So What If I’ve Gained Weight?

Ruthie Martin

I’ve been thinking about this post for about a month now. It’s been whirling around in my brain like some kind of marble of truth, knocking on the walls and trying to break free. It’s important.

I often struggle to find the correct words to convey my feelings. But you know what? I’ve had enough of trying to find the “right” way to say something. Yes, I have put on weight recently. I’ll also be totally honest with you: I no longer feel bad about it.

My weight has fluctuated for the entirety of my adult life. My mental health is partially to blame for this, whilst the rest of the responsibility lands on myself and bad eating habits. It’s something I want to improve on for my health and nothing else.

In fact, over the past couple of years, I have put on about three stone. It’s been pointed out to me on various occasions too, which was a truly joyous feeling.

There are lots of reasons why people put on weight. If you’re a young adult who is still growing, you may gain weight; when you’re in a new relationship and you grow comfortable with another person, you may gain weight; when you’re pregnant, you obviously gain weight.

So what is my excuse for gaining weight?

About three years ago, for the first time in many years I felt like I didn’t want to be here anymore. About three years ago, I started taking a medication called aripiprazole to work alongside the fluxotine I have been taking since I was sixteen.

A common side-effect of taking this medication is weight gain. And you know what? If it means I had to gain weight in order to – you know – not die, I know what I’d choose.

Most people don’t know this about me, and that in itself meant that I couldn’t fully justify why I have gained weight. Everyone just thought I was lazy because that’s what society thinks.

And so, I started to feel anxious. Leaving the house was frightening. I felt lethargic. Then, I’d start covering up with an oversized t-shirt or wear thick tights in the scorching heat and hope that no one would notice how bloated I was.

Eventually, I started eyeing myself in the bedroom mirror, clutching at my belly and reciting twisted haikus about how gross I was, convinced that this was the reason I didn’t have a plethora of friends or why the guy I had fallen for decided he didn’t want to be with me.

Who would want to be seen with me? It was absolutely exhausting.

Today is my birthday. At 6:13am, I turned 26 years old.

For my birthday, I had a Boudoir photoshoot. It was awesome and I have never felt so happy to be in the skin that I am in. If today isn’t a day to celebrate the body I was born into, then I don’t know what is.

And then it started to truly dawn on me.

I’ve gained weight because I am happy.

I am heavier because I get to have meals with my family where I’m not afraid of being judged. I’ve gained weight because I spend every Friday with my best friend watching RuPaul and eating pizza. I’ve gained weight because I am surrounded by people who love me unconditionally in whatever shape or size I come in.

But most of importantly of all, I’ve gained weight because sometimes that happens and it’s actually none of your business. If the only nasty thing a person can pull out of the bag is how heavy I am, then I must be doing something right. If you think asking me where I keep my SlimFast is acceptable, then kindly get out of my life – I don’t need that kind of negative bullshit, thanks.

Luckily, I’ve always known full well that if people feel they can’t accept me into their lives because of my weight, then they aren’t worth an ounce of my time. Sometimes it’s hard to live by with society so set on cashing in on our insecurities, but I have an incredible support network, I go to the gym and I eat well. I’m no longer going to be apologetic about it.

This is me, and every inch of me. TC mark

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