Gaining Weight Through the Years

I wasn’t always fat. During my teen years, I was pretty slim. Though I had to keep it up because I already had the tendency to gain weight. I was very conscious of my looks back then and my weight  and body was important to me so I exercised regularly and dieted religiously. Here’s a photo of me and Gary D. when we were just dating. He and I were both slim.



We got married in 1995 and I became pregnant shortly thereafter.


Becoming pregnant for the first time made me think that it is okay to gain weight. So I let myself go and just ate and ate. With the first pregnancy, I gained a total of 40 lbs. Dealing with a baby and caring for my marriage so filled up my time that caring for myself was no longer a priority. More and more, I let myself gain weight even after the baby came. I didn’t know then how I could dress myself up well, so I wore my mother’s clothes all the time. I was a very young mother who wore a 50 year old woman’s clothes. I was fat and depressed and wasn’t very happy with myself.


I tried going back to my old routine of exercise and diet but I was overwhelmed with depression (I think) and felt that I could never lose all that fat. Add to that the constant pressure from my family to lose weight. I felt rejection and shame from some members of my family because I gained weight. I experienced being compared to other young mothers who were able to gain back their pre-pregnancy bodies and confronted why I am not like them. And because I didn’t know how to dress well, I was also constantly ridiculed in public by someone in my family. I am the youngest and was used to being told off so I could never fight for myself. Instead I wallowed in my depression. To mask the hurt and pain that I felt, I continued to eat and eat.

Three years after the first baby was born, I was pregnant again with our second child. My weight was already about 160 lbs. I loved being pregnant because those were the times when I felt the most special, the most beautiful. People were kinder to me. It didn’t matter that I was fat because I was growing a baby. My OB-Gynecologist warned me, though, that I couldn’t gain as much weight as I did before because it could pose complications with my baby and me. With this in mind, I was very mindful of myself and made sure that I only gained the requisite 25lbs for the whole pregnancy. Strangely, I am able to maintain the weight gain of 25 lbs for all my pregnancies except for the first one. It’s as if I only want to take care of myself when I am pregnant.


After giving birth, I was back to my old self. Still the woman with such low self-esteem that I allowed people to talk to me badly. If someone told me how fat I am, I accepted it. If someone from out of the blue begins to sermonize me about the disadvantages of being fat, I accepted it. if someone laughs at me or ridicules me for being fat, I stayed silent. I didn’t have the courage to fight back and stand up for myself because I thought that I deserved it for being so fat.

Despite all of that, I continued to care for my family and showered them with love and care. I taught my children to speak up and stand for themselves.  A lot of things were happening in our lives, too. I started homeschooling my children, resigned from my full time job (which is my work at our family business), and started living frugally. I was used to a comfortable life so struggling with money was very hard for me.

Sometime in 2002 or 2003, my sister started studying to be a professional psychotherapist. At that time, we lived just a few streets from each other so every time she got home from school, we would get together and she’d tell me what she learned so far. This sister of mine was very forward-thinking. God had given her the assurance when she was still young that things could be different. With her help, I came to know myself better. I’m blessed because I became sort of like her protégé. I learned as she learned. Together we started working out the issues of our past, those things that were holding us down.  Very slowly, I started loving myself again.


I started observing how women with curves like mine dressed up. I started becoming more conscious of my looks and began to appreciate the curves that I had. I worked on looking good and dressing up well. I was determined to look fabulous even as a fat woman. Even slower still, I learned to speak up to people who made fun of me because I was fat. Many Filipino people like to ridicule fat people as if that’s the norm. Most think that we don’t mind it or that we deserve it. They speak as if they have no physical weakness themselves, as if being thin gave them the right to make fun of fat people.


Though I started dressing well, I still wanted to lose weight. Unfortunately, I feel like I have lost this battle with weight. After five children, I have continued to grow and am in my highest weight right now. Whatever that is, I’d like to keep it to myself for now. The sad thing now is that I have passed on my poor eating habits to my children. Most of us, except for one, are overweight. In the past, I tried all kinds of diet but my family’s diet remained the same. I’d lose some weight but gave up because the diets are were too much work. I also tried exercising again but exercise is the first thing to go when life becomes too busy.

I’m worried. I’m 41 and fat with a husband and four children who need me to be energetic and alert. They need me to be healthy and strong to take care of them. They also want me to take care of myself. I want to take care of myself. I’m at a loss because of all the many diet books I’ve read and the information overload online. Though it feels like I’ve lost, I still don’t want to give up on myself. I still want to give this my best effort. I WANT TO CHANGE. I want to feed my family healthy foods. I want to stop getting sick. I want to get rid of all our medicines. I want to be a healthy role model for my children to follow.

This shot was taken less than two weeks ago. We thought we’d take a family Christmas shot for this year’s Christmas card twelve months from now. I remember someone in my family said, “But what if we lose weight and look different by Christmas this year?” Mike of MRLightworkz Photography said, “Then we’ll just take another picture.”

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And that is my hope. That by Christmas this year, 11 and a half months from now, we’ll be taking another picture and not use this picture for our Christmas greeting because we don’t look the same anymore.

A blogger friend of mine, Mommy Ginger, shared her own weight struggle and I’m sharing mine. Are you in the same boat as I am? Wanting to lose weight, be healthy but don’t know how to get there? Why don’t we journey together and see where this will take us? The reason I wrote this post is not only to tell my story, it’s also for me to remember and figure out how I got here. And maybe from there, go on the path to healing and becoming whole, healthy and fit.

Michelle Padrelanan

Hello, I'm Michelle and I love to encourage others through my blog. I write about homeschool, books and family life. I enjoy testing out products and giving my honest opinion about it. If I'm not in front of my laptop, I can usually be found watching TV or having my favorite frappuccino at Starbucks with my favorite Mary Higgins Clark book.

