We live in a society where mixed images of people fill our mind. We see stick figures parading around in fashionable clothes on a runway as the ideal mobile hanger for fashion. We see larger voluptuous women who are demanding to be recognized as beautiful and embraced for their size. We have people who are pear shaped, apple shaped, larger shouldered people, and people with medical problems. In the light of all of these shapes and sizes, what is the healthy weight and how do we maintain it?
First and foremost, I must start with self image. It really doesn’t matter if a woman is large, small, tall, or short . . . if she has a poor self image, she will believe herself to be not beautiful. This happens to me as well. I know that I am very close to my ideal weight, but when I look in the mirror, I judge. I am MY WORST critic.
Even though I have these feelings of self doubt, I shake myself off and I have to constantly remind myself of the truth. This is the truth that I want you to take with you today. My true self identity is in no way connected to my body. Let me repeat that . . .
Your true self identity is in no way connected to your body.
Our body changes constantly. We are born as a baby. We grow into a child. We go through puberty and change a heap. We become young adults and then full adults. Our bodies are in a constant state of flux from 0-21. After our childhood growth slows, we have this idea that we should remain the same. Wrinkles are not welcome. Changing sizes is not welcome. Having a baby and our bodies going crazy is not welcome. Getting gray hairs is not welcome. Well, goodness. Don’t we sound a bit stuck in the mud!!!
We go through radical changes from 0-21 and all of the sudden we cannot accept the various changes from 22-100. Did our five year old self have identity problems because she turned six? Not at all, because we embraced the changes at that age and it didn’t change who we are.
Changes in our body do not change who we are.
Embrace who you are today. To explore the topic of the ideal weight, I need you to let go of the concept that your identity is shaped by your waist size, or your face shape, or by a number on a scale. I want you to read this post knowing that you are doing something positive for your body rather than by feeling condemned because you aren’t the weight you’d like to be. If you know that who you are is not connected to your body (because it’s constantly changing), keep reading. If you are still having issues with your body image and can’t seem to disconnect the two . . . come back to this post later. You are welcome at any time, but I want you to know 100% that you are an amazing person and beautiful regardless of what your body is doing.
Finding Your Healthy Weight
Alright now that we’ve tackled body image, let’s get down to health. Each of us has an ideal healthy weight for our body. The ideal healthy weight is actually not a stagnant number. The scale can actually go up and down while you maintain your healthy body weight. Our health has a lot to do with what we ingest and a bit to do with the amount of exercise we do.
The Myth of Skinny
To understand your ideal weight, you must first realize that skinny ideal is a myth. Many people who are skinny are not healthy. Many super slender people lack the nutrients their bodies need to hold the proper fat in their system. Women are actually created to have a little padding. Our breasts contain a lot of healthy fat. Our butts have a layer of healthy fat. They do not need to be large to be healthy, but they should be existent.
If you are so thin that you have lost your breasts, you may be underweight. If the pants that should be your size fall off of your body due to lack of healthy curves, you may be underweight. There are some women who are naturally tall and slender and their bodies are a less curvy build, but these women are few and far in between. For most women, your ideal weight includes a healthy breast size and a regular curvy bottom. Lacking these is not an indication of health, but rather a possible indication of poor nutrition or over exercise.
The Myth of Voluptuous
Please don’t eat me alive when I say this, but you cannot be overweight and be at your healthy weight. As I’ve said before, I believe that you are 100% beautiful and 100% amazing no matter what size you are, because your weight has nothing to do with who you are as a person. You can be amazing and still have poor health. There are many factors that lead to obesity and being overweight. I have dear friends who have been trying to lose weight for years and due to medical conditions, they have been unsuccessful. Regardless of the difficulty of losing weight and the factors that lead to being overweight, being “voluptuous” is not healthy.
We need to embrace who we are as people, but that doesn’t mean we should embrace our unhealthy habits or even our health problems. Our best health will be reached when we accept ourselves regardless of our weight or health difficulties and work towards a healthier lifestyle. This is true of those who are too slender and those who are overweight.
We have to get past pretending that where we are is healthy.
The Myth of Fat
What we see on the outside of our bodies only tells part of the story about our actual health and our healthy weight. Did you know that some of the worst kinds of fat are actually inside of our bodies wrapping around our organs? This kind of fat is called visceral fat and it is a true health concern.1 Slender people can have this type of fat hiding inside and people with a few extra pounds externally may be completely without visceral fat.
Our health cannot be fully gauged by our external appearance and weight.
