How to be ok with gaining weight when lifting
If you seriously lift weights, there is a high likelihood that some weight gain will come along with it due to increasing muscle mass. Weight lifting is beneficial for all genders and I know many females may struggle with the thought of gaining weight from an exercise. (I’m sure some males as well, so if you’re a male struggling with this, keep reading!)
This is something I have struggled with so I wanted to write a post about this topic.
Let me share with you a little bit about my experience so you know where I’m coming from and then I’ll give you guys some tips on dealing with this.
I’m going to share with you my weight in the next part. If weight amounts are triggering to you for any reason, just skip to the tips below.
My experience with weight gain and weight lifting
I pretty much weighed the same amount for years, 105 lbs. I know this is light but for context my height is only 5’2″. I was lucky to be able to maintain this weight with generally healthy easting habits and I would say a pretty average workout routine, nothing crazy. During this time I lifted weights but not seriously. I was also dealing with a chronic, on and off hip issue that limited my workouts.
About 2-3 years ago, I decided to try to seriously start lifting weights to see if it would help my hip as one of the main differences when comparing my left and right hip region was glute weakness and really crappy glute activation on the side with the injury. I know, very medical terminology today for you guys! 😆
My physical therapist brain was thinking that if I could improve my glute strength that it would help my hip and as an added bonus my butt would look nicer, win win.
So I started to slowly progress my weight training. I trained total body but did put an extra emphasis on glute strengthening. The results I had were I was stronger, my hip felt better than it had in a long time, my muscles had some growth, and I was gaining weight…
If I looked in the mirror at my body without stepping on the scale, I really felt great and was loving how I looked, but it was so hard to get past seeing the number on the scale going up, even though I knew this was normal with weight lifting.
I had somehow associated being 105 lbs to mean that I was “skinny” and found it difficult to disassociate from the number on the scale. I know that our weight does not determine this, but I think we have been programed in our modern society to think this way and sometimes it can be hard to get passed this concept.
It has been a process to become ok with gaining weight and to be honest, it’s still something I struggle with on and off. My weight is now averaging around 120 lbs which I know is not a lot but I just got so used to being at my lighter weight.
But in honesty, my body feels better than it has in a long time, so I am learning to not be so attached to what “number” my weight is.
I share with you my experience in case this story is something you relate to.
In this post I want to share some tips that have helped me become more ok with weight gain in hopes that it helps you.
7 tips for helping you get past the number on the scale
1. Stop constantly weighing yourself.
There really is no need to weight yourself everyday. If you want to check in with your weight, that’s fine but I really don’t think it’s beneficial to do every day.
I used to start every morning by weighing myself and it really would set the tone for my day. God forbid I was up two pounds then I started my day in a bad mood which is crazy!
Our weight can naturally fluctuate by a few pounds and it doesn’t mean anything.
Weighing yourself every morning is also just not a positive way to start your day. You want to start your day with something that nourishes your mind, body, and soul!
2. Base your perscpective on how you feel as opposed to what the scale says
How you are actually feeling is so much more important than your weight.
Are you feeling stronger and more energized? Great!
Are you noticing your muscles are more pronounced? Great!
Are you able to go for a walk for longer than before without getting fatigued? Awesome!
These are just a few examples but you get where I am going.
If you’re not feeling great, just take note of this and see what you can do to help you feel better and healthier. Maybe you’ve been slacking on eating enough veggies or something so you can try to change this. Our bodies are great at communicating what they need if we pay attention.
Also remember that it’s ok not to feel great about your body everyday. There are going to be changes from day to day and that’s ok and totally normally. On those days, try your best to limit the negative self talk. You don’t deserve that! As you work on your self love, there will be less and less days like these but remember we are all only human!
3. Show your body gratitude.
So often we are so critical of our bodies.
We get upset with it for not being able to do something we want or for not looking a certain way.
But what about all the miraculous things our body does do for us?
I know it may sound weird but our body deserves some gratitude! The intricacy of what our body does is amazing.
If you are really struggling with body acceptance, try thanking your body each day for something no matter how small!
It can super small such as “Thank you body for allowing me to walk outside and smell the spring flowers.” Truly, this can be anything.
4. Love where you're at today!
It’s ok to have goals related to your physical appearance or even weight but we need to set these goals with love. If you love yourself where you’re at right now it will be that much better when you reach your goal.
Related to weight gain with weight lifting, think about your goal and focus on that. For example, my goal when I started lifting was to decrease my hip pain and increase the size of my glutes. These things came along with weight gain which is natural when you are building muscle! So I need to keep my attention on the fact that I did achieve what I set out to do.
Again remember, it’s really all about how you feel.
5. Look at your habits to evaluate your health not your weight
Sometimes weight gain can be something we want to address if we aren’t being healthy. It can also be helpful when working on losing weight as a way to assess our progress but I think we place too much emphasis on a “number” as opposed to how we feel.
So ask yourself, are you eating healthy and exercising? Are you feeling good in your body right now? If you answered yeas, great, these are way more important than what the scale says.
6. Realize that your body is just a place for you to live and it doesn't define you
This is probably the tip that has helped me the most and is something that has come to light for me through my yoga practice. Warning, I might get a little yogi here for a minute, but this helped me so much that I wanted to share.
I look at the physical body as just the place where we live. Our spirit is who we really are and our body is just like a “shell” containing it. It allows us to interact in this world and it’s a blessing to have the body we have.
Since our body is our “home” in this world, we do need to take care of it by eating healthy and exercising etc. But, we need to care for it in a way that nourishes it for the purpose of interacting in this world and put less focus on aspects such as physical appearance.
When you think about things this way, it makes it more difficult to get caught up in things such as the number on the scale.
Now guys, I am by no means perfect in this way, as you just read that one of my goals was to increase the size of my butt with lifting. I’m only human and it’s hard to break the ideas that are placed upon us in this modern day but I am working on getting better with this. Thinking this way is really helping me in this aspect and I hope it will help you too.
7. Give yourself some grace
Remember, you’re only human. I think sometimes we can judge ourselves for feeling negative emotions about things that we perceive to be small but we are all on our own journey.
So don’t judge yourself for feeling stressed about something such as weight gain. Instead find the tools you need to help yourself be in a better mental state.
And remember, you are perfect where you are at today and the number on the scale does NOT define you!