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The Weight Gain Struggle

You aren’t alone if you are struggling to gain weight, I’m right there with you. It’s such a strange thing because as a female, being skinny in our society is praised—quite idolized actually, although slowly things are starting to change. But for the most part, all women want to be skinny. I, on the other hand, would do ANYTHING not to be skinny.

I was a healthy weight before my diagnosis

Before my Crohn’s diagnosis, I weighed a healthy 135 pounds. I had hips and curves and loved my body. I also felt strong. I worked out regularly and had nice muscle definition. I felt good in clothes and overall, I was just happy with my body. I always had great self-esteem when it came to my appearance.

Today, it has been 8 years since my Crohn’s diagnosis and I weigh 111 pounds. I feel weak, as I don’t have the muscle that I used to have. Although I am 29 and about to be 30, I look like I could be a sophomore in high school. I giggle constantly because in my early 20’s, I was never carded at restaurants or asked if I was of age. I truly looked it. Now that I am even older, I get carded constantly by waiters and I was even asked one time at the airport if I was traveling alone and if so where my mother was. In these moments I truly laugh out loud and take it as a moment of comedic relief. Hey, I’d rather look younger than older, right?

I miss my old body

But if I’m to be totally transparent, I do grieve my old body sometimes. I don’t like how I look in clothes and I avoid mirrors a lot. The girl who once used to love her body now is just sad about it and its appearance.

Gaining weight with Crohn’s is hard

It’s hard to gain weight when you have Crohn’s, as there are a million factors to consider. Medications suppress appetite. Trauma from eating certain trigger foods make you not want to eat them ever again and the list of trauma foods can be exhaustive. Less physical activity means being hungry less and having less muscle definition. And diet change can change the way your body looks as it is processing different types of foods and impacts body shape.

Overall, I’ve found that perhaps I will never look as I did before. But, I can be hopeful that with time, I can be happy with this new body —a body I am not yet familiar with but can grow to love and appreciate.

Accepting the changes

I will always remain expectant that my future will be better than my past. The best is yet to come and with that said, I am excited to see my body continue to change and bloom into something different and new.

So cheers to newness and change. Our bodies may not be as they were before our diagnosis, but let’s continue to love and embrace the body we are in. It doesn’t help for us to look in the past and mourn. Who knows? In time I may be able to begin a light work out routine and build an entirely new shape to my body–one better than I had before.

Has your body changed since your diagnosis? Comment below if you’d like to share.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    3 months ago

    I could not agree more, Elizabeth!! I honestly ban the word “skinny” from my vocabulary just because I feel like it has such a negative connotation to it.

    I was at my “skinniest” when I was on a liquids-only diet prior to my surgery in 2014 and honestly felt like a shell of myself. I felt ugly and despite friends raving about my “summer bod” I hated it. Even now, during my health coaching, I never put emphasis on a number on a scale, and encourage clients to focus on how they feel and fit in clothes rather than how much they weigh.
    Whoever says “you can never be too skinny” clearly never dealt with a chronic illness!! Thank you for sharing.

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    1 month ago


    I can so relate! You said it best, it’s like living in a shell of yourself–it’s really awful.

    Thanks for commenting and chiming in!

    Always dancing,

  • Stellar_one19
    3 months ago

    I agree completely!
    I have removed the word “Skinny” from my vocabulary, as it does resonate negativity.
    I have been drinking Ensure three times a day as well as trying to eat what my body will tolerate, just to gain weight.
    I ask that you look past the scarred, fragile and outer shell of what I use to be. Then truly look inside to see the strength, the beauty, the person inside.

    You are the best version of yourself today!

    Your inner beauty will and does shine through!
    Shine on!

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    1 month ago


    Beautifully said. Shine on, shine on!

    Always dancing,

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