How to Feel Great Even Though You’ve Gained Weight post image

How to Feel Great Even Though You’ve Gained Weight

I am currently struggling with something that I’m sure more than a few of you can relate to: I gained a bunch of weight over the holidays and am still trying my darnedest to get rid of it.

I don’t even really know how it happened, it was like I woke up one day and all of a sudden the jeans I used to be able to wear so comfortably became suffocating torture devices and I found myself going head-to-head with the stubborn zippers on my favorite dresses, the ones that used to glide right up so easily. I’m taking all the right steps, eating less, exercising more, but it’s been an agonizingly unfruitful process and the pounds aren’t melting away as quickly as they implanted themselves.

Now this isn’t gonna be an article about how I lost the weight, or about my valiant efforts to get back where I was. I was inspired to write this because I realized that this slight change on the outside caused some major changes on the inside and in the past month,  I’ve barely been able to recognize myself. All of a sudden I was insecure, introverted, and riddled with self-doubt. I also became someone who constantly berated herself which was disappointing because that is something I always speak out against. I was traveling down a very detrimental path, one that would have caused the Sabrina who started ANM a year ago to smack me right across the head, and justly so: I let myself get caught up in the idea that my weight meant everything.

So what happened exactly? Well I lost perspective and veered off course. Now I’m back and while I’m still working to get myself back to where I was, I have learned to accept where I am now and to feel great even though I’ve put on some weight.

Read on for my tips!

It’s not as noticeable as you think

First and foremost it’s important to acknowledge the fact that you are, and always will be, your harshest critic. No one is scrutinizing you but YOU. When you look through photos, who is the first person you look at? That’s right, yourself! Sure, a significant weight gain might be a little noticeable, but chances are, if you don’t point it out, no one else will even realize! And if they do, it will appear so slight that they won’t even know why you think it matters. We all know this, yet somehow we disregard this knowledge in favor of the completely erroneous belief that all eyes are on us. This may be true for celebrities, but it is not the case at all for anyone else.

It doesn’t make you any less attractive

I truly believed that my weight gain rendered me wholly undesirable and unattractive. However, oddly enough, I think I’ve been getting hit on even more these past few months! And not by guys who just wanna get laid, but by genuine guys who actually want to take me out and get to know me. At first I was perplexed beyond belief, how can he be interested in me, I am SO fat right now.

I haven’t figured out if it’s a coincidence or ties directly to my more reserved demeanor and conservative wardrobe (I’ve definitely been covering up a lot more when I go out),  but either way it proves that my weight is a non-issue, in this sense anyway, and didn’t somehow transform me into a lesser version of myself.

Keep your confidence in check

To continue from where I left off on my last point, getting attention from guys is great and all, but you really need to work hard to keep your confidence firmly in check, no matter what the scale says. You can still look amazing and beautiful with extra weight, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true!

There are girls who I see all the time that aren’t ‘thin’ in the conventional sense, but they dress to flatter and embrace their figures and carry themselves with infectious confidence. Even when I was at my skinniest, I would look at these girls and feel pangs of envy. When you really love yourself and love the way you look, it shows and it radiates and it draws people to you.

Thoughts are real forces but they are also controllable.  If you allow yourself to think that you’re fat and unattractive, this will become your own personal reality, even if it’s incongruous with what the rest of the world thinks. I went from being confident and self-assured to an insecure mess. And over what? A few extra pounds? That’s just so silly it makes me cringe to even write it out. Fine, you’ve put on some weight, but that does not define who you are- you’re still just as pretty, fun, smart, intelligent, etc. as you were before. Don’t let the extra pounds weigh you down and hold you back.

So you’ve hit a bump in the road..

It has never been as difficult for me to lose weight as it is right now. Maybe it has to do with getting older, with not having enough time to exercise, with winter-induced hibernation, who knows. After about a week of putting in the effort to lose weight and not seeing results, I just gave up and retreated to a place of despair and frustration. Why even bother working out if it’s not working? Why not just eat what I want, obviously this healthy eating thing isn’t getting me anywhere? However, I  have since adjusted those misguided thoughts and tell myself daily that yes, I have put on weight, but it’s only temporary and it will come off if I continue on with my healthy ways (which I’m committed to not only for weight-loss, but because I’m really enjoying the benefits of healthy living.)

Don’t lash out against yourself and beat yourself up over it. In truth, once you let go and stop thinking about it so much, those pounds will just just fall away (I’ve experienced this phenomenon before.) Now not thinking about it doesn’t mean you can sit on the couch gorging on burgers and fries and just wait for the weight to come off.  Keep going with your healthy lifestyle, forgive yourself for slipping up here and there, and stop scrutinizing every inch of yourself. Do this, and I promise you’ll get back to where you were.

Stop talking about it!

When you constantly think about how much weight you’ve gained you will inevitably talk about it. This is something I started doing for reassurance, I wanted to hear the ‘oh those pounds will fly right off’ or ‘you look great, I can’t even tell!’

