themighty logo

Why My Perspective on Weight Gain Changed After Overcoming Anxiety

Something had stolen my appetite and the figure that drew my husband’s eye to all the right places. I had plummeted to my pre-puberty weight in just a couple months, with no medical explanation.

I felt weak and tired most of the time, but I blamed this on an international move with a newborn who genuinely hated sleep and must have assumed the rest of us did, too. That seemed like a reasonable explanation, but my doctor gave me another:

Generalized anxiety disorder and/or depression (as if I could take my pick).

I started on some medicine that would assist my hopeless sleep endeavors and another to tell my brain to just. chill. out. My husband started taking the night shift, and I tried the breathing techniques suggested by my doctor. Sleep would remain a struggle, but the ache of anxiety would come and go, each time staying away a little longer.

As my health began to improve, the numbers on the scale began to creep back up. I knew a few added pounds were good for me, but I still I clenched my teeth as the kilos ticked by. The weight gain felt like failure, a loss of control.

I’ve begun to see this weight differently. This weight is peaceful sleep, waking up just as hungry as my toddlers and happily downing a plate of pancakes right with them. This weight is coffee dates with my husband, something sweet on the side. It’s a little too much laziness and a couple too many naps, both of which were elusive to me when the anxiety was at its worst. It reflects a shedding of the heavy weight of depression and the gain of health and happiness.

I’m certainly not tipping the scales and still can’t keep my old jeans on my hips. I try not to hate the weight that seems to be piling on because I know what it represents. I may have to trade out my carbs for cucumbers and hot chocolate for chamomile tea, but until I pass my happy weight, I plan to the savor the sweetness of this settled life.