Growing up, I’ve always struggled with my weight. As previously mentioned in a recent post, I specifically struggled with body image and fought with this silently for quite a few years. It wasn’t until a relative of mine pointed out how skinny I was that I realized that was something that I was once silently suffering with was something that now had become noticeable to those around me.

It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight since then.

I stopped getting compliments on my arms that were once very toned.

I started having to squeeze more into jeans that used to slide on with ease.

I began noticing that my size had gone up and long gone were the days that I can fit comfortably into a small or extra small shirt without it hugging tightly to my waist.

I’ll never forget the moment that I realized that my chest had gotten bigger and I can no longer fit into one of my favorite peplums. As trivial as it sounds, those moments of realizing that I now could no longer fit the shirts I once loved actually hurt.

To be honest, as much as I’ve preached about body positivity, I’ve needed those preachings for myself more than ever. I’ve needed the words of encouragement and those biblical truths as well because not too long after I shared one of the rawest posts I’ve written on here to date, I began wrestling with it again.

I began wrestling with the temptation to starve myself and falling into the habit of shaming my body all over again.

The truth is, I’m not as small as I used to be and I may never be a 109 pounds again. What I can do, however is find healthier ways to take care of the body I have now, lose weight in a healthy way and more importantly, learn ways to love my body, today.

My weight gain means I am eating:

When I was my smallest, I wasn’t eating. In fact, I was skipping meals and working out after classes were done at my college campus. When I wasn’t doing those things, I was drinking a lot of water, ignoring the actual hunger pangs of my body.

I’d eat small portions of my mom’s food just so I could say that I ate, when in reality I’d probably eaten half of the portion we’re supposed to eat for each meal. I’d lie and say that I wasn’t hungry and had eaten at school, when in reality I was still very hungry – just restricting myself.

With that said, my weight gain meant that I am finally eating like a normal person. That I am eating and enjoying my meals again. That I am no longer restricting myself for the sake of losing weight.

My weight gain means I am happy:

Have you heard of the phrase “happy weight?” I believe that this could not have been more true for me. Sure, I’d love if my happy weight was in the right places and/or not as much, but as cheesy as this sounds, I began to gain after I began to get serious with my now husband. He accepted me for who I was and has seen me both when I was still comfortably wearing a size four. He didn’t objectify me nor did he force me into changing who I was to be loved by him.  I could be unapologetically myself around someone and that made me feel very happy.

Therefore, for me my weight gain signifies a turning point in my life. It signifies to me that I have loved and I am loved. It signifies that I am so comfortable being myself that I don’t feel the need to restrict my diet in order to feel loved by my husband. In fact, when I have those moments where I begin to shame my perceived imperfections, my husband quickly chimes in to remind me of not only how he views me, but to ignore the lies I’ve believed about myself for years.

While I have decided that I want to be more mindful of what I am placing in my body, I am learning to embrace the fact that my weight gain is not necessarily a negative thing. Sure, I’m thicker than I have been in a while, but I’m a lot healthier than I was when I was restricting myself to two meals or less a day. I am a lot happier than I was barely eating and lying about the actual hunger that I felt.

What are some things you’ve learned about yourself lately through a struggle you’ve had?

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