It's a numbers game

Weight loss is all about the numbers right? What should your goal weight be? How many calories should you eat? How much exercise should you do? How any carbs, how much fat, how much protein? How long should it take? How many pounds should I lose in a week? Am I eating too much or too little? Am I exercising to much or too little? Is my heart rate too high or not high enough? What’s my BMI? How heavy should I be lifting?

Don’t you just wish there was an answer to all these questions? I think I might take some time to explore some thoughts on these in the coming days. Not necessarily what I think those number should be, but more on the thinking to figure it out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about goal weight lately, particularly since I seem to be maintaining right around 140 and I don’t want that to be goal for me, but it might be where my body wants it to be. I would like to see 135 on the scale. That is at the upper end for my height (5’2″). I took a quiz on
about what would be a ‘happy weight’ for me. And it says my happy weight is 128.1 !!!!!!! And that is selecting a large frame (which I actually have). I actually almost cried when I saw that number, because that means I would have to lose another 11-12 pounds. I can’t imagine myself at that weight. Even at 130, let alone below that. To get there, it would mean 1200 calories and an extreme amount of exercise. Not sure that would be an enjoyable process for me – and about 2 steps from disordered eating.

Couple that with many people on weight loss boards that are taller than me and weigh 135. Ugh. I also listened to a Jillian Michaels podcast (and NO I do not watch TBL – I’ll have to do a post on that sometime), and she is also 5’2″. She weighs 120! I think things are just different for me having been 100 pounds heavier. There is the skin issue to contend with. If I could remove the excess skin, I would be at goal and beyond. I know I have a lot of muscle, too. Or maybe I am just fooling myself and I actually can get there if I work hard enough.
It’s just confusing and frustrating at times. I just have to realize that this journey is for me and myself alone, not to be influenced by others and what they do or think.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally thrilled to be maintaining a 100+ pound weight loss, and that is probably even harder than the actual losing. And I know I can maintain with diligence and discipline.

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17 thoughts on “It's a numbers game

  1. kilax

    I took that quiz awhile ago and it told me some ridiculous number as well. Some number I knew I would look like a skeleton in! Just focus on maintaining and getting to whatever feels most comfortable for you! 🙂

  2. SeaShore

    You forgot those pesky numbers known as clothing sizes 😉

    If I could remove the excess skin, I would be at goal and beyond.

    I would guess that your body ‘wanting’ to be 140 instead of 135 is actually due to this skin. As you say, without it you would have acheived your goal.

    Good luck figuring it all out. Numbers schmumbers. You’re healthy and you look damn good.

  3. moonduster

    You look fantastic! I am only 5’2″ as well, and my goal is 135 because that puts me into a healthy BMI, but I might change that as my body gets closer to it. Sometimes a BMI calculator on-line or other on-line sites don’t know what’s best for us.

  4. MizFit

    sooo many thoughts here as well.
    On jillian.
    on the fact that I no longer EVER watch BL.
    But mainly wanted to say YESYES on the two D’s.

    that is so how you will maintain.


  5. Mae Flowers

    I think you look wonderful at your current weight. Society expectations are that everyone should be stick thin, but it’s just not realistic. You look wonderful and still look like a woman with shape! Have you ever thought about having cosmetic surgery done to remove the excess skin? I have really looked into it to see how safe it is, but if the skin won’t come off, it’s something I would consider after all of that hard work!

  6. Shelley

    Do they factor in age when they calculate your “happy weight?” – just wondering, b/c I don’t think I could happily maintain 120 pounds in my mid-forties like I did in my teens and early 20’s. I’m interested to see your numbers findings…but the more I get invested in working out, the less I’m interested in an actual number on the scale.

  7. Alana Jo

    Im 5’8 and its says 156 is a happy weight for me.

    I heard that Jillian use to be 250 at one point. Someone said she even showed a pic of herself on one of the first TBL shows. I didnt see it. So its just hear-say.

    I think your are fine where you are. I dont think we need a book to tell us where we need to be. When you look in the mirror and are happy with yourself, thats where u should be.

  8. Susan

    Have you ever thought about getting rid of your scale? I got rid of mine six months ago and it was the best thing I’ve ever done! I actually lost those last five pounds and hit my goal weight AFTER getting rid of it. Based on your pictures, I think you look great. Maybe the extra weight will come off once you stop thinking about it so much? That’s how these things usually go 🙂 You’ve done a great job so far!!!

