What's Weighing Me Down




This article came right on time. I love love LOOVVEEE it! I too am struggling with the same issue. Thank you so much for this ❤️ ❤️. Can’t begin to explain how my weight gain has “crippled” my self-esteem and self-love. Currently relearning to love myself no matter the season I am in ❤️❤️


I absolutely love this and relate to it so much. When I started my nursing school journey, I also started my weight loss journey for the 5th time. Currently I’m focusing on getting stronger finding better habits instead of focusing on weight loss. As a bonus I haven’t gained any weight ☺️.



Meet Aaliyah

Aaliyah is a Jamaican 20 something who is interested in all things fun, edifying, entertaining and stylish. She grew up in Montego Bay, St. James then left the second city at age 19 to attend the University of the West Indies where she studied Journalism. While trying to find her footing in a new space she learned many life skills and lessons that she is always eager to share in a bid to help others who have similar encounters. When she is not documenting her experiences navigating these 20 somethings, she spends her time like any average young girl – working, watching Netflix, shopping for unnecessary household items and trying to keep it all together.

What's Weighing Me Down

My Thoughts on Weight Gain In Your 20s

Have you ever looked back at your pictures from about 3-5 years ago? You know, the ones before college or during your first year. Or maybe you looked back at those at the end of college, just before starting a new job. Do you immediately think “I can’t believe I thought I was fat here?” or “Damn, I was in the best shape of my life?” Maybe you thought, “I need to get back to this weight”, or probably “How did my body change so much?” Well, if you have, then this post is for us.

I am not really here to give advice or helpful tips and suggestions, because to be frank, I barely have a full idea of how exactly to navigate this ‘issue’ myself. But in the spirit of openness and honesty, I just really wanted to talk about it. And, of course, tips, suggestions and advice are welcomed in the comments below.

So here goes – gaining weight in your twenties is not uncommon, but it surely is taxing mentally, physically, emotionally and every other ‘ally’ that you can think of.

When You Start Noticing

One day you feel so young and full of vigour. You’re having the time of your life, and everything feels fine. But then you go to your closet to pick out an outfit and you realize that you are struggling to button your favourite blouse or shirt; your pants feel a little snug ; the clothes just generally don’t feel so comfortable anymore. You probably did not pay this much attention. (I surely didn’t) You perhaps just bought a few new articles of clothing and moved on. But then here comes the little comments from friends or family – “Oh, be careful now” or “wow, you are putting on weight” or in true Jamaican/Caribbean fashion “You getting fat ee”. Now that’s when you realize that something is really going on.

I recall when this started happening to me. I was skinny growing up, and to be honest even then I used to get comments about my weight, so safe to say I have always struggled. I really started gaining a few pounds in the ninth grade but back then, everyone seemed to welcome it. But the weight of weight gain really started to pile on during my first year of university. The good old Freshman 15 (or 25 in my case). Even though I knew I was putting on some extra pounds, I just could not bring myself to being dedicated to changing my eating habits or exercising outside of dancing with my friends all the time. Plus, it was around that time that my struggle with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) began. That’s a whole other story but needless to say, things were rough.

I definitely started to feel a little drained emotionally, but I did not want to admit that any of it affected me. It did. I started shifting up my wardrobe and style. I started going out much less, I was always self-conscious, and it became my biggest insecurity at the time. I am surprised I am able to say that now.

I think the issue of weight is so weird. You are made to feel criminal for loving your body even if it’s not what is considered ‘ideal’, but you are also made to feel criminal for wanting to do something about it. Now that’s what really gets me.

Before University.

Why We Gain Weight In Our Twenties

I am no expert; therefore, I am not entirely sure why we even start to gain weight in our twenties. However, I compared my thoughts to what studies around the world have said. According to an article published on Yahoo News in 2013 titled “Why most people start gaining weight in their 20s” there a several reasons we begin to see a change in our bodies’ appearance. These Include: overconsumption of calories, physical inactivity, genetics and family history, certain medications and unhealthy lifestyle habits such as skipping breakfast or not getting enough sleep.

So, in context, think about all those sleepless nights studying or working on a project for work, sitting in lectures or by your desk all-day, late-night snacks or little money to have nutritious meals. It could also be the comfort of being able to afford all sorts of meals and experiences. Of course, the medication, depression, genes and a host of other things that we do in our daily lives as twenty somethings that apparently add up. Whatever the reason, we end up coming under a lot of pressure to figure it out and figure it out immediately. And that pressure is the part that really bites.

See, even though the reality is we can possibly identify all the things we have been doing wrong that has led to putting on some pounds. It is still somehow feels like if we admit we have a part to play in it we have betrayed all things body positive. Someone make it all make sense for me.

In first year of university

What Do We Do?

It would be difficult for me to tell you how many times I have attempted to figure it out. From gym memberships to changing diets to refusing certain medications, at home workouts - the works. You name it, I have probably tried it. I maybe even considered going to a witch doctor at one point. To be completely transparent, I probably just need some consistency and discipline – and I know that. But I would be lying if I did not admit that all of that is hard to find when you are doing mental gymnastics. How do I love my new body and be happy with my new body while still feeling like there is so much I need to change? Plus, where do I get all the motivation while life is literally kicking my butt sometimes and I have to find the strength to always pick up broken pieces or fix major problems. Stress! And I want to say my motive is purely based on health, but it is not. It’s a mash up of so many other things. All 20 somethings who face a similar plight will have their own reasons for how they tackle to this concern.

After University.

So, what do we do? I say, we do what makes us feel the best. There should be no shame in wanting to work on it. That goes across the board for those who want to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight. There should also be no shame in embracing it either. I for one want to do both and if there is no space for me and others like me then I am creating it. I want to love every new curve, roll, stretch whatever is new to me, but I also want to work on being in the best shape of my life. I have not figured out how to do all of that yet, but I am trying.

To close, I know I said I was not here to give advice or any of that. So, let’s call this encouragement. I encourage everyone who reads this to give yourself some grace. Show yourself some kindness and wrap yourself in love! You are absolutely perfect and beautiful.

Currently me
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