I Gained 30 Pounds During the Pandemic. Here’s What Happened.

I went from “skinny bitch” to overweight, and now I’m stuck in-between.

Rachel Wayne
10 min readAug 20, 2021

“Hey, look at this cute top!”

I yanked it off the rack and displayed it to Jessica. She was notoriously critical of my flowery style, while she preferred classic blouses that accentuated the décolletage. Yet her eyes got big when she saw my Goodwill find.

“Nice. What size is it?” She asked, her brow furrowing to zero in on the tag.

“It’s a large.”

“OH!” She examined. “You have to buy it, then. Because you never get a large.”

It was true. At a meager 115 pounds, I wasn’t exactly plus-size. Jessica was sensitive about the weight she’d recently gained, although she was anything but obese. Suddenly, my naturally slim physique was an issue for her.

I did like the top, so I bought it. But every time I wore it, I remembered Jessica’s comment that I “had to buy it” because it was larger than my usual size.

Jessica’s friend, Darren, was my boyfriend at the time. He rolled his eyes when I told him about her insistence that I buy that top. And yet he was the first, as a stocky guy, to question where my hips were wide enough to bear children. “Real women have meat on their bones,” I once heard him tell his best friend, whose curvy wife frequently mocked my petite body.

Standing at just 5 feet 3 inches tall with a pelvic circumference of 35 inches, I started to feel unwomanly. And when Darren dumped me for a more hourglass-y female, my skinniness became a curse. Several months into a crippling post-breakup depression, I looked in the mirror and saw stick-thin calves, small boobs, and a flat ass — hardly the stuff of sexiness.

I started loading up on fatty and sugary foods to flesh out my figure. I was tired of being the “stick.”

But it wasn’t until I got into aerial dance that I began putting some meat on my bones — literally. I gained 25 pounds simply by training five times a week. My skinny arms tripled in size. My abs came in, and suddenly my favorite sundresses didn’t fit anymore. My butt became a muscle powerhouse rather than a pathetic attempt at filling out…



Rachel Wayne

Artist/anthropologist/activist writing about art, media, culture, health, science, enterprise, and where they all meet. Join my list: http://eepurl.com/gD53QP