Where does this leave you? I hope this leaves you in a place where you understand that you are much more than a number on a scale. I hope this leaves you in a place where you are ready to look your weight/health straight in the eye and make a change. You are such an amazing person who deserves to have great health.
Your Ideal Weight
You have all heard of your BMI, right? Well, just ignore that for now. It’s depressing. It’s a great tool . . . don’t get me wrong. However, you don’t need a graph. You aren’t that number on the scale. Your BMI only tells you what you already know. You know deep inside if you are the right weight . . . here’s how you know.
Basic Guide For Determining Your Healthy Weight
- Do you fit into the size of pants that you’d like to fit into?
- The average pants size for a woman is around 10 – 14. Do you think you naturally are above or below this pants size? Each of us are different.
- Do you feel comfortable in your clothes?
- You can always buy new clothing, but how you fit into your clothing says a lot about your healthy weight.
- Does your jewelry fit you easily?
- Are you eating good, real foods or do your food choices make you feel guilty?
- Are you an active person? Are you too active?
- Under-activity and over-activity both lead to unhealthy weights.
- Does your weight change often?
- Weight fluctuations can often be caused by health conditions, stress eating, and acceptance problems. To maintain a healthy weight, you will want to figure out which factors are affecting these fluctuations.
- Do you have health factors that are affecting your weight?
- Similar to the question before, if you are gaining weight rapidly or losing weight rapidly, you will want to seek health professionals who can guide you on your journey. I suggest starting with a chiropractor and an acupuncturist.
- Are your breasts too large or too small? (this does not pertain to all women, some women are naturally larger or smaller regardless of weight)
- Can you feel your hip bones easily? Are your hip bones protruding?
- Whether hidden or too pronounced, the hips are a great way to assess whether you are at a healthy weight.
- Do your facial bones protrude in an unhealthy way?
- High cheek bones are awesome, so are pronounced features, but be aware if your eye socket lines are very visible and your chin and cheeks are thin.
- Are you bony?
- If you are noticing that you have trouble sitting in a chair because it pains your bottom, then you may be underweight.
- Do you have trouble walking far due to carrying extra weight as you walk?
- Extra weight can cause physical exertion sooner. This is a good gauge to see if the weight you are carrying is too much for your body.
- Do you have trouble exercising because you get hungry too fast?
- If you are not taking in enough healthy food and nutrients for healthy weight maintenance, you may have trouble keeping up your exercise routine.
Guide to Maintaining Your Healthy Weight
I know that you can use the guide above to really think through whether you are comfortable or feel healthy at the weight you are at currently. The guide below is meant to help you to begin to form a healthy food lifestyle that will help you to gain and maintain your healthy weight. I personally believe that the list below is immutable rules for a healthy lifestyle. I would suggest making these changes step by step in order to move toward your goal of being healthy. Also remember, that health is more than the food you eat. It’s glorifying God while enjoying your food, your friends, and your life that makes having health worthwhile.
- Eat little to no processed fats.
Eat plenty of healthy fats to avoid hunger and to help your body let go of excess stores of fat.
- Eat little to no refined sugars and refined carbohydrates.
Eat plenty of healthy vegetables in a great variety.
- Eat little to no factory farmed meats.
Include reasonable portions of grass-fed meats and farm fresh eggs.
- Decrease foods that are fillers and have less nutritional value.
Focus on foods with high nutritional value such as homemade broth, fermented foods, and creating real food meals with high nutritional value.
- Read your labels and begin to understand the ingredients in your food.
Begin to choose foods that have less ingredients overall and choose foods with ingredients you recognize.
- Eat little to no “food” products that were created in a lab.
Find real food that is grown, cultivated, and nourishing.
If you have any questions about the items on these healthy weight guides, please leave a comment below or contact me through my contact page. I hope this post has been a help to you in your journey toward a healthy lifestyle. It is a joy for me to help my friends, my family, and my readers increase their health.
Brooke Shambley | THE Boholistic Mom
Visceral Fat Test1
Do you gain weight mainly around your middle?
Do you eat processed food? (stuff in boxes, unidentifiable cheeses, hamburger buns, things with additives)
Do you know if you have adequate nutrition?
Do you drink alcohol regularly? (around 1-2 glasses a day)
Do you take a lot of medications?
Are you active?
Are you stressed?
Do you get enough sleep?
Great answers: no, no, yes, no, no, yes, no, yes
Not so great answers: yes, yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes, no
These are all factors that can really take a toll on your body. Each of these can lead to visceral fats being formed inside of your body and hinder your journey toward the ideal weight.