How To Gain 60lbs In Five Years


This was me when I was 16 years old. While it isn’t obvious from the picture, I was a slim and healthy teenager. I ate good, home cooked meals and exercised daily – I swam for a local team, I played badminton for a local club, I had achieved a brown belt in karate, I liked horse riding and I represented my school in netball, cross country running and badminton. My appetite has always been huge, but my weight and health was never affected because of the active lifestyle that I led.

Sixteen years later, my reflection bears no resemblance to the naive, frizzy haired person in the picture. I moved away from home when I was 18 and by the time I was 23 years old I had gained almost 60lbs. My clothes no longer fitted me, others had started to comment on this obvious weight gain and my confidence was shot. For those of you who are wondering how I unknowingly achieved this, here is a step-by-step guide.

1. Remove the word ‘moderation’ from your vocabulary.

2. Move 100 miles away from home.

3. Stop all forms of exercise. Sit. Lie down. Sit some more. Buy a television and watch it as much as possible, sitting down (of course).

4. Forget that you aren’t cooking for a family of five anymore, and continue to create meals that are the same size, but this time just for one person.

5. Start smoking. Remembering that the word moderation now doesn’t exist, smoke as much as possible. Smoke all day, every day, and triple the amount that you smoke when you have a night out with friends. You’ll soon discover that your lung capacity will become so poor that even walking up the stairs will leave you sweaty and flustered. This will also assist in the prevention of any form of exercise.

6. Cut out any form of food that has a naturally bright colour. Instead, focus your energies on the ‘beige’ and the ‘foods beginning with C’ food groups such as chocolate, crisps, cake, chips, cookies and cheese. Consume these foods in large quantities.

7. Forget specific meal times. Stop eating breakfast, and make up for the missed meal by consuming large quantities of food late in the evening, just before you go to bed.

8. Use food to accompany any emotion. Eat because you’re feeling sad and have had a bad day. Eat because you’ve had a great day and want to celebrate. Eat because you’re angry, eat because you’re in need of comfort.

9. Treat yourself ‘because you deserve it.’ When shopping, consume a large bag of chocolate. Buy another for when you get home. Eat them on the journey back.

10. Eat a dessert with every meal. And by dessert, I mean cake.

11. Go on a low carb diet and lose 21lbs in six weeks. Get bored of dieting and resume your normal eating habits. This will help you to not only up the weight back on, but it will allow you to add a few extra pounds on top.

12. When out with friends, ignore the calorie content of alcohol and consume several weeks worth of units in one night. Finish the night with a large take-away.

13. Eat other people’s leftovers, justifying yourself because you ‘don’t like to see food being wasted.’

14. Promise yourself that you’ll start the ‘new you’ tomorrow. Repeat the sentiment the next day.

Enough is enough. I’m angry and ashamed that I allowed myself to harm my body to this extent. While I haven’t gained any weight over the last few years, I haven’t lost it either. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of not being able to wear clothes from my favourite stores. I’m tired of disliking my reflection. I’m not a vain person, I never have been, but I have lost a lot of confidence in my attitude towards myself and it is now time for a change.

Today I received a message from my friend asking if I wanted to go running with her, and it was the perfect kick up the backside that I needed. Now, where are my running shoes?

What about you guys? Have you struggled with weight issues?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.

44 thoughts on “How To Gain 60lbs In Five Years

  1. Yes, I have struggled. Before moving from California, I had lost 30 lbs.. Moving to a new state, in the south, I ate almost all of it back. have since lost 10 and I try very hard to be conscience of what I put into my mouth, but I do love foods that begin with C: cookies, candy, chips, cake…. Great post, good luck, you can tackle this problem, I am sure!

