That Weight Thing

I’m currently in the Amazon Jungle, but wanted to write a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time!

So, you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned or talked about my weight in a loooong time on here. Fortunately, that’s not because I’ve gone off the deep end and gained everything back.

My goal weight with Weight Watchers was 164, but I found that SO HARD to maintain at my height of 5’8 and I was only able to stay there for a few weeks. I met with my primary care doctor to talk to her about my weight, and she said I should try to maintain between 175-180 to be healthy for my height and with my build, so I reset my goal weight to 177 with Weight Watchers. I know that probably sounds like a lot to some people, but I am not looking to be skinny – I just want to be average and healthy, and not obese. I love food way too much to restrict myself in the way that I would have to to get down to my original goal weight or below.

I almost don’t want to put this in writing for fear of jinxing myself, but for the last several months, I haven’t been counting points and have just been eating intuitively. And you know what? I’ve actually been maintaining in the range my doctor suggested I go for. Though I’ve had to keep trying and being mindful of what I’m eating, I’ve found that my body finally isn’t fighting me anymore.

I’ve had my fair share of pizza, french fries, and chicken wings, but have been very aware of portion sizes and not overdoing it when I’m eating those heavier things. I’ve also focused on eating healthy staples most of the time – fruit, veggies, English muffins, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, and smoothies. For the first time in what feels like ever, I’ve actually been able to keep nut butter in my house and not have the jar disappear in a day or two. It’s been sort of eye opening trying and learning to trust myself with food again.

So, for a while now, I’d been thinking I should try to get back to 164 before the surgery to get as ideal of results as possible. But, I’ve been looking through a lot of forums and they say you should go into the surgery at your goal weight – and a lot of times its higher than you think it might be. They say you want to pick a weight you can maintain and go into surgery at that weight because then you will get ideal results for a weight you know you can maintain, and where you won’t have to fight against it.

I’ve decided that because of that, I want to focus on working out and getting strong going into the surgery, but NOT losing any more weight because I know where I am right now is something I can maintain for the long-haul. I feel like my body will be best contoured with ideal results at the place I am at now, and I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to get my weight to an arbitrary number that clearly goes against where it wants to be.

33 Comments on That Weight Thing

  1. lauramich
    June 24, 2013 at 9:36 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this. I don’t think this is an uncommon experience for those of us who have lost significant amounts of weight. It certainly resonates with me. I initially lost almost 150 pounds, going from 282 to 137. Even though 137 is smack in the middle of the healthy range for 5’7″, it proved too low for me. My period went missing for four months right after I hit my lowest weight and stayed irregular after that (not helpful for trying to get pregnant!). I was always cold and tired, and (TMI alert!) my libido went out the window.

    I gained back about 10 pounds … and, a year after having given up, got pregnant! Now Little Guy is almost 8 months old, and I’m still about 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, hanging around 155. And y’know what? I’m in no hurry to lose the rest. I have more energy (even with the disrupted sleep of having a baby!), am not always cold, periods are regular again, and I even have something resembling a sex drive.

    I would like to get back to regular exercise—I miss it!—but my main goal is to stay healthy at this weight, not to pressure myself into getting into my pre-pregnancy jeans (because thanks to everything shifting postpartum, I’m farther than 10 pounds away from that!) A baseline of 155 might put me close to “overweight” for my height, but my body seems to prefer it. I wonder if many of us who had lots to lose end up with higher baselines?

    A super-nosy question for you, Beth: When you looked into the skin removal surgery, did any of the surgeons estimate how many pounds of skin would be removed? My husband and I have debated how many pounds of loose skin I have; he figures at least 10. That may be another thing to consider in determining a “healthy” weight after a big weight loss; if I have 10 pounds of extra skin, my “true” weight at my lowest would’ve been 127, which is pretty thin for 5’7″. I’m not seriously considering the surgery for myself (can’t afford the $$$ or recovery time), but I’m curious about how much loose skin I’d lose1

  2. Victoria
    June 24, 2013 at 12:25 pm (7 years ago)

    Having seen pictures of you the past few weeks, I agree that you look great at your current weight, and am glad to hear that it is sustainable for you.

    And yeah, being tall/built large makes you feel so weird when other women talk about weight. 170-180 is way different at 5’0″ and 5’8″!

  3. Karen
    June 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm (7 years ago)

    Beth I absolutely love you. You are so honest, upfront, real, and a true inspiration. Thank you for continuing to post despite your busy life! Best of luck with surgery, I will be sending prayers your way and look forward to reading all about it!

    • brenda
      June 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm (7 years ago)

      I feel the same way, Karen. Go Beth!

  4. Shady
    June 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm (7 years ago)

    FWIW – I thought you looked amazing in the photo you posted a while back at your friends wedding. I gather that’s not your primary goal at this point but to have a weight that looks good, feels good and is maintainable for the livestyle you want to live is a pretty huge accomplishment. You ought to be proud of yourself.

