Finding my “happy” weight

Everyone has that magic number.  You know, your dream weight.  Maybe you weighed that number when you were in high school on the track team.  Maybe when you were in college.  Maybe you’ve never weighed it but think it’s the number that you should be at if you did everything right.  Let me tell you something that it took me a VERY long time to figure out.  That number is a pipe dream.  

Before you object, I have a little story to tell you.  Last year, I fell off the wagon.  Between moving in with D, leaving my job to pursue a new career, and other major upheavals in my life, I slowly saw nearly 10 pounds slowly creep up on me.  While this isn’t a by any means a big number, by December, my jeans just weren’t fitting the way they used to, and I really wasn’t feeling very confident with the way I looked.  I knew I had to stop making excuses and just make changes!  But at the same time I felt kind of humiliated – here I was, giving people health advice, and I had let my own health get away from me.  Not to mention, having lost a significant amount of weight in the past, there was that fear in the way back of my head that I would go back to the way I was, as crazy as that may sound.

So I decided to start slow.  It had taken me about 8 months to gain all the weight, so a pound a month seemed like a reasonable goal.  While there were definitely setbacks, including the entire month of March when I totally plateaued, I stuck with it, and as of last month, I reached my “happy” weight.  So what’s the moral of my little tale?  I started out on this weight loss process thinking that I would reach my dream weight – basically what I was my junior year of college for about one week when I was recovering from bronchitis.  Crazy right?!  This clearly isn’t a number that is realistic and manageable for me (and frankly I just like food too much!).  So I revised my goal and gave myself a little more wiggle room in the process.

When dietitians figure out the ideal weight for a man it is 106 lbs for the first 5 ft, and then 6 lbs for every inch higher.  For women, it is 100 lbs for the first 5 ft and 5 lbs for every inch higher.  But this number can be minus or plus 10% depending on your frame size and build.  Simply put, no weight fits everyone and is TOTALLY dependent on your build and figure.  This tool on Self.com is a pretty good estimate of “happy weight” (although not perfect!) to help you get that number.

So the next time you talk about being unhappy with your weight – consider this, maybe you ARE at the right weight already!  Or maybe the situation isn’t as dire as you might think.  Weight isn’t the only measure of health – although it can be the most immediate and for many, the most discouraging.  Getting to your healthiest body means not only eating healthy most of the time and getting physical activity, but cultivating your mental well-being.  Simply put, constantly restricting your eating habits to reach an unattainable goal greatly discourages your mental well-being and could affect your physical health as well by slowing your metabolism rather than revving it up.  So now that bikini season is officially here, maybe it’s time to embrace your hot bod, as is.

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