So, I’ve Gained Weight

So, I’ve gained a little weight.

I knew this day was coming. The day I’d try on a pair of pants, they’d be a bit snug and I couldn’t blame it on being bloated. This would have caused my former self to literally crumble. But not me, not now.

I’ve been waiting.

It’s been a deliberate process, really. A conscious effort filled with losses and gains that resulted in an increase on the scale.

In the past months

I’ve lost guilt.

I’ve lost the anxiety.

I’ve lost the belief that my weight is equal to my self worth.

I’ve lost the ability to turn down dessert.

I’ve lost the “will power” to control everything.

I’ll be honest with you, though. Both literally and figuratively, the gains certainly outweigh the loses. Because during this process of loosing and gaining,

I’ve gained friends.

I’ve gained priceless conversations.

I’ve gained laughs.

I’ve gained new experiences.

I’ve gained mental relaxation.

I’ve gained happiness.

I’ve literally gained happiness.

Did my former self come through the moment I realized the snugness in my waistband? Of course she did. But as I stood there with the ability to look at myself in the mirror, snug shorts and all, I didn’t see my former self, a girl scared of a different body.

I saw a girl who loves herself. I saw a gracious heart, a thankful soul. Yes, I noticed my shorts were snug, but that wasn’t one of the gains I chose to focus on.




  1. olivesanwine says

    I love this! Kudos to you for accepting the changes whole-heartedly and moving forward with happiness <3

    • Colleen says

      It is not silly at all! If someone get’s any sort of emotion out of anything I write, it’s the utmost compliment! Thank you, gorgeous girl!

      • olivia says

        I feel like this exchange kind of negates all the cool stuff about your post — reassurance that she doesn’t LOOK like she’s gained weight and therefore congrats? or “don’t worry cuz it doesn’t show!” kind of implies that being a lower weight (or looking it, at least) is the “better” option… kind of similar to the “you look great, have you lost weight?” type of fat talk… i totally understand that combatting the thin-ideal culture is tough work considering our culture is saturated with it in so many ways, but if we want to truly work to change the culture and dialogue we have to really challenge all the “harmless” comments that actually contribute to the culture in subtle (and therefore even more reinforcing!) ways. Just a thought.

        • Devon says

          I agree, Olivia. Especially coming from someone recovering from an eating disorder, I would expect you to be against this type of talk, Clare. If someone said, “I lost weight”, and someone replied, “you don’t look it! AT ALL”, that’d be a huge slap in the face. Say they don’t look like they gained weight at all, and it’s a compliment? There’s literally no reason to ever comment on someone’s body, even if they bring up the topic or draw attention to it. Our society is becoming more and more obsessed with weight and comments like this certainly aren’t helping stop this ridiculous obsession.

          • Colleen says

            Oliva and Devon – I understand your perspective, but Clare is a personal (real life) friend of mine, and I know exactly where she was coming from. I appreciate the conversation, but this isn’t the place to rag on my friends. Clare is a friend, and I took her comment as a positive one. I try to keep this space positive. Thank you for your understanding.

          • Cara says

            Colleen, I’m kind of confused by this. I’m a longtime reader of your blog and really enjoyed this post, but I was really surprised by Clare’s comment and your reaction to the responses to her. I didn’t think either of the two comments were negative or trying to rag on Clare but brought up an actually really good point. Saying you are completely comfortable with your body doesn’t really fit with being happy that you don’t look like you’ve gained any weight? I think it would be really interesting to hear your thoughts on this, and am hoping you respond to the content of the comments, not just about your friend whose comment prompted this.

          • Colleen says

            Hi, Cara. I tend to feel rather defensive when it comes to my friends, what can I say? I appreciate your comment, and I hope to address it to the best of my ability.

            The best, and most honest response, is: I’m HUMAN.

            Yes, I comfortable with myself, and I LOVE myself and my body and all that good stuff. I genuinely do. But I’m a human. If someone commented and said, “Colleen, I agree with you! You look GINORMOUS!! Way to be a HUGE!” Should I say, “thank you!!” ?? I don’t know. I don’t want to be ginormous, nor do I want to be skinny. I just want to be comfortable with me. I want you to be comfortable with you. So on and so forth.

