As a mum of two I sometimes feel like I’m in a bit of a silly situation when I talk about wanting to gain weight. While most mums are moaning about trying to shed the baby weight I sit silently sipping my tea, not because I feel smug that I haven’t got any baby weight to shed, but because I feel desperate to get my pre-baby body back too … but I know that if I moan about my challenges with weight, I won’t be always be taken as seriously.
‘we need to fatten you up’ ‘there’s nothing of you’ ‘why are you in the gym? you’ll waste away’
‘oh yes it must be so hard having to eat more’ *sarcastically*
I used to get these comments daily and although they never hurt my feelings, I knew people never meant them in a horrible way, I found them so frustrating because to me it’s no better than ‘fat shaming’ – as long as someone wants to healthily change their body why shouldn’t they be met with encouragement rather than what can come across as patronising remarks?
Well that’s exactly what I’m planning to do, I want to be stronger both physically and mentally and gaining weight in the form of both muscle and fat is the way for me to do it. Pre-kids I was a content size 8-10; I was slim but never skinny. Since having my boys however, I’ve been a 6-8, closer to 6 and I’ve been described as ‘skinny’ more times than I can count.
I’m guessing it’s down to stress; when I’m stressed I don’t eat as I just lose my appetite and that combined with rushing around after two mini tornados has just left my body feeling quite weak. I lost my curves, my butt was non-existent and I looked gaunt in the face. I really just didn’t feel happy with the way I looked and felt and just wanted to make some healthy changes to feel and look healthier!
So starting before Christmas but with real intent since the New Year, I’ve been on a weight gain mission through diet and exercise. It’s been quite tough as I’ve also started a plant based diet which most people said would work against my goals but I am so pleased that after only 23 days of a solid gain weight plan I’ve already gained 6lbs!
I started at 7 stone and my aim is to gain at least 1 stone; I’d like to get to a few pounds over 8 stone to allow for fluctuating and if I can gain even more than that through muscle then that would be fantastic!
So I’ve put this 6lb weight gain down to two main factors – my plant based diet and weight training.
On my normal diet eating meat and dairy I would go just under and just over 7lbs, never really gaining and honestly finding it difficult to even up my calories. Since being on a plant based diet though I’ve found that I don’t feel full, bloated and slugish after eating and so naturally graze between meals. I’ll still eat a huge burger for example but instead of a beef burger it’ll be a falafel one. As I know the falafel one will have less calories in than the beef one I make it even bigger and add extra fries so that I’m at least having the same amount of calories per meal and not risking losing weight. Usually after eating meat or dairy I’m left so full that I don’t eat for hours until my next meal but as I’m eating pure goodness and I don’t feel full after a plant based alternative I’m then grazing between and adding in the extra calories.
I did start weight training a few months back but I was really just finding my feet. I was squatting and lunging to build my booty and adding my resistance band to try and build muscle but it wasn’t until the New Year when I started adding in actual weights to my routine that I started to notice a difference in my body shape; and I’m pretty sure some of that 6lbs is muscle mass!
Well now’s as good a time as any to wish I’d started documenting with pictures in the same spot and the same outfits but I’ll start at 6lbs in, in my mismatch purple getup approximately half way down my hallway – I’ll try and replicate that at my next milestone! haha
Any tips on healthy weight gain on a plant based diet would be much appreciated!
Thanks for reading,