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11 Comments on Gaining Weight Through the Years

  1. May De Jesus-Palacpac
    January 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm (6 days ago)

    I am so in the same boat. I love your blog, Michelle. I know your sister. I’ve come to her for help though I’ve never had a chance to go back.

    I am so insecure about my weight now, I am at my heaviest too, i have not looked at the scale, but when I look at the mirror, I know that I am at my heaviest yet.

    Having gone through an eating disorder, I’m fighting not to succumb into another abnormal diet again…your blog is so encouraging. Yes, a little at a time, we can both do it. Looking forward to seeing your pictures in the coming years.


    • Michelle Padrelanan
      January 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm (6 days ago)

      May, I read your story, too, about your eating disorder. Yep, with a lot of encouragement and help, change of eating habits, I know we can do it. I’m reading Trim, Healthy Mama and their plan seems like one I’d like to do. It’s made especially for moms who want to eat the same foods as their families are eating and want to be healthy. This is their FB page: and their site: God bless you May!

      • Julieanne M.
        January 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm (5 days ago)

        Michelle, I have also been struggling with weight gain for the last 16 years. I felt hopeless about it, and the nutritional information on the internet was disturbing because so much of it conflicted with other information. I finally heard about Trim Healthy Mama, and God has used that book to bring real healing to my family! We’ve all lost weight…have still got more to lose. But it’s fun to see progress! :) I have friends in my town that I told them about Trim Healthy Mama, and they have each lost over 70 lbs. in 6-12 months using THM. Wow! They’ve even lost a lot more weight than I have. Amazing! Unfortunately for me, I struggle with some candida problems which means that I now cannot eat any foods with carbs for maybe 6 months or more. That will be tougher, but I’m looking forward to seeing more results than I have in the last year.

        I’m sorry to hear that in your culture there it’s so commonplace for people to make fun of those who are overweight. I suppose that happens some here, too, in the States, but I haven’t ever been ridiculed, nor has any friend or family member ever pointed out that I was fat. That would have really hurt my feelings.

        It can be more expensive to eat mostly meats and veggies, but it sure cuts down on the health expenses in the long run. You can do this! :)

  2. Ginger P. Arboleda
    January 20, 2014 at 2:26 pm (6 days ago)

    Hi Michelle! Thanks for sharing! :) Yes, you should continue to love yourself… hay naku! usap tayo! :) I’ll share tips so that you can achieve your target weight by December! :) haha! Let’s meet up na!

    • Michelle Padrelanan
      January 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm (6 days ago)

      I can feel you excitement, Ginger. :) As soon as I’m over this virus, let’s meet up! :)

  3. Christine
    January 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm (6 days ago)

    Hi Michelle,
    I like your blog. You are so courageous. I am having a hard time admitting how I got to my current size right now, but mine all happened in just 3 years.
    I do not hope to get back my pre-pregnancy body. But I do want to have a healthier body and a healthier lifestyle.
    I wanted to write my own blog about my weight story, but I do not have the same courage as yours.
    But I want to share that this year, I promised myself that if I’m not going to lose all the weight that I’ve gained for 3 years, I will just live a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle.
    So right now, I’m living a whole new lifestyle with slow but regular exercise (as frequent as I can), and healthy eating.

    • Michelle Padrelanan
      January 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm (6 days ago)

      Thank you for your comment, Christine. Truth to tell, it took me a lot of years to look at how I got to this size. It’s pretty hard because you’ll have to also feel the pain that comes with it. It is helpful for me I also want to know what the root of all this is. I still don’t know for sure, but writing about it helps. God bless you in your quest for a whole new lifestyle.

  4. Cheryl Goodman
    January 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm (5 days ago)

    Hi mama Michelle! Please know i totally get it. I think i will post my own weight struggles too but dont loose heart. We got this,i will fb you ha?

    • Michelle Padrelanan
      January 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm (5 days ago)

      Hi Cheryl, no naman, I’m not discouraged. Habang may buhay, may pag-asa, diba? God is good and I have faith in myself that I can do it. :) Sige, let’s chat on FB. Take care.

  5. brownpinay
    January 22, 2014 at 8:43 am (4 days ago)

    HI sis, i can totally relate,,,kahit sabihin minsan na trophy natin ang ating mga excess pounds since it was brought by our kiddos, dumarating talaga ang time na nakakababa ng self esteem sa sarili. Ako i feel that pag may mga dresses aking gusto na isuot at dati naman ay nasusuoot ko at hindi na bagay ngayon..

    Ang hirap din naman mag diet kasi nakakahina minsan at nakaka tempt lalo na if talagang sabay sabay kayong kumakain ng family. Syempre pag nakikita ng mga kids na mahina ka mag eat minsan pati sila mahina kumain.

    DI din ako mahilig mag exercise kasi when I was still working byahe pa lang pata na, and know na WAHM ako and into real estate walking na lang during trippings which I assist :)

    From 30 to 37 ko talagang prime ng aking wiughtloss struggle yun, pero now na nagtuntong ako sa 40 (btw I am turning 42 this July), napansin ko na bumilis ang aking metabolismo at hindi na ako ganung kalaki lumobo to think na wala tlaga akong diet, I just dont know if we can correlate it with age.

    BTW, this is my first time here and I also belong to our FB WAHM group by Martine.

    • Michelle Padrelanan
      January 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm (2 days ago)

      Hi! Thanks for coming over to chat. It’s great that you experienced faster metabolism when you reached your 40′s. For most women, it slows down, right?

      I’m grateful that I even reached this point that I can talk about it now, including the pain of being overweight. I hope my following blog posts would also give you some ideas as I go on my weight loss journey. Take care.