Q & A: Weight Range
Q: I am 24 years old and 5’6″ tall. How much do you think I should weigh?
A: “Should weigh?” By who’s standards? If you eat when you are physically (not emotionally) hungry and stop (for the most part) when you are satisfied, you will find your natural weight range. This is the weight that nature intended for your body. You can maintain this weight, within a normal 5-7 pound range, without dieting.
A person’s natural weight fluctuates and is as unique to him or her as height, race, eye color and shoe size. Natural weight is based on genetics, bone structure, exercise, age, seasons of the year, and other factors. Although the fashion and diet industries try to make us think there is a right weight or way we should all look, this is not true. I recommend that you focus less on the scale and more on how you feel and take care of yourself.
- Do you eat when your body is hungry and stop when it is satisfied?
- Do you eat from all the food groups and eat foods that you enjoy?
- Do you have good energy?
- Do you treat yourself like you would a good friend?
- Do you deal with your feelings when they come up?
If you are dieting, overeating, or exercising compulsively, you are not at your natural weight. If you are listening to your physical hunger and fullness to the best of your ability, you probably are. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to throw out the scale and make peace with your body. Don’t let a number or a chart that someone else made up determine how you feel about yourself. I spent most of my life as a slave to the scale and it made me just that, a slave.
Wishing you freedom…
By Andrea Wachter, LMFT
Reprinted with permission from Eating Disorders Recovery Today
Fall 2007 Volume 5, Number 4
©2007 Gürze Books
About the Author
Andrea Wachter, LMFT, is a therapist in private practice in Northern CA.