1.20.2007

#43 - Trying to determine my ideal weight

I've been overweight since I was a kid (probably about junior high). I've never been a "normal" sized adult. So what am I supposed to weigh? Do I go by those crazy height and weight charts? They seem totally extreme. Do I go by BMI? Maybe a good start, but still, that seems like a LOT of weight to lose. I've never been that skinny. So what's my ideal weight? I think no one is ever happy with their weight. You always want to lose a few more pounds to get closer to that elusive "ideal" weight. But when you have so much weight to lose, is it realistic to set such drastic weight loss goals? Should I really be thinking about trying to get to 150 pounds right now? It seems like that will just set me up for failure. I lost 70 pounds two years ago and got down to the low 200's, but since I had the idea in my head of my ideal weight I needed to be, I still felt like a failure since I ONLY lost 70 pounds. Isn't that dumb? A lot of weight gurus advise picking small weight loss goals along the way, like 5 or 10 pounds increments or 10% of your body weight. These are much more realistic AND attainable goals. But still, I keep thinking about my "ideal weight". It's so hard to determine isn't it? They come up with all these height and weight charts, expecting us to fit into their predetermined size guides, but we're all so different. Frame size, bone density, family history, etc, etc. How can we determine our ideal weight when you start to factor in all of the variables? I once read somewhere that your goal should be to weigh what you did when you were 18. But what if you were overweight? I was 200 pounds when I graduated high school. I think I'm going to forgo the height and weight charts and ditch the BMI calculations. Instead I thought back to a time in my life when I didn't think about my weight, in other words, when I was totally comfortable with my body. It was when I was 14/15. I was around 160-170 pounds. I was younger and shorter (about 3 inches shorter), so I figure if I add maybe 10-15 pounds to that figure (to account for the age and height difference), 180 pounds, that might be a good "ideal" weight for me. In this case, "ideal" means comfortable. I'm sure my doctor's would love to see me down to 150 pounds, but is this really realistic? The last time I weighed 150, for any significant amount of time, I was in junior high. Is it realistic to set such extreme weight loss goals? I don't think so. Even though my ultimate weight loss goal is 180, I have smaller goals along the way. My first goal right now is to get to 280 (a modest 5% loss). The next goal will be 250, then 225, then 200, THEN 180. And honestly, if I'm pretty happy at 200, and it's easy to maintain that weight, I might just stay at 200. If, on the other hand, I get to 180 and still want to lose more, then so be it, I'll lose more. I just don' t want to commit to some arbitrary number (ok, I' guess I've loosely committed to 180, but only loosely). I think your "ideal weight" is something only you can determine. It's not some number on a chart or a simple calculation. I think it's the weight at which you are happy and confident and comfortable in your own skin.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I agree with you. I feel like picking a goal weight sets you up for failure. I realized that I need to NOT set goals for myself like lose 10 pounds my New Year's because when I reach New Year's and I haven't done it I feel like a failure even though I DID lose 5 pounds. You should focus on feeling better and feeling good about yourself and not how much you SHOULD weigh.

Anna