            I like to think I do a pretty good job of conveying to my readers that I’m normal and human just like everyone else. I get insecure. I have shitty days. I’m NOT Confident Colleen every minute of every day. So, when my friend left a comment saying she couldn’t tell I’d gained weight, I did have a sigh of relief. And I don’t think that’s something to be crucified for. (Although I do understand the discrepancy, and appreciate being called on it.) Body image issues come in ALL shapes and sizes. And I’m one size, dealing with issues one day a time. My purpose for sharing this post and putting myself out there was to help someone who might be struggling with the same issues.

            I responded to Clare’s comment honestly. That’s all I can really say. Do I want to look like I’ve gained a shit ton of weight? No, of course not. I’m just trying to be comfortable with the fact that THIS is my body, and I’ve gained weight. If you can’t tell, kudos to me for wearing appropriately sized clothes. I guess I don’t really have a better answer than that.

          • olivia says

            I think our tendency to jump to “I’m HUMAN!” when challenged really stops a conversation too early. I definitely wasn’t attacking you or Clare, and I apologize that it caused you to feel defensive of yourself and your friends. I think if we want to have real conversations about body image and personal growth, which this post implies, we also have to be willing to engage with people who want to talk about the issue in a more complex way. Of course wanting to feel attractive is a very universal desire, especially in our country as females, so no one is faulting you for that. But if you and Clare want to have a private conversation with no public commentary, maybe the blog comments isn’t the wisest choice of location.

            Just like many people say they wish they could shake their former selves (the ones who buy into the culture of the thin-ideal), I think we all have to remain open to the fact that we still don’t have everything right. And maybe learning the small ways we contribute to the culture is a next-level of personal growth that we decide we don’t have the capacity for quite yet — and that’s fine! But I think we have to be willing to admit our areas for growth and think critically/objectively about what we say and do. Everything we say and do (even WEAR!) sends a message to the world around us about who we are and what we value.

          • Colleen says

            I totally agree with you. In the 3 years I’ve been blogging, you’d think I’d come to realize that someone will interpret something I write differently than what I intended. I also think “I’m human” is a great response, by the way 😉 Humans make mistakes, we all have areas for growth. That’s my point. Am I perfect? HELL NO. I want to have these conversations. I just felt that the initial responses had the tone of, “what the fuck, you guys? Way to ruin all the positive stuff.” But, of course, that was MY interpretation – maybe not your intent.

            I agree with you, we all have to embrace the fact that we don’t have everything right, but we can still realize ways that we’re perpetuating that “thin ideal.” I try to put the positive, confident, love yo’self vibes into the world on a daily basis, but I screw up from time to time. I really do appreciate this conversation. I would have never given that comment a second thought. Thank you!

          • Cara says

            Thanks for the reply Colleen! I certainly understand where you’re coming from, I just wanted to clarify the mixed messages between the comments and the post. Nobody is saying anything about rude comments about looking heavier or crucifying you for being honest, since the honesty of the post is what I really enjoyed. I just wanted to see if you had thought about the difference in the point your post was making and the subtext of Clare’s comment because that’s where the grey area is.

          • Colleen says

            Thank YOU! I absolutely see where the grey area is. I honestly didn’t think about my response to Clare’s comment after I wrote it, so I totally appreciate where you’re question is coming from. I think that’s the catch 22 with writing an “honest” blog. It will get picked apart somewhere. I never thought, in a million years, that comments like mine and Clare’s would be given second glances (silly of me? Probably. You live, you learn.) I absolutely see where the messages between my post and my comment could be confused. To cause confusion or seem hypocritical was never my intention.

      • G says

        I think you and Clare both look like you’ve gained weight and it looks good on you. Is that bad? As an ED-recoverer-in-progess, I cringe when people try to re assure me that I look thin. That is not where my brain needs to be and is the opposite of helpful. For me.

        • Colleen says

          THANK YOU! I appreciate the compliment! As someone who is also recovering, I know *exactly* what you mean when you say :that’s not where my brain needs to be and it’s the opposite of helpful.”

    • Colleen says

      Haha I agree! I’d slap that girl silly. It’s just not worth the negative energy, you know?! Glad you’re on the self-love train, girlfriend!