  9. Mimi

    Hello! I’ve just started reading your blog.

    I listen to Jillian’s radio show too, and I would say she stresses this: find the weight you like. She admits that 120 is the weight she’s happiest with, but that her body would rather be at 130. The higher maintenance it takes her to stay at 120 is worth it to her.

    My point, I guess, is that you should stick with the number you feel happiest with. Your body will naturally lean towards having some “in case of emergency” pudge. If you want to weigh a little less, it’ll just require a little more work.

    But often, to lose those last few pounds, you shouldn’t cut calories too much, or your body will think it’s starving. Jillian Michaels told me that herself when I called up her radio show.

    Haha, sorry for the random invasion. I’ve just started reading your blog. It’s great!

  10. debby

    Hi Lori, this was an excellent post. That happy weight thing was totally bogus and not related to any scientific data as far as I could tell…You do look great, and you seem to be enjoying your life. I can’t imagine you giving up your afternoon latte in order to maintain 5 pounds less…

    What do you think about the equations that take into account your age, height, and activity level, and calculate how many calories you can consume to maintain your current weight? Accurate or not? Are there other factors they are not considering, like different metabolic rates?

    I’ll be interested to see what else you write about this topic.

  11. Lori

    …..I can’t imagine you giving up your afternoon latte in order to maintain 5 pounds less………

    No way that would ever happen in a million years LOL! Not unless it was the end of the world or something. And even then, I would probably try to press coffee out of dirt in my espresso machine.

  12. ChristinaJane

    I think if you and your doctor think that the weight you’re at now is a healthy weight for your body, you can’t stress about some online calculator who doesn’t know what you look like, your workouts, etc. You’ve done fantastic!

  13. ladylucretia

    Hi there. Please consider that Jillian from BL is a fitness professional. It’s her job to maintain 18% body fat or whatever. I read in an interview that she actually likes herself 10 lbs. heavier than on the show, but for TV she has to be really cut.

    As someone who was bigger once, you probably carry more muscle on your frame than a skinny fat person 10, 20 or 30 lbs. lighter than you. You obviously look healthy and fit. Please don’t succumb to the pressure that being a size 4 is better than a 6, 6 is better than an 8 – because healthy is better than a size on a tag or a number on a scale.

    I’m currently not too far from obese by BMI standards, but I’m a size 10. I will likely be down to an 8 while still coming up as overweight by BMI. Well screw BMI, it’s a population norm, not an individual measure. I carry anywhere from 10-15 lbs. more muscle than average. In fact at my lowest weight at age 14, my total weight was the same as my lean body mass weight now! Our bodies change and healthy takes on different definitions throughout our life.

    I look at you and see someone who has completed their journey and achieved their goal of being healthy. I feel sad that you still think you have a ways to go, because to me the way you are right now is how I see myself at goal.

  14. JC

    I am struggling with the very same issue. I am only 5’2 and a man. The charts tell me that I should weigh 130 on the top end. If I weighed that much I would look like death. I got down to 160 and I have to tell you that I look and feel great at that weight. My clothes fit well and my doctor was pleased with all my test results. I joined Weight Watchers and while I am happy with the program, they are always telling me that my goal weight should be much lower. Well, my body is saying that it is happy here and I am listening to it. You look great so forget about all those silly tests in magazines that are devoted to making us believe we have to be rail thin to look good.

  15. A Daunting Tale of Scale Warfare

    I think that you can determine what your “happy weight” is on your own. Your body will naturally stick withing a few pounds of where it is most comfortable (at least this is what my doctor told me when I was trying to pick a goal weight). As long as your excercising and eating healthy (including healthy portions) your body will help to decide what your “goal” weight is.

    Those quizes never take into account your genetic make-up, perhaps youre pre-disposed to be 10 lbs heavier than what the charts tell you, you are supposed to be!

    I think that you are doing wonderful, keep up the good work 🙂 Stop when you are most comfortable with where you are at!

  16. Anna Down Under

    I’d always hoped to avoid the skin problem — some say losing slowly helps? Of course, I’m impatient so I don’t want it to come off slowly. I have 99 pounds to go before goal myself, and I’m in my 40s so I guess it is something I’ll have to deal with.

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