how i gained 35 lbs and how i lost it


I have a feeling this is going to be long.

So I deliberately chose not to call this article, “how I lost 35 pounds” or “how I gained 35 pounds” because that points to the fact that one outcome should be the end goal for people. 

Some people like the idea of being thicker, having more cellulite, being more muscular and all of this means owning more pounds.

For me, I’m happiest when I’m toned and thin but with a full, happy belly. And that’s just how I feel personally.

I’ll explain how I got to both places. 

So here’s how I put on the weight and how I lost it.

How I gained weight


I first noticed weight gain when I went on birth control. One day my dad looked over at me in the passenger seat and said, “you have a belly like your Faja.” I burst into tears on the spot because I was a) hormonal and because b) I felt like this was a negative thing at the time.

At the end of this all, I do want to talk about my relationship with weight-gain and the idea of it being a fear or something “bad” that can happen. So hang tight for that.

For a while I had been questioning whether I was just seeing things or whether I was truly gaining weight. I had always been thin and weight gain was a new thing to me.

About 3 years ago I went on antidepressants and that made gain 30lbs. I’m not a chemist, so I can’t speak on what exactly it was the medication was that was making me gain weight; but I would trade all the weight gain/loss in the world to be where I’m at today because the medication helped me so much in finding inner calm. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and I’m grateful that I have the resources available to me to get there. 

I played around a lot with my dosages and kinds of pills specifically because the antidepressants were making me feel exhausted. But, for the most part, I was on Pristiq and an antipsychotic (can’t remember the name at the moment). The antipsychotic was a booster to help me with the fatigue the Pristiq was giving me. That booster though, was the main reason for my weight gain. 

Type of exercise 

I was heavily into pole dancing at the time and that bulked me right up. I can no longer do it because of an injury, and it’s honestly tragic; but looking back at pictures, I realize my upper body was JACKED. And I had no idea at the time. So that added to my weight.

Circadian rhythm

The antidepressants were the culprit for a lot of things. Because I was always so tired it made me sleep a ton and inactivity for 16h because your in the 4th dimension, added to my weight gain. And when I’d wake up, I was so tired, I wasn’t able to feed myself well. So that leads to the next point…


My weight gain was partially because I was too exhausted to take care of my eating habits. The other part stemmed from laziness, so I’ll take credit for that. It was like a 50/50 split between catching energy and being like “I’M GOING TO JUICE FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK”a nd waking up from my slumber and being like I’m still tired so I’m ordering a meduim pizza, extra grease plz.

So those were the ways in which I gained weight. Then as of recent, all of a sudden I’m hearing people around me say, “you’re so skinny,” and I’m like “who me?” I don’t own a scale because I think weight doesn’t tell the whole story. So I’ll weigh myself maybe 10 times a year. 

How I lost weight


I really do want to make this part short and sweet because you know the drill. Just eat healthy. Your body knows whats healthy FOR YOU, even though its tempting to listen to the diet trends out there.

I do this thing where sometimes after I’ve eaten (if I remember), I close my eyes and listen to my body. My key indicator that I’ve eaten something off is if I’m tired immediately after. It can be surprising because say I’ve just eaten a salad, and then I’m exhausted, I start thinking of all the ingredients in the salad and try to understand what my body likes and doesn’t like rather than sticking to a diet just because someone online says so. Sometimes I’ll get a rush and a crash, which is common, and that’s also a sign that my body’s like nope. I was obsessed with Fresh for a long time, and if you know what Fresh is, you’ll know that their image is a healthy, vegan restaurant. I was surprised that every time I was done my meal, I felt an immediate crash. I noticed it was because I was getting tofu every time and breaded things. So vegan doesn’t always mean healthy but more importantly, I thought I was eating healthy until I listened to the signals my body was giving me.

For me it’s about eating things that grow from the ground. The rawer, the more natural, the better. Less meat, less dairy, less bread. 

Yes I still eat ice cream, yes I do love key lime pie. Next. 


This is an uncommon one but I think it’s important to talk about. When you’re thinking about eating, and not treating it as just a way to nourish yourself, you’re obsessing. So when you obsess, like the law of attraction states, your thoughts become your reality. 

The type of obsession I’m talking about is both positive and negative. When I was eating well, I was still obsessing, thinking, “look at me go, I’m on a roll”. When I was eating poorly I was thinking, “what are the ways I can improve?” 

Either way, positive or negative, the one thing that remained was the obsession. For real for real, the second I stopped thinking about it and was more concerned about my job, I lost weight. Let’s talk about that.

Being a freelancer 

So I do this thing called freelancing. And I had never been in between contracts in my life, always steady 9-5 regular shit. So I just experienced my first dry spell a few months ago and I went into this mode where I tripped out and was like “is $1 a lot for a loaf of bread?” I lost perspective.

I’m not saying this is what anyone should do to watch their eating habits, but this is the truth. 

So at that time I was cooking a lot and I think that helped me cut down on whatever shenanigans they’re putting in the food in restaurants. That, and I irrationally ration my portions. After having done this my stomach shrinks and then it stayed like that until I got another contract. True story. 

Type of exercise

Again, this is nothing you don’t already know but while I’m here I might as well tell you what it is that I do.

In the summer it’s too damn hot to run, so I bike. I use a watch called Mio with an incredible point system that keeps me motivated, but that’s for another time.

In the winter it’s too damn cold to bike, so I run. I do this to keep up my mood mostly, because as you know, for me it’s a thing.

I’ll keep you posted for when I finally have the willpower to do sit-ups and leg day like a normal human being. 


So I think that’s it. 

Oh no wait!

I did promise a little thing on my relationship with gaining weight.

So for where I’m at right now, I wish I could say I am resolved with the fear of gaining weight. I don’t really see my body, myself, how I really am I don’t think. So that’s an ever-evolving state of mind. And I can guarantee that if I were to rewrite this article in 5 years, all of these ideas and habits and numbers will be different. I think the main goal is just being like, “whatever, fuck it,” coming from a place of inner-calm.

I’m definitely hard on myself when I feel too thin and hard on myself when I feel to heavy. When I’m heavy I love the way my thighs look and my booty has a lil kick to it. And when I’m thin I love my tummy and overall how delicate I feel. I don’t feel the need to go into what I don’t like about my body in each state because that’s not the energy I choose. So it’s less about my weight and more about how I perceive it.

Hopefully this was helpful.

Tell me when you feel best about your body?

Is it after you’ve treated yourself to day of greens, after meditation or in a specific outfit? Flex in the comments below.

That’s it, that’s all. 



Michelle Bali

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