HOW MUCH SHOULD I WEIGH?
Updated: Aug 21, 2019
I’m not going to lie - this is a question that has plagued me and continues to plague me to this day. Despite now being in “weight maintenance” I have to tell you - I just don’t know what the fuck I’m supposed to weigh. And I’m generally okay with that - but I wasn’t for a long time. Because I needed a goddamn concrete number so that I could have a concrete goal because I’m an anal fucker.
The reason I don’t know is because there’s no real answer. Sorry. If you spend an hour searching for one online you’re going to find a lot of people that say a lot of different things - and they're all "experts". The info I found had me at a range between 136 and 184 pounds, which I think we can all agree is a pretty wide range. I literally spent a half a day at one point trying to come up with the definitive answer - and found that I had been measuring myself incorrectly for almost two years. And even when I started doing it properly it didn’t matter because no one agrees on this. Which should tell you something… I think the mentally healthiest people I’ve come across on this journey have decided that they don’t have a fixed number in mind - they want to eat well and exercise and believe that their body will eventually find the right number. That’s more or less where I’m currently at. Though it’s hard to shake that initial number my brain had decided on.
That said I do understand that it helps to have a general guidepost in mind to aim for. It helps you see the big picture of what you’re in for while you’re losing (or gaining) weight and heading towards what’s considered “maintenance”. So proceed with a healthy mindset and try not to get anal (like me) about a specific number on the scale. Your weight will fluctuate anywhere between 3-6 pounds every day. And if you are weighing yourself daily you should do it first thing in the morning, after having gone to the bathroom. It’s your best bet for consistency. Some people say it’s mentally unhealthy to weigh yourself every day, but I like it because it makes you aware of the fluctuations. My mindset was that as long as the scale was headed in the right direction over time I was in good shape. So far so good.
Here’s the info you need on hand to figure this stuff out:
Wrist?! Why the hell do you need to measure my wrist?! Basically it’s to help you know your “body type”. Check out this website to help you figure it out and get your type. It’s either small, medium, or large. You don't need any fancy fucking tools for this - promise.
So now I have all this info - what do I do with it? Like I said, I spent a LOT of time looking at a lot of websites just to get a general average and range and the one I found gives me the best general information and falls in the middle of all of them seems to be the one at this link.
It gives you your BMI (Body Mass Index) in case that’s important to you. It gives you a pretty wide range (mine according to this sight is between 140 - 184 with an average of 171).
Just tell me if I’m fucking healthy or not!
This is something I wish I would have been aiming for since the beginning and what a lot of people say is the thing to truly focus on instead of the number on the scale. It is your waist measurement. I’m not talking about your pant size. The area you need to measure is the narrowest part of your torso and it is often located at or above your belly button. I have super high hips so mine is actually a few inches above my belly button.
Wrap the measuring tape around your waist. Stand up straight and breathe normally. Hold the end of the tape measure at your navel and circle it around your back to the front of your waist, make sure it’s not folded and that it’s fucking straight. The measuring tape should be parallel to the floor and fit snugly around your torso without digging into your skin. Exhale and then check the measurement on the tape. Your waist measurement will be at the place on the tape where the zero end meets the slack end of the tape measure. The number indicates your waist measurement in inches and/or centimetres, depending on the type of measuring tape you used.
Now what do you do with that? Whatever your height is your waist should be half of that or less. If it’s more you’re at risk of being overweight. If it’s half or less you’re aces. It’s that fucking simple! A lot of people say this is the only thing to keep an eye on. It’s more important than the scale, more important than BMI, or whatever other thing is the new measurement tool. Because it measures the fat around your abdomen and when that’s high it puts you at risk for shit like high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks. And that’s the real thing we need to focus on - being healthy and not sick. And having a smaller abdomen makes you look better too if that’s all you give a fuck about - hopefully not though. Real health is best motivated coming from the inside out, not the outside in.
I have one of those fancy bluetooth body scanner scales and it measures my weight, body fat, hydration, lean body mass, BMI, muscle and bone density. Sounds fancy, right? I didn't even realize it did all that shit till after owning it for more than a year. It cost the same as pretty much any digital scale. I think most people would say that these things are far from accurate or ideal, but they give you a general sense of where you’re at. I’ve never had one of those fancy DEXA body composition scans done but if I do I’ll absolutely talk about it more on the site - it's supposed to be the best bet to get an accurate picture. Obviously the lower your body fat the better your health is (within reason, obviously). I don’t think it’s crucial to buy one of these home scales, but it wasn’t any more expensive than a regular digital body weight scale, so there’s that.
Do you follow a healthy lifestyle in terms of how you eat, move, and think?
Do you have energy to do all the things you want to do?
Are you within what you think your weight ‘range’ should be?
Do you have a healthy waist circumference?
Are you happy with how you look?
Then guess what - you’re among the healthiest people on the planet from the top down - enjoy! Fuck the scale and it’s bastardly fluctuations and keep doing what you’re doing you beautiful thing you! I know it's easier said than done, and I still check the scale daily when I can. But I don't let it upset me anymore. Now I look at it out of curiosity. I know I'm on the right track, and if I somehow slip off of it, I have the tools to get back on.