Unburden Yourself

I’ve said it before (in my “How much do you weigh” post), and I’ll say it again—I truly believe that one of the problems with the way women perceive themselves is the fact that we have the false sense that everyone else weighs less than we do.

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

For the record, I weigh 197 pounds, and I’m proud of my body. I work hard to stay healthy—I eat most of my meals at home and exercise for at least an hour almost every day—and I have low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and a low resting heart rate. More importantly, my doctors are happy with my weight, so why shouldn’t I be?

If more of us talk about what we weigh, then we can dispel the false notion that our weight is 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?

*Feel free to tell us a little of your story too.

16 comments

  1. Dawn says:

    I’m 5’1″ and I weigh 117 lbs. I’ve basically gone thru all d clothing sizes. I have 2 children and each time I gave birth I gained 50 lbs. After giving birth, I would be around 145 lbs. and would go on a low-carb diet and whittle my weight down to around 120. Two years ago, a trainer helped me reach my optimum weight of 107 lbs. After I finished my 4 months with that trainer, I continued exercising by myself but have gained 10 lbs. back. I still look about the same bec my body fat remains at 21%. But I would really like to weigh 110. People said I was too skinny at 107. I’ve hit a weight-loss plateau :( When I was thin, I was 32-27-34. Now i’m 36-29-36. The main thing I mind is abdominal fat. Do you think I’m thin, fat, or just right?

    • admin says:

      Thanks for writing, Dawn!

      Your height and weight put you right in the middle of the healthy range with a BMI of 22, but if you have concerns about your weight, you should ask your doctor to be sure. I always go to my doctors for accurate analysis of my weight since the BMI scale (like the body-fat index) is not always reliable. For instance, if I relied on the BMI scale (I’m 5’6″ and 197 pounds), I would be worried about my weight, but my doctors tell me I’m healthy regardless. And don’t forget that being healthy and feeling good about yourself is more important than being thin.

      I can tell you that dieting is not a great way to lose weight because studies show that 90% of the people who diet gain the weight back they lost plus a few more pounds. Why not try to maintain the weight you have rather than lose any more weight?

      Also, low-carb diets are not good for your overall health because, as The International Food Information Council explains, “As the main energy source for the body, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthful diet”; they recommend that we “get the majority of our daily calories from carbohydrates—about 45 to 65 percent of daily caloric intake.” Also, UCLA dietitian Dana Ellis explains that carbs are a good source of fiber and “your body actually needs carbohydrates to function at its optimal level” because they help feed “your muscles and cells, allowing you to sustain an active life-style.” (You can read more about carbs at “Bring on the carbs“)

      As far as the plateau, I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you, and in the long run, you make break through that plateau when you least expect it. Being healthy isn’t about fast results; its about long-term ones. I’ve hit plateaus before, maintained a healthy lifestyle (meaning eating well and exercising daily), and then broke through the plateau YEARS later.

      If you want, you can check out my seven steps for healthy living. Also be sure to pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished. Losing weight after having a baby can be a challenge, and you did it twice.

  2. Holly Hudnall says:

    I’ve struggled with being short and round all my life. While my immediate family is short and round too, my extended family of cousins–particularly the girls–are all bird-like little creatures with dark, straight hair and my grandmother’s beautiful bone structure. Not the easiest family for an overweight, short, extremely curly-haired blonde to grow up in, but I love them and they love me–even if there have been times that I was so envious of them I could have screamed.

    It seems that every relationship I’ve ever had has been marked by me being “too.” My first boyfriend found me “too honest.” Guys in high school wouldn’t date me for being “too smart.” Many guys in college found me “too opinionated.” And all along the way, there were lots of them who found me “too fat.” I’ve been broken up with for being “too independent,” “too loud,” and “too competitive.” I’ve always seemed to ask the question, do I want to be me, or do I want to be in a relationship? At different times, I’ve answered different ways–I’ve lost weight, dumbed down, tried to be clingy, tried to be quiet, and let them win when I know I can beat them. Invariably, and as you have probably guessed, this doesn’t necessarily get me anywhere.

