How much do you weigh?*

191 pounds

*I challenge all of you to post your weight below and send shame packing!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—I truly believe that one of the problems with the way women perceive themselves in this country is the fact that we have the false sense that everyone else weighs less than we do.

Dave and I have seven nieces and nephews—ranging in age from seven to twenty-one—and recently my mother-in-law and I were having a conversation about the two oldest nieces (her granddaughters), who are just about to be fifteen and twenty-one. Both of them are gorgeous young women—tall, fit, and simply beautiful.

Sometimes I feel like all young girls are beautiful these days. It certainly seems like all of my female students are stunning. When I was young, there were a few really pretty girls in every class, but most of us were pretty dorky, as the picture above clearly shows. (By the way, I’m the one on the right in the way cool red and orange vest, and I believe I weighed 125 pounds that year.)

What I want to know is when did that change? Because whenever I go to the mall, I feel like every single young woman under the age of eighteen looks amazing—they all have long, luscious hair, perfectly applied makeup, adorable little tiny t-shirts, and matching accessories. Every one of them in identical skinny jeans and the same Ugg boots, as if they’re all catalog models fresh from their latest photo shoot.

When I was their age, I am pretty sure that I was more Plain Jane than catalog model. In fact, on more than one occasion, I was mistaken for a little boy.

And this brings me back to my two eldest nieces—they both look just like models too: every hair perfectly in place, each eyebrow expertly plucked, every piece of clothing perfectly coordinated.

(Maybe this is part of the reason it’s so difficult for regular women to feel good about themselves—almost no one looks “regular” anymore.)

So it’s understandable that my mother-in-law would think that her perfect-looking granddaughters are extremely attractive, but what I don’t get is that she also thinks they weigh next to nothing. One of the girls is probably 5’4” and the other one is around 5’8”, but my mother-in-law contends that they both probably weigh less than 100 pounds.

Less than 100 pounds???

That would make their BMIs between 15 and 17, far below the healthy 19-25 range.

There’s no doubt that these girls are thin, but thankfully they are not anorexic. And that’s what they’d have to be to have a BMI that low.

I think the real problem is one of perspective. My mother-in-law sees two thin, attractive young women, and she just assumes they weigh next to nothing.

I told her that I figured they more likely weighed between 120 and 130 pounds, and you should have seen the fit she had. It was as if I had said that aliens were landing on the lawn.

And therein lies the problem. If we see every thin, attractive woman as weighing less than 100 pounds, no wonder we feel bad when the number on our scales is almost double that.

That’s actually part of the reason I decided to post my weight on this blog in the first place. I feel like if more of us talked about what we weigh, then we could dispel the false notion that our weight is so drastically different than everyone around us—even people we see as having smaller waists or more attractive bodies.

And once we realize that real women don’t weigh 100 pounds—unless they hover around the five-foot range—we’d probably feel a lot better about ourselves.

I’ve already admitted my weight—isn’t it time that you did too?

30 comments

  1. Friday says:

    189 pounds

  2. Molly McCaffrey says:

    You look amazing, Courtney! Proving that we need to re-evaluate what numbers we consider attractive. Thanks for stepping up!

    What about everybody else?!

  3. Alison Ganze says:

    182.

  4. David Jack Bell says:

    170

  5. Molly McCaffrey says:

    I love seeing these numbers! It's like we live in a new world: honesty land.

  6. Molly McCaffrey says:

    Jill, I am REALLY glad you posted your number because since I just saw you recently, I know that you are literally in perfect shape. (A fact that is supported by the fact that you just ran your first half-marathon.) Honestly, I don't think you could lose five pounds without being too thin. And that means that 166 is a realistic number for the rest of us to aspire to. And that's what we all desperately need–real numbers for real women. Than you so much for sharing!

  7. Emily-Rose says:

    138

  8. Emily-Rose says:

    sorry, i didnt post that to show off, but being super curvy I felt* I had the right to post, too.

  9. DarkAntiCrista says:

    245, while people think I really look 180 and good.

  10. NOLASUSAN says:

    193, 60, healthy and loving life and food!!!

    Don't have a full body shot, but when I do I'll send it.

    Nolasusa

  11. xcolormeprettyx says:

    Hello….I am Alyssa….15….170. :)

    I love your blog. it made me feel much better about how i felt about myself. Usually I lie about my weight. People think I look 140. But i won't be ashamed anymore.

    Thank you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    5'6" and currently somewhere around 115.

  13. Taylor says:

    I'm 5'4 and weigh about 129. I am, however, petite by nature and could stand to lose 10 lbs and still look very healthy and normal. It just goes to show you that EVERYONE'S bodies are so different and we should not be comparing ourselves to anyone else! For example, 200 lbs on one person could look amazing!

