How Gaining 5 Pounds Can (literally) Grow & Change You


I’m sure it happened over time, subtly, as these things tend to.  My jeans started to fit a little more snugly around my waistline and my flat stomach started to round out a little more.  I didn’t pay much attention knowing the minor fluctuations are to be expected.  

I’ve never been a number person in every sense of the meaning.  But here and there I would hop up on the scale at the gym or annually for doctor’s appointments and I noticed that the number I had maintain for years was creeping up little by little.  It was never a source of great concern, it was more of an observation, a number that I took down as a mental note.

What I did begin to notice was the way I felt every time I slipped into my jeans or any of the article of clothing that wasn’t forgiving.  

Squeezed, crammed, chunky, large, pudgy and gross.

These 5 pounds that have made their home on my body, in places where I wish they hadn’t, are growing (literally) and changing me in ways that I don’t believe my five-pound-less self ever could.

My name is Meredith Boggs and I’m a recovering perfectionist.  I know how to strategize, to plot a course and get to where I want to be.  But as I inventoried all that I was doing and all that I wasn’t doing that could have correlated to this five-pound gain, it was a startling realization that I have maintained the same healthy, balanced lifestyle consistently for years that I was currently maintaining.  

Some days I feel betrayed by these five pounds, I’m in no way perfect but seriously, what did I do that was so off course that those pounds had to come and stay?

Some days, on my better days, I practice gratitude for a healthy body that allows me to run and work out, for a body that doesn’t have any allergies or health problems and that enables me to do the work that I love.  

These days when I look in the mirror I am trying to make peace with what I see, knowing that these five pounds may very well be here to stay.  

Today I went out a bought a new pair of jeans, a bigger pair of jeans because I was tired of cramming my hips and tummy into jeans that would no longer accommodate my shape and size.  I don’t know a soul who goes shopping for jeans for the pure enjoyment of it.  It’s a chore, a necessary task to be completed.  

So there I was in the fitting room that I had carried an arm load of jeans into, hoping that one would fit just right but expecting that none of them would.  I began to reach for one of the pairs, the smallest pair I had brought in.  That pair was the same size a the jeans that have made me feel so self-conscious since the arrival of these additional pounds.  

But I took them from the shelf and into the dressing room reasoning that maybe I hadn’t really gained weight, maybe my jeans had been dried a few too many times and that was the real problem.  

But my reasoning skills remain intact even when my mind tries to manipulate reality.  So instead of reaching for the smallest pair, I reached for the biggest pair thinking ‘well at least this won’t make me feel as shitty about myself.’  

I slipped them over my hips and buttoned them at the waist where the rested comfortably and perfectly.      

If I could have my five-pound-less body back, believe me, I’d take it in a heartbeat.  

But today as I slip into my jeans that are a size bigger and that are more forgiving of these extra layers I’ve accumulated, I hope to be more like that for myself and others.  

Forgiving.  Understanding.  Gracious.