I Gained Weight- How I Kept Living My Amazing Life

I gained weight - drawing of a female's face, black curly hair covering some of her face, making direct eye contact with a serious look on face

So…the dreaded happened. That thing I feared for so long. What I worried about, lost sleep over, obsessed over round and round in my head, and literally spent DECADES of my life fighting against. It happened. I gained weight. I was in a size bigger than ever before.

It happened for lots of reasons. Partially because I couldn’t maintain the type of lifestyle I was living any longer. It happened because I hit my rock bottom and chose to climb out. And happened because I heard that wise voice inside of me and actually listened to it.

It happened because I finally woke up and asked for more. I asked for and accepted help. It happened because I challenged my fears, trusted in my treatment team, went out of my comfort zone, and chose a different path.

And it happened mostly because I let go and trusted in the process and trusted in the universe. I let go of past hurts, past patterns, unhealthy coping skills, and unhealthy thoughts. It happened because I decided I am worth more and I chose health.

Choosing love, connection and myself over an unrealistic ideal I had in my head made it happen.

And so it happened. I gained weight. And reached a size I had never been before.

And then after I reached that weight, I gained more. My worst fear and worst nightmare came true. And after an entire season of wearing clothing that was uncomfortably too tight, I spent the next season wearing leggings. Because I just couldn’t face buying jeans and pants in an even larger size yet.

But finally, I faced my fears.

I challenged my inner critic and chose to make peace with my body. So, I went shopping for jeans.  Jeans that would fit me and feel comfortable.

And so, against the screaming voices in my head, I purchased some jeans in a size more than double what used to be my size. It was a size I never imaged I would purchase.

What happened next

And when I got home, instead of drowning in my anxiety and unhealthy thoughts, I chose to put on my shoes, go for a walk, and listen to one of my favorite podcasts. So I could literally surround my brain with body positive and health at every size thoughts.

After that, despite all of the negative voices that screamed inside of me, telling me I was too large or too gross to even go out in public, I met a friend for dinner. And I put on my new jeans.

You know, the ones I cut the size out of the minute I got home. Hoping I would have amnesia and instantly forget that I actually DO wear that size now.

And as I carefully studied myself in the mirror, I tried to image how I look to someone else. Someone who knows me and loves me. I tried to image what thoughts they might have when they look at this new, larger sized me.

I even had a glimpse of wonder that perhaps putting these much-larger-than-I-was-ok-with sized jeans on maybe just maybe didn’t really make me look that much different…

And then I met my friend. We ate some chips and I had a drink as we ate dinner. Then another friend of ours who we hadn’t seen in awhile joined us.

We are the kinds of friends who carry a special connection. We all have children the same ages and we bonded when we went through those scary, emotional, and life changing first years of motherhood together. I love these women as family and I am connected to them in a very unique way.

We sat for hours catching up, sharing stories, enjoying a few drinks, laughing, listening to, and supporting each other.

And when I returned home with a feeling of joy and gratitude I realized something amazing.

A blessing in disguise

It happened- the thing that I feared for so long.

I gained the weight, my body changed, and I wore the jeans in the size I could not have imagined wearing a year ago.

And despite those jeans in that size…. I had a fun evening connecting with my friends. Nobody cared what size I wore.

My size had zero impact on our evening. Just as my jeans size should have zero impact on my life, on my happiness, on my worth as a person, and on my emotions.

They are just jeans.

And life is SO MUCH better when I am connecting with people I love rather than trying my hardest to avoid a fear I have built up in my head to be a monster. When in reality it really does not matter.

Had I never chosen recovery and never decided to trust in the process, listened to my wise self, or even hit rock bottom – then this fear of mine would never have happened.

But if it never happened, then I would still be fearing it. 

Because only when I actually reached the fear, did it lose its power over me.

And so I dare say that perhaps I am glad that this fear of mine happened.

Perhaps my worst fear coming true is the biggest blessing of all.

Image: @vinaysomanna

To read more from Lisette and learn about opportunities to work with her in private coaching please visit her website here, or follow her on instagram here.

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  1. says: Kristin

    Wouldn’t the world be so much more wonderful without labels? Labels on jeans, labels on food, labels on a menu, labels we impose on each other. I love your quote “jeans are just jeans”. It reminds me of something my nutritionist said, “food is just food”. And you are so right, those that truly care about us don’t care about the size of our jeans or what we eat or how many calories we have consumed that day or the weight on our scale. They care about US for who we are as a person and the meaningful memories we create together.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. As a fellow mom (of three boys) – working full-time outside the home – struggling through treatment for anorexia, your message is 100% relatable.

  2. says: Nicky

    Wow. I needed this. I am a 38 year old mom just starting recovery after 20 straight years of bulimia. I gained my initial weight and finally adjusted to it. And then gained another slew of weight and an not coping well with it. I have essentially gotten rid of all my clothing and even larger clothes don’t seem to fit right. I am never comfortable. I am reaching the mark where I go from being in a normal weight range to overweight and I am so stuck on this.

    Other than this I am a confident, productive, powerful woman with a vibrant family and senior management job. My weight and body bring me to my knees. I want freedom from this.

  3. says: Lisette

    Thank you so much for your message Kristin! I also have three boys 🙂 You are so right- with out labels the world would be a much friendlier place for sure. Kudos to you for taking on treatment and recovery – your boys and YOU deserve to live life free of anorexia. Keep fighting!

  4. says: Lisette

    Nicky- thank you for writing. First off- I hope you can congratulate yourself for the amazing work it takes to recover after years of the disorder (trust me, I know 😉 It’s awesome to hear you able to identify so man reasons you are a valuable person, I’m so sorry weight is that thing that still brings you to your knees. But I get it 100%. The way I am trying to look at it lately is like this- initially in treatment I had to eat food that was super uncomfortable and sit with the very real discomfort of feeling “full.” Now, I have to sit with the very real discomfort of feeling how I do in a larger body. It may or may not stay this size, but the actual size does not matter and can not matter if I ever truly want freedom from the eating disorder. And I DO! And it sounds like you do too. So we have to sit with it long enough and I think it will lose it’s power. Keep going- we can do this!
    PS- I have had to recently start getting rid of clothes I initially bought when I went into recovery and part of me can’t believe I have already outgrown them. But the wise part of me knows it is NOT about the clothes or my size. I have to know I am valuable because of who I am and not what size I wear. <3

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