Do you want to really delve into a sensitive topic? Let’s talk about your weight, shall we? How much do you weigh? [Insert cricket noises, here] Yep, that’s what I thought
Beware of rambling, no-direction blog post ahead:
In a good handful of food blogs out there, lovely women have owned their weight as a number, but not let it define who they are. Many of you have had struggles with EDs and are willing to share your journey with the blog community. Some may be trying to lose weight for their Big Day or are trying to bulk up a thinner frame. Whatever the situation, I appreciate the honesty of what people are willing to write for the world to see. Let’s face it, we are putting ourselves out there by writing public blogs. We are subject to criticism and praise alike. And sometimes we may just get an observation from a commenter that makes us go, “hmmm.”
I received the following comment yesterday and I was pleased that she felt comfortable and forthcoming writing to me:
I just read your post on Tina’s blog- 115 pounds at 5’4″??? You are a VERY pretty young woman but you look like a skeleton. I’m 5’4″ also but am 130- you could stand to gain a number of pounds. (Oh and I’m very trim now- the last time I tried to be less than 120 I had an ED).
She is referring to this post: http://carrotsncake.com/2010/07/my-weight-loss-journey-2.html I sincerely hope she doesn’t think I’m calling her out by reposting this, but it is also on my ‘About Me’ page, regardless.
I had to stop and think about this though. Yesterday I was feeling particularly ‘pudgy’ mostly because I had food poisoning the night before and my belly was distended like a 7mo old pregnant woman. FYI, I’m not preggers. My weight yesterday was right at 115lbs. The fact that I am broadcasting this is NOT the norm for me. I’m guarded about my weight because I feel there are so many thinner people out there who are more fit and remain healthy but are able to stay a lower weight. But while I was feeling ‘pudgy’ here I received a comment that perhaps my weight was too low. Is my body image that skewed? The answer is, quite possibly yes. I don’t doubt that I am plagued with more than a wee bit of Body Dysmorphic Disorder and this comment is prodding some soul-searching.
This past Christmastime I weighed 109lbs. I felt good about my body and was happy with its shape and tone. My lowest weight at this height was 103 lbs when I was around 23 yrs old and that was not a pretty sight I looked rather gaunt and wasn’t working out so I just looked bony and breakable. Okay, here is where truth comes to bear. My heaviest weight at this height came after my Freshman year in college (or was it my Sophomore year?) when I weighed in at 144 lbs. EEEK! I say eek because all through high school I maintained a weight under 120lbs so that was a huge jump. It came from going off the meal plan, eating nothing but carbs, no exercise, stress, and a medication that was proven to stilt your metabolism. Oye. Not good.
It took going off the medicine and incorporating regular exercise and more balanced eating to lose about 15 of those pounds. By 22 yrs old, I was closer to 121lbs I believe. (Yes, note by 23, I had dropped nearly 20 lbs to that unhealthy 103)
Several years ago, I read in a nutrition magazine that a good barometer for height and weight for women is at 5 ft tall, you should be 100lbs. For every inch taller, add 5 lbs. If that were to hold true, my ideal weight is 122.5lbs. This is just a guideline. Surely you want to have a healthy BMI, good blood pressure, low cholesterol, etc. Nevertheless this little ‘rule’ has stuck with me and I feel like I enter the snake-pit if I reach 123 lbs or more.
My weight fluctuates tremendously even day-to-day. I’m talking 2-4 lbs each day. Crazy I know. Maybe it’s water weight. Maybe it’s my food baby. Maybe it’s last night’s burrito. Maybe, maybe, maybe… Despite the source it drives me bonkers. So you’d think I wouldn’t get on the scale every day, but I do. I like to be in control and check in with my progress. The scale does not define me, but it sure does impact my mood. If I’m up a pound, I’ll be slightly cranky all day. If I’m down a few pounds, I jump around like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. I know I’m not alone here. That being said, I don’t condone or encourage anyone to be a slave to the scale. It is just something I do that I am slowly working on relaxing.
Back to my weight though. I’m somewhat small-boned and apparently rather petite, which means more pounds are immediately noticeable on me. I also have a hard time building muscle (perhaps due to years of inadequate amounts of protein), which frustrates me because then I don’t feel fit or feel like I look slim. When I’m over 110lbs, I’ve never considered myself too thin. In part because I have several friends who are my same height and weigh less than me and are 100% healthy, active, lovely women. Is it a Californian thing? Is it a woman thing? I’m not sure. It is a me-thing.
I try to lead my life in a healthy manner. I try to keep smart eating and indulging in a yin and yang. I work out regularly, but not excessively (4x’s per week). I have days where all I see are my large thighs. I have days that I’m satisfied with my flat stomach. I’m not a number on my bathroom scale, but I will continue to consult it. And I know that higher self-confidence is the ticket for looking my best (…you see I know this, but can’t fully embrace it…).
So I’m not really sure what is meant by this post, but I felt compelled to offer up a longer explanation to the comment I received above. I’m appreciative of reality checks such as these. Sometimes a little perspective can prompt big changes and one change I’d like to make is to not be so dependent on that red digital readout coming from my scale.
Are you a slave to the scale? Are you a blogger that has posted her height / weight? (Fyi, I’m 5ft 4.5in)