  14. Boomer says:

    I'm 5'7" and 176lbs

  15. Bridgett says:

    i'm 5'5 and weigh 180 hoping to lose about 30 lbs

  16. Molly McCaffrey says:

    What's really interesting about all of these numbers is that no one is under 125 pounds, and I wrote this post because my mother-in-law wrongly believed that her nieces weighed around 100. They are thin, but they're not anorexic, which is what they'd have to be weigh 100 pounds at their height. In fact, the younger of the two recently told me she weighs around 130, proving my point: we all imagine that everyone else weighs so little when in truth most of us weigh 150 or more.

  17. Stephanie Lentz says:

    197

    I am just coming out of a 13 year eating disorder. Although I am not comfortable at this weight I know that this is better than dying to be something I am not. I like food and I always will and I am learning to love me just the way I am at any time!

  18. Molly McCaffrey says:

    That's great, Stephanie! I'm so glad you're overcoming your eating disorder and feeling good about yourself the way you are. Whenever I forget what makes me beautiful, I just ask my friends and family—they always see the good stuff. I love them for that.

  19. Julie says:

    I am 5′ 6″ and 187lbs. I have earned all of my curves with 7 pregnacies and 5 children. I love this site! Happiness isn’t a dress size or a number on the scale. There is something to be said about accepting our bodies… what ever they look like big, small, tall and short. How boring would life be if we were all the same.

    • admin says:

      Agreed, Julie! Life would be VERY boring if we were all the same. And my appreciation of curvy bodies does not mean that I don’t also love women who are skinny. We all have our assets. Seven pregnancies and five kids?! Wow, congrats!

  20. Rachel says:

    I’m 5’5″ and weigh 125. I’ve had four pregnancies, three kids. I realized recently that I have managed to feel “in progress” toward a weight standard since my fourth pregnancy, and I am tired of it. I was processing this with a friend of mine recently and said, “I feel like I am always trying to lose five pounds for some reason.” And she said, “That’s dumb. You don’t have five pounds to lose.” I said, “But I used to weigh five pounds less,” and she said, “When? Before you started your period??” We sort of laughed, but I do realize that I must have latched onto a number I weighed in my early twenties that is flat-out not going to happen now that I’m in my thirties unless I devote way more time to my appearance than I am EVER going to be willing to do. Basta. Done. Good enough.

  21. LDB says:

    I have never been ashamed of my weight! I am 5’6, 180. I come from a long line of endo-meso’s, as are both my parents, meaning we gain muscle and fat very easily. When I was 16, I weighed 150 and was a size 4-6, solid muscle. Now I’m not as much muscle as I would like to be, and people are shocked to learn I weigh so much. At a size 12 (14 on the bottom because I have a booty!) I am very content, and so is my husband. :)

  22. Laura says:

    I just stumbled across this blog today. I’m 5’3″ and a fit 129 lbs. The strange thing even though part of my brain knows that I’m super fit, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to body image.

    It was funny the other day I had a family member freaking out because she thought I looked “too thin” and assumed I weighed 110. When I informed her I was 129-130 she said “Oh. That’s ok then”. If only we could perceive ourselves as others perceive us!

  23. Kim says:

    I weigh 199 lbs. I have just recently started working out 4 days a week for 1 hour each day. I am concentrating on getting healthier and not trying to lose a certain amount of weight. I am a tall woman and have always felt left out when my shorter friends talked about their low weights. At my lowest adult weight, when I was stick thin I weighed 140 lbs. I could never weigh under 125 lbs. I would be dead. Still its hard to say the number out loud when you feel like everyone else weighs less. Thanks for your website, I love it.

  24. It is better to be fat then dieting.

  25. Amber says:

    5′ 9″ and 170 this week, down from 190. Two months ago I changed the way I eat because I was diagnosed with a prediabetic condition. Fewer empty carbs and cut out all the unnecessary sugar and processed junk and feel so much better, I am on my way back to the weight I felt the sexiest and healthiest during college at 150, or wherever my healthier lifestyle leads me. It was hard to get over my addiction to sugary foods, I was actually DREAMING about little debbie snack cakes for a while there but now I feel like they have no power over me.

    • admin says:

      Your story is inspiring, Amber. Thanks for sharing. I think your weight gain is pretty normal—like many of us, you gained weight as you got older, but not so much that you stood out from everyone else. That’s one of our greatest challenges as Americans—keeping off those extra twenty pounds or so. I struggle with that issue mightily, so I’m impressed that you’ve done so well. Thanks for writing and keep in touch!

  26. Morgan says:

    I’m 5’6” and I fluctuate between 163 and 171 pounds. Big difference, I know, but my body is strange. I’ve recently taken up karate and I love it! 3 hours a week of strenuous exercise has done wonders for my body image.

  27. Libby says:

    I am 19 years old, about 5’5″ and my weight has been fluctuating from 131 to 139 for the past two years. Some days I feel more confident than others. I have just stumbled upon this page and I want to thank you for this amazing website.

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