Some of you out there may have reached the decision that you need to lose some weight now after having been at your correct weight for most of your lives, following an unexpected recent weight gain. Others may be reading this despite being at their desired weight.
For both groups, lucky you. There certainly will be no difficulty in setting your goal, for those who were quite recently at their desired weight. But for those of us who may never have been at a stable desired weight during adulthood, goal-setting can be tricky.
Of course, we can look at the ideal body weight. Some of the calculators give a range, and some do not. The recommended one at the bottom indicates my correct weight should be 123 pounds.
Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management
And then there are clothing sizes, measurements, and bodyfat. According to this chart from the American Council on Exercise, a woman’s fitness bodyfat range should be 21%-24%. When my weight was close to 200 pounds, my bodyfat measured in at 42%. Now it is at 36%, so I am getting there, but I still have a way to go. This does of course presume that the measuring device I am using is correct, and there isn’t any way of knowing that.
Some of you might come up with other criteria, too. And there’s also personal preference. When I met my boyfriend my weight was up around 215 pounds, and he thought I could stand to gain some weight. Umm…
For instance, I’ve never been a size 10 for more than a few days at a time in my life, nor have I been in the 120 pound range. I have, however, done a lot of serious exercise in the past, and I tend to get muscular. So I really don’t know at what weight I would be a size 10, or even if I will be able to be a size 10. But many women of my height, 5’4″, are size 8 or even size 6. Now I can’t imagine being a size 6, and I’m not sure I would be comfortable with that. But who knows? Perhaps a size 8 would be right for me.
I’m a size 16 right now. In a few pounds my size will probably drop down to a size 14. I feel really thin, but I know it’s actually relatively thin. It is easy to misjudge based on the mirror, the scale, or some favorite oddly-sized piece of clothing.
I have a bodyfat measuring device that I occasionally use. I do recommend them for occasional reference. If I were to set my goal according to that and bodyfat charts, how would that relate to my size and my weight? Who knows?
What I think is that everyone should set goals when they start their weight management program, as many as possible, with the understanding that as you approach your goal you may need a certain amount of flexibility.
It’s okay to not set hard and fast goals. Weight loss is such a long-term project when done right, that you have plenty of time to decide what the right weight is for you.