    For 8 years (7 of them married), I was with a man who had issues with my weight. I was right at 200 pounds when he married me, and I cannot remember once, in all those years, when he said I was beautiful. I’m a pretty confident person, I’ve learned not to take other people’s opinions into account more than I do my own, and I made peace with the body I was in before I met him. But I always somehow believed that your husband was supposed to think you were the most beautiful woman in the world, and mine did not. Somehow that leaves a hole inside, that no matter how confident and capable you are, aches a little. Or a lot, depending on the day and hormonal fluctuations.

    Two years ago, I invited him to leave. He was having an affair, and while she was thinner than I was, she didn’t have anything else to recommend her. After we divorced, I was concentrating on beginning my career, and re-establishing a life that no longer included a husband or a family, and it wasn’t the easiest transition in the world. Over the course of my marriage, I had gained in excess of 40 pounds, taken it off, and gained it again, taken most of it off, and gained it again. The stress of the divorce easily took 20 of those pounds off of me–I forget to eat when I’m anxious–but no longer having to have dinner on the table at 6 every night was probably a blessing too.

    Several months ago, after over two years of adamantly NOT dating, I met a man. And what started out as a friendship that occasionally battled over political issues and gender roles, turned into a flirtation. Now, I’ve always been pretty good at keeping flirtation light, and had every intention of doing so with this man. The problem with that is he thinks I’m beautiful and perfect. He seems to appreciate all those things that have always been “too” about me. The first time he said I was amazing, I didn’t believe he meant it. And the first time he said I was beautiful, I was sure he didn’t mean it. But he did, and he does, and even for someone who has prided herself on being an independent, can-do woman for a long time, that fills up this huge hole in my heart that has been aching for a long time.

    But what I find interesting about this is: I spent 8 years trying to please a man who thought I was too fat. In five months of having a friend, a man, who believes totally that I am just as beautiful at 220 as I can ever be at 120, I’ve lost 30 pounds. There are a combination of factors at play here, the first and foremost being, my weight has become a non-issue. I don’t have to “control” it. I don’t have to count every calorie I put into my mouth, or worry that I might gain a pound. I don’t have to do it for me, and I certainly don’t have to do it for him. I also am fortunate enough to actually like food that is good for me, so I eat what I like–an avacado salad for dinner with some feta and olives, shoot yeah!–and I stop when I’m not hungry anymore. And I have something else that fills my time, besides eating. I’ve also started trying to get more exercise (including boxing–though no one in my town offers boxing lessons, sadly) and that’s helped too. But another thing that is interesting to me is that I wasn’t trying to lose 30 pounds when this all started, it just seems to have happened, and almost entirely without me focusing on it at all. I have not been this weight since I graduated from high school, almost 20 years ago.

    So Molly, I think you are definitely on to something when you say that a diet is not the way to go, and a lifestyle change is more helpful, and makes a greater impact. No matter what happens in this relationship, I’ve learned a lesson I don’t want to forget. I am just as amazing at 220 as I am now at 190. And if I’m more amazing at 180, it won’t be because of the number on the scale.

  3. lily says:

    Thanks for making me feel like I’m not a “real woman”.

    I’m 160cm and 44kg and I’ve never dieted a day in my entire life. You’re insensitive.

  4. Katy says:

    I am 23 years old, 5’5″ tall, and currently 173 lbs. In the 7 months since my wedding, I’ve gained over 20 pounds, and I would like to get back closer to 150-155. In the year before the wedding, I went from 188 lbs to 151 lbs (on my wedding day) by eating healthier and exercising. I was shooting for 135 lbs (my before college weight) which was an unrealistic goal and I knew it, but I felt good at 150 – still curvy but my clothes fit better. Since the wedding I haven’t made exercise a priority, but lately I’ve been getting back on track. I’ve lost 2 lbs in the past 2 weeks, which is a good, healthy rate, and I hope to keep it up. More over, I hope to be able to maintain a healthy weight and stop going up and down 20 or so lbs every year.