  2. says

    girl, this was AWESOME to read. i’ve been thinking along the same lines lately… i notice i’m a bit bigger, but also that i find myself to be beautiful (which is weird because i’ve never really thought that). thanks for being so freakin’ positive. have a great day! xx

  3. says

    Absolutely love this. I am going through the same thing right now. I am just having a hard time justifying giving up so much, including time with loved ones and sharing experiences, to be so focused on always working out and/or eating 100% mindfully. Life is too short. :)

    • Colleen says

      I want to do all of those things to you, too! :) Thanks, Ashley!! I think you’re pretty dang awesome yourself!

  4. says

    There’s no greater feeling than truly loving yourself, body and all, and feeling 100% comfortable in your own skin.
    Go figure it’s taken getting pregnant and realizing my body may never be *exactly* what it was 5 months ago for me to *truly* love my body and not place my self-worth in a waistband or number on a scale.
    Congrats to you.

    • Colleen says

      I’ve always wondered how pregnancy will affect my view of my body. I always think pregnant women are stunning, so hopefully I’ll feel that way about myself when the time comes. Congrats to YOU, mama!

  5. says

    I love this. Life really is too short. Sometimes letting go a little is the best thing you can do. I’ve learned that lesson a few times over the past couple of years!

    And for what it’s worth, you look great!!

  6. Kate says

    Another great one! thanks Colleen! I think we all sometimes struggle with this…great timing too as I come off a weekend of lots of food and drink but no guilt because i wouldn’t trade the memories and laughs for anything!

  7. says

    I absolutely love this!!! I’ve gained weight the past few years as well, but you know what, I’m enjoying my life! Letting go this guilt has been the key- sometimes it creeps back though. I’m going to take a page from your book and embrace it, thanks for the reminder!!!

  8. Esther says

    This post addresses so well what I’ve been thinking about lately. I spent so much time exerting control over my eating to the point that I wasn’t enjoying my wonderful friends and family and life’s experiences if it involved food or drinking because I was constantly stressing out. It took me too long to realize that I’m missing the point about what happiness is and where to find it…I’m still not there, but this post really spoke to me. Thank you for sharing!

  9. says

    You are beautiful, and I love your blog (and you!) even more for writing this post. Often, we let the scale define our happiness, even though it has not right to do so. I’m so glad you love yourself as much as we love you all!

  10. says

    This is such a beautiful post! I love your blog and how true you are to yourself, it’s really inspiring to read such a loving sentiment about your body and body image. Something every woman needs to hear every day is how much they should love their amazing bodies exactly how they are! Thank you for this:)

  11. laurenf1022 says

    Love this! Life is so much more important than weight. I realized recently that I had gained weight too over the winter when I pulled out my shorts. At first, I really struggled and came up with a million reasons why and what I could do about it. Then, I realized body acceptance is the easiest choice to make, and I am healthy and happy right now, so no need to worry about it.

  12. Annie says

    You are awesome. This is timely for me. I’m suffering with loving myself lately and this is incredibly inspirational.

  13. Em says

    Such a great post. I used to read “healthy” living blogs all of the time, but I slowly began to stop reading most of them. However, I never miss any of your posts. Your blog is one of the few blogs I read now and I love your perspective on life. Thanks for such great insight!

  14. says

    Just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely love it. I have gained some weight too – and I love how you captured my exact sentiments here. My old self would be devastated by this gain, but I feel so completely free. I am not saying that it feels 100% great to wear tight pants and feel a little different, but today I am telling my old self to shut it. Because I have loved every single caloric cocktail and every peanut butter-coated snack. I feel so much more satisfied throughout the day. I feel so much more…me. Thanks for this post and reiterating that gaining weight can be a GOOD thing.

  15. says

    I love this post!! I’m currently in the beginning of recovery from a restrictive eating disorder. I’ve expressed to my treatment team that I’ve felt the most effects on my social life. I used to enjoy going out to dinner whereas now it’s so stressful that I choose to stay home. When did this happen?! I used to be fat and happy and social! Haha. Now in recovery, I’ve been finding myself having several binges (if anyone else has experienced this, let me know if this is normal and goes away) so I’m currently battling the fear of over gaining and this bingeing becoming a habit. But if gaining weight means being happy, I know I need to learn to accept it!

