When I was in my weight gain mode during the early years of my marriage, I would look in the mirror and think, “I just keep gaining weight. I don’t know why this is happening to me.” I felt out of control and felt as though weight gain was just happening.
I knew I was eating more than I had in the past but it did not seem like that much more food. I knew I was not as active as I had been before I got married and had a full time sedentary job, but I still felt as though it was just happening.
In a lot of ways, it seemed to me as though weight gain was beyond my control. Here are some pictures of me after I had been married about a year. I had to go buy a new pair of jeans because the ones I had no longer fit.
Turns out that I was not unique in having the feeling that weight gain was just happening. Many people have told me the same thing. They shared that when they were gaining weight, it felt as though they did not understand why it was happening or what they could do to stop the weight gain before it got out of control.
Is this how you feel? Do you feel as though weight gain is just happening to you?
One of the first steps to turning the weight gain cycle around is acknowledging that the weight gain is not just happening to you. You are doing something to cause the weight to come on. (Yes, in some cases, it is meds or a health problem.)
For most people without a medical cause for their weight gain, the weight is piling on from poor food choices. That was my problem.
When I got married, I got a full-time job which meant I was sitting most of the day. I visited the vending machine several times a day and bought Lance’s peanut butter crackers, M&M’s, Little Debbie snack cakes, and anything else that struck my fancy. John and I went out to lunch and/or dinner almost every day, and ate ice cream on the couch every evening while watching television.
Weight gain was not just happening to me. I was causing the weight gain – I just did not want to admit it to myself. I had an acknowledgement problem. I did not want to give credit to myself for doing something detrimental to my health.
If you are seeing your weight go up and up, I encourage you to take an honest look at your lifestyle. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you focus on what behaviors may be negatively impacting your weight.
1. Do you snack on unhealthy foods?
2. Are you eating excessive calories from healthy foods? (It can happen – I wrote about it here.)
3. Have you become more sedentary?
4. Do you make poor choices when you go out to eat?
5. Are you monitoring your calorie intake and weight on a regular basis?
6. Is there stress in your life that is causing you to eat more?
7. Have you bought new clothes because your old ones are getting tight? Did you acknowledge that was the problem or just say you wanted a different style? (I used the different style excuse.)
8. Is your balance of nutrients off? In other words are you eating all carbs, all proteins, no vegetables, a bunch of sugar, or other combination of nutrients that is contributing to your weight issue?
There are definitely more questions you can ask yourself, but these can get you started. It is very easy to claim not to understand where the weight gain your are experiencing is coming from – believe me – I was a master at that. It is not easy to admit to yourself that you are making choices that are causing your weight to increase.
Once you acknowledge that you are responsible for the weight gain, it gets easier to be proactive about getting the excess weight off. In the vast majority of cases, weight gain does not just happen to you. You let it happen and you can make it stop. It is empowering and freeing to come to that realization because it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can do something about it. You can change your life. You are capable.
Do not sit back and let weight gain happen. Become proactive about your health and make the behavioral changes necessary to turn it around and get healthier and more fit.
Did you ever feel as though weight gain was just happening to you? How did you move past that feeling? Diane