Gaining Weight


At the beginning of our recovery, weight gain is all good. In the harsh light of sobriety, that “heroin chic” look you might have fashioned wasn’t so pretty, despite what your disease kept telling you.

But what about excessive weight gain later on in your recovery? One addict said to me, “Now that I’ve quit meth for a year, I’m 40 pounds heavier than before I started using.” The best solution to unwanted weight gain (and what a small problem to have compared to meth addiction) is to increase the rate of your metabolism. At this point, consulting a nutritionist and trainer would be a good idea.

But for those who don’t go or can’t afford to “hire the professional” route, here are some simple ways to increase your rate of metabolism.

  • Try eating 5 smaller meals a day, instead of the usual 3 or 2 large ones.
  • Increase your water intake—a lot. It’s probably safe to say you could just double the amount of water you drink now. Also caffeinated drinks actually dehydrate you and so don’t count. And neither do sodas, we’re talking water, period.
  • Eat healthy fresh foods, not frozen.
  • And, finally, this is crucial: exercise daily. Yes, the best advice to rid yourself of unwanted excessive weight is good old-fashioned moderation of calorie intake and regular, if not strenuous, exercise. Ugh. I know.

Still. Ultimately, it’s far more healthy to be overweight than a wasting meth addict deep in the throws of her addiction. If weight gain is a problem for you, try to remember this:

I quit using one of the most addictive substances known to mankind, certainly I can quit a lifestyle that adds weight to my body.

It’s like when you first quit meth—you’ve got to change much in your life, if not everything. Changing your lifestyle to healthy eating and regular exercise may not be easy at first, but in time it’ll become second nature.

And another factoid to keep in mind: it takes 21 days for an action to become a habit (science has figured this out, don’t ask me how); so those first 21 days of eating less and going to the gym or exercising in some way will not be easy. But within a month, you’ll get through your “withdrawal” (let’s call it with a smile) of your fatty lifestyle and onto the “honeymoon” or pink cloud of a healthy lifestyle.  (See the 5 Steps of Meth Recovery on this website if you don’t understand the references.)

Have a beautiful week and here’s to not overeating during the holidays!