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How to Find a Happy Weight

Posted Apr 23 2013 1:38pm
Does your current weight ever make you upset?

Do you run to the scale first thing in the morning? If that number is high does it ruin your day?

Do you avoid social situations with food because you’re afraid you’ll eat?

If you said “yes” to any of those questions, don’t feel bad. There was a time in my life when I said “yes” to them too.  I was obsessed with a number and unhealthy as a result of it.  But I eventually found my happy weight.  I found the place where my body likes to be and I found the foods that give me energy and strength.  Do I wake up and say, “I love my body!” every single morning?  No, but I know that the number on the scale isn’t the number of my value or a definition of success or beauty.

How can you find and be at your happy weight?
First make sure that it’s a HEALTHY weight

BMI is a skewed way to measure “health”, but it does give a general figure of being over/under weight and it is still commonly used in medical communities today. A normal BMI is 18.5- 24.9.

You can find your BMI using the NIH website , however note the limitations associated with it. (Kyle is considered overweight via BMI (25.1) because his lean muscle weighs more than fat)

You can also aim to have a waist measurement of below 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.  Waist measurements above that point are usually associated with higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Second know that your body may have a “ set point ”.   What’s that?

Your set point is a weight at which your body metabolically and physiologically tends to stabilize.  It has been theorized that when you lose weight, your body may slow your metabolic rate to bring you back up to your set point. That point may be above where you’d want to be. And it’s a beast to fight below that. 

Do I have a set point?  I’m pretty sure yes. I think it’s around 134-135.  I've been in that weight range for close to 4 years.  Do I look leaner and feel like a shiny new woman at 132? Yup. But I know where my body likes to be and I fuel myself to be healthy and strong.   I am healthy and strong at 134.
Happy weight
Finally, there may be a connection between stress, cortisol, and weight gain.  Stress can be emotional or it can by physical from continual exercise.  Theories (again with the theories) say that high cortisol levels can lead to increased appetite, cravings for sugar, and weight gain.

So now we’re thinking…what’s the solution?  I can’t all of a sudden accept my weight and be  happy every day. No it’s not that easy. 
Here are my suggestions to finding a happy weight:
  • Fuel your body with clean foods.  Focus on getting lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber throughout your day.
  • Drink lots of water.  It will make you feel clean and bright. I promise!
  • Rest. This means get enough sleep and allow your body time to recover from strenuous exercise.
  • Love yourself.  You are not a number on a scale.  Write it down if you must. You are not a number on a scale.
  • Journal.  Before going to bed at night write down 3 things you did that day that were healthy.  Maybe it was a workout , adding a vegetable to your dinner, or trading an afternoon soda for water and lemon.  Seeing your good choices on paper will help you realized that you can be healthy and strong and that you are on the right path.
Are you at your happy weight?  What does a “happy weight” mean to you?

Love and chuck the scales, 
Carissa & Kyle
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