This post about gaining weight has nothing to do with careers but I felt called to write it and share it here, even though it is quite personal.
Stretch pants ignorance
Like most people who have been working from home 100%, I’ve spent much of COVID dressed in stretch pants and a nice top (the latter only for Zoom appearances). Rarely have I worn a skirt or dress pants from pre-COVID times.
However, on occasion I have. And during those times I noticed that my clothes were falling off me, that I couldn’t cinch my belt tightly enough anymore, and that things that used to fit me at my regular weight were no longer fitting.
I ignored it because it didn’t feel important enough to deal with. Sure, I had lost some weight…Whatever.
Plus, because I had only irregular contact with people, nobody around me was saying I was too skinny, with two exceptions: my mom (it is too easy to tune her out because she’s expressed similar concern for years) and my friend Alejandra.
A few others had communicated it as “Have you lost weight?”.
In retrospect, I acknowledge that I’m masterful at ignoring things I don’t want to deal with.
Then, a few weeks ago, 2 things happened:
(1) I heard part of a podcast episode in which the guest happened to mention the relationship between nutrition and sleep. It was a random comment on an episode about imposter syndrome. It caught my attention fully because my sleep has been horrendous for the past few months.
(2) I put on a bikini for the first time in 2 years. And, where I used to have a ‘butt’, there was only this little flap of skin. I call it “old person behind” –which probably isn’t PC, but–for me–is an apt description. All flesh was gone. And, it was a shock to me.
The above woke me up to the reality of the situation and I started to think about my next steps.
Should I weigh myself?
I have a history with disordered eating (mostly from my teens and early 20s) and haven’t kept a scale in the house for decades. Pre-COVID, I weighed myself about 3x/year at the gym — that was enough to keep an eye on things while avoiding the nasty relationship one can develop with the numbers on the scale.
After the bikini incident, I debated whether to weigh myself: should I “just” try to eat more and see how my clothes fit, or should I get some data?
I decided I needed some data so I asked a neighbour to use their scale.
Gasp. I got the numbers.
Gaining weight: the plan for now
My objective is clear: strengthen my health further by gaining weight.
In essence all my work as a coach is about promoting health. This looks a bit different because the context isn’t careers; however, the process is similar in that I’ve identified my goal and am working from there.
My plan is to eat more, reach out for help (I’ve had conversations with my spouse and contacted a dietitian), and share my story with others so that I may get support and accountability. Any and all your good thoughts are welcome.
A brief update
I write this update several weeks after making this post public (which I did with much trepidation):
- I am eating more and enjoying doing so (she acknowledges with some surprise!)
- I have met with the dietitian and we have a second meeting scheduled
- Things are moving in the right direction
- Sleep continues to be erratic