Gaining Weight the Healthy Way

Thank you all for the the birthday wishes! I’m still feeling so grateful, and it that reminder that I has been getting me through this kind of eh hump day.

The bad list:

  • Construction rocking the building at 7 am continues and there is a note now that says ETA for project completion is 2015
  • Worked 9-7…missed yoga and dinner plans
  • Battling the beginnings of a head cold – cough drops and emergen-C up the hizzy in here!

The good list:

  • Emails from friends at Chobani this morning!! Hello Lindsay, Emily, and Ashley :) You guys are great.

NewImage

Ironically during my CHO breakfast. True story!

  • I pulled up my big girl pants, and shared some of my recent swag gifts with my roommate – I have a hard time parting with yummy food, but I feel good about spreading some love and making someone else happy, especially via good eats!
  • Lunch time walk with Katherine was best part of the day
  • Birthday celebrations continue at work. Tiramisu cake, with a wall of frosting! I didn’t eat much of the cake, but dipped the lady finger in my afternoon tea.

NewImage

  • The bf got me a growler of kombucha from the bar around the corner! – three cheers for digestive health!

NewImage

  • Getting home late is made better when you have package goodies waiting for you

NewImage

For the past couple months, I’ve been on a mission to gain weight. Y’all know I’ve been done light activity and increasing the healthy fats and protein in my diet. This is all because somewhere between olympic lifting, then stopping to race train, and then all the stress the last couple months I lost my happy weight. Food is definitely not the issue for me – it is my passion in life. But my body changed a lot and I’ve been having to reevaluate somethings.

Months ago when I set on my quest to get back to my happy weight, I started by doing a lot of research into how to properly gain weight. I felt great last fall when I was stable around 100/105 pounds (i’m only 4’11). I’m about 90 now, which does not allow my body to perform as it its best. Everyone around me was constantly saying they wanted to feed me cheeseburgers and pizza. Now, I love pizza just as much as the next person, but since, when is that the answer???

As with everything I research, I used the internet, professionals, and books to get some advice. Then, I come up with a plan to suite me and start with some trial and error. I did do things gradually, because it was abrupt changes that sort of caused this problem to begin with. It took longer than I wanted but I’ve finally started to see some progress and feel great.

**Update 5/17** Just wanted to clarify – I implemented these changes over the last couple months starting in Feb/March, and this is the plan that has finally lead to some results.

Healthily Ways to Gain Weight

  1. Decrease/stop intense cardio workouts - It was hard because I love running and spinning, but I changed to yoga and walking which burns less calories and still keeps you in shape.
  2. Increase calories at least 500 more calories a day – 500 cals/day = 3500/week or one pound a week. I did this by adding more calories to my meals and making my 2-3 snacks per day more like mini meals.
  3. Eat often, every 2-3 hours – This was not a change for me – I’ve always eaten 5-6 times a day. This is important to allow the body to absorb more nutrients through the day. When you eat bigger meals, 3 times a day more nutrients are lost because the body can only absorb so much at one time.
  4. Add more healthy fats and protein to meals - Nutritionally dense, plant based fats (or unsaturated fats) and proteins are are still key here. Not pizza and cheeseburger, and high fat empty calorie foods. Instead more seeds, more nuts, more nut butters, more protein shakes, more avocado, more olive oil. Also, some salmon and low fat dairy instead of non-fat.  And finally, I did to bring in organic lean meat back into my diet and coconut oil and coconut butter. No complaints here – more of my favorite foods and coconut butter makes everything taste like cake : ). Lean meat is sparingly because I do not want to consume too much trans fat and cholesterol causing other problems.
  5. Light Strength/Resistance training – I was on the right track back in Feb. when I tried to combat the weight gain/muscle loss with a lifting program. I started Live Fit, but had to stop when the cardio got really intense and I was still losing weight. I’ve been doing a lot of body weight resistance training and focus on big muscle movements like squats, lunges, push ups, chest press, core work. Weight training helps increase bone density and muscle – both weight lead to healthy weight gain. I didn’t want all the weight gain to be fat. While some body fat is important for women, I want most of the weight gain to be muscle, which weighs more, is better for the body, and also distributes more evenly over the body than fat.
  6. Eat late night snack - At night the body is very active in repair. Eating dinner late and having a late night snack provides the body with more nutrients and calories for this repair and rebuilding.
  7. Controlling stress - Yoga, breathing exercises, and positive thinking have helped. I believe the stress played a major role in my weight loss. It is crazy the havoc stress can reek on your body.

I never would have thought that I would be trying to gain weight, but life and health is all about finding balance. The key to an change to do it gradually, healthfully, and safely. I believe most of these guidelines, with slight variations to 1 and 2, can be beneficial for  everyone whether, you are trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight.

I actually have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I’ve made some progress, but it has been so slow and seeing as how I was not trying to lose weight anymore I want to make sure something bigger isn’t going on. I’m still banking on the stress and lack of sleep being the biggest issue. Wish me luck!

What’s one pet peeve from your day? And one good thing that made it better??

Night all!

“If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer. Every moment is the most important moment of your life. No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.” - David Deida

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Wow! It looks like you’ve really spent solid time developing a wonderful intentional weight gain plan. Good for you!! You got this!!!

    • Thanks for the positive encouragement. I have a hard time writing about trying to gain weight, because I do not want readers to take it the wrong way. Welcome and thank you so much!

  2. I’m so glad to hear this! I was a little worried about you and am so happy to hear that you are on the path to health! Xoxo

    • I know a lot of people were! Thank you Caitlin. Food was never an issue so lets hope I get this figured out so I can get back to run club asap!!

  3. Yay for presents! When I came home tonight there was a package from Alexia on my front porch. Yummm! Good luck at your appointment tomorrow. Let me know how it goes. xoxo

  4. Good luck at the Dr! It sounds like you have a good plan. I’m a huge fan of the late night snack. Just had one, Actually. :)

  5. These all sound like really great (and sound) tips to me!! Keep chugging along!

  6. Those pants … are they the Lulu run in the sun pants? I want those.

    Also, way to be. I’m really proud of you for recognizing when you’re not healthy — on both ends of the spectrum. And that you didn’t turn into one of the scary weight-loss fanatics that kept going, even at 90 lbs (I hit 90 lbs once too. Not cool — I’m 3 inches taller than you).

    Keep at it! :)

    • Thanks! Yea, i never planned to weigh this much and have been trying to gain since feb. luckily 90 is still normal for my heighy but i still dont feel my best and that is my only goal life.

  7. I’m glad you’re trying to gain weight the healthy way! And this involves both food and fitness.

    I hope your doctor’s appointment goes well and that you and your doctor agree on solutions for healthy weight gain.

    Have a great day! :-)

    • Thanks! Just got back from the doc now actually. Loved him!! It is great to finally see some head way after months of hard work and frustration since eating has never been my problem. And thanks for retweet!

  8. Aunt Patti says:

    Hi Ashley — I am very relieved to read today’s blog — I have to admit I was a little worried about you after seeing some recent pictures of you. I have some weight if you want it although I, myself, have lost 32# since Christmas and am feeling good. Love to you always……

  9. It’s very refreshing to see you take such a positive and healthy approach to gaining weight. Even more importantly, it’s great that you know your body well enough to realize when it may need some more loving’ :) good luck!

    • This comment made my morning!! There has been some negativity surrounding this, and I like to think that I am still healthy because I am aware enough to know that the body was getting a little off balance again. Whether it be revving up the workouts or taking it down – everyone’s challenges and finding balance looks different. You know? Thank you so much for this.

Speak Your Mind

*