    Thank you for your blog. I stumbled upon it a couple days ago, and I think it’s wonderful. There is far too much emphasis on being stick thin at my age (and in general), but I’ve got a good group of real-sized women in my graduate program. We try to support and encourage each other as much as we can. I’m sure they’ll love your blog as well.

    Thanks again for the encouragement to be healthy and love my body!

  5. Mikala Simon says:

    I am 5′ 8 1/2″ and weigh 145. I have only recently reached my goal weight and love how I look and feel in my own skin. Less than a year ago I weighed 185…even on my wedding. I then entered physical therapy school and realized I was clinically over weight. I wanted to be healthy but still be curvy and sexy. By changing my diet to whole foods, which mainly consists of veggies and fruits and healthy proteins/carbs and adding much more exercise and intensity in my workouts, I’ve lost the extra weight and have found my “true” self again.

    I really enjoy your blog encouraging women to be healthy yet maintain true to themselves and be curvy! This is especially true because even I, as a strong, independent woman, feel the constant pull to lose more and more weight and conform to the unhealthy and unrealistic weight ideals. Luckily, I have support from family/friends and confidence in myself to love myself just the way I am. I hope your blog and other strong women, as well as myself, can encourage others to feel the same!

  6. Max Daniels says:

    I’m 5’4″ (well, a hair south) and weigh 132.8 pounds today. I get on the scale every day. I want to know what my brain has to say about that number – lets me know what I’m dealing with :). Then I give myself a big high-five for being awesome no matter what that number is.

  7. Lisa D. says:

    I’m 5’9″ and weigh a solid 152lbs. At my smallest I was 130lb and that was disgusting. I have hips that at that weight looked like empty reservoirs. It was gross. Today, women are always shocked when I proudly tell them my “number” which I have been doing all of my life regardless of my size with a smile on my face might I add. But then you know what happens next, the old “Oh you’re big boned”. And it’s always from an insecure size 2 saying that as we all know. My response? “No, I’m not big boned, I’m just not anorexic and that my friend is awesome”. So ladies, bring on the EATING and get me a little black dress because this 152lb diva is confidently curvy and living life for today, not dying today to be skinnier tomorrow.

  8. Jessica M says:

    I am 20 years old, 5’3″ and I weigh 117 lbs. I have struggled with my weight all my life and recently lost 45 lbs. Its been so hard keeping the weight off, but I have done so for three years now. I’ve struggled with my body image ever since I was twelve years old and I hope that someday I can look in the mirror and accept myself for who I am, regardless of my weight. This website inspires me to take a step in the right direction! I just want to be happy with my body and I know that I will someday. Thanks for posting, this helped me a lot.

  9. Derelyn says:

    Hi! My name is Derelyn. I’m 5’2 and my weight fluctuates daily. I weigh anywhere between 103-106 lbs consistently. I would like to get down to 101 lbs. That’s not crazy talk, I’m very fit and work hard to stay that way. But my body has definitely changed after two children. I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. They keep my busy. So does three times a week of soccer and at least one extra day of cardio – and daily push ups, tri dips, and butt lifts. Still – thank you so much for your blog b/c I have gone through every fad diet out there and in the end I’ve done nothing but hurt my body even more. I’ve lived most of my life in fear of gaining weight and I hope that one day, I can just eat a meal and not secretly dread it. I still get down when I see pictures of victoria secret models (these are the kinds of women my husband likes – and I know…EVERY man, right?) But it doesn’t make it any easier for me…1 – I will never be as tall as these girls so they will always look leaner than I ever will. But I try to stay focused on being healthy, staying strong and fit so I can age gracefully, and reading inspirational blogs like this! :)

  10. claudia says:

