More than a few times I have completed little quizzes, measured my wrist, used high end scales, and climbed into dunk tanks, just for an assessment of my fitness level and to see how far off I was from my ideal weight. Almost always the results were completely absurd! I would have to cut off a leg, both boobs, and then some to get to the weight they say I should be! Don’t use these as a goal! They are not an accurate gauge of your fitness level, and I’ll give you an example…
About 7 years ago, in my mid 40’s, I was in the best shape of my life! I had decided I wanted to improve my rowing, so I started working out with a trainer. I rowed an hour 3x a week, did a little strength training or light cardio on 2-3 other days, and had 1 kickbutt session with my trainer once a week.. Phew! It WAS a lot – but it was worth it! Over the course of just a few months, I went from wearing a size 16 slacks to a size 10 – I dropped 4 sizes! – but here is the incredible part……wait…for it……I ONLY LOST ABOUT 6 POUNDS!!! I had felt SO good and could do SO much! I surprised myself! I even went on a backpacking trip with my husband, (which I never do) and was not only able to hike in 5 miles with a heavy pack, I walked a 9 mile ‘day hike’ with him on day 2!
So imagine my disappointment at my next trip to the dunk tank and saw the BMI charts had only shown a small improvement. How could this be? Ok – I was no longer in the morbidly obese category but I had only been upgraded to the “extremely unhealthy” category – WTF?!
Crazy, huh? Well, I had to choose whether I was going to cry about it, or laugh about it. I chose the latter, and decided right then and there that I was not going to stress about a number on a scale, or a number on a chart, as long as I felt good and healthy. And you shouldn’t either!
I have since redefined what my ideal weight is, like this;
My ideal weight is not a number!
My ideal weight is the one where I feel great in my jeans.
My ideal weight is the one where my legs can carry me up and down hills or stairs without my lungs burning.
My ideal weight is the one where it is easy to have a bounce in my step and a smile on my face.
Don’t get me wrong, life still makes it challenging to make time to work on being active, everyday. But when I am successful, and I feel good, I ENJOY feeling good, regardless what the scale says!
Being fit is about being healthy! Please don’t obsess about a number. Be Active! Be Happy!