FIT& FAB: Weight gain not a lesser struggle than weight loss - Daily Nation

Weight gain not a lesser struggle than weight loss

Thursday May 10 2018

I realised that it wasn’t the first time I had considered healthy weight gain as being a lesser struggle in the fitness journey. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

I realised that it wasn’t the first time I had considered healthy weight gain as being a lesser struggle in the fitness journey. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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“Girl you look amazing! I can’t believe this is the plump Marion I used to know back in high school,” remarked a former schoolmate when we ran into each other in town recently.

I blushed and got ready to accept the compliment. But a comment from the other former schoolmate she was with stopped me in my tracks.

“You should have given me that weight darling; I have been struggling to gain weight. I wish I was fatter.”

Unperturbed, the girl went on and on about how she could eat an entire bucket of fries and pizza with extra cheese but still not get bigger hips. The more she kept whining, the more my ears itched. She went ahead to wrap her tiny waist with her slender arms while looking at me with pitiful eyes.

“See, I can’t even gain a single kilo. I wish I was as plump as you were. You can’t transfer some of that thick flesh on your thighs or bum.”

At the mention of my butt I switched off from the entire conversation.  I got onto this fitness journey wholeheartedly with only one single reservation; my butt remains as it is, without losing a single inch. I had a shaky start especially after dropping the first 20kg but I discovered a workout jackpot that ensured no inches fell off the rear. We should definitely talk about that workout routine. 

Although it was really nice seeing those two, I didn’t have the energy to pretend that I understood why my friend who was a perfect size ten would want to add an ounce of body fat to her smashing physique.

I came up with a rushed excuse and promised to keep in touch as I literally fled from my friends.  A few blocks down the road, I realised I didn’t even get their contacts despite vowing to call and keep in touch.

Later that day, I got a notification on my fitness Facebook page, Organic Msosi.  It turned out to be a message from one of my followers. She wanted to know which foods I would recommend for someone trying to gain weight. I did a double–take.

It couldn’t be a mere coincidence that twice in a row, I had come across people who wanted to gain some weight in order to feel confident healthy and fit.  I was aware that their concerns were genuine.


From the medical perspective, I knew that being underweight or having eating disorders such as anorexia could cause health complications. I just didn’t expect the issue to come knocking at my doorstep given my long treacherous journey of losing weight and keeping it off.

As I sat staring back at my laptop screen, it dawned on me how narrow-minded I had been during my encounter earlier with my friends.

Thinking about it then, I realised that it wasn’t the first time I had considered healthy weight gain as being a lesser struggle in the fitness journey.

Another time while in the gym, a friend confided in me that she was struggling with gaining weight and I remember telling her that she had a good problem before quizzing her on what she was doing in the gym.

The instructor stated the aerobic session before my friend responded. As we did the workout routine I couldn’t help a smirk as I caught her sweat dripping reflection on the gym mirrors.

“You sure do work out intensely for someone struggling to gain weight,” I drawled sarcastically under my breath.

Recently, my boyfriend told me that he respects me much more than he loved me. At first, I thought he was being his usual sweet and mushy self but he went one to explain that respect is selfless.

It is the uttermost consideration you can give to the other person.

If respect influenced how you treat the other person, then you would treat them right by default since you would be considering them first and foremost.


Going by my boyfriend’s definition of respect, I realised that I had been very disrespectful to fitness enthusiasts whose journey involves gaining weight to be fit and healthy.

I did not empathise with their struggle, the frustrations of being underweight, the jabs this could be taking on their self-esteem and so forth. Instead, I had mocked their struggles and tactlessly jumped into the conclusion that theirs was a lesser problem.  I was wrong.

I decided to answer the question posed on my page but not before I did a quick check on my online health journals.

To my surprise, the same food recommended for weight loss was on the weight gain list and the only difference was in portion control as well as meal frequency.

I was able to guide her to the best of my knowledge, which at that point was very minimal even as I made a mental note to research more on healthy weight gain for a fitness and fabulosity.


Fit&Fab is a blog series by Marion Maina who lost 30kg during her weight loss journey that started two years ago and is now in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]