What is Healthy Weight?

Happy Friday, guys!

I’ve wanted to post on the subject of healthy and ideal weights for a while now, but haven’t really gotten around to it, because I did not feel like I had enough background to write an entire post on healthy weights. I realize this is a subject that many people have discrepant views on; I am not really sure where I stand on this issue. I would love to hear anyone’s feedback, presented positively, concerning whatever their personal opinions are.

So here we go. This is my stance on the issue of healthy weights – I have no clue what healthy weight is, and I am unsure that anyone can define what a healthy weight is for everyone.

One way that many people define healthy weights is by using the Body Mass Index calculator. The BMI calculator states that people with a body mass index of between 19 and 24.9 is considered healthy. Should this one calculator or chart define whether or not a person is healthy?

[source]

For a personal anecdote, I have been fortunate enough in my life to have always remained in the green, “healthy” range concerning my weight. Despite this, I do not think I have always been “healthy”. Before the last year and a half or so, I was not concerned about my diet or nutrition whatsoever. [You can read more about this on my About Me page]

I used to think that since I played sports, it did not matter what I ate. I now realize that even though I never became seriously overweight, this was still extremely poor nutrition for my body. Two years ago, I was also heavier than I am now. Since making the choice to fuel my body with whole and nutritious substances, I have lost weight. I did not go on any crash diets, even though when I first began to try to eat healthier, I did so by merely counting calories and upping my fruit and veggie intake.

Two years ago, I would come home from school, famished due to the fact that I ate poorly all day long, and would mindlessly snack on whatever I could find. This would normally end up being an entire package of goldfish or half a bag of Sunchips or Tostidos. Two years ago, when I would go out to eat, I would order whatever smelled or looked good at the nearest table. This would often be an order of boneless chicken wings and French fries. Little did I know, this one meal was probably the caloric intake my body required for the entire day.

Since becoming healthier and respectively losing weight, many family members and friends have become concerned that I have stopped eating altogether. This is not the case. I eat a lot, I just eat in small portions of healthy foods many times a day. I understand that other’s criticisms and questions are only out of love and concern for my health, which I appreciate beyond belief. My body has gone through serious changes in the last couple years.

This is me, in June of 2009.

This is me on my birthday this year, July 30th, 2011.

Because my body is drastically different, I understand people’s questions of my newfound eating habits. But sometimes, these questions lead me to begin questioning myself even more.

Am I too skinny?

Was I fat before?

Do I need to eat more?

Should I eat less, but eat foods more dense in calories?

This creates additional stress for me. As a teenage girl, I worry a lot. I have luckily never faced serious body confidence issues, but am now more confident with my body that I ever have been before. Bombarded in a weight loss culture, I sometimes am tricked into thinking that the lower the number on the scale is, the more “successful” and “healthy” I am, when logically I know this is not the case.

My lifestyle shift has led me to feel like no matter what I do, I will have critics, which is true of anything in life. Before adapting healthier eating habits, I was not skinny enough. Now that I eat healthier, I am too skinny. This compiled with dealing with school, deciding where and what I want to do in college, what type of lifestyle I will eventually want, and what I want to do as a career leaves me feeling a bit crazy and emotional at times.

These thoughts are perfectly normal for a teenage girl, and I realize many people face the same struggles. I have become aware that no one can tell me what MY healthy weight should be – I need to figure this out for myself. Times like these are when you need to step back, take a deep breath, and let what is supposed to happen, happen. J

Do you feel like you are at your healthy weight?

How did you reach this and realize this is where you are supposed to be?

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About Sweet and Savvy

My name is Savannah and I am a teenage girl and a complete optimist with passions for learning, helping people, nutrition and enjoying every minute of life to its fullest!

Posted on August 19, 2011, in Dietary Needs, Random Tangents and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Man I can relate to this completely! I recently dropped my last 10 pounds this summer when I stopped doing so much cardio and started eating MORE often! (go figure..) My family to this day tell me that I need to eat more– but I really eat plenty!

