Since S went to nursery in 2013 and I went back to sitting at a desk all day, my weight has gone up and up. I’ve had brief periods of giving up sugar or “eating healthily” where I’ve lost a few pounds – but ultimately, it’s been heading in the upwards direction. 

Well-meaning people keep suggesting I join Weight Watchers or Slimming World, but I know that those systems won’t work for me – firstly because having read a lot of books, I don’t necessarily agree with the foods they tell you to eat, but more importantly because I know that counting calories or syns or whatever they call them these days, only works for as long as you can be arsed to count them – and I tend to have very brief periods of being arsed with such things. Right now, I am the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I don’t much like it.

3 reasons I've put on weight

Just lately I’ve been thinking about why I’ve put weight on. I think if I can figure out what’s causing it, and resolve those issues in my mind, then the weight will be dealt with as a by-product of that. I’ve come up with three reasons I’ve put on weight…


I wrote a post before about being scared to lose weight. In it I reflected on the fact that for most of my life I felt that I was too fat. I believed that if I could just have a flat stomach, I would feel happy and confident. And then, when I had a breakdown, there was this defining moment when in attempt to cheer myself up I went to buy new underwear. As I stood in the changing cubicle I looked down and realised that for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I needed to suck my belly in. I was struck with this dawning realisation: hang on, my stomach is flat. And I’m the most miserable I’ve ever been. I had always believed that it was my belly that made me feel miserable and caused my lack of confidence; suddenly I realised that had never been true. So I think perhaps since then I’ve had this unconscious need to make sure I have at least a bit of a belly, so that I don’t have to confront that again.


I think after my experiences with S’s father, and a couple of people I had brief dalliances with after that, I made an unconscious decision. I put on weight so that nobody else would find me attractive, and I couldn’t get hurt again. It wasn’t conscious; I didn’t realise I was doing it until fairly recently. I didn’t trust myself, if someone did show an interest in me, to say no – I needed something to stop them from showing an interest in the first place! It sounds silly, but I do think that’s what I was doing.

“F*** You!”

All through our “relationship,” S’s father made many comments about my weight. When I told him I was pregnant, his first observation was that I’d been “quite fat” when I first met him; I could have been already pregnant and just hiding it so that I could “pin it” on him. Later in my pregnancy, it was made clear that if I didn’t lose the pregnancy weight he would have to leave me. I now believe he homed in on my weight as one of the many things I was self conscious about, and used it to his advantage. Putting on weight has been a bit of a “screw you, I am the person in charge of my weight, not you!”

All of this has gone on for long enough now. I am my own person, and this extra weight I’m carrying is all that’s left of my past; not just the abuse, but the breakdown, the lack of self esteem, the inability to look at myself in the mirror. I’ve moved on from all of it; I am no longer that person, and it’s time my body reflected that.

I have already started doing a few things to lose weight and get back to myself; I’ll be blogging about them separately though. 

For me, I know it’s not enough to “go on a diet.” I’ve tried blogging as some sort of accountability, but it didn’t work. I had a long conversation recently about how physical problems can be the result of emotional problems. A lot of people don’t subscribe to that way of thinking, and that’s fine. But for me, I believe my weight gain has been because of problems in my head. And I believe I can solve the issue of my weight by resolving the issues in my head. Watch this space…



Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Mim · 28/03/2016 at 05:46

I can totally understand so much of what you’ve said here – for different reasons maybe but I have emotional issues holding me back. Although I also have no willpower when it comes to losing weight! The slightest temptation and I fail :( I’m hoping you will inspire me – no pressure ;) x x

    Vicky Charles · 28/03/2016 at 17:34

    lol I’ll do my best!

Emily · 28/03/2016 at 08:42

Yes, yes and yes. Since the end of last year I have been in a tiring break up which seems never ending. I have put on a stone while trying to deal with it. Anything and everything goes into my mouth!! Am I eating for comfort? I have blamed hormones etc but essentially it is my own mental state. I too am the heaviest I have ever been and I have no impetuous to change anything. I figure once my husband leaves the house I can get back on track… this space! Oh also the state of my house is a direct indication of my metal state, currently a shit hole!

    Vicky Charles · 28/03/2016 at 17:33

    Oh Emily I’m sorry to hear that. I’m with you on the house front too – my house is an absolute tip! I’ve managed to clear some of it up over this weekend but there is definite work to be done! They do say your living environment reflects your internal state!

Cyn K · 30/03/2016 at 16:16

Yes to this. Even though my situation is different, what is the same is how my mental state connects to my physical one. I’m not on a “diet” right now. Yes, I’m tracking calories, but to be more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I’m trying to eat healthier foods, ones that will nourish me and sustain me longer than any “comfort” food.
I wish you luck on your journey to the mind and body you want to live with. Don’t let the world define that for you.

Carol Hedges · 01/04/2016 at 14:02

Happens when you get older too. Sadly. It’s the ‘I don’t eat much – oh look, I made a list and actually I do’ thing. Also your metabolism seems to slow over 60, so it takes longer for podge to pass. My advice: get it sorted before you reach my age. Coz we oldies have enough to deal with without being fat-shamed and forced int M&S trousers …*sigh*

Shelley · 02/04/2016 at 09:38

What a beautifully honest post, Vicky. I can relate to everything you said and struggle with weight issues in my head. At 5ft 11inches I can carry weight slightly better than my 5ft 2inch friends, however, my clothes don’t fit and I feel frumpy. It’s all about self-esteem and when you’ve survived abuse of any kind this can be harder to find than a custard cream! I did join SW last year and have lost over a stone, I understand perfectly how you feel about being arsed to syn etc, I’m the same. When I do, it works, When I don’t, I put weight on. What I love about the group is the social aspect – I’ve made some lovely friends at SW who support, encourage and sympathise. That’s worth a lot for me. Thanks for sharing your story, you continue to inspire me. :-)

Ojo Henley · 04/04/2016 at 17:15

I think you’ve actually hit the nail on the head! You associate your weight with some of the most miserable times of your life, this means you’re not losing weight because of how YOU feel. You need to stop caring about others, before you consider changing yourself. I think the reason everything is working for me is that I’ve gained a f##k it switch, I really only care about my own opinion of myself, everyone else can go……
Well, you know xx

    Vicky Charles · 04/04/2016 at 19:59

    Ha brilliant Jo, you’re so right. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and figuring out why I eat the way I do. Hopefully I can sort myself out!

Losing the Weight: What I'm Doing - Single Mother Ahoy! · 04/04/2016 at 05:00

[…] wrote a post last week about how I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been, and the reasons for that.  I […]

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