Wednesday is always a run day for me. It used to be a speed workout day but now it is just an awesome hangout and run at whatever pace I want day. I did a total of 8 miles and wanna know the coolest part about it?
My sweet tie dye purple socks. These are my good luck socks just because of how fierce they look.
After my doctor’s appointment I went straight for another sandwich and had just enough mula on my gift card to get a cookie too. I cannot resist the smell of their cookies when you are standing at the cash register about to pay.
A few readers left comments on yesterday’s post like this:
I thought I would talk a little bit about the emotional side of having to gain weight. For some strange reason weight is a very emotional thing for most women, whether it is gaining weight or losing weight there are definite emotions tied to it. I haven’t quite figured out why but it could be because:
-We are bombarded with a trillion images a day of what the perfect body should look like.
-We are perfectionists and can be pretty hard on ourselves.
-Estrogen makes us crazy.
-Every magazine out there is plastered with ways to lose weight and why you should.
Even Runner’s World is full of diet tips and ways to lose weight. I subscribe to them by email and almost 1/2 of the articles they send out are about weight loss and becoming a leaner lighter you.
After I found out about my femoral stress fractures and talked to my doctor I knew I had to gain weight. This would have been hard on its own but what made it especially difficult was that I had to do that and I wasn’t able to exercise at the same time…..running makes me really happy and I wasn’t able to run to help with stress and emotions. I didn’t have to gain a huge amount of weight, about ten lbs is what got my period back but still the idea of it was really hard for me. The eating part of this was definitely fun because I really like food especially in the form of pizza but the emotional part was not as easy. What I did:
-I realized that if I wanted to continue to run in the future and help my body heal faster I had to gain weight. Personally being able to run is more important to me than the number on the scale.
-I didn’t want to be 80 years old and look back on my life and think about how much I obsessed and worried about weight. It really wastes a lot of time and energy.
-Realize that you have control over the situation. If you have to gain a few lbs that does not mean you are going to lose all control and wake up 100 lbs heavier one day. You have control to get to and stay at your bodies healthy set point.
-Fake it to make it. Sometimes you just have to do tough things. The best things in life are things you have to work for….aka being healthy!
-Come up with your own real reason for why you want to do what you want to do. If you don’t find your own reasons for it you will lose motivation very quickly. For me it was that I knew that I really wanted to eventually have kids.
-Reward. This one is going to sound silly but my mom told me that when I reached my goal of getting to a healthier body fat percentage that she would buy me the boots that I had been eyeing for months. I am materialistic. I really like boots.
-Talk to people about it. Getting it out in the open really helps and allows people close to you to help you. You can always email bloggers like me about it too for when you need some extra support.
-Seek professional help!!!
What else would you add to my list?
Is weight an emotional issue for you? Why do you think this is so in our society?
Have you ever lost or gained a significant amount of weight?
Do you have favorite socks? Running socks?
Are you a fan of Subway cookies?
On the topic of weight, I completely agree that the society we live in is setting women up for a lifetime of disappointment. We’re either too fat, too thin, too round, too narrow, too hippy, too boyish, etc. etc. We cannot win. I fought that for many years, as most of us do, and wasted a lot of time and energy trying to become ‘perfect’. Although I still have my ‘fat’ moments (don’t we all?), I am learning more and more that what matters most is ENJOYING LIFE. I, for one, do NOT want to spend the rest of this one life that I have freaking out about love handles. There is SO MUCH MORE OUT THERE!
Like Subway cookies. Which are so delicious, and taste especially good after a big, mustardy sandwich.
For me it was first realizing that I did want to have kids someday. I mean I was only in hs when I was anorexic, but losing my period really gave me a major wake up call.
In college when I struggled with my weight and obsession, it came down realizing that it was form of idolatry and being convicted by that, and then buying some new clothes so that I didnt feel like crap trying to squeeze into too tight pants every day :)
Thanks for writing this. I’ve dealt with eating disorders for more than half my life (I’m 28, not actively starving or puking, but still dealing).
I think the #1 most important thing is to WANT to change. Which you did want. And I wanted. But for a really long time I didn’t, because I knew how much recovery would suck. And it sucked and it still sucks sometimes, but a life of better physical and mental health is worth its weight in gold.
Even though I was in treatment/therapy/meds for a long time, none of that mattered until I decided I wanted my life to be better.
