my “happy” weight.

Something wonderful happened today. I ate my lunch at my desk today so, on my lunch hour, I went to Starbucks and got a deliciously nomtastic grande iced sugar-free soy caramel latte (yes, I am one of “those” people who have super pretentious coffee preferences) and went outside to sit at a table in 100 degree heat (mmmm heaven) to read by myself for an hour.

As I was getting situated, I caught my reflection in the large, glass windows of the shop. Today I am rocking my favorite dress (brown strapless with buttons down the front that comes to the middle of my thighs — this dress hugs and accentuates my figure in all kinds of wonderful ways) and a sparkly gold necklace, with my hair pulled back into a messy ballerina bun. I am looking quite adorbs if I do say so myself. When I saw my reflection, I couldn’t help but smile and think, “Hot damn, I’m a bit sexy.”

Ever have those days? When you just KNOW you’re beautiful? Today was one of those days for me.

It’s hard to believe that just yesterday I was having a mini-meltdown in my cubicle over my “happy weight.”

I stumbled across a certain “fitness and well-being” magazine’s website yesterday (and no, I’m not going to tell you which website it was or which magazine. I don’t want you going through the same crap I did. AND DON’T GOOGLE IT. SERIOUSLY. Save yourself.) They had a feature that, at first glance, looks pretty decent. It’s called “Your Happy Weight.” When I clicked on it, I was pleasantly surprised with it. They start out talking about how we women tend to diet and exercise to get down to a certain unattainable number and we beat ourselves up over never getting there. At this point I was like, “Yeah! Totally! What’s your solution?” And their solution is your “happy weight.” They had a calculator which, if you entered in your height, weight, build, and gender, would offer up your “happy” weight — that is, the weight you should try to attain in order to be comfortable and “happy.”

Well, at my current weight, I’m pretty peachy. But, in a moment of weakness, I second-guessed myself. I’m happy at my weight, I thought, but what if I’m not at my “happy weight” and I’m still happy? That wouldn’t be okay, would it?  I decided to enter in my information just to make sure I was indeed at my happy weight.

I’m sure you can guess where this is going.

According to this website, I need to lose over 30 pounds to attain my “happy weight,” which would put me at a weight I haven’t seen since 6th grade, BEFORE I HAD MY PERIOD. YIKES.

My heart sank to the floor. How am I ever going to lose 30 pounds, I wondered sadly. It will never happen. Even when I was 15 pounds lighter than I am now, at the peak of my eating disorder, everyone told me I was too skinny and looked sick. But evidently I can’t be happy unless I lose 30 pounds…

Wait. What?

LINDSAY! WAKE UP! A website calculator has no authority over your “happy weight.” Your happy weight is whatever weight you decide it is, not some Interwebs bot!

And, let me tell you what — regardless of what the scale said this morning, I will be at my happy weight today, tomorrow, and the next day. Not because of the three digits it reads, but because:

  • I know that it has no bearing what so ever on my self-worth.
  • I know I am healthy.
  • I know I am lovely.
  • I know that regardless of it, I am loved by others and by myself.

What about you? Have you ever stumbled across an ideal weight calculator online? How did it make you feel?

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15 thoughts on “my “happy” weight.

  1. Oh my gosh. I did the same thing. Currently, I’m trying to lose around 5 pounds. The calculator told me I need to lose around 12… a weight that I haven’t been since HIGH SCHOOL!

    Thanks for the post Lindsay!

  2. I did one 2 months ago when I was starting my whole gym deal… it told me I was “obese” which is one of those words that I strongly despise… it made me want to throw up right then and there. Then it told me to lose 47 pounds. The problem with weight being based on NUMBERS is that (according to my trainer) I was a gymnast for 13 years…I have A LOT of muscle … so you cant always put a NUMBER goal on someone…

    you are beautiful, L!

  3. Just the fact the even call it “Happy Weight” is incredibly out of line. It’s implying for women across the world who are struggling to accept themselves and find happiness among an already judgmental society with impossible standards (whew!) that they need to reach a certain “scientifically generated” number to attain the elusive goal of “happiness.” I subscribe to the magazine of which you speak and I am appalled.

