Every day, I get asked: what’s my ideal weight?!? Oh my, what a loaded question. Before I dive into my answer, I want to be totally clear about this one very important point: You are so much more than a pant size. And while weight management is such a vital component of everything I talk about, it’s not everything in life. Pop culture all too often preaches that the shape of our body matters more than how we’ve shaped our character. I firmly believe who you are and how you feel (about yourself and how you feel in terms of health) is what matters. So to all the skinny mongers out there I say listen up: healthy is the new skinny.
Okay, all that being said, there are some important ideal weight numbers you need know. You’ve probably heard of BMI, right? Well, BMI (Body Mass Index) is sort of a cool, simple calculation that can help you to know whether you are underweight (<18.4), healthy weight (18.5-24.9), overweight (24.9-30) or obese (>30). Be warned: there are some limitations to BMI; if you’re an all muscle and no fat body builder, you might be considered obese by BMI standards—BMI doesn’t account for your percentage of fat vs. muscle. But here’s the deal, while there are some limitations, it’s a really great gauge for most people and can get you close to knowing your ideal weight.
I think it’s really important to understand BMI in the context of health. If you’re above 25 (and not a body builder), I’m a little nervous for you. You see, when you are overweight you really increase your risk of so many health problems and so many serious diseases; so not cool. Plus, being overweight might make you self-conscious or left feeling bad about your appearance; as a result, you don’t live at your best. So, if you’re above 25, I really want you to work on it, and hey, we can totally work on it together.
Now, being underweight is equally uncool. Any kind of extreme gets you into extreme trouble. Hollywood and Nashville have us thinking that superskinny is super in, but let me tell you, the whole starving artist thing is overrated. A lot of those teeny tiny people are exhausted, have weakened immune systems, fractured bones, no periods, are infertile and are more prone to sudden death. I’ve watched one too many people widdle their weight below that 20 BMI mark (I know that 18.5 is technically underweight, but I feel like under 20 things start to go awry) and seen their health decline as fast they’ve shed pounds. In fact, I don’t allow it. I won’t help anyone bring their weight below that 20 BMI mark.
So what is your ideal weight? Well, I know it sounds a little cliché, but your ideal weight is really up to you. For health reasons, you really need to be somewhere in that 20-24.9 BMI range. That said, a “healthy weight” can range more than 30 pounds. So, if we’re talking about ideal weight in terms of aesthetic, the vanity number that the guys wearing lab coats scientifically came up with as the most attractive BMI for both men and women is 20.85 (a far cry from the waifish 18.0 models walking the runways). For me, I’ve chosen (it really is a choice you can make) a BMI of 20. I’m a little taller than 5’9. So if you really want to know how much I weigh, you can do the math. When I go under that 20 mark, I don’t feel or look my best, so that’s where I’ve decided to stay.
So, the decision is yours. First things first, be sure that you are at a healthy weight, and next determine where you feel the most comfortable, healthy and strong. If you need support to get you there, I totally want to help. Live long, Live strong, Look fabulous doing it!
Female physical attractiveness in Britain and Malaysia: A cross-cultural study
Viren Swamia, Martin J. Tovéeb https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.02.002,