  2. I am glad to say that I’ve been following almost every step of your plan with diligence and zeal! So far, the results are as to be expected. 😉

    Perhaps I should also consider a run…wait, no, I don’t do that. You have motivated a long, lovely hike though. 😀

  3. Oh boy!! Where do I start? Having had the luxury most of my adult life with a fast metabolism, I stayed fairly slim most of my life…until change of life, hypothyroidism and that scared me, so I also quit smoking…5 years later and 56 lbs later. (Being tall helps to trick me) I had thrown out my scale and only a year and a half ago I bought one..EGAD! I know 20 or so pounds was normal but the rest was emotional eating, excused like, I gotta have ice cream and cake for when my grandson visits…and eat it with him! but now I got worried about my health…so I joined Weight Watchers “on line” for two months. Just enough time to get back on track with “portions” and relearning to balance carbs, fat, protein and fibre…after two months I could purchase my groceries smarter. In one year I lost 36 lbs…up, last winter I regained 15 (I know it is my late night eating and emotional eating too)…so I am trying be a bit more reasonable “minus the cannoli” I had last night. But I don’t want my life to be ONLY about diets either…I think I am sort of managing better. Great post, Suzie!

  4. Oh heck yes, Suzie! In high school, I was a tiny 135/140 pounds. Today’s John is a whopping 214 pounds and steady. It never changes and I have tried. Gggrrrr. Everyone seems to suffer the weight gain problem these days. I hope your run was good!

  5. I have a sneaking suspicion that you are being hard on yourself, Suzie. This all sounds very familiar to me though. I went away to uni weighing 9 stone 7, and within 15 months I was 13 stone. Six months of dieting later, I was down to 10 stone. I never forgot the effort I made and have kept the good habits. Recently cracked down on the alcohol input – living in a region where you can buy fabulous wine for under 3 euros a bottle has its drawbacks. 🙂

    • It’s brilliant that you have been able to keep it going! Congrats! I agree about the cheap alcohol – it certainly doesn’t help. I haven’t been able to drink properly for a while after being ill, which is a positive thing!

  6. Great post. I know how you feel. My issue is that I put my families needs or my writing needs ahead of my exercise schedule. I’ve also had injuries that I’ve had to stop my routine so they could heal. Once you start putting it off, it becomes easier and easier to keep doing that. Your post inspired me to get back out there and start up again. 🙂

  7. A great post, Suzie, but don’t beat yourself up about things that have gone past. You are about to make a difference now, and that is what is important. Doing things that make you feel positive about yourself. 🙂 I have been using an app called My fitness pal. You put in a daily calorie amount and it helps to keep track of how many you have consumed, as well as how many used in exercise. I found it very helpful, but I did get sick of entering in various ingredients. Anyway, keep up the good work!

  8. I liked your post a lot. Two reasons: I like lists and numeration in posts, and I really get what you are trying to say. It is not the kind of – Cosmo told me to lose weight so I can have sex with that guy who is ripped but his brain is the size of a peas… That is not the actual article.
    I think.
    Anyhowdily… I was underweight most of my life. Like seriously underweight. I think normal BMI is 19, and I was 17. I think lower than 18 is anorexia. I didn’t have anorexia, no, quite opposite. I cried and cried over the fact that I can’t gain weight and being teased about it and doctors looking me funny. I just couldn’t eat when stressed out, i felt sick. And I was stressed out a lot of time…and then all the time. It was a deadly spiral, and with my healt problems I was very unhappy about my weight. And I ate whenever i could. Boy, I ate. Unhealthy, fat food, lots and lots of it. I enjoy in food, I love food… But, none of it was staying on because of stress and attacks. When I got a pill for my panic attacks that has a side affect of opening a person appetite I was crying again, but now from happiness… Because I could eat everyday, anytime. Something so simple was so difficult for my organism to process.
    Now I have a normal body mass index and I can add, I have gained a bit of weight on my stomach which is not making me happy. Something I honestly NEVER saw as a scenario. I am not unsatisfied with my body, I enjoy the fact I have gained I think 17 kilograms and that I am a size medium (38 UK) but I want to eat healthier and move more. Because when I started gaining weight I didn’t change my eating habits – eating everything and in the amont I can. Now, there is no longer need for that. 🙂 I am looking forward to a more active life and I have started taking interest in cooking, something I didn’t think would happen. 🙂

