Your Call – How Can I Feel Good After Gaining Weight?

photo via Glamour magazine

Dear Em & Lo,

I hate how I look after gaining 40lbs in the last 5 years. I was only 115lbs. What should I do ? He thinks I’m sexy no matter what. How can I feel the same?

— Weighed Down

What should Weighed Down do? Advise her in the comments section below. [And yes, before you say anything: We are fully aware that the woman in the photo above is far from being 40lb overweight. In fact, we don’t think she’s overweight at all! But we love the fact she is smiling despite the fact that many people would look at this pic and think, “I hate how my stomach is hanging over my underwear.”]

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15 Comments on "Your Call – How Can I Feel Good After Gaining Weight?"

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5 years 2 months ago

Hey, thanks for the great article. Honestly, about three months ago I started a new dieting regime, I’ve been on the chubby side my entire adult life and I’ve tried everything. I found personally that the only thing that worked for me was hard work and putting the effort, take a look at this, it changed my life Good luck and thanks for the great article.

5 years 5 months ago

My situation is the opposite: I’ve lost a lot of weight (175 lbs, 40 lbs left to go) and while I look good *in* my new clothes, out of them – not so much. I got rid of 175 of weight, but I still have the skin it used to occupy. (we won’t talk about how my belly overlaps my underwear). I want to have plastic surgery done when I can afford it.

I’m single again and would like to date, but I can’t imagine taking my clothes off in front of someone new. (Actually, I can imagine it and I wake up screaming.) My friends tell me if I think I am beautiful, then I am beautiful. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Madamoiselle L
5 years 6 months ago

Great advice, k. 😀

5 years 6 months ago

A few tips, from personal experience:

1. Losing weight can be very difficult, based on your body type, lifestyle, level of dedication to weight loss, and so forth. Building muscle only takes effort and commitment. Basically, diets can be a struggle and aren’t always successful, but having muscle tone will improve the appearance of your body no matter what you weigh. Finding an exercise plan that will build muscle tone and sticking to it will produce results like a flat tummy and nice legs, no matter what clothing size you happen to be.

2. If you do diet or exercise, don’t base your success on the scale. Start taking your measurements and recording them every two weeks. I really stress this because when I began exercising, I started to lose hope when the scale said I wasn’t losing weight – but then I started taking measurements and realized that I was losing inches, especially around my waist.

3. Work on your posture and the way that you carry yourself. It’s amazing how doing something so simple can have such an effect, but standing/sitting with good posture will make you look thinner, especially in pictures.

4. Don’t try to make your body fit into clothes – find clothes to fit your body. Stick with outfits that you feel confident in.

5. Focus on your best assets and work it. It’s completely possible to be AND feel beautiful without losing an ounce. It’s easy to stop caring about your appearance when you’re unhappy with your weight – but loving your hair, taking good care of your skin, accentuating your best assets etc will do more for your self image than just simply losing weight ever would.

5 years 6 months ago

I think it really is all about how you feel in your own skin. I recently faced a similar problem. I’m 5’7” and weigh about 113 (size 2) but recently started really losing my feeling of sexiness because I had let myself get soft. My husband thinks I look great, though he still remarks that I’d look better if I gained weight. I had two choices, accept me ‘as is’ or get serious about my workouts. I chose getting more serious about my workouts because I need to be comfortable in the mirror and I don’t listen (believe) what other say about my beauty.–See, size really doesn’t matter when it comes to feeling sexy.

Accepting one’s self ‘as is’ seems to have two avenues: feel sexy because he thinks you’re sexy or feel sexy because you see/feel sexy in the mirror, extrinsic versus intrinsic. Unfortunately extrinsic is much easier than intrinsic. All that’s required for extrinsic is simply believing what he says about how you look. Intrinsic requires you to feel sexy regardless of what anyone says, good or bad. The only way I can think of to achieve that, is to focus on and take pride in all the beautiful parts of yourself and create a metal image of yourself that is gorgeous to keep in your head throughout the day. Also knowing and taking pride in one’s own sexual ability can make one feel sexy—and it’s independent of looks! It really boils down to confidence: you’re sexy because you’ve chosen to be sexy.