All of my life, I have been the skinny girl in the group. Growing up in the south, it is expected for you to eventually “fill out” or “put meat on your bones.” Until a couple of years ago, I have always believed that you can’t fully come into womanhood until you gain weight. I know that this may be strange for some to read, but I am among a few women who want to purposely gain weight. Yes, I want to gain weight in a healthy way. I recently recorded a video on “Why Skinny People Want to Gain Weight?” because I truly felt it was necessary to finally address why many people are anxious to put on extra pounds. I break down the typical response from a non-skinny person we (skinny people) have to endure throughout our entire existence. Society often emphasizes how people want to lose weight. Yet people don’t really talk much about how skinny people want to gain weight. Although both exist on opposite sides of the spectrum, whether you believe it or not, the struggle is similar. Not identical, but similar. We’re all trying to find that middle ground of being fit and healthy.
Genetically, I cannot help how skinny I am. I was often made fun of because of my skinny body and truly desired more pounds. I didn’t feel that I looked like a “real woman.” You know how the saying goes, “Real women have curves.” Believe it or not, I always had a problem finding clothes that fit me well. If I wanted to shop at Walmart, JCPenney, or Macy’s, (just to name of a few), I could not find my true size. Shopping in the petite department was a hit or miss because my limbs were longer than most petite women. There were a handful of retailers that catered to my size, which resulted in me spending more money than desired. I’ve never been the type of person to compare the weight loss journey to weight gain because I never experienced what it’s like to lose weight. I only wished that people could grasp that gaining weight is actually harder than most would like to admit. I cannot gain solid weight as quickly as someone can drop a few pounds. My metabolism works a little differently than a larger person.
In 2012, I went on this serious mission to gain weight in a short time span. It was the first time I decided to physically transform myself into how I wanted to truly look. Shockingly, I was able to go from 110 pounds to 120 pounds in six weeks. Although I gained the weight pretty quickly, it didn’t look how I wanted it to look. There was no definition and it just looked like…flab in all the wrong places. My physical appearance was less than stellar AND my internal health was at risk. I gained weight the incorrect way. I thought I was gaining healthy weight but most of the foods and drinks I consumed were processed. We all know just how dangerous consuming processed foods can be to the body. Contrary to popular belief, it is very possible to be unhealthy and skinny. One has nothing to do with the other.
I spent 2013 cleaning up my eating habits and making a true lifestyle change. I even went on a full body detox. Eating more greens and whole foods, learning how to juice, and drinking green smoothies became apart of my routine. It wasn’t until the end of the 2013 that I considered doing the weight gain thing again. But this time, I made time for the journey and incorporated the healthy lessons I learned
This year, I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer beginning in the summer. I realized that I actually needed help in understanding my body. Just gaining fat will not give me the solid weight I’m looking for, and I need muscle, too. Calories are a focus but not in the same way as before. Exercising is the main focus. Not exercising not only makes it so much harder to gain, but it also can affect your internal health if it’s avoided. Most people would say skinny people should steer clear of cardio, but what I learned was how cardio is essential to heart health. Extended cardio exercises would be counterproductive to a skinny person but that doesn’t mean you should do without it. I had to keep up with was making sure I received three meals a day.
Eating foods like rice, avocadoes, bananas, naan bread, salmon are some of the foods that have been helpful in my journey. Being sure to eat and drink protein shakes immediately after working out has also been helpful for building muscle. As of now, I can say my health is in tiptop shape and I’m halfway to my weight goal. It’s only been two months of going hardcore in my diet and weight training.
Whether you’re trying to lose or gain weight, understand that it’s a process. Part of the process is connecting your mind and body to this new lifestyle. That may not be something you arrive at overnight. Focus less on how fast you can achieve your goal and continue to move forward. It would be pointless to quickly get to your desired weight just to have it dwindle away because of an unstable foundation. Furthermore, worry less about what others think of you and your journey of transformation. For those of you on a weight gain journey, if people challenge you on your reason for wanting extra pounds, challenge them on why they want to lose weight. We’re all trying to find the healthy level. There is such a thing as being underweight and unhealthy. I can bear witness to that. Let us all focus more on transforming into whom we would like to be in life.