  5. Robin
    June 25, 2013 at 8:37 am (7 years ago)

    how tall are you anyway?

  6. Robin
    June 25, 2013 at 8:40 am (7 years ago)

    Sorry just re read your post and saw your 5 foot 8 inches tall, so understandable with the weight you feel good at.

  7. Laura
    June 25, 2013 at 9:32 am (7 years ago)

    My goal weight at WW was 146, I couldn’t keep it maintained either…but I DID maintain at 152 for a long time (until I went totally off the wagon). Neither of those weights fall within the WW guidelines and I sometimes wonder why they don’t consider age and body build along with height. I had to have a doctor’s note to set a goal weight out of their specs (and even then, my doctor felt I was low balling it). I’m getting back on track but am not attending meetings during the summer…but when I go back in the fall, I’ll have another note with a weight I can maintain.

    How does this affect you being a leader?

  8. Daree
    June 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm (7 years ago)

    Beth, the sentiments in your second paragraph was reflected in my speech from my meeting when I made Lifetime 2 days ago. According to WW/BMI/ whomever, I should be no more than 150 (I’m pear shaped and 5’6″ but I look 5’7″ lol). I told the group that when it comes to your personal goal weight, the charts are just a guide–to talk to your dr and go by the way you feel and what’s right for you.

    I think your surgery will be fine as long as you go into it strong, healthy, and in good spirits. I’ll be reading along to see how things go. Take care!

  9. Steph
    June 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm (7 years ago)

    Beth, my advice is to stop focusing so much on the numbers and just get to a weight where you can feel healthy and good about yourself, whether that is at 130 or at 160.

  10. Rebecca
    June 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm (7 years ago)

    I just wanted to say thanks for you honesty, and I’m glad you’re happy with your decision! I’ve felt the same way for quite a while–I’m a naturally curvy, 5’6 gal, and while I wish I could get the scale lower, my body is happy and I feel healthy and strong in the 150-155 range. It was a relief to realize that!

  11. Ang
    June 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m with you! I’m short so my “optimal” weight is crazy low and I’ve never been able to maintain it. Last fall I had to have brain surgery and I came out of the hospital determined to enjoy life no matter my size. I try to eat mostly healthy yet still enjoy my favorite foods. I try to exercise most days because I want to be healthy not because I want to be a size 0! With my new mindset I find I don’t overeat nearly as much! I lost 15 lbs. without even really trying! Of course I’m still 15 over the top of my BMI but I feel pretty good about my size so I’m not stressed. My lab work is good and that’s enough for me! 🙂

  12. jeanette
    June 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow… your weight and height is me! I was able to get to 164 and maintain for just a bit but struggled to keep it within 5 pounds. I now am at the lower 170’s and can maintain without a problem. According to BMI I am over weight but I walk/run 3 miles a day and eat 98% whole foods and am in great shape. I have come to to the conclusion that you have…which is to allow my body to find its happy place in weight and let go the ideology of a number on the scale being perfect. So glad to hear someone else blog about my exact thought!
    Congrats on going forward on surgery…I would love to as well.

  13. Clare in UK
    June 26, 2013 at 6:06 am (7 years ago)

    Beth I have just found your blog and literally read 3 years of posts in two days! Your story is so inspiring and resonated with me so much. Having just done a whistle stop tour through your whole journey so far, it sounds like you’ve made a really good decision about your weight.

    As someone who also lost weight through weight watchers primarily to try and be healthy and avoid my family history of heart disease and diabetes, I always saw being within the healthy BMI range as my goal. I made it as low as 22.5 at my lightest, but that was a real struggle and I got locked in starving and binging cycles as I tried to maintain my weight at somewhere it obviously wasn’t happy to be. I’ve now concluded that trying to maintain on the 25 threshold is sensible for me – though still a daily struggle. I think once you’ve been through what you have and seen all the different stages of the weight loss journey it’s better to listen to your body and come to a balanced decision about what works – you know yourself better than anyone else!

    Though BMI is a really good guide and a lot of the tracking of both food and weight I do is to make sure I don’t kid myself about how far I might have drifted from my goal, it’s obvious from looking at my friends that the difference in BMI depending on body shape is massive. I have friends who look similarly healthy and athletic, but one will have a BMI of 19 (and I suspect if their BMI was 26 they’d look pretty different), and others will have BMI of 27 and look in just as good shape! It’s got to be a balance of your health, how you feel about how you look, and what behaviours you can maintain long term.

    I hope you’re enjoying Peru – it was my first big international trip back in 2006 and I loved it!

  14. Sarah
    June 26, 2013 at 10:14 am (7 years ago)

    Don’t take the numbers too seriously. Use the mirror as a measure tool, and see if you are happy with yourself.

    cheers, Sarah

  15. Weighting For 50
    June 26, 2013 at 12:14 pm (7 years ago)

    You are an inspiration!! Hope you are having a great time in Peru!

