but in actuality cooking is not too difficult.
And of course, you can go to the gym. If you find the gym intimidating, then do some exercise at home! If you can’t walk around your neighborhood because of weather or safety issues, you can easily do pushups and crunches in your living room. Go out and buy some hand weights. You do not need gym equipment to get in shape.
Engaging in regular exercise not only helps you gain muscle mass, but it also gives you confidence and more energy.
I hope that these tips will help you. Anxiety is a beast that can be fought! Weight loss can be regained. Have a wonderful week ❤