I wish someone wrote a cheat sheet or something for women struggling to gain weight. It would have made this whole process a lot easier for me. I remember spending hours on the internet looking for information and people that I could relate to about gaining weight and how to do it the right way. And all I found were bodybuilding websites, which were helpful but sometimes difficult to understand, and the occasional blog post that didn’t actually talk about weight gain itself. Instead it talked about how to accept yourself where you are or how to lose the weight you’ve gained.
Sure, there were women on Instagram that had before and after weight gain pictures and a workout here and there but they weren’t giving out much information on how they did it unless I was willing to shell out some money for it. And me being the self-sufficient person that I am, I knew I could figure it out with some hard work.
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When I did happened to find information relative to gaining weight, a lot of it came word of mouth and consisted of things like:
- Once you start gaining weight it won’t stop.
- You have to eat a lot.
- You’re going to look manly if you lift weights.
- It’s hard to lose weight once you gain it.
Unfortunately these claims either only had a small amount of truth to them or none at all. And I wanted was something concrete that really painted a picture of what I should know about gaining weight before I set out to do it. But since I couldn’t get that I settled for the next best thing. I learned almost everything I know about weight gain came from trial and error, and it was my best teacher.
*I feel like I have to make this disclaimer: This information is for my females that have trouble putting on weight. If you don’t fall into that category feel free to check out some of my other posts.*
Here’s what I learned, and what no one told me about gaining weight.
Weight gain requires discipline.
When I first decided to gain weight I didn’t realize how much work it would be. I thought that I could just “try eating more” and hope that I put on weight. Every week I’d check the scale and wonder why I wasn’t putting on any pounds even though I was going to the gym. Turns out winging it just doesn’t work. Especially if you don’t have a true understanding of how much you are currently eating a day and how much you should be eating.
So instead of winging it I started tracking my calorie intake. I wanted to see how much food I was actually eating. I mean, it had to be at least 2000 calories right?
I was only consuming 1700 calories a day. Turns out 2 – 3 meals a day isn’t exactly a lot. Who knew? So that’s when I set a goal of 2500 calories a day. Of course I made sure to eat relatively healthy but the main idea was to hit 2500 calories consistently. No more trying to gain weight without measurable goals. And it worked. Once I had an understanding of food and nutrition and the amount of food I needed to hit my goal, I didn’t NEED to track my food anymore. And I was still able to put on healthy weight.
You’re going to be bloated A LOT.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I always bloat after every time I eat a large meal I probably would have given up on my journey early. No one told me that I would look 5 months pregnant as often as I did. That might be okay for some people but it was a no go for me. An older lady at my job even asked me if I was eating for two. After I said no, she proceeded to ask me if I was sure! If you’re feeling self conscious, or just don’t want to deal with those types of questions like me, I recommend wearing loose clothing to make it easier to eat freely and be able to walk around in public.
You’ll be eating even when you’re not hungry.
I’m not an emotional eater. I don’t even eat out of boredom. I always eat only when I’m hungry so eating all of the time was hard to adjust to. Sometimes when I had a snack scheduled for me to eat, I would stare at with disdain. Having to eat when you’re more or less full isn’t exactly comfortable. Even still, I slowly forced myself to eat it because I knew I had a goal to reach. But be prepared, you’re probably not going to like it. Sometimes it would get to a point where I didn’t want to eat anymore because I was tired of chewing.
And remember since you’re eating so much you’re probably going to be going to the bathroom more often. Just saying.
You might get stretch marks.
In my ignorance I thought that stretch marks only happened during puberty and pregnancy. I knew that they usually happened during rapid physical changes but I didn’t know that weight lifting and building muscles would be a part of that. It turns out that stretch marks happen during rapid weight gain or weight loss when the skin goes beyond its limits of elasticity.
I already had stretch marks from puberty. But once I started intentionally gaining weight I got dark stretch marks on my butt and my hips. I will say, they don’t bother me as much as they did when I first started seeing them and I’ve slowly become comfortable with them. I’m not sure if Kendrick Lamar’s, “Be Humble,” has something to do with that
If stretch marks are something you think you’ll be concerned about, you can try and take your time with your weight gain journey and use preventative measures. But let’s be honest, sometimes you can do every trick in the book and still get stretch marks so acceptance is key overall.
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You’re going to get attention everywhere.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s from your friends, family, or strangers everyone is going to comment on your appearance. Good and bad. As I started to get more curves I was getting compliments and positive comments from both men and women. Men were more attracted to me and wanted my phone number. Women wanted to know my secrets and asked if I could train them. However, I also got negative feedback from other men and women who’ve said they don’t want me to look manly from lifting weights. My advice: Don’t let what anyone says about you to get into your head.
Positive comments are great until you don’t fit into that ideal anymore and negative comments can just make you feel down about yourself.
What people failed to realize is that I want my body to look however I want my body to look. And you should feel the same way about yours. It’s okay to listen to others’ opinions but at the end of the day it’s your body your choice.
*Side note: It would be very hard for me or most other women to look manly anyway, because we simply don’t have enough testosterone in us to get that way naturally.*
If you like this make sure to check out The Best Weight Gain Tips for Skinny Girls.