The Magic Number

Do you have one?  A number in your mind for what you want to weigh?  Your own personal ideal body weight?

How did you come up with that number?  Is it what you weighed at some point in your life (like high school or before you had kids)?  Is it dictated by some online calculator or insurance company chart?  Is it simply what has always been inscribed on your driver’s license?

Has your magic number changed over time?  Why?  Because you got older and are trying to be realistic about the impact of aging on weight?  Because you just can’t get to your goal?  Because you realize that the number was too low or too high and your body wanted to stay somewhere else?

I have been obsessing thinking about this a lot lately.  I have a number.  It is a number I have known before.  During my yo-yo years.  Sometimes when I was living at that number I felt that I wanted to be thinner – the number was too high.  Sometimes I had worked hard to get down to that number and it felt pretty good.  But never like Goldilocks – just right.  If it was just right, wouldn’t I still be there now?

I am not quite sure how I came to my latest goal weight.  I think I chose it because I expect to be able to actually maintain there.  I think I chose it because I believe a lot of my clothes will fit me at that weight.  In the back of my mind do I care about what some expert or society thinks my number should be?  Not really.  But a little teeny bit.

And I have learned something about that magic number.  It may stay the same, but the size and shape of my body at that number may be very different over the years!  Middle-aged spread has certainly set in upon my waist.  And certain parts are heading a bit south.  But hopefully all my hard work at the gym is paying off on my body somewhere.

The big question in my mind is what will happen when I get to that number.  I fully intend to stay there.  But can I and will my body cooperate?  And will I be satisfied that I have lost enough?  Will I go back to the person years ago at that same number who wanted to lose just a few more pounds and then proceeded to let that craziness cause a gain instead?

I really would like to know if you have a magic number and how you chose it.  Or are you waiting until you get there to know you have arrived?  And for those of you maintaining, how did you choose your current weight and are you satisfied there?  Has the number changed?



Filed under body and/or body image, dieting, emotions/emotional issues, goals, influence of others

27 responses to “The Magic Number

  1. I have a weight range that I’m happy with. I’m happy when I’m between 135-140. When I went to the spa and they asked me what was my goal weight. I think I was about 137 (maybe) at the time. My answer was that I wasn’t trying to lose weight, but I wouldn’t want to be under 130 (I get bony looking under that, curves are nicer). But I’m really happy with a range. I tend to weigh more in the winter and less in the summer. Not through dieting, but through my eating habits (as you know a diet ends, eating habits are forever). I eat a lot of leafy green from the garden over the summer and more of the fall and winter veggies over the winter (carrots, potatoes, coleslaw – you know the calorie laden ones). I’ve maintained the loss for hmm I forget how long now. Several years. I’m happy with that range. It allows me flexibility with my weight over the seasons, but also tells me to start paring back a bit if I get close to the 140 mark.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday in the Garden =-.

    • Karen

      You are one of the most controlled eaters I know! I never, ever see you overeat or snack excessively. You have curves where I don’t and you know I am jealous! You also have always seemed to me to be comfortable with yourself and in your skin. I admire that (and so many other things) about you.

  2. Have I told you lately how wise you are? So many of us get stuck on a number that’s not sustainable, or we find out that it wasn’t the answer anyway. It’s smart to consider all the factors and decide on what you can live with.

    I didn’t have a specific number in mind through most of my “losing phase.” My focus was more on energy and being more fit. Plus, I’d never done strength training before, and I was amazed at how it affected my body shape. Even at 170 pounds, I was wearing size 8 or 10 pants. I never expected that! But it confirmed (for me) that “the number” wasn’t as important as I’d thought it was. After I’d lost about 90 pounds, I got a number range in my head and decided I’d chase it, but to be honest, I was happy where I was at that point. But I got to the desired range and have mostly stayed there. It just “feels right”.
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Gotta Keep Movin’ =-.

    • Karen

      And have I told you how much I admire and appreciate you and your wisdom and your support! Stay tuned tomorrow… I actually had an epiphany after writing this post (several days ago).

  3. Mine is so obvious….to get back into my wedding dress! It was only two years ago that I married and am currently a fair way off getting back into it!

    Once that zip goes up, I’ll be happy!

    • Karen

      I think clothing fit is better than the scale! Now about my wedding dress. Almost 23 years ago I was at a very skinny phase. My dad died shortly after I got engaged and for the first time in my life I did not eat thanks to emotions. So my already thin body got thinner. DH was pretty skinny too back then. I don’t think either of us could sustain those weights if we could ever get there.

  4. Hmmm, how did I pick my number. 130 was the lowest I ever got in college and I remember being pretty satisfied with how I looked. But I was also closer to age 20 than age 30 like I am now so I was unsure if how realistic it would be to get to that point again. 🙂 I originally picked 140, then 138 (an even 75 lbs lost), then when I couldn’t decide if I should go for 130 or stay at 140, I picked 135 because it was in the middle. Very scientific! 🙂
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Hello? Weekend? Are you there? =-.

