I’m pretty confident every individual both male and female has researched what their ideal body weight is for their size, age and build hoping that when the results pop up they fit somewhere in that range. When you get your annual doctor’s check up they would consider this your BMI (Body Mass Index) based on what the average person your age and height is and therefore believe that you should be.
What Is a BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is used with a mathematical formula to take your height and weight and out pops a number anywhere from 10-40 with the average range being in the 18-30 numbers. If you are new to the BMI it is pretty much (in my opinion) one of the worst assessments to someone’s health out there however it is the most widely used measurement to determine if you are at a “healthy” weight or if you are overweight.
Just for demonstration purposes here is what the BMI calculator looks like if you were to research this:
To lead into the purpose of this entire article of finding your ideal weight, I put in my own measurements and here is the result I got….
I came in with a BMI of 23.9!!! One more point and I’m tipping the scales being overweight!
Ten years ago when I didn’t know anything about fitness, nutrition, or even my own body this would have been devastating and I would have immediately started dieting to get myself closer to that 18.5 number than that 24.9 number. I specifically remember a moment shortly after high school when I was the same measurements I am now, very athletic, and I went in for my physical and the doctor told me I was borderline overweight for my category and put me on a “nutrition” program aka a diet to get me to lose weight. The thing is if you took five seconds to look at me as a female who did gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, and softball common sense would tell you that I was muscular and obviously would weigh more than your average female.
Why am I telling you all of this?
When I work with women one-on-one I always go through an assessment process to find out their goals and their “why”. Without fail every time I ask the question: “Is there a specific weight or size you want to be…or is it more about just feeling the best you possibly can and looking good naked?”, the response always baffles me when I hear “I want to be between 115-120lbs and a size 2. I really just want to be 115lbs”.
It literally comes down to women will do anything they are told to get to this “ideal” image they have. I know this because I did it and have seen women do it the last ten years.
Now, my goal is to stop this cycle and to help you find out what your ideal weight is based off of your lifestyle, your food, your fitness and what you feel the most confident at when you look in the mirror.
Step 1, you have to get rid of the scale and let go of the “skinny” jeans. If you haven’t worn the jeans in the last year ,while I think it’s a great goal, it also isn’t helping you embrace your body as it is now and is keeping you in the past. The goal is to accept where you are now and move forward from there. Our bodies change constantly and the more you love the changes and embrace that your body isn’t 16 anymore and you actually have curves and are a woman than the easier it will be to get to this “ideal” weight. I don’t care if you are 100lbs heavier than you want to be…this is where you are right now and I want you to accept, love and embrace all of it. There’s nothing to fix, there’s nothing wrong with your body, you don’t have bad genes or a problem, you simply have been holding on to a lot of hate and emotional baggage that is being stored on your body and I want you to learn to let that go and love this beautiful body of yours.
Step 2, if you currently are following a diet or nutrition program and you actually feel like you are on a diet then it’s time to reflect and do some intuitive eating. I am a Fast Oxidizer Metabolic Type. I also am a Mesomorph. This means that when I eat carbohydrates as a Fast Oxidizer my body immediately metabolizes the carbohydrate into glucose which is then immediately released into the bloodstream. This spike in blood sugar triggers a powerful release of large amounts of insulin to clean away excess sugar. The insulin fills the sugar reservoirs in the muscle and liver and then dumps the rest of the glucose into the fat tissue. Because of this, I have to eat all of the time (4-5x a day) but also I have learned my body does best on a high carbohydrate, high fat (MCT’s), and average protein nutrition take. I tried so many diets and nutrition plans that told me to eat 40/30/30 as the way to break down the percentage of my macronutrients and I just didn’t feel as energized. On a whim, one morning I was in a hurry and ate a bowl of oatmeal with almond butter and 1 boiled egg (high carb, high fat, sprinkled with protein) and I felt amazing and sustained for hours. I had to learn my body and understand what I need. On top of that, being a Mesomorph means that I naturally am muscular and it is very easy for me to put on muscle with the fast twitch (power build) body type.
I had to self educate and learn all of this though. Had I continued to follow what the doctor said was my “healthy” weight and followed that diet trying to get down to 115lbs I would have not only felt terrible, but would have zero ability to perform athletically.
Ask yourself when you feel the best during the day, then work backwards to answer the questions: What did you just eat? How much sleep did you get? How much water have you drank? How much protein/carbs/fats did you eat? Was it 3 meals that day or was it 4-5 meals that day?