Cheers to you, girlfriend.
ahh yes weight is definitely an emotional issue for me.. my weight has dropped to crazy low amounts like at the height of my eating disorder 5 years ago..Thankfully I am 25lbs heavier now and still working on gaining more.. it’s tough but I always try to think of the things I want for my future (mainly children) I don’t want to look back later on and realize I chose being an unhealth, sad skinny person instead of a healthy, happy productive person with a family.
I don’t have a fave pair of socks but I do have a favorite brand.. they have to be the thick thorlo socks.
I love subway’s cookies.. especially the white choc. kind!
Hope you’re enjoying your day.. by the pool right!?
Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries
i’ve recently had to gain about 10 pounds and cut back my exercise dramatically to get my period back too. it was tough stuff! and still is actually. but what i’ve found funny is that hardly anyone even noticed it on me. i agree, society is very consumed with weight, and it saddens me. we as women are supposed to have come curves and fat on us, but society makes us out to be a size zero with nothing on us. props to you girl for overcoming that!
Awesome post!!! I am working as a waitress and going through nursing school right now. In both I see women (and men!) who are in their 70s and 80s and still obsessed with their weight. Some do need to lose weight (diabetes, heart disease, etc) but most are just fine. I decided I don’t want to spend the next 5 decades worried about the scale and still be on a “diet” when I am a grandma. It is so hard, but I am making progress!
char eats greens
Great post and I feel the same way…if it’s all for GOOD purposely, than gaining weight isn’t a bad thing. I remember when I really increased my milage last year, my body fat % dropped and the doctor basically told me that if I wanted to have kids, I should increase that number or cutback on running.
At first I was pretty mad at myself (I think?) because how could my body be doing this to be when I was doing such good things to it. Eventually, everything worked itself out – like it always does ;)
PS – what are these boots?!? You gotta do a little pic of them haha
Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever
My weight issues are much different than yours I need to loose 50-60 pounds. It is a HUGE emotional issue for me. I think you would be hard pressed to find a woman that doesn’t have some kind of emotional issue with food, either to my end of the scale or yours. I lost 30 pounds once a few years ago and then got a little too confident and cocky about it and it came back on over night.
When I started running it was to run! 2 years ago I decided to try something I have NEVER done, at least not for enjoyment and before long I fell in love with it. But I was craving foods that I never knew I would want. Then I read about what a runners body needs so I changed my diet. In the end I lost 15-20 pounds!!!
Then I got sick and sick again and sick again. Over and over. I couldnt stay awake for anything other than school and even then that sometimes didnt make the cut. I was sick for months and had to stop running. I gained all the weight back.
I got back to running in Jan and then sprained my ankle in a bad way. So the running stopped AGAIN! Now I am back to it and still need to lose 10 pounds to get me back down to where I feel comfortable in my skin and as a runner.
For me the weight is emotional because I know where I was and know where I was truly happy and healthy and right now its disappointing. Its hard not to step on a scale or even go for a run and be tired and need to partially walk 3 miles. The one thing I do to help with it is to keep at it. There is nothing like being back in my own body again but I know how to get there and I can control that. So I keep running (and walking if need be) and pay attention to my diet to keep me healthy. In the end the only thing I can control is me and if I have done it once, I can do it again.
Megan@ The Running Doc
This is a really great post! I think gaining or losing weight is very emotional for women because we have an ideal image in our head of what we’re “supposed” to look like and if we don’t attain that image, we allow it to negatively affect our self worth. We believe that if we’re not at the correct weight, whatever we think that is, then we’re not good enough. Which is totally silly of course! Obviously, if you’re an awesome person at one weight, you’ll still be a kick ass person at any other weight. :)
Oh, and I love the idea of rewarding yourself!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats
I hate all those runners world articles about weight! I wish they’d send out more things about running and focus less on weight
Erika @ YouJustDidWhat
Yes! I love Subway Chocolate Chip Cookies!
I have always struggled with weight. I gree up overweight but lost it all by the time I graduated college. Despite the fact that I waz super tiny, I still saw myself as overweight. That is what I struggle with the most!
Kudos to you for writing about such a charged topic girl! I have never had an ED, I get vicious migraines if I get too hungry and I honestly believe this has saved me from struggling with the disordered eating I see around myself so much! But I have watched some really good friends deal with this issue and I can’t echo enough how important it is to get professional help sometimes! Even if it is expensive, you are worth it. Nothing is more important than being healthy!
Weight is so emotional to me. I can remember being in elementary school and not wanting to tell anyone how much I weighed. I get tired of looking at images of people (in magazines etc.) that I KNOW aren’t real, but I can’t help but compare myself to.