    Awesome post, Savannah! :)

  2. I can definitely relate to this – currently I’m higher than I would like to be (healthy) but still too heavy for me.

  3. I completely agree. I actually lost around 10-15 pounds by being more knowledgeable about what I should be putting into my body. I wasn’t fat before but I’m just at a great weight now. People even asked if I had an ED and maybe I’m too skinny. It’s all confusing! I’m still at a healthy weight but I can totally relate. I think if you feel good about yourself with good energy like you’re fueling you’re body right, then you should be fine!

  4. Well, I wouldn’t worry as long as you are in the healthy BMI range, don’t overdo it with exercise, and you aren’t losing anymore weight. If you are still losing weight, you may want to up your calories a little to gained some back. Even in 2009, I don’t think you were overweight. Despite being The Cookie Boss, I actually do eat knowledgeably. When I was 11, my mom decided we were going to eat more healthfully and organic. Although, even before that, we ate pretty healthfully. But, I actually did worry about my weight (well, my parents did) when I was 11 because I lost around 10 pounds and stopped growing, but it wasn’t because we were eating more healthfully, it turned out I had acid reflux which was causing pretty severe stomach pain. It was treated and I gained the weight back and grew about 7 inches lol. But now, I am at a perfectly healthy weight (well, for me anyway) and just eat healthy (or relatively healthy) foods when I’m hungry and occasionally take mylanta (quick-working acid relief) when I need it.

    I guess long posts are my specialty. :)

  5. Great post! just this summer I realized that I am at my healthy and happy weight :)

  6. I have actually just realized that I am at my ‘happy weight.’ It has taken me a LONG time to feel comfortable with weight- with the past issues of an eating disorder. But I can now say that I’m comfortable & happy. It’s a great feeling :)
    & I think you look great! Good for you for wanting to ‘clean up’ your diet & eat more healthy foods. I think that’s great!! :)

  7. I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  8. This is a great post – it’s an issue I think a lot of people struggle with.

    For me, it’s a case of ‘who knows?’. I have a figure in my head that I’d like to be at – I don’t know where I got this weight from to be honest! I usually hover a couple of pounds above that so it always feels out of reach.

    Am I a healthy weight? Sometimes I beat myself up over the figures and sometimes I think I’m fit and strong. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t worry about the healthy part but I do worry about the weight part.

  9. I struggle with this, too! I tried to lose weight, so I started eating well and my weight dropped drastically. Then, I had to overeat to compensate for the weight loss and that didn’t feel right either! Once I got back to a semi normal range, I promised myself to eat what I want, when I want (which is relatively easy for me because I enjoy healthy foods like many other bloggers out there!). My weight seems to remain about the same, with slight fluctuations here and there but that’s life! As long as you feel healthy and strong, I say your weight, no matter the number, is right for you!

  10. Great post! I had been the “naturally-skinny” girl my whole life- throughout high school i ate healthy (it was just in my nature to do so- my family has always been healthy) but indulged in snacks/treats as well. then i went off to college and gained 15 pounds, and found through my journey to lose some of it (i didn’t need to lose all of it!) that i loved running and a healthy diet. i’m back to almost what i weight in high school (not quite which is good, I put on a lot of muscle and i was underweight back then!) and my mom thinks i have some sort of eating disorder now. It’s sad and hurtful because i am healthier now than i was back then. I’m not going to lie and say i don’t think about my body image and how much i eat (don’t we all?) but it’s difficult to receive those kinds of responses from someone so close to you.

  11. Savannah, I absolutely ADORE this post! OHMYGOSH, girl, you are so amazing. You are absolutely beautiful, no matter your weight. I remember when I first started eating healthier (at the beginning of my story–I was about 12 at the time) and my mom has told me that people were warning her that she needed to watch me because I was “losing weight.” I wasn’t even counting calories — I was just trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains/less white, healthy fats, starting to exercise, etc. I was at that balance with myself. I THEN went a little obsessed, but now I am back to that balance with myself, just like you! I think the BMI is a nice start, but shouldn’t be the only thing to determine a “healthy weight.” Also with the Body Fat Percentages — that machine almost gives TOO much information it seems. So really, if you are listening to your body and taking care of it, then I’d say you are at balance — your healthy weight — your happy weight. I strive to focus on listening to my body. I’ve had my ups and downs, but it all comes back to just listening to my body.

    Seriously Savannah, you really hit the nail on this post! It is so amazing! :D

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