It’s okay to gain weight in isolation


I’ve seen many a meme about weight gain in isolation. Which although funny and I relate really isn’t okay. Why?

Because these memes make it seem as though weight gain is something undesirable during this time and can be triggering for people recovering from eating disorders such as myself. We’re already in an unprecedented situation which is quite stressful for many people, this in itself can make it much harder for people in recovery from eating disorders to maintain that recovery. Memes, jokes and TikToks about the weight we’re all going to gain in this time simply isn’t helpful and may be enough to tip someone over the edge.

So I thought I’d pop in here and say that it is okay to gain weight during this time. Partly to reassure myself but also to reassure others.

We are going through a collective trauma. It’s only natural to eat more. Eat more “junk food” I hate that term, all food is good food in moderation. And we may be unable to eat as much fresh food as we would like. So yes, when combined with a reduced activity level due to gyms being closed and a lack of motivation/energy because we’re going through a collective trauma we may gain weight during this time.

But that’s okay. We are not defined by our weight. When was the last time you chose your friends based on their weight?

Hopefully never. We are worth so much more than our outward appearance.

From a health perspective yes being obese can give rise to health complications. But our bodies all have a set point, and you are unlikely to go much above that during this time. Furthermore, any weight you have gained is likely to naturally come off once this is all over.

From a health perspective, giving into restrictive eating disorder tendencies is going to be more damaging. Studies have consistently shown that being underweight is more damaging than being slightly overweight and coping mechanisms such as purging can actually be really dangerous and affect your electrolyte levels as well as risk damaging your esophegous and teeth.

It is okay to gain weight. It is okay to stick to your meal plan even if you think your less active and don’t need it. It is okay to eat what you want. There is nothing wrong with that chocolate, those biscuits or those crisps.

All food is good food and you deserve to eat it. Be kind to yourself. Just getting through the day is enough.


4 thoughts on “It’s okay to gain weight in isolation

  1. April 8, 2020 / 4:23 pm

    Great post! Very helpful! I’m in my late fifties and was anorexic in my twenties. I still don’t own a scale because the mindset can get triggered even all these years later. However if it does I have tools now that I didn’t have before. Breathe.

    That being said, I’m still gaining weight even though I’m eating healthy and getting a daily walk in, weather permitting. As someone who had chronic Shingles for 10 years and has had 2 eruptions and a case of the Crud in the past 6 weeks, I can’t push myself physically because my immune system is still fragile. Breathe.

    I need to keep a balance in my life so I don’t get more eruptions, which are triggered by stress, doing too much physically, sun, wind, dehydration etc. Breathe.

    I’ve had to do the exact same thing and give myself permission to gain weight. I tell myself that even with eating healthy (my immune system requires it) and getting in a walk, that overall my activity levels are lower because I’m sitting so much. Breathe.

    Once this THING is over, we can fully get back into our healthy routines. In the meantime we need to focus on what our minds and spirits need to keep going! Breathe!

    I’m going to check on some Tapping solutions, which I’ve been curious about and will now explore! Breathe!

    Be well everyone! Breathe!

    Peace, Tamara

    • Spooonielivingfree April 8, 2020 / 10:00 pm

      Absolutely the same re scales. My weight tends to fluctuate within quite a large range if I’m not using behaviours but if I end up at the top of that range again I’m trying to remind myself it’s okay

      • April 9, 2020 / 12:32 am

        Absolutely! We need to be gentle with ourselves during this time! I learned that teaching myself to love myself by saying positive affirmations and healing old wounds was far more effective in my life than berating myself! Learning to accept ourselves as we are, knowing that we’re a work in progress, I learned is crucial to living within our skin happily! At this time we reeeaaally need to practice this don’t we?!!

  2. Shared Thoughts April 16, 2020 / 1:53 am

    Absolutely spot on and I’m an absolute hypocrite when I share this type of info with others. However, I’d like to believe that despite my own situation, I can still care for the health and welfare of my friends. Perhaps others wouldn’t see it that way. If anyone ever needs one, I offer myself as an example of what a lifetime (decades) of anorexia can do. My body is broken and permanently damaged beyond repair. If I suddenly was cured tomorrow, nothing physically would change. I’m in a Harm Reduction level which allows me to carry on. All the energy I have needs to be used to manage fibro, bipolar and misc other issues. I simply don’t have the reserves for anything else. Because of this, rather than spoons, I use matches. Each activity strikes a match and when it burns out, well… Why matches? Because I don’t have those reserves you mention that are valuable for managing life and health. I hope many people read your post and find validation in what they are doing or struggling with. I’m a huge advocate of people recovering despite my condition, or maybe because of it. Thank you for speaking the truth and having the courage to share that this wisdom comes from a place of experience.

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