The only time I’ve gained/lost a significant amount of weight is during pregnancy ;) However, I have slowly gained weight since high school/college and realistically I will not weigh what I did in HS, but I am probably 7-10 lbs over the weight I really should be (I’m not considered overweight on any of the charts, but I know my body). I hope I can be motivated after baby to really be healthy (and not just simply losing weight)
Subway cookies are yummy! I never get them though…I’m resisting our cookies we made last night. So far I haven’t eaten any today!
IT was hard for me to gain weight after my ED for sure…like CRAZY hard. I hated it. Then I struggled with disordered eating habits-which made it all worse. SO then, yes, weight was an emotional thing.
Now though, I am happily recovered and helping other women recover too. The scale is not a great measure of health anyways (at least for those in the normal-healthy range), and should not be used to determine worth or anything like that. Unfortunately too many women go to the scale to determine her worth, and how she should feel about herself that day…SO sad!
In the end though, it is all about how one FEELS> If you’re happy at a certain weight and your body is functioning normally, then that is a happy place for your body. Great post!
I agree. This is such an emotional topic, and one I am dealing with now. Thanks for being so open and honest about it :)
I just recently confronted my weird food issues and obsession with my weight this spring. I knew that I couldn’t maintain the completely arbitrary weight I had gotten down to through obsessive calorie counting/restricting and over exercising. It took me a while but I worked my way through reading Intuitive Eating and found my body’s happy weight even it’s not my mind’s happy weight. I believe my body is much smarter than my mind!! It was hard to see my clothes get a tad tighter and my thighs a bit rounder, but I know this is the body I can live in for the long haul!! I also gave up weighing myself. That darn thing shouldn’t be allowed to control how I feel about myself.
Weight (the #) used to be an emotional issue for me, so the best thing I did was throw out the scale!
I always think ‘why am I doing this’ (because I want to have more kids)and ‘if I am 5-20 lbs heavier, is anyone really going to care?!?” weight really is not a big deal–unless we make it one.
I used to be obese–about 20 lbs overweight (in middle school) and I can honestly say that I was not unhappy at that weight…but I wanted to be healthy and went to the extreme (lost about 100 lbs) and battled anorexia for 7 years and was m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. In the end I had to gain about 45 lbs to be healthy, happy and sane;-)
I also wanted to say that finally learning that I am good enough just the way I am has really helped stop obsessing with how I look. Recently I was running and thinking about how far I had come but was still worried about how I looked in a dress I had to wear for an event. Then I had this crazy miraculous thought – why does it matter what everyone else thinks? If I think I look great, who cares what everyone else thinks? It was mind blowing. And a huge shift in my mindset.
In my 3 pregnancies, I gained 35, 45, and 35 lbs. Each time I lost the weight. After getting back to pre-pregnancy weight with #3, I slowly gained weight. I lost over 30lbs. by eating clean. I never set out to lose that much weight, I didn’t even look overweight. Society put pressure on us to look a certain way, however, for me it’s not about looking a certain way. It’s how I feel. I feel comfortable and more confident now, then ever.
Really good post, Janae. Such a personal topic for so many women, even fitness fanatics and athletes! You make some really good points and I love your suggestions. :)
I would also say that for me, thinking about things with an eternal perspective always brings me back to the reality of what’s important in this life. Will we be rewarded for the numbers on a scale and what size pants we wore, or will we gain more reward for the children we have and the happiness we bring to our families and those around us?
Thanks for being a good example!
Danica @ It's Progression
This is a great follow-up post…It’s amazing (in a ba d way) how emotional weight really is for so many people! Women especially…and I’m definitely one of them. It’s so hard to admit but that number on the scale has way too much of an impact on my self-esteem and confidence. I realized this recently and have put the scale away to help avoid it. Simply not being able to weigh myself and instead paying closer attention to how I actually feel is making a huge (positive) impact on my self-confidence.
Janae you are the best! Thanks for answering my question :)
I love the idea of rewarding yourself! New boots would help me too…a great incentive. I also really like the idea of just being tough and needing to do it….it sounds so simple yet there are a million excuses to make, ways to fight it, etc.Im so proud of you for being able to do it and become so much healthier. Thanks for being an inspiration!
I’m so happy I am not the only one who sees all the weight loss stuff in Runners World. I actually got angry that the issue directly following the one that included an article about disordered eating, it had a huge thing on weight loss.
