Friday, April 30, 2010

Disappointed in Self

I've been a long-time Self magazine reader. And I love it - it's the perfect amount of fluff to balance all the other stuff I read each month. In terms of women's magazines (which are all basically similar in terms of content: fashion, makeup, fitness, sex, health, etc.), Self focuses more on the health/fitness/eating side. So it still has all the other stuff, but it's not quite as smutty as Cosmo or makeup-y as Allure or fashion-y as Glamour. It's great.

In most issues they try to get you to go to their website with little catchphrases like, "Find your 'Happy Weight' at" I totally took the bait and decided to check it out today.

They define one's "happy weight" as "the weight you were meant to be - one that's healthy and easy to maintain." So basically, "stop obsessing about your body and your diet and start embracing the skin you're in." Cool! Their reasoning for coming up with this formula was that apparently, statistically, many women are already at a healthy weight for their frame, yet continue to try to get the scale down.

So I entered all my info (5'9", medium frame, moderate workouts), calculated the number, and it was: 140.

Let me tell you something, internet. I do not weigh 140. I don't weigh a ton more than 140; but I weigh enough more to know that 140 would never be a place where I could "stop obsessing about my body and diet and start embracing the skin I'm in." I think if I weighed 140, I'd wear a size 6. For a person who is 5'9, is a size 6 really a relaxing, non-obsessive, average place to be? I guess definitely for those people who are naturally thin and have a small frame. Or maybe it has to do with curviness - like, if I had a smaller chest, I'd weigh a good bit less? But this number seemed really low.

So I also decided to search what a shorter person's "happy" weight is. For my friends who are 5'3 out there, you're looking at 116; and all you 5'4s, 120 (give or take a few depending on frame size, exercise level, if you've had a kid, etc.).

I have to say that being tall makes it tough for me to gauge weight on people who are a lot shorter than I am - but for you short people, are these numbers reasonable, or low? They seem low to me.

And it's just kind of the principle of the whole thing that bothers me. That this number they have come up with is supposed to be like "just take it easy - you don't need to be obsessive about your diet & exercise - just relax - you can carry a few extra pounds & be fine."

Anyway...happy weekend. If you'd like to join me in fasting for the next three months, let me know!


Jonathan said...

According to the BMI calculator, if I weigh more than 164 lbs I am overweight... I haven't weighed 164 since my freshman year of high school. I guess I was close to obese when i played football at 180.

Jackie said...

this isnt a bmi calculator, though. according to the government, i can weigh 169 and be "healthy."

LB said...

Ha, 116! That is what I like to call my Stress Weight, i.e. what I have only weighed when I was extremely stressed with life for months at a time. Or when I was 14.

If you tacked 5 pounds onto everyone's Happy Weight, do you think it'd be normal then?

Sarah said...

I think it really depends on body type as well. I have not weighed between 116 and 120 since I was about 14 yrs old... Similar to Jonathan that would mean that my soccer playing days where I worked out about 6 hours a day were when I was at an unhealthy weight. Seems doubtful to me.