    I am 29 years old, 5´7″ and I weigh 117 pounds. My weight has been as low as 78 lbs and twice as much. I am still struggling with anorexia, bulimia and severly self hatred and delushional ideas of loosing weight=better life…I know, I should know better. I have been sick for 16 years (actively) and felt fat since I was 5. I admire all of you who have or are brave enough to let go and let happiness and light into your lives. God bless you all

  11. Diana says:

    October 26, 2012 I am 64 years old and have lost weight many times, have worked out hard and soft, have eaten well and terribly but I live in a community where eating is the main event…in Alaska. I eat or I remain alone. I know. I’ve tried it. So I’m fat. Probably 220.
    I would like to lose weight but every time I think of going on a diet or beating myself up with exercise I can’t seem to do it again. That doesn’t mean I can’t but I haven’t so far. I know I’m thinking in a wrong way about it but I’m not sure what that is. Thanks for the chance to talk (even though you are a stranger) and not have to get a lecture or a sympathetic talk. Diana

  12. Emma says:

    5ft7″ 172ibs, recently lost 3ibs just making myself eat less. I actually feel better about (and pay less for) food. No stomach aches either. :)

  13. Mandi says:

    November 15th, 2012. I am 22 yrs old, 4’11” and I weight roughly around 125lbs. While I make it well within the weight standards for the military I always struggle with self image. I was recently on a vegan diet in-which I dropped down to 115lbs and i loved it. However life, work and stress made it difficult to maintain this “diet”. Slowly the ten pounds seemed to creep back on. I know that I look great and am smaller than the average woman but I constantly struggle with being “skinny”. I personally don’t feel skinny and I don’t feel pretty more days than I do. Even as I offer words of encouragement to my fellow females about the average female size, and how each company’s size is different I still have these same thoughts that I berate them for having. These things may sound shocking or unreal but to me they are just truths that I live with. These feeling are not to be blamed entirely on society, or the military or even on one person. These feeling and beliefs are based off of personal experiences. I was 120 when an ex told me I looked like I’d gain weight (alot was insinuated) and that I should lose it. Since then, even at 115 I never got that sexy confidence back that I had before him. I look in the mirror at the mall and picture the model I saw wearing this in a magazine. I constantly here about weight standards in the Navy and struggle to lose ten “extra” pounds just to be sure I’ll have a better PRT score. This vent/rant isn’t about blaming anyone, it’s simply a well needed release for the world. Maybe one day I’ll learn to look past the calorie count and the number on my jeans. And my future children will never have to struggle with the things that I do.

  14. NC says:

    I’m 36 years old, a mother, 5’1 tall and weighting 125 pounds (I suppose, I live in Europe so I’m more used to the metric system: 1,55 m and 57 kg). I used to weight a bit more but lost it when I started to enjoy hiking with my husband. I love my body, I consider myself a normal woman but, for the longest time, I felt I had a big bum and sagging breasts ever since puberty which made me feel uncomfortable. 10 years ago, me and my husband discovered naturism (or nudism, as some prefer) and never looked back. Ever since I let my inhibitions out and disrobed on a beach with another 500 people nude, I regained my confidence. From this experience on, never been quite happy going to “textile” beaches. I can only suggest this to woman insecure about their bodies. 10 years on, I can tell you, all these women and men look good, confident, unwilling to let the media dictate how you should look. Saggy or perky breasts, with a belly or flat-stomached, big or small bottom… It’s all beautiful. My husband also had that male thing of size confidence and now, he feels good about himself too, knowing that there is no such thing as a penis size – it’s a penis and that’s just it.

    Perhaps american nude beaches are more sexual? I really hope not. The ones we go to here are completely family oriented – grandparents, parents and their kids. Our kids grow up without prejudices of the human body since they’re used to see them in all shapes and sizes since birth.

  15. Erin says:

    Im 5ft 5/6 and weigh 175lbs… im 30lbs overweight. I dont care because i hate my thin body as much as the one i have now. Its the same shape but smaller. Its muscular and curvy. Id rather be petite and dainty.. never gonna happen.

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