When you do this for a week or even a couple weeks you will start to see a pattern of what feels the best for you including how well you do in your workouts. Once you have this data you then have your “ideal” nutrition pattern of what your body needs. (For more info on understanding your macronutrients read this article)
Once you have this info, you will want to factor in the fact that you have a life meaning you will probably go out to eat weekly and enjoy your favorite foods/drinks as well. Keep that in mind and please don’t mark them as a “cheat” meal. Nobody wants to cheat in life so who wants to be on a diet that makes them want to cheat. This is about moderation and balance finding a way to have all the foods and social life you want while having your ideal body. Plus, the less you make those foods “off limits” or “cheats” the less likely you are to binge because they are always allowed and always available.
Step 3, Factor in your workouts and on average how many days you can exercise. Ideally, we all would like to exercise or move every day and try our best but just for moderation let’s say you get in 3-4 strength workouts a week. This is the amount you know is easy for you to be consistent with and not feel like you are stressed out trying to meet a certain number each week. You want to look forward to your workouts and it to be a stress relief not a stress inducer. I say strength workouts because lifting and strength training is the only way to actually tighten your body and reduce your body fat while boosting your confidence. If you want to run and do cardio then by all means doing it, but in terms of transforming your physique and esteem you’re going to want to get in some strength training. Here’s the catch and why you need to follow step 1 of getting rid of your scale, because when you are following moderation with your food and strength training 3-4 times per week more than likely you won’t see huge numbers coming off the scale like a lot of diets promise. Losing 10lbs in one week with this approach probably won’t happen. Lifting 10lbs heavier than you thought you could, improving your confidence, tightening your body, feeling like a bad ass, yes that will all happen.
- I see a lot of women get discouraged because they will use this food and fitness approach for 6 weeks and they get nervous because at week 6 they step on the scale and have only lost 2-5lbs in over a month. However, I have been in this long enough to know the numbers on the scale mean nothing and I always encourage them to just wait till the end of 6 weeks when we re-do measurements and sure enough we do their measurements and they end up losing over 10 inches off their body because they have replaced a lot of body fat with lean muscle. Plus, they feel amazing knowing at week 6 when they can lift more, move faster and have better endurance then they did at the beginning.
Always base your progress on how you look, how your clothes feel, and your overall balance in life instead of the scale. Your worth and value do not come from what a number on a battery operated machine says. Your worth and value comes from the inside out…never from outside yourself.
Step 4, Follow the above 3 steps for approximately 3 months (90 days) of consistently strength training, intuitively eating, listening to your body, tracking how you feel, and after 90 days see how your body looks and feel while being able to enjoy a social life and your favorite foods. Once you have this down…that is your ideal weight. A weight in which you do not feel like you are dieting, depriving yourself, cutting out your social life, and aren’t exhausting yourself with insane amounts of cardio. When you balance out your food and fitness your body will “settle” at your ideal weight. I have followed this approach since I was about 22 years old and I honestly have never fluctuated more than a few pounds here and there since then because I have learned moderation. I don’t have my “skinny” jeans and “fat” jeans because my weight doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much anymore and I want the same for you. There’s a fine line between setting goals with your fitness and also realizing that “those last 5lbs” that you can’t get off sometimes aren’t meant to come off.
For example, you may weigh 5lbs more than you did when you started this process, but you also might lift 50lbs heavier than you could before, have more energy, feel more balanced and satisfied with your food, and feel tighter all over. However, if you focused only on the number on the scale you would have quit that second that number went up from your previous weight which is why it’s so important to base your progress on how you feel.
Whether it’s the Flat ABS program you use to get your strength training in, a crossfit gym, your local big box gym, I don’t care as long as you are performing at least 3 times a week of heavy strength workouts to boost your confidence and your overall health. Take the time to educate yourself on your body type, macronutrient needs and for your own sanity cut the dieting cycle and start just listening and learning your own body.
It is also extremely important that as you go through this process you practice some sort of mantra or affirmations to remind you to love yourself as you make these adjustments. If you’re used to telling yourself that “I’ll be happy once I get to this size, or this weight….” then you need to create a mantra or affirmation that you tell yourself daily of “I am choosing to love and accept myself unconditionally now as I work on being the best version of me”. Also start looking for ways to compliment and show yourself a little tlc. If you went to dinner and skipped on dessert because you actually are full, don’t really want it and know you can have it whenever you want so fully felt freedom with food then celebrate and feel awesome. If you got 5 more repetitions in your workout than you did last week then step up to the brag table and give yourself the biggest celebration for improving.
Celebrate the small victories and your continued progress and the more you focus on that you will feel stronger, healthier and more confident knowing that you are a work in progress as we all are and there is always going to be room to improve, but it’s loving and enjoy the growth instead of seeing ourselves are always needing to be “fixed”.
Everything in life is simply a story of someone else’s journey and what they have found for their own path. You can use it as a tool for your own life, but don’t mistake what works for someone else as an absolute for what has to work for you.
Stay connected with me here for more ways to build a life and body you absolutely love!