  16. Deb
    June 28, 2013 at 3:07 am (7 years ago)

    I am also 5’8″, and while my goal right now is 150, I know it might change when I get closer to it. The charts say anything between I think 118 and 164 is “normal” for someone my height, but I’m not taking them as the end all be all of where to be. I’m at 184 now and honestly, I feel good. But I know a few more pounds and I will feel better. I’m just not sure how many more. 🙂

    I do agree you should go into this at the weight you plan on staying at.

  17. Alison
    June 28, 2013 at 9:30 am (7 years ago)

    I always like to set small goals for myself to help keep me motivated. I keep a journal and write down my progress. Day-day it doesn’t always make for good reading but it’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come. One thing I stopped doing early on was my daily weigh-ins as it placed to much pressure on me and actually demotivated me; so I did it once per week instead. Enjoy your time in Peru.

  18. choppyskinny
    June 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm (7 years ago)

    You`re doing great Beth! Keep at it!

  19. Charlene
    June 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm (7 years ago)

    Thankyou for this inspirational post. Good Look and prayers with your surgery. I stopped looking at the scale so much and just focus more on making healthier food choices and getting more active.

  20. Phyllis Apkarian-Gaumond
    June 29, 2013 at 6:19 am (7 years ago)

    Beth! You are such a catalyst for contemplation! Since my last post a couple of months ago, I’ve lost 55 lbs in 5 months due to constant diarrhea. Doctors finally have found a rare blood disease called Amyloidosis. I have maintained the 55 lb loss as I am 65 years old, 5’4″, weight is no longer an issue with any diabetes, but I must start on a 6 month journey with chemotherapy to irradicate these rogue proteins called amyloids in the small intestine and liver. I am grateful for a diagnosis, a treatment plan, wonderful friends, family, co-workers, and a God that will be with me through this new test of small meals, high protein, gluten-free, lactose-free, and low-fat diet, while not succumbing to the side effects of the chemotherapy. You are a fine example of what I want in a leader from Weight Watchers. A challenger of old thoughts or old habits, and one who embraces new healthy habits.
    Thank you, Beth for being you!

  21. Malou
    July 2, 2013 at 1:20 am (7 years ago)

    Great post. Very inspirational post .. Thanks for sharing beth.

  22. Ave
    July 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m glad that you’re finding that ‘sweet spot’ where you weigh just right 😉 Happy for ya!

  23. rainbowbaby98
    July 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm (7 years ago)

    Really happy to find a blog about a real girl just like me who has done her journey while I a still on mine……and the comments from others who go through the same are great. I blog, too, but I am still a girl trying to find her way through a 100+ lb loss myself so I need living examples and to be reminded it can be done. Love the blog and I will continue to follow you… your before and after pictures!! Hilary

  24. Mel
    July 3, 2013 at 8:25 am (7 years ago)

    You are such an inspiration. You have a fantastic approach and it’s great that you share it with others. A strong, healthy body is what we should all be aiming for. Weight is, after all, just a number!

  25. Will
    July 4, 2013 at 5:23 am (7 years ago)

    Congratulations for your weight loss and most importantly to be leading others on their journey to weight loss as well. I think the best way to lose your weight would be to EXERCISE and eat healthy food at a moderate level. Keeping an eye too much on what you eat wouldn’t help. So I guess we shouldn’t stress on it much and just enjoy working out and staying healthy

  26. Thomas
    July 7, 2013 at 7:00 am (7 years ago)

    Beth, my advice is to stop focusing so much on the numbers and just get to a weight where you can feel healthy and good about yourself, whether that is at 130 or at 160.

  27. Jane
    July 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Best advice what can i give you is to use a food diary, great as well for setting short term goals.

  28. Lesley
    July 11, 2013 at 12:39 pm (7 years ago)

    Envy your 5’8″ frame. I’m 5’2″ but feel 5’4″, and have 30 pounds to go to feel comfortable. It won’t be the ‘ideal’ weight for my height, but I’ll be good with it if I can maintain it.

  29. Jessica Festa
    July 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm (7 years ago)

    Sounds like you’re doing well with your weight loss efforts. It’s great you’ve found a way to eat healthy naturally without having to count points. Keep up the heathy attitude!

  30. Earlene Blosser
    July 29, 2013 at 9:06 am (7 years ago)

    Beth, I just want to say that it is always pleasure to read your articles. Maybe you may not know it but they serve as a huge motivation for many people (including myself) even in my struggle with weight reduction!

  31. patricia
    October 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm (7 years ago)

    Beth, my advice is to stop focusing so much on the numbers and just get to a weight where you can feel healthy and good about yourself, whether that is at 130 or at 160.


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