I wish I was free to gain 10 pounds! But that would not be healthy for me. I am about right or maybe a few pounds too heavy. But my body seems to have settled into this weight which it is comfortable with. I exercise everyday, running, Pilates, yoga and eat healthy food (mixed in with treats) so I think I’m OK, but it’s so hard to measure how we are really doing with all of the mixed messages we receive!
Thanks for this post. I really liked your suggestions and thoughts on this matter. It is very difficult to see all the magazines, tv shows, books and what not about how to lose weight and then showing you what you should look like. I remember the first time I started noticing that Runner’s World was posting about weight loss on their site because to me that’s not what running is about, but rather something personal that you love to do. I don’t have any lucky running socks but seeing your purple tie-dye ones I’m thinking it might be time I get some! Those are awesome!
Megan @ Run Like a Grl
I lost a good deal of weight recently and it was a tough process! And now I feel like its so easy to gain it back so I have to be careful. But I am definitely happy with my body right now and try not to listen to all those magazines telling me I need to be stick thin, thats just not ever going to be me! I try now just to listen to MY body and what it needs.
These are GREAT tips!
I agree, gaining weight is actually a lot harder than it sounds. People always say ‘oh, just shove burgers in your mouth.’ What they don’t realize is the emotional side of it. Of course it’s fun to eat whatever you want, but then as soon as you are done with that meal that you indulged in, you instantly feel guilt. It really does suck.
Getting past the guilt & tying guilt to food is probably the toughest part by far.
I agree, the ONLY way that I was really able to gain weight was that I reminded myself that I too wanted to have children one day…and it’s amazing what a few extra pounds can do. I mean now I have a little lady in my belly to prove it :)
I can’t remember where I read this but it really stuck with me:
“Think of your body as a machine that must be fed properly to function.”
When I thought of my body as a machine, it was easier to add poundage and treat it properly. You wouldn’t starve your car for fuel, so why starve your body?
Kristen @ notsodomesticated
I laughed out loud when I read your comment about being materialistic haha. ;)
And I definitely love Subway cookies. But really, there aren’t many cookies in this world that I don’t enjoy.
Love this. I was super underweight when I was running a lot (partially due to the sheer number of kms i was logging, but also because i wasn’t eating anywhere near enough, and had a history of eating disorders). I had zero energy, would just CRASH hard, multiple times a day – I had no body fat, so the second I got remotely hungry, my body would just shut down. It had nothing to keep it going! And like you I got stress fractures etc etc.
In addition to being hard on my body physically, it was also just a really miserable way to live – I had ZERO social life, because i was so obsessed with training (and therefore always eating and sleeping “right”). I had very few times when I felt really happy, or joyful, or content. I was always stressed and upset and worrying about what I was putting in my body and how many more kms I should do the next day. It was just not an okay way to live.
Sooooo I had to ease up. I backed off my running a LOT, started eating SO MUCH more, and almost instantly began to feel better. BUT i was an anxious wreck and my self esteem spiraled even lower… i felt fat and lazy and greedy and disgusting. I felt like i had no identity if i wasn’t ‘a runner’ or ‘that skinny girl’. That was hard to adjust to.
But something my doctor told me really helped.. he was like “once you gain a bit of weight, your body will begin to recover, and so will your brain. At the moment, it’s not operating properly – it’s depressed and anxious. That’s not normal! Once you’re well nourished, it’ll begin to work correctly again, and you won’t be so bothered by weight gain! The more you gain, the less you’ll be upset by the gain!”
AND THIS WAS SO TRUE. Now, I’m at a stage where I’m a LOT heavier than I used to be, but my life is so much better. Sometimes I miss my ‘runners body’, but I know it wasn’t that good for me. Now I just try to focus on eating for fuel (and fun!), running when I feel like it, and keeping myself in the best health possible…cos I’m a fine physical specimen ;)
Thank you so much for writing this. For me, gaining weight was not only good for my health, but in the long run made my body a lot more attractive (at least in my opinion hehe). Because of my eating disorder my stomach was constantly bloated and I had the slowest metabolism ever (my own fault for a feast or famine cycle). Now I’ve adapted much healthier habits and have put on a tonne of muscle!
Facing an eating disorder can feel like the weight of the world and as if you’re letting go of control when in fact, you’re getting control (and your life) back. Thank you for writing this to show that a lot of people have SOME sort of issue with eating habits! :)
I stumbled across your blog a couple of weeks ago and I am so glad I did! i love reading your posts about running and of course, food! This post is great! Thanks for being so open and honest with your own struggles–it is definitely a post that I (and I am sure many other women) needed to read!
