Does Weight Gain Just Happen?

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.

Weight Gain Happens

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.

New Size 16 Pants

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

7 thoughts on “Does Weight Gain Just Happen?

  1. Leah (Goodnight, Cheese) says:

    Yup. I was in complete denial that I was even gaining back weight I’d lost, or that I was gaining *that* much weight. It’s easy to gain a few pounds a month just from an extra candy bar or serving of potatoes each day. Even when I got to my highest weight, I refused to see how bad it was for at least 6 months.
    While now I’m still working on getting to a healthy weight, one thing I do know is that I can and will never let myself get to a place of denial or of refusing to take responsibility for my choices.

  2. L says:

    I think its easy to eat a few things here without realizing that its those things that are bringing up the number on the scale. I have also learned that if you aren’t keeping track of your blood glucose, the pounds can pack on pretty quickly (or off, depending on how your body reacts to the increased blood sugar/imbalance).

  3. Janis says:

    I think that we just don’t understand how MANY calories are in most junk foods — or even food that’s not touted as junk! — and how few it takes for us to live. We know that certain foods are “bad for us,” but most people haven’t a clue as to how bad.

    Many women need about 2,000 Calories as a daily baseline, ballpark. When I had to get surgery and needed to manage somehow to fit enough calories down to keep from dropping over beforehand, I had a java-chip shake a day from Starbucks.

    Eight hundred calories.

    Seriously — nearly half a day’s allotment in one drink. One drink! Not even a meal — a thing you have with a meal! As a snack!

    People don’t grasp the magnitude of this. And because these things are flat-out addictive, people actively resist hearing it when they are told. 🙁

    Hyper-processed, hyper-concentrated techno-food is killing us, and its addictive nature means that we will allow it to do so.

  4. Natalie says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever felt like weight gain “just happened” to me. I have always been aware that it was my own actions – increased junk food, increasingly sedentary lifestyle. But acknowledging that has not triggered me to do anything about it – at least not very successfully or consistently. One of my problems on the way up in weight gain has been to think “when I get to X weight that will be such a horrible shock it will force me to turn this around”. And I get there and make some sort of effort then slack off again and wait for the next distressing milestone, like becoming pre-diabetic or getting sleep apnoea, to “make me” change my life.

    I have been essentially maintaining my weight for around four years now instead of continuing to gain, so I guess that is something.

  5. Kitty says:

    A couple of years ago I had lost almost 50 pounds, then regained about 35 pounds. Now, I knew how to eat healthy and how to lose weight. What started the derailing was that we moved and I didn’t eat well while we were looking at houses, then buying our house, then doing some remodeling, etc.

    I think in a way I was just sort of not looking at what I was doing. I knew that I was overeating and I weighed periodically and the weight just kept going up. There was even a part of this where I was tracking what I was eating and was still overeating.

    I knew what was happening, but it was like I was oblivious to it. I would think about it, and then I would say that I would get back on track tomorrow or next week and then tomorrow or next would come and I would say I would get back on track the next week.

    It is hard for me to even understand it. When I was losing the 50 pounds, I thought I had permanently changed my habits. I was happy with my food plan and thought I could live with it forever. But…I didn’t.

    I eventually got back on track when I truly accepted that I had regained the weight. While I was regaining it, I didn’t want to face that in a few months I had gained back so much that I had worked so hard to lose. When I truly accepted that I had regained it was easier for me to simply accept that I needed to get back on track.

  6. Karoline says:

    So glad to have found this! I am embarking on a journey to lose 120 lbs. I keep telling myself it’s too late to lose; I’m too fat, and my skin is going to be too loose! After reading about your journey I am ready to start.

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