I’ve struggled for a long time with my weight. Around age 18, after a pretty difficult emotional year, I put on around 35 lbs…over the next few years I went in the completely opposite direction and lost around 50 lbs.
Ever since then, it’s been a struggle to find balance and where my body wants to be. Sure I can get down to the 130s if I really put in the effort…but once I got there, I started to think that was where I HAD to be. That since it was possible for me to get there, that’s where I was supposed to be. That if I gained weight, it was fat, since my body was perfect at my low weight.
But after gaining 10 lbs since this summer, after making the decision to really get ‘healthy’ not just ‘fit’ or ‘thin’, I am realizing that 145 is my IDEAL weight. It’s the weight where my body is happy and healthy. And it’s actually the weight where I look and feel my best.
I enjoy feeling strong, I love having muscles and strength and endurance. I’d rather be able to hit the weight room, hike a mountain, then run a half marathon…and look like I can do these things…than fit into tiny designer clothes and sip martinis and feel weak and tiny and miserable and restrictive of all I eat and drink and do. I like being in the kind of shape where I feel confident and healthy…where I have energy and a glow about me.
I like the idea of having an idea weight. When I first read about the idea, as opposed to everyone’s idea of ‘goal weights’ or ‘low weights’, I was like “No way…if I stop obsessing over the calories and the scale, my body is NOT going to settle in on some ideal set point…it’s just going to get big and fat…if I don’t keep control over all those things, everything is going to spiral OUT of control!” But, low and behold, after a few months of trying (not always successfully, but trying hard) to be healthier and more balanced….increasing my calorie intake, crosstraining between yoga, dance, and running instead of over-fixating on a certain workout to get the more burn, and of stepping OFF the scale for longer periods of time…it happened. Yes, I gained 10 lbs, yes that realization was terrifying to me…but then the weight stopped coming on…it’s gone up and down a few pounds a few times, but it’s found that set point…or at least I think it has.
And the great thing? This is the same weight I was when I was in the BEST shape I’ve been in…2 1/2 years ago when I was running and kickboxing and lifting like no one’s business…this was what I weighed. Do I have the same muscle definition or endurance I had then? No, not yet, I’m still recovering from my really bad vitamin deficiency and getting my strength back. But, I’m getting there! I’m seeing muscle again…I’m feeling strong again…I can run up hills again…I can do the stairs again without getting winded. I can teach multiple classes in one day again. And I’m going back to my original dreams of wanting to work in fitness again now that I feel back to my old self! It’s fantastic!
And those obsessions of being at my ‘low weight?’ Well, the other day I came across a picture of me at my low weight…and instead of feeling lustful after that smaller size? I was actually appalled that I had wanted to be that thin. My arms looked toned, yes, but they also looked so small! My collarbone was jutting out. Where were my shoulder muscles that I’m always so proud of? And my legs…they looked huge in comparison to me…I remember wondering why they didn’t look more toned with how much I was running…well probably because my body wasn’t able to build muscle because I wasn’t fueling it properly. No matter how thin you are, you’re going to have cellulite if your body is eating away at your muscle for fuel!
So this is me declaring my ideal weight…and denouncing the quest to ‘get back down’ to my low weight. I am finally realizing that this is a healthy weight for me…yes I still have the goals to get back to the shape I was in when I was lifting heavy and running half marathons and kickboxing every day. I also have new goals, such as incorporating my new healthy obsessions of yoga and meditation into each day, staying positive and confident. But I have no desire to ‘lose more weight’…just to get stronger, faster, healthier, and better every day!