Health PCS

The Real Reasons Behind PCS Weight Gain

My family PCS’d to our new duty station 10 months ago. It wasn’t our first move, nor our second. It was in fact, our fourth move; fifth if you count our brief stint with apartment living while awaiting base housing. This was not my first rodeo. After all, it’s like riding a bike, right?

WRONG.

We spent 8 solid years at our previous duty station and I had mistakenly thought that this PCS was no different than any other. I was inexplicably thrust into a world I had forgotten. I left my awesome job, our awesome friends, and our awesome community. That was a given…I knew what was going to happen and had prepared for those things. However, what I hadn’t considered were the little facets of life that would also impact me.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the numbers on my scale creeping higher and higher over the first 6 months after moving. The dreaded PCS Weight Gain. I shouldn’t have been surprised when my ‘perfect fit’ jeans transformed into ‘barely fit‘ jeans.

Needless to say, I definitely felt some type of way about this. So I decided to modify my routine, schedule, and mind-set. While I was getting back on track, I felt the overwhelming need to re-trace my steps and figure out exactly HOW I had gained 12 lbs (which, on a 5’3 frame, is really hard to miss.)

So I decided to use my skills in the social sciences and poll 40 military spouses to see if they experienced any weight fluctuation during or up to 6 months post-PCS.

35 out of 40 respondents reported weight gain after PCS, 3 reported weight loss and 2 reported no change in weight. WOW. Again, it should not be a surprise, but to go more in-depth, I engaged a few participants and asked them why they thought their bodies responded this way during PCS. There were several responses that I’m sure we can all relate to in some way. Let’s look at the top 3.

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