You don’t need reassurance from other people though, you know what you need to do and you know you look great right now, right?? Constantly thinking and talking about it will only frustrate and discourage you and it will define you as that poor girl who gained weight and can’t get rid of it and other people will just be thankful they’re not in your shoes, and who wants that?

Enjoy the benefits
My wardrobe has been virtually cut in half thanks to my extra fluff. However, if there’s a silver lining, it’s that I have been forced to become a lot more creative with what I have. I’ve discovered unworn pieces, I’ve become the master of layering, and I’ve learned how to show off my assets and hide my problem areas (mainly the mid-section), without hiding behind huge bulky layers. I also have way more curves, especially in the boob department, which is something I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing before.

It took me a long time to figure out how to feel great even though I had put on weight. However, I have accepted it and while it would be nice to fit back into my old clothes again, like, tomorrow, I’m okay with the fact that it might take some time because I know I still look good and more importantly, I finally feel good about myself as well.

Did you find any of these suggestions helpful? Do you have something to add to the list? Talk to us in comments, we love hearing from you!


Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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As a recovered anorexic battling body distortion issues, I have had a very difficult time allowing myself to become a healthy weight.. Now I weigh the most I ever have(thank God for counseling!), and feel great, but have found difficulty accepting myself as a healthier person. Your article was incredibly empowering for me. Thank you so much for your perspective! I hope you know how much of an impact your article had and will continue to have to others.

Reply June 16, 2021, 10:16 am

Afia Tariq

I really needed this! Thank you!

Reply March 7, 2019, 9:48 pm


Long time since this was written but exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!

Reply June 10, 2017, 7:37 am


Isn’t it such a shame that weight gain can make us feel this depressed! I recently lost a lot of weight and then gained most of it back. I never thought that I would be in this predicament again. I thought that my weight loss was permanent, but it wasn’t. Next year is my senior year of high school, and I really want to look good again. I found hope in your encouraging words, and I keep reminding myself that I had an entire year of feeling the most confident that I have ever felt in my life, and I am
very lucky for that. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one going through this right now. Thank you so much!!! We can do this, and we will. Just maybe we will look better than before!

Reply May 24, 2017, 11:48 pm


Great article. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling. Thank you.

Reply January 2, 2017, 7:34 am


This really helped me get back on track cuz I was trying to lose weight and then I binge ate really bad during my diet and I ate soooo much I actually gained five more pounds more than my original weight and I was very discouraged until today when I read this so thank u:)

Reply September 17, 2016, 12:30 am


Im very glad I have come across this article too. I recently gained weight and I have been feeling terrible and guilty about it. It just makes me feel worst and want to eat more to comfort myself. I feel the more I lack in confidence the worst I feel. It’s great to see how you have put it in a positive perspective. I really need to be more kinder to myself and accept that I can lose weight with time instead of the negative self talks which I know is not helping at all.

Reply September 25, 2016, 7:54 am


Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for this lovely written article. This really inspired me to try and accept myself as I am. I hope this comment finds you well because you deserve recognition! Thank you again.

Reply August 28, 2016, 1:26 am


Thank you. It felt wonderful to find someone to relate too

Reply July 31, 2016, 11:10 pm


I’m saving this article (even though it is OLD!) and re-reading when I get discouraged. Wonderful advice here, and the struggle is real. Thank you for writing this in such a clear and easy-to-digest manner. Thank you!

Reply May 9, 2016, 6:31 pm


It sucks when people say stuff because it confirms all the negative self-talk. Sorry to hear it. Don’t let it get you down! Use all the wisdom in the article here & keep up head held high. The pounds will come off and you’ll be stronger for going through it.

Reply May 9, 2016, 6:29 pm


Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m a high schooler on a year-long exchange program. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight because of all the dietary changes (I’m living with a host family so I don’t really have any choice in the meals I’m given), and I keep feeling blah whenever I look in the mirror or when something that used to fit easily won’t close all the way. Up until this exchange, I was always very slender, and in the last few months I’ve been in denial about the weight gain, trying to wear my “skinny” clothes and then feeling bad because they didn’t look and fit the way they used to. This article has helped me realize that weight is way less of a big deal than we realize, and that I just need to start appreciating myself for the way I am inside and stop worrying so much about what’s on the outside. Thank you. :)

Reply April 6, 2016, 1:00 pm


Hello Sabrina, Loved your article! It was really uplifting for me. I injured my foot and had been unable to exercise as usual, got depressed because every step I took was painful and I knew that with the arthritis that came from the injury, my body would never be as it was. I’ve made a lot of progress since the initial diagnosis, but ended up gaining a good amount of weight in the meantime. When you say nobody really notices, I agree that people that see me often don’t seem to notice. Yet, a few people that I haven’t seen in a while have noticed and have said hurtful things. My mother even said that she and my stepfather were talking about it and that I have such a pretty face bla bla bla. I was shocked! It’s not only the “you have such a pretty face” comment, but also that she said that they had been talking about me. This has stuck in my craw and I feel like whenever I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, after I’m gone, they’re talking about how great I used to look and how I would look so much better if I’d lose weight. Funny, I see how preposterous this is as I write it all out. I’m still me. I’m actually a better me all the time. In any case, you’re article has given me a nice push in the right direction. Thanks!