I second the seek professional help recommendation. For someone struggling w wt, as you mentioned, it is very emotional and can really leave you in a strange place if you don’t have someone that really understands the struggle to act as a sounding board and help you sort through those emotions..and physical discomforts, too. While it may be more prevalent in someone needing to gain significant amounts of wt, it can be very uncomfortable and confusing..folks always want to gain in..certain areas..and it just doesn’t work that way. The body wants to protect its core/organs 1st, so will gain wt back first in the middle, and then distribute more evenly as time goes on. But for someone doing it alone and not prepared for that, it can be really scary and cause a swing in the wrong direction. Anyway, another good post on the subject, just thought I’d chime in in support of anyone going through this.. Please seek the pros. It doesn’t have to be long term, but can help you sort through it all as you get to a healthy place. AND, #1, as you said, you have to WANT the change.. That’s the first and most important step
I have struggled with this in the past as well. I’m currently struggling with it, as I want to lose the rest of the weight that I gained with all three pregnancies. However, the media portrays that you are only pretty if you look like a model and they try to tell you how to get her shape. Or they show celebs that bounce back to their pre-pregnancy weight a few weeks after delivering their baby. We have to remember that God created all of us and no matter what anyone says (even yourself), WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!
I gained 80 pounds when I was pregnant with my daughter. I ran a half marathon two days before I found out I was pregnant, then didn’t run again until two weeks after I gave birth. I lost every pound I put on, and I didn’t think it was hard physically to do, but emotionally it was terrifying. I didn’t recognize myself that much heavier! If I ever was pregnant again I would definitely be healthier about it.
Of course, I’ve since put on 30 pounds in the last four years. And I’ve done that while running five marathons, 10 half marathons, and five 10k’s. Obviously the saying that abs are made in the kitchen is no joke. It is not fun running 40 miles a week and GAINING weight. Nutrition is something I have to get a handle on. But you are so right that it is emotional…I just wish I knew how to take the emotion out of it :)
Cathryn @ Myheartscontentblog
I found the early months of pregnancy hard because I didn’t look pregnant, I looked fat, and I hated that. Once I looked properly pregnant, I felt really liberated from the body police. I wasn’t fat, I was pregnant. I pranced around shamelessly in a bikini in a way I’d never done before and have never done since. I loved it. I wore horizontal stripes, I didn’t care what I looked like because I was pregnant, not fat!
It took me about 2 years to get back to my pre-baby weight (due to my lack of self-control) and even now when I’m a little lighter than I was before, I look back at my pre-baby photos and think how great I looked. How tiny my waist was. How slim I was. And I think how much time and joy I wasted worrying about my body, when I looked great. So now, I try to enjoy what I look like now as I’ve realized that in ten years time I’ll look back on this current me and think how great I looked. My body has changed – even though I’m the same weight, my hips are wider, my waist is wider, my boobs are smaller. Things change, so I’m trying to make the most of how I look every day instead of killing myself because I have big thighs.
Does that make sense? Or have I rambled?
Thanks for this comment – this is just what I needed to hear today.
Yes I have emotions around weight, but mostly I don’t like feeling super full or super hungry. I feel like I eat so much, but I’ve also had trouble getting a period too. I’ve also gained 10 lbs in an attempt to get it back, and eat more fat, etc. I wonder if I just need to be less stressy about life, hmm. Now I’m on a pill, so I don’t know what y body would normally do. I’m scared to go off of it but I also want to know if my body is functional. Anyway… no funky socks here. Actually I just bought a pair at target with hot pink and fluorescent orange polka dots because I didn’t want to do laundry, haha. And no Subway cookies for me, I always choose BBQ chips!
Hi Janae (and girls!)
I have been a stalker reader for awhile and never posted…..I have to say, I am so impressed with your blog and outlook on life. I appreciate your insights, your willingness to share, and your wonderful ability to connect with many people with your words!
Like many of you guys on here, I struggled with disordered eating and was bulimic while running cross country in college. I was fortunate to have an amazing support system who urged me to get professional help. Despite things being better controlled, I still struggled post college until I had my “holy crap” moment. I was treating oncology patients, and 2 of them who were my age passed away in short succession of each other. The night the second one passed away, I had a holy-crap-how-can-I-be-doing-this-to-myself moment. That was almost 10 years ago, and honestly I still think about that day. When stressful times hit and those negative self-image thoughts kick in (I don’t know if these ever fully go away), I look back on that day and those wonderful people who influenced my life. I have tried hard to not take my health for granted since then- it is a gift, and we should cherish it.