    • says

      I’m on the road to recovery too. I am definitely bingeing and learning how to deal with that. Learning how to love my body (and love food instead of fearing it) has been such a process. I’ve gained weight but i’m learning to accept it and move on instead of freaking out about all the calories, knowing that health is the most important thing. Just focus on being happy :)

  16. Katelyn Rose says

    Ahh I needed to read a post like this. I’ve been super bummed about gaining weight recently and not being able to get back on track and into more of my clothes. My bf (who pinches my fat all the time…grr) just told me last night that it’s really unattractive to complain about it all the time. That plus your post are what I need to get a better perspective on things!!

  17. says

    Thank you for writing this! This is actually my first post of yours that I’ve read, and I really appreciate the honesty, as so many others have said. It may be controversial to say this, but I really think that wanting to look good and caring about what other people think is just in the female DNA. I do think, however, that once we get into a mindset of caring for other people and focusing less on ourselves (at least, I’ve noticed that this definitely helps me, but if I’m being honest it doesn’t come naturally to me). Gaining gratitude is surely a cure for feeling like we’re lacking something, no matter what it is!

  18. says

    I love you. You’re so real. I like to call the weight I gained my “winter weight”. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m glad happiness is coursing through you, as it should be. I’m there too. But seriously, you know what would make me (and probably you) a lot happier? Drinking with you!

    • Colleen says

      That would make me SO happy! Next time you go down to Florida, can you just puhlease stop in Virginia?! kthanksbye

  19. says

    This is amazing. I am still trying to overcome the crumbling thoughts myself and I have been getting a little better than before. :)

  20. says

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much this post rang true to my heart, hun! I’ve struggled with an eating disorder in the past and am finally on my way to a happier and healthier life. I do have my bad days every now and again, days where the number on the scale terrifies me and makes me uncomfortable, but you couldn’t be more right when you said that while yes, I may be gaining weight, the other gains that come along with it (health, smiles, laughter, relationships, a booty and a zest for life) TOTALLY, 1,000,000% trump anything else. You are an inspiration girl and I can’t tell you how much reading this has helped me put things into perspective! Keep doing your thang sweety! You’re beautiful <3

    • Colleen says

      Thank you SO MUCH for this comment! I am so happy this post resonated with you. We all have bad days, but the thing is, now they’re bad DAYS or better yet, MOMENTS. Someone told me once, don’t let a bad moment turn into a bad day. It’s so true!

  21. says

    So I’ve already commented on this but I’ve been reading it daily since you’ve posted it. These words are so encouraging on my road to recovery. I was just thinking how great it would be to have this in some sort of pinnable/printable graphic version for a daily reminder! Wish I was talented in that area and I’d totally make one and share it haha. Love this sooooo much!

  22. Eva says

    love this so much! nobody has “perfectively positive” thoughts all the time and that isn’t the point either– you have reached a baseline acceptance with yourself and THAT’S what matters! so what if sometimes you are still insecure/negative? we all are! the point is not to avoid that but to understand that even during those times, it’s not a permanent state.

  23. says

    This is fan-fracking-tastic. It took me so long to learn that there is so much more to life than the size/shape/weight of my body. Hell, I still want to lean out quite a bit…but it’s not the most important thing in my life anymore, and now I can see that I’m just fine even if a bit “fluffier.” So thank you thank you thank you for sharing. Keep on being your badass self!

  24. says

    I love how this was written. So amazing. You never know how much it can change your life until you are in a better place. =) For me, it meant that I was cutting out the restrictions in my life, and letting go. Which was amazing. I’m in a better place if I don’t count the calories, or worry about what is going in to my body (too much). And while I want to lean out more, I know I have to do it in a way that works for ME and that makes me happy. Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts.

  25. Tabs says

    I was you. A few years ago and for many years before that. I had a baby two and a half uears ago and was SOOOO worried about losing the baby weight and being fat forever. But you know what? That baby was he best thing that could have happened to. I have lost some of the weight since he was born but I’m definitely not even close to my pre baby weight. And ya know what? I actually am loving my body. Well, definitely not obsessing about it like I used to. I haven’t even cried over my body like I used to. When I was a size zero! I am living life and not letting food dictate what I do anymore and its awesome.

    Your post and the you tube video struck home with me and I so appreciate your honesty. Especially because I know how hard it can be. When you were talking about the thoughts in your head about calorie counts and not missing the gym in the am because then you’d get fat…yeah, that was my EXACT teain of thought for so so many years. I actually raised my hand when you asked if anyone else had those thoughts. My husband gave me a funny look.

    Anyway. Thanks. :)


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