Reply February 5, 2016, 12:39 pm


Love this. All of it. And I get it. I sooooo get it. Kudos to you for recognizing the ridiculous spiral and stopping it. Keep being awesome.

Reply January 24, 2016, 8:14 pm


I don’t think a lot of commenters on the internet realize how hurtful their words can be. This article and the comments beneath are exactly what people like us need to be able to move forward and not give up. Thank you

Reply December 23, 2015, 11:13 pm

serah kunda

I feel so much better instead of like a mess

Reply October 8, 2015, 1:28 pm


Thanks so much for this. It’s really what I needed to hear right now. Been feeling very bad about my weight gain and hiding out in my house, not wanting to see anyone. Thanks for helping me realise it’s probably not as bad as I think, and that it really doesn’t make me any less attractive. Thank you!! :)

Reply August 23, 2015, 5:50 pm


Wow this is really what I’ve needed to see all along. I have been beating myself up for this 7 lb weight gain and the fact that I have change my lifestyle without seeing little to no results hasn’t helped either but this certainly did. I have to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t as easy to lose weight as it was in the past and just forge ahead without looking for reassurance. Most importantly, my size doesn’t determine who I am or my worth – I am still just as sexy, beautiful, with a little extra booty. :) Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

Reply October 28, 2014, 3:19 pm


Enjoyed site helpful

Reply October 16, 2014, 11:41 am


I am sooo grateful to have come across this! WAY better advice than seeking some crash diet or scheme to shed the pounds. I am a true believer that what you think about you bring about, and yet I was sitting here cursing myself and the fat that “sat” on my body. I have even gotten in a terrible habit of grabbing my excess weight and holding it in my hands, reaffirming its presence. This article is the reassurance I needed to reclaim myself and my confidence in this moment NOW. If we love ourselves in every form, happiness is inevitable. Thanks again. No more beating myself up, and I hope you beautiful ladies stop doing that as well. Love!

Reply August 15, 2012, 12:13 am


Thank you so so much.. I have recently picked up so so much weight everyone said that its just hormones but I know it wasnt!! I was so sad cause it felt like my boyfriend was looking at other skinny girls cause now my hips are bigger and my legs to and not to even speak about the rolls.. NOTHING fit in my cubboard!! But wow I stumbled on this and I am so inspired its not even funny.. You are AMAZING a real angel!! Thank you so so much

Reply July 2, 2012, 2:11 pm


Truly inspiring. You don’t even know how much I’ve been struggling with this…actually I guess you might if you’re going through it too. But, I just wanted to thank you. This helped me believe in myself again.

Reply March 21, 2012, 10:14 pm

elena daciuk

what a great post! i just finished up my first week of hitting the gym & eating healthy…and yes…nothing changed…but really…everything changed…i’m sleeping better, i know i’m on the right track…and i’ve stopped thinking and talking about it…now i’m “doing” something about it…the weight didn’t come on in one week…so who am i to think that it will come off in one week?
and…as shown by the comments…we are not alone!

Reply March 21, 2010, 12:47 pm


Thanks for this great post, it feels great to know you’re not alone and the mirror doesn’t have to be my enemy anymore.

Reply February 24, 2010, 3:40 pm

Sabrina fan!

Sabrina! This is something I’ve journaled about one more than one occasion – one day I hope to write a book on the subject. I heard myself in so many of your words more times than I care to admit.

I tell ya….we could be great friends; being cheerleaders for each other one moment and kicking each others butts when we need to ‘snap out of it’! ;)

You are an amazing writer. Thanks for your honesty, sharing your authentic self and reminding me we’re not alone in this. So many women need to hear this. I will definitely re-tweet!

Reply February 18, 2010, 11:51 pm


thank youuuuu! it is nice to know i am not the only one who has gained weight and was stressing about it! i hate that i have gained weight. i am at the highest i have ever been, but i have struggled with my weight for years and this time i am determined to lose the weight and keep it off this time and reading what you said about being happy with yourself now, and soon enough the weight will be off..that made me calm down a little..because yes i have some extra chub on me right now, but soon enough i will be back to my normal self and even though im not there yet i will be soon and i still look good now wit the xtra chub..even tho its not what im used too! lol

Reply February 18, 2010, 11:38 pm


Ugh, thank you so much for this. Sometimes you just feel like you’re the only one who’s working, not seeing results, and completely feeling like giving up. Inspiring, honest, and wonderfully written. I’m sure I’m not the only one who needed to hear this, too. Thanks again.

Reply February 8, 2010, 10:53 pm


Thank you soo much for this lovely entry..
I was really needing those advices :)

Reply February 1, 2010, 6:46 am

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