To Janae and everyone who posts on here, thanks for sharing your honesty, struggles and triumphs. It is so assuring to know there are other people out there who feel similarly to me:)
I gained a lot of weight teaching because I just didn’t take the time to take care of myself. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers and have lost over 30 lbs slowly, but I still need to lose a little more to be at a healthy weight. I’m also really lucky to have a supportive husband who loves me no matter what. Since starting WW my goals have gone from being all weight focused to being more fitness focused, which I think is better for me anyway.
Great post Janae. This is something I have always struggled with as well, and I have been really stressed out about it because I haven’t been able to run in almost 4 weeks. Being injured has made me realize how much I rely on running not only for stress relief and because I truly love it, but also because I can be obsessive about running to be thin. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I am not going to gain massive amounts of weight by not running, and really nobody cares but me.
This is a really great post! I’m sure that having had previous issues requiring weight gain is tough, and then adding on a pregnancy makes it tougher… Thank you for sharing!
weight is emotional, but so is the food. i put too much feelings on my plate.
I lost 115 pounds after being pregnant for 2 years straight! My story is on my blog!!! I like CEP, swift qick and pro compression:) great post!!
The photo of your sock makes me laugh! It’s not the sock, it’s the way you position your foot lol !
JANAE!!! You made it on The Soup!!! Joel did a montage of clips from Inside Edition and I happened to glance up as he said something to the effect of “Pregnant Women Jogging” and saw you and your purple tank top! Being on The Soup (via Inside Edition) is way cooler than just being on Inside Edition:) Just thought you might want to know!
p.s. I apologize for calling you by your first name as if I actually know you or you know me, but I just got so excited that I couldn’t control my typing:) Blog-stalking people will tend to do that to ya;)
I have those socks! Or I did…then I got a big toe hole in them and almost cried a little. Luckily mine came in a pack with a few other awesome colors! :)
I lost over 65 lbs which is why weight is an emotional thing for me. I know I reached a point of obsession and looking back reminds me how much I never want to go back to that mentality again! Also society’s emphasis on looking “slim” and losing weight only fosters the notion that any sign of weight gain is bad. There are some cases, like yours, where gaining weight is actually a GOOD thing!
I totally agree about Runner’s World. They have some great info about running, training etc., but then you’re also bombarded with lose weight, lose 5 lbs, weight weight weight! It drives me crazy. Aren’t we all running to be healthier? Shouldn’t we all be focusing on being healthy (whatever that means for each person?). I really think we have to stop this obsession ourselves. We have to retrain our thoughts to be about health, and not weight. We have to ask, as consumers, for more info about how to eat a nutritious diet, not how to lose stomach fat. I’m sorry that so many of us are obsessed in this unhealthy stuggle :(
I think we live in a very superficial society where women are objectified and valued based on looks – whether through the media or in actual every day society this is what we are shown. 90% of magazines at the check-out stands have women in their bikinis or otherwise being scantily clad and provocative and the arcticles all around them are about being thinner, sexier, pleasing your man, etc. Why can’t the cover girls just be hanging out in a cute tshirt and jeans talking about “how to be happy now, make and meet life improving goals, improve your talents by trying something new” etc! Men are not told that they need to be thin and pretty and sexy to be important – so why do women get stuck with this lot and why do we believe it?
Personally I struggle with my weight – I’m tall so everyone thinks I’m super thin but that side fat and thigh fat in my bikini drives me crazy and I am super duper self-conscious even with my husband who loves me, regardless of 10 lbs more or less! Sometimes when I’ve been gaining I get so upset I just pull away from him and get cranky, because I’m not happy with me and don’t like myself and project that onto him. “If I could just lose another 10lbs, he would really like me” – uhm hello, you idiot, if he were that stupid you wouldn’t have married him in the first place! But so many of us feel this way, whether about a spouse, significant other, or friend’s perception of us when really… NONE of those people care how much you weight. We always think if I could just be this weight I would be happy because (enter millions of reasons here that have no logical connection to weight but we still think it is true anyway). But really, no matter how much you weigh, if you obsess over all of your flaws you are going to find something else to hate about yourself and bring yourself down.
