Gaining Weight in College Made Me so Much Happier
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I Gained 30 Pounds My Freshman Year Of College, And It Taught Me How To Truly Love My Body

Gaining weight isn't always a bad thing.

4978
I Gained 30 Pounds My Freshman Year Of College, And It Taught Me How To Truly Love My Body
Kaitlyn Gieske

For as long as I can remember, I have been cursed with the desire to be thin.

I, like too many other people in the world, decided my beauty was dependent on my weight. Even though I felt this way, I never did anything about it. I never went on a diet. I never made a habit of going to the gym. I just let myself be sad about my weight all the time and built up a terrible body image. Then, my senior year of high school happened.

I have always struggled with anxiety issues, but my senior year of high school everything got worse. I was having panic attacks every day and felt more depressed than ever, so of course, eating felt completely unnecessary. I didn't stop eating on purpose, it just kind of happened as a result of my poor mental health. While it wasn't the desire to be thin that drove my eating disorder, I certainly was not upset when I stepped up on the scale at the doctor's office and weighed less than I did for most of middle school. Even though I had lost a good amount of weight, I still thought I was pretty chubby. That's just how it is when you have a distorted body image and don't realize it.

When college started in the fall, I was the happiest I had ever been. My anxiety was under control, I had a great summer, and I was ready for a new chapter in life. I got so busy being happy and distracted that my eating disorder just went away. Poof, gone, just like that. While life did its thing, I ate more, I ate worse, and I exercised a lot less. Worst of all was the dining hall, fully equipped with a dessert table and a soft serve machine. After all of that, I was somehow still surprised when my pants got tighter and eventually didn't fit at all.

Of course, I went through a "mourning period" and cried when I tried to squeeze into a pair of jean shorts on a warm day, but after that, it was like a switch flipped in my brain. After looking back at all the pictures I had taken over summer, I had a big realization that I had been thin. My whole family told me how skinny I was that summer, but I never really believed them. Looking back, 30 pounds heavier, I gained some serious insight on how messed up my body image was.

If I had been thin, what I always wanted, and didn't even realize it, I knew my brain was lying to me about plenty of other things.

After that, I gained some real gratitude for my body and for myself in general. Now, when I look at myself in the mirror, I am not a judge, but an appreciator. My need to be skinny has vanished and the only thing I want now is to feel good about myself, and I do.

I am aware now more than ever that my beauty is not defined by my weight.

Through all this, the best thing I gained is being able to talk about my body and my weight without shame. I am technically overweight now and I have plenty of fat on my body. Yes, you read that correctly. Fat! It is not a bad word, so stop treating it like that. I still have a goal to lose weight, but this goal is pushed by a desire to be healthy and to feel good. This goal is not all about the numbers, but about how I feel. I want to go to the gym and eat healthily, and this time it has NOTHING to do with getting a flat stomach or the perfect booty.

The point is, gaining weight in college wasn't the healthiest thing I've ever done, but it has led me to understand what actually matters. If you feel good and you are healthy, it doesn't matter if you are a size 2, a size 10, or anything in between. I know that getting here is a lot easier said than done — it took me almost 19 years to build a positive body image.

I know this article won't solve all of your problems, but I do hope it gives you a little inspiration on your journey to true happiness.

Report this Content
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

23623
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

316805
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

198184
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

97600
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

289679

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

174892

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

116922
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

336357

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments