Putting on weight

There’s thousands of articles online about how weight is not an indicator of health, and how we shouldn’t pay too much attention to our daily or weekly weight changes. As long as I eat and drink well, and exercise regularly, I usually feel pretty healthy. I run a few times a week, eat plenty of fruit and don’t drink and fizzy drinks.

But there’s a phenomenon within foreign students (at least) who come to China, and that is that in general, women put on weight, and men lose weight. It seems no research has been done about this, but it was true when I went to Qingdao and seemed to be true here in Jinhua too. As I run a lot and eat healthily, and my body hasn’t changed (I’ve always been a size L in China, despite being an S back at home), I thought I’d escaped this weight gain phenomena. But last weekend, I was staying in a hotel with some scales in the bathroom. I decided to weigh myself…


Low and behold, it was true, I had put on weight, and more than a couple of kilos. Even though I knew I am healthy and that I keep in shape, seeing those numbers on the scale did shock me a bit. How could I have put on that amount of weight in just a few months? Was it that I hadn’t run enough? Was it the spoonful of peanut butter I eat each morning with my oats? Was it the cheeky milk tea I treat myself to twice a week, or was it that I don’t really know what other additives and chemicals are in the food I eat?

The truth is, I don’t know.

Even though I’ve never been concerned about my weight, there’s something about seeing those numbers on the scale that did hit a nerve with me. I’m still exercising, trying to eat healthily and always moving around, and I’m not going to change my diet any more. I’ll probably do a few more planks each week, and push a little harder on the Strava segments in my run, but who knows…maybe the scales were wrong, this is China after all, can we trust anything?


7 thoughts on “Putting on weight

  1. I’m so happy I came across this post on your blog tonight via InfluenceHer Collective. I can completely relate to the number on the scale. It has a HUGE impact on my mood and how I feel about myself. I am sure you look absolutely fabulous, but don’t feel like you are alone in being freaked by the scale. XO

  2. But do you see yourself bigger? Did you grow a belly or something? If not, I think you’re totally fine and should not worry about the number.

    I think many people gain weight here because it is amazing the amount of different types of cookies, chips, sugary drinks, etc. Many more than in Spain! I managed to avoid eating that, I’m not a snacky person. I am more or less as heavy as I was before coming to China (and that was almost 10 years ago!).

    1. I have days where I’m bloated but I don’t have a belly, I feel the same, and think my legs are more toned if anything, maybe its muscle weight! I must admit, I do like trying Chinese snacks.

      1. You can try them all because you do a lot of sports! Me, on the other hand… if I ate them I would become a whale within a week hahaha! Nah, apart from that, I can try them once, but the sweets here are too artificial for me. And don’t get me started on cakes… have you tried those typical Chinese birthday cakes with a ton of whipped cream and pieces of fruit? I can’t stand them hahaha. Oh I should make a post about cakes! xD

  3. Pingback: Chinese birthday cakes | Marta lives in China

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