I gained 20lbs in graduate school and have fought to take off 10 of that and am still strugging with the extra 10. Running has helped me so much to learn to just focus on being active tho – it isn’t helping me lose weight right now which is a little frustrating but I love it so much, I keep doing it anyway – which makes me stronger and healthier and happier! I wish we could learn that exercise and good nutrition is important for those reasons – health and happiness – instead of just seeing them as good side effects to losing weight.
Sure, we’d all like to look fantastic in a bikini – but if men aren’t calling themselves stupid ugly losers because of a receeding hairline or a little more pudge around the waistline – then women need to start doing the same and realize we are worth more than just a number on a scale or the size of our jeans. If we don’t start thinking better of ourselves, no one else will.
and ps. I LOVE subway’s cookies! You are a strong woman only getting 1 – I always cave in and get the 3pack but at least I share 1.5 with the hubby :) (Perhaps another reason running is not helping me lose weight right now haha.)
Kate @ Work In Progress
WOW Janae do you have psychic powers or something? I’m dealing with this issue right now and really REALLY needed to read this – yesterday when you posted this was an especially tough day! I struggled with disordered eating – I wouldn’t call it a full blown ED but more just subclinical food and exercise anxiety issues (I never really starved myself, but never really ate enough and maintained a “healthy for my height but too low for my body” weight) – for about five years. I finally got my act together this past January, and since then I’ve gained between 5-10 pounds, gone up a clothing size, I haven’t run since October and haven’t done much intense cardio since then either. But still nothing. I got my period naturally at a lower weight and body fat %, so I feel like it SHOULD be possible at the place I’m at right now, and I don’t know what else it will take….my mom has a theory that my stress levels have a lot to do with it as well, which makes sense since estrogen and progesterone can’t function properly with a ton of cortisol rushing around your body! So that’s another thing I’d add to your list – gaining weight sucks but if you’re super stressed about it, then it’s not going to work haha so one needs to find ways to stay calm! And I love reading all of your reasons – Mine are much the same. I’m only 23 and wayyy not ready to have kids NOW, but I think if I were told that I could NEVER have kids I’d just be absolutely heartbroken. And I’d rather spend my entire life being ten pounds heavier and able to run than being the weight I was all through college and be constantly injured. Thanks for posting this Janae! <3
Kari @ Running Ricig
I’ve pretty much weighed the exact same amount since I stopped growing. I’ve changed clothing sizes depending on how in shape I am, though. I think that helps. The scale stays the same and my body changes. That helps show me that it’s really not the weight # that matters.
Anne @ LoveMintChocolateChip
this post is so inspiring! THANK YOU!!!! :)
Meagan @ Managing Meagan
THANK YOU for such an honest post! Women are SO hard on themselves with weight, whether you’re trying to gain or lose.
Thank you for being so honest. You amaze me!
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat
You are so gorgeous and seem to have no qualms about what you eat – but I think we all struggle with it on some level.
Excellent post. I deal with both ends of the weight spectrum in my family so I’m trying to find balance. What I fond interesting is that no one ever comments (to your face) if you are overweight but if you are underweight or just thin they have no problem suggesting you eat a cookie. I often feel I have to justify my weight, even though it is healthy, and it drives me nuts.
I do have favorite running socks. Not a huge fan of Subway.
I don’t often comment, but I wanted to de-lurk to say thank you for opening up and doing such thoughtful posts on this topic.
I’ve been dealing with amennorhea for about 2 years now. I am at a healthy weight and at a healthy body fat percentage. I’ve been eating what most people (including several doctors who looked at my diet logs) consider plenty of calories, but I think that for someone as active as myself, it just isn’t enough. I’ve never gained/lost a significant amount, but for probably close to 10 years I’ve been gaining and losing ~10 lbs by continually “dieting”. As a result, my metabolism is really screwed up. I’m sure the only way to get back to normal is to eat more, even if it means I gain weight.
I’ve pretty much given up on doctors who have tested me for everything and told me my diet is healthy, and now I am purposely increasing calories. I’m trying really hard not to stress out about gaining weight, but you are right, weight is a very emotional issue.
And on a lighter note, I don’t have a favorite pair of socks, but my favorite brands of are Balega for regular running socks and Pro Compression for compression.
Wonderful insight, Janae. :)
I’ve lost almost 100 pounds, but the struggles are still a daily thing. I was 240 pounds and sad, and now my life is completely different.