    • Karen

      You know I am following your progress:) I will be interested to see how you live with that number and if you change it over time and why. I know I want to be realistic and find a number that my body likes and where I can manage my eating to stay there.

  5. My magic number was/is 125. But…when I got to 131 and hovered there for a full six weeks, I accepted that as my goal weight. Well within the “normal/healthy” BMI number. I then hovered between 128 and 132 for another month. Then Valentine’s Day hit, then vacation, then Easter, and I suddenly was facing 136. I’ve decided I’ve been in maintenance long enough that if I start to push myself again, I bet I CAN get down to 125! I want 130-131 to be my high, not my low. I CAN DO THIS.

    Why did I pick 125? Because I knew I was healthy and fit at 115 in my mid 40’s, and was going to allow myself another 10 pounds. Still would be on the thin side of normal per the BMI charts. I WILL GET THERE. 🙂
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..I Plan on Losing Eleven More Pounds! =-.

    • Karen

      I remember you posts when your body seemed to settle in. I will be reading along to see how things progress for you. I am confident in you as well:)

  6. sunnydaze

    My “magic number” is a little higher than everyone elses. Right now that is 165. When I was this weight before I felt fit and slim (I’m 5’8″), had no cellulite and was confident. When I get to that point that number may very well change but right now thats the number that I have in my head.

  7. Girl…this is something that puzzles me as well. I had 160 as my goal number. Then I kinda changed it to 150-160. Then, I adopted the ‘I will know when I get there’ motto; however, I am at 171 and am feeling comfortable, but know that I am not quite there. So…my answer is I guess we will see. You know what…you did make me think about the maintenance part of all of this. Hmmm….wait…why did I even choose 160 to begin with? I think it had something to do with me remembering that number from the scale in hs!
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..Phase 2 or something like that : )…WOOT WOOT =-.

    • Karen

      If you stay on SB, I learned from others that it is great to have a range… and if you get to the top of the range you immediately go back to PH2 for a while. (Not sure how long.) And then you have a “redline” and if you hit THAT you go back on PH1. Last two times I did SB (and reached my goal both times), I did not have this plan. This time I am going to write it out and post it somewhere!

  8. I never had a firm number in mind because I didn’t think I would actually lose any weight! As I lost weight I just kept going until I felt comfortable where I was, and felt “done!”
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..Not So Jolly =-.

    • Karen

      I am glad to hear you felt “done” because, with all my up and down years, I hope I can find that feeling too. And stay there like you have!

  9. I have some goal numbers that are more suggestions than written in stone. I’m with Diane in that I plan on keeping going until I feel done.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..what a difference =-.

  10. Yes…I have a number. I actually hit it 2 summers ago. The funny thing is…I looked to thin at that number. This time…I’m trying to go off a clothing size or how I look in the mirror. It’s hard not to get caught up in a number those.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Wise bloggers…. =-.

    • Karen

      When I reached my number in the past I don’t think I ever felt “thin” or thought I looked thin. But I suspect that others thought I was. Funny how we can view ourselves so differently. Maybe I need to get a word to replace “thin” for myself. Fit and healthy?

  11. When I was younger I wanted to and did maintain 117-120 sporting a cute size 5. Now I’d be estataic at 135 (no more tha 140). I feel like as we get older being too thin isn’t attractive so keeping a few extra, healthy pounds is a good thing.

    BTW, I really like your blog! 🙂
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Be Good To Yourself Tip Of The Day: Choose To Be Happy =-.

    • Karen

      Thanks Wendy! Funny thing about those sizes, I was just shopping and I am convinced that over the years the manufacturers have made sizes bigger so we think we are smaller!

  12. spooky that we were thinking about the same things yesterday!
    i didn’t really have a goal weight in mind. i knew how many calories i could eat where i felt well fed and thought was maintable for the long run, and just let my weight come down and settle based on that number of calories. so far, so good! but now that i just switched to intuitive eating, we’ll see if the weight i’ve been at for 18 months changes.
    .-= love2eatinpa´s last blog ..Guest Bloggin’ at Anonymous Fat Girl + Therapy =-.

  13. When I lost my weight nearly 10 years ago, I couldn’t imagine weighing under 160, at which I was a size 10. When I got there I bought a bunch of clothes but I kept eating right and exercising because that’s the way I live now. And my weight kept going down. I eventually settled in at about 130-135 and no one was more surprised than me. I kept eating the same way throughout and settled in where the weight loss stopped.
    .-= Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla´s last blog ..Purse of Shame =-.

    • Karen

      I think that sounds like such a great way to do it and love to see that you have been there for 10 years. It gives me hope:)

  14. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » More than a Number

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