  9. Great post Suzie 🙂 My story was kind of the opposite – I had no moderation in childhood and was the definition of ‘fat kid’. I got teased a lot, and whilst it did actually help me to build a thick skin and not care what others thought of me, I also wanted to be the slim girl. I was always told “Oh you have such a pretty face and personality” as if to deliberately leave out my body – like I wasn’t a complete “beautiful” person if one thing was out of whack. When I got to my teenage years, I dieted for health reasons – I lost around 15kg and people told me how great I looked. I got a bit obsessed with the new compliments, and the control freak in me got obsessed with constantly counting calories – to the point where I lost over 40kg and developed an eating disorder. My frame had gone from way too large to way too thin within the span of 2 years, and my health really suffered because of it. Now nearly 10 years on, I’ve learned that moderation combined with self acceptance and confidence really are the key. As long as you’re happy with yourself and you make an effort to live well, I think that’s all that matters 🙂

    Kudos to you for making an effort to get back to a you that you love!

  10. Middle age is no friend to weight loss. After hitting forty a pound a year no matter moderation and activity. The real key is striving for a healthy life style–the loss in weight will follow. Knowing what should be done and doing it are two important components of success.

  11. Go, Suzie, go! Achieve your goal! You can do it! I’ve only had issues with weight since menopause. Now I have to pay special attention to what I’m eating and have a regular exercise habit. I think most of us would prefer to lay on the couch at night and eat bonbons, but reality says that’s never a good thing.

  12. This struck a chord – when youger, I was always slim and active, but loved my food and enjoyed a drink. When I moved to Asia I pretty much stopped any form of exercise, had meals out most evenings (because the food courts were so cheap) and as everyone had maids and drivers (in The Philippines) and home helps (in Singapore) pretty much could spend every evening out and not have to worry about the housework at all.

    After a *big* scare and three days in the Singapore Heart Centre things had to change. Over the next three or so years I lost 20kgs (about 44lbs) and, happily to this point in time, have kept most of the weight off and radically improved my lifestyle. I have one picture of me at my heaviest that I pull out occasionally to remind me not to let myself go back to that state. It was hard work, but definitely worth the sweat, money, tears and pain. Crossing the 40yo mark a while back does make things harder, but nobody said it would ever be easy…

    Don’t push to hard at first and be consistent over time with both exercise and diet. It really does work!

  13. This post made me laugh.. Story of my life, where do I actually begin?
    II was the opposite to you, I was a lazy child growing up, which meant I was a chubster, my excuse was ‘I am big boned’.. But now I’m on somewhat of a weight loss journey, Just need to get to a healthier and fit version of myself, and actually stick to being consistent with everything and i’ve got to learn the meaning of moderation seriously wish me luck and good luck on your journey of change 🙂

  14. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you mentioned that you are an educator. It is something about teaching that make me “hungry”. I often have to check myself when it is a crazy work day.

  15. I’ve struggled with what I would call weight issues, although I’ve never been more than 10 pound over weight at any point in my life. It was more of an unhealthy obsession with losing weight that had me eating very little. Luckily for me, I noticed how crazy that was before it got real bad.

    I don’t know if you are looking for advice, but I highly suggest doing some research on nutrition. One you learn enough, you’ll realize you don’t have to count calories or eat boring food to lose weight. A book called The China Study was one of the best books on nutrition given to me. I’m not going to lie, at the end of the book, he recommends a vegan diet. You don’t have to be vegan. Just read it for the comprehensive information on nutrition around the world. The person who recommended it to me was not vegan or vegetarian but called it the most important book on nutrition she’d ever read.

  16. Struggled with weight? Yes. Oh, yes. It is very, very easy for me to pack on pounds. I was already out of shape when I got pregnant, then I used pregnancy as an excuse to eat anything and everything and avoided working out like the plague. I gained 70lbs. Some of it was baby—most of it was not. The journey back to a healthy me was long, but so worth it. Focusing on feeling strong and healthy rather than being “thin” changed the way I saw myself and ultimately gave me a new outlook on life. I am cheering you on from here! Find a buddy to help you stay motivated and treat yourself well!

  17. I have dated and broken up with the same 15-20 pounds too many times to count. It is hard and I am routing for you. Somehow not having a cookie today sometimes seems worse than being fat for all eternity to me – I need new priorities! #SITSsharefest

  18. I call it “The Battle with the Weights”! been there, still there but working on it, for real this time! So this was written in June, any progress?! 🙂

Comments are closed.