Charlotte Peirce wants to show people that gaining weight isn’t a terrible, scary thing.
She’s keen to remind you that if you’ve gained weight in lockdown, there’s no need to panic or beat yourself up.
Your health – both physical and mental – is far more important than your dress size.
After going from a size four to a size eight, Charlotte, 25, was called ‘fat and lazy’ by trolls, but she says she’s happier than ever after putting on 13lbs.
The administration office from Portsmouth said: ‘During lockdown I have gained around 13lbs, and two dress sizes, but I was so much happier, and healthier both physically and mentally.
‘I wanted to share my experience on my social media because I wanted other women who are struggling like I was to understand that not all weight gain is dangerous, unhealthy or a straight path to disease, for many weight gain will save their life.
‘However, I was met with messages saying I had ‘let myself go’ or I was lazy and fat, that I should be ashamed of promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, even though I mentioned the fact I was underweight and very unwell in the before pictures, and I am still a healthy size eight now.
‘I want to change the narrative behind weight loss and I want people to know that if you gain weight as a result of healing your mind that is okay.’
When Charlotte was a smaller size, she was eating a dangerously small amount of food and struggled with body dysmorphia.
She decided to make a change after noticing that the more weight she lost, the unhappier she became with her body.
She realised that her motivation for losing weight wasn’t coming from a genuine desire, but because she didn’t feel worthy and wanted to fit the social norm.
‘I managed to reach and even exceed my goal weight, however, I still didn’t feel good about myself,’ she said.
‘I was mentally at a very low point and knew I needed to do something about it, and therefore started this journey and tried to accept my body.
‘I started by removing triggers that made me feel the way that I did, whether it was what I was consuming on social media or clinging on to an item of clothing I no longer fit into.
‘I also started to appreciate my body for all that it was and what it does for me, rather than focusing on how it looked and tried to cultivate positivity about my body from within rather than seeking outside validation.
‘For as long as I can remember we have been taught to think that if we are thinner, if we dress a certain way, if we’re prettier and have a specific body shape, that we are somehow better, more successful people. But it’s simply not true.
“‘I used to force myself to workout until I sick or dizzy to earn my food, I was tracking everything I put into my body and my mental health was deteriorating quickly.
‘Fast forward 18 months, I am deep into my recovery and healing my relationship with my food and my body, and of course once you stop the restricting, you gain the weight back.’
Throughout her recovery journey, Charlotte has had to learn to ignore rude comments from trolls and find self-esteem from within.
She’s sharing her experience to urge other people to free themselves of the pressure to be a certain size.
Charlotte added: ‘I don’t believe you can live a happy life when it’s full of restriction, it takes the joy out of everything.
‘I no longer feel trapped in the constant pursuit of thinness, and my relationship with food and exercise is healing.’
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