Running has helped me a lot! At first, I was bound and determined to lose the final 5 pounds. I thought that 100 pounds lost was a magic number, and 145 was too heavy (I’m 5’8″). I worked out for hours and barely ate! I wore myself down, but still couldn’t meet my goal. Eventually, I turned to running, and loved it. As I ran a 5 mile race, then a half marathon, then a marathon (FIVE of them!), my view on my body and food changed. I realized that food really is fuel for my body. Distance runners even refer to “fuel” as a part of their everyday discussions. And once I ran a few marathons, it was impossible to deny that my body is an incredible machine and I started appreciating it.
Thank you for opening up about the other side of the weight spectrum. :)
Meghan @ After the Ivy League
I think weight is an emotional issue for most women (at least, most women in my life!). I love your list of ways to deal with it, and I’d add that there are more important things! Whenever I find myself obsessing over the scale or how a pair of jeans fit, I slap myself and remember that I’m healthy. And that’s all that matters. Watching my 9 year-old cousin fight kidney cancer was enough to snap me back to reality.
Thank you for this post Janae!
loved reading this, even coming from the other end of the spectrum trying to lose weight to get to a healthy weight. ” You have control to get to and stay at your bodies healthy set point.” this was a good reminder for me! thanks
You are absolutely right about the whole ‘weight issue’ in society. In the past few months Earlier this year I was severely anemic and had to gain nearly 25 pounds on my 5’7” frame in order to become healthy again and be able to run. I’ve slowly built up my endurance again and discovered strength training.When I recently looked at the number on the scale for the first time, I was shocked. I didn’t look or feel like I weighed as much as I did!I’ve learned that the number on the scale doesn’t always matter.
Thanks for the post!!
thank you for this post Janae. I have struggled with my weight/body image for so long. i just ran my first half marathon last weekend (1:54!), and am so proud of accomplishing something I never thought i could do….but i also gained weight to do it and can’t help feeling the disappointment in that. it’s hard to not want to try to lose the weight again, but reading a post like this helps remind me that my “healthy weight” may not be my “skinny weight”
The runner world emails and weight loss articles is what made me unsubscribe from them. I already have women’s health, fitness and any other magazine out there telling be how to starve myself to weight loss. I don’t need Runner’s world promoting this obsessive behavior as well.
Hi Janae! I’ve been a reader for a long time and never commented, but I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I identified with so much of what you said! I have been underweight for quite some time, experiencing all the symptoms that come with it (amenorrhea, low energy, etc.). This summer, I am going to dedicate myself to gaining weight, even if this means decreasing my mileage or even taking a break from running completely :( Thank you again for being such an inspiration! I’m bookmarking this post to read when I need a little extra motivation.
I think you are super cool.
you’re kind of awesome sauce, just sayin ;)
honestly, great topic, and I love your approach and can relate significantly.
and yes, subway cookies are great!
Great post even though I”m way late HAHA! I have the opposite problem where I have to lost weight to get healthy and I agree it’s all MENTAL & it will make you MENTAL HAHAHA!! But I had to learn to look at it in the way of health more than how I look b/c doing the later will get you nowhere & like you said cause you more unneeded/unwanted stress. Who wants or needs that??!! Thanks for the awesome post! :-D
CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com
I had to comment on this post because in the weight gain process I too find the mental component to be MOST difficult, even though phyiscal can sometimes be a challenge, as well.
I love your list of how to make it a bit less stressful, because you are absolutely right. I do not want to be on my death bed remembering life and some of my most defining moments were treatment centers and being the thinnest one in the room. that sounds like a pretty lame existence.
My mom has bribed me several times. There is no shame in using boots, a vacation, or any other material thing to find motivation ;-)
What a great post Janae! I absolutely admire you for bringing topics like this to the surface and for being willing to share your experience. That takes a lot of strength and is so very much appreciated.
I have suffered from Anorexia and bulimia. At my lowest I weighed 70lbs and at my highest 145lbs all in a matter of one year. Yes talk about emotional and confusing indeed. I am so happy to say that I am healthy now but definitely can tell when I am slipping back into my disordered eating patterns. It will be a life long battle for me but it is nice to know there are people around me that understand. Great tips! I also think something that really helps me is being around family. When I was severely anorexic I completely isolated myself and being around family and friends really, really helped me to recover.
I am struggling with this right now! I am really enjoying reading through your past blog posts and gaining insight from your personal experiences. Hopefully I will be able to push through and just gain the weight and get my period back.
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