    I hope your blog entry will serve as a strong message to readers that this is not remotely realistic and they should devote energy toward self acceptance and love rather than this crap.

    For that reason- I am so glad I recently found your blog… it really puts things into perspective when the world is out of whack 🙂

  4. well… i have a bit of problem, because i refuse to weigh myself. i haven’t weighed myself in a really long time– i’m talking years. right now, i’m at a point where i feel pretty skinny. i fit into my “skinny” jeans (which for some ballerinas would, of course, be their fat jeans LOL) but i’m good with myself right now.

    i am a little panicky, though, because i have a gyno appointment on friday. they will weigh me there and i’m going to have to pull my usual doctor’s office routine of shutting my eyes on the scale then trying to avoid looking at the nurse’s clipboard with my file on it– or chance see my dreaded weight.

    judging by how i feel, ‘m at a weight that makes me happy. i’ve fluctuated roughly 30 lbs throughout my life consistently and at this very moment in time, by my guestimations, i’m winning the battle.. but there’s always the concern that i am deluding myself. what if i catch a glance of that number and it says something that i don’t like? what if i really just stretched my skinny jeans out and that’s why they fit me? what if it says i’m really at the weight that i used to feel the fattest at and i’ve just quite literally gone insane into deluding myself that i look good and am at my skinny weight?

    isn’t it sad that these thoughts cross my mind? isn’t it even more sad that i am afraid of a number to the point that, at doctor’s appointments, i snap at the nurses to not tell me my weight?! if i see that number and it’s bad, i will start to panic and my mind will begin to race. i will begin to tell myself bad things. i will wring my hands in panic. for example, i wore short shorts last weekend and thought i looked good. immediately my mind will replay the scenario. i will think: “when i caught those people staring at me, i thought it was because i looked good– what if it’s because they were staring at my cottage cheese and laughing at my audacity?” these bad thoughts will lead to me staying in for who knows how long. i will not want to be seen in public. a few years ago, i would’ve stayed in and eaten more. strange isn’t that? i would’ve stayed in and made myself fatter, because i was depressed that i was fat. LOL. idk, you figure that one out… nowadays, if that number’s bad, i think i’d just have a mental breakdown and probably NOT eat for a while.

    either way, it’s safe to say, maybe i’m not really winning, like i think i am. maybe i’m actually still losing– even if i am the skinniest i’ve ever been.

    sorry i got onto a tangent. i just love your blog and relate so much. ❤ you 🙂

    • Okay girl. I am emailing you tomorrow morning. Expect a big fat email from your pal Lindsay.

      Oh. One more thing.

      You are gorgeous inside and out and I am blessed to know you.

  5. I’m just getting to the point where I catch my reflection and don’t cringe! I’ve avoided mirrors most my life. It’s a great feeling to look at yourself and see someone beautiful looking back isn’t it? You’re a beautiful soul inside and out!

  6. Also, people should be focusing on a “healthy” weight. I did that calculator and their “happy” weight for me is at the very bottom of the spectrum (3 pounds away) according to a medical weight range chart based on height, activity level, etc. You know, science-y stuff. But it happens to be right in the middle of their “Ideal” weight range… which, personally, I think I’d look sickly if I was anywhere near or below that. (104 pounds was at the low end….really, calculator, really?) Body fat percentage and measurements are a much better way to gauge health and fitness levels. YOU pick your happy weight.

    Plus, skinny does not equal healthy, as many who suffer from eating disorders prove. Studies for the past like 70 years show that even if your BMI (horrible measuring tool anyway) is in the “overweight” or even “obese” range but you live an active lifestyle, you’re in better shape health-wise than a sedentary “normal” person. So, no matter what number you are, just getting out there and MOVING is the best Rx for a happy life 🙂

  7. I’ve stopped weighing myself, because whenever I would, I would start obsessing over that number. Now, I try to stay active and eat right. If I like the way I look and more importantly, feel, then I’m happy. 🙂

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