Ideal Weight for Women
While we may not all look alike, we have a lot in common--the variation in our body types, the voice of our ideal weight.
We may be tall and thin, short and curvy, rounder than we would like or needing to gain some weight.
As individual as our facial features are, so are our bodies.
Is there an ideal body?
Maybe in our minds.
I know this. I have a vigorous, strengthening yoga practice that has toned my body and built lean muscle mass. I know this too: I can do yoga from now until I'm 105 and it will not make me five-foot-10 and 118 pounds.
What's that got to with anything?
If my vision of ideal is five-foot-10 and 118 pounds, then I will never feel ideal or even satisfied.
If my vision of ideal for me, fifty years old, five-foot-three on a really tall day, 118 pounds, then I'm ideal. And satisfied.
A very short time ago, I was 139 pounds. Still five-foot-three on a good day, forty-nine years old. I was not satisfied; my vision of ideal and my body did not mesh.
You know what? I'm glad I lost the weight. I feel stronger, healthier and more able.
Is Your Body Mass Index Okay?
You know what else? I was okay at 139. I just didn't know it. My Body Mass Index (BMI) was okay enough.
I had this idea, which a lot of us share, that skinner is better--better looking, healthier, even indicitave of more will power and a stronger sense of self-worth.
I discovered the secret. I lost the weight and came to realize I'm thinner.
I'm not better looking, I'm thinner.
I don't have a stronger sense of self or more will power.
I do feel better about myself--absolutely.
The secret though, is that I am still me.
And now I know that was just fine at 139 or at 118.
I'm glad I lost the weight. It is healthier for me.
I just know that my weight, the number on the scale, is not who I am.
It's just what I weigh.
Infertility and Weight
So, yes, lose weight, gain weight, get stronger; do whatever you need to do to feel and be healthier. Infertility and weight--make that connection, learn about fertility nutrition.
And whatever weight you are, enjoy who you are. Because you are you. You are not a number on a scale. That's the real secret.
We may all look different, but the secret is, we are also all alike. We are unique human beings.
We are not numbers on a scale. Enjoy the journey as the scale goes down or up as you need it to.
I’m starting this blog with a disclaimer this morning. Especially if you are new to this blog, I am a real live person who struggled with the challenges of infertility for six and a half years. Occasionally I discuss my infertility treatment in an angry, sarcastic or even enraged way.
Today’s blog is a bit of a rant. About ME. Not you, not your weight. Not calling anyone else out there fat. Really, it’s about how I felt, while in fertility treatment. So if the word fat upsets you, even in relationship to someone else, ME, than please read a blog from last week or last month. Today’s my rant about my weight gain while trying to conceive and my feelings about myself during that time.
I remember the first time that I joined Weight Watchers. It was because I was on infertility medications (we call them fertility medications now; we did not call them that way back then). I had a set of clothes for when I was doing an infertility cycle and when I was not. My weight fluctuated easily 6-9 pounds with months on fertility medications and months off.
I hated it. I hated being “fat”, but not pregnant. I hated gaining weight, always right around my middle, which made me look pregnant even though I was not. I had never weighed so much in my life and I hated it. I resented it. I joined Weight Watchers because I refused to be fat, but not pregnant.
I knew the difference between fat and pregnant. Fat, I would have nothing to show for it after nine months. Fat was something I was supposed to do something about, to prevent. Pregnant, there would be growing anticipation along with a growing larger body, with a baby at the end.
People who would complain about getting “fat” during pregnancy rarely knew how lucky they were that I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t stand hearing their complaints about their weight gain, their bodies changing, and their supposed “fat”. I truly wanted to scream listening to them complain about everything I dreamed about, worked towards and hoped for. They didn’t seem to know the difference between fat and pregnant.
I longed for the curves and the softening of angles, I dreamed about the larger belly that appeared having nothing to do with bloat or excess weight or medications. I imagined how it would feel to have a baby move within me. Everything that the pregnant belly stood for, I wanted.
So I went to weight watchers and lost 10 pounds. Ridiculously slowly, of course, as I didn’t have that much to lose. Lost about quarter to a half a pound a week, if that. But I did lose it.
For those of you who know me, I rarely use language like “fat”, nor do I focus on external appearance. How we look isn’t who we are, isn’t what we are. We are much more than our physical appearance or how much we weigh. Please understand that this blog is about ME. My craziness, twenty years ago. Not a judgment about you and how much you do or do not weigh.
It was the pregnant belly I wanted. Not the fat or even the lack of fat. It was the sense of control that I wanted if I couldn’t have the pregnant belly quite yet. And so I lost ten pounds, very slowly and safely, waiting for the time that I could gain the weight that meant I was going to have a baby.
Dr.Mark Leondires is going to talk about sex and infertility later this week. Yes, really, your sexual practices as related to conceiving a child. How those practices can increase or decrease your possibilities. Some of the questions that he will be answering: Do we have to have sex every day while I'm trying to get pregnant? Does having an orgasm help you to get pregnant? I think my husband masturbates sometimes. Should he stop while we're trying to conceive?
Is it possible there are more embarrassing questions to have to address than these? Of course there are, yet these are pretty intimate questions to address in a blog. Think about it though, what is more connected than sex and conception? I applaud Dr. Leondires for being willing to address what can be an uncomfortable subject, at best.
There are few subjects less comfortable to discuss than sex, especially with a doctor. Another one on the top of the hit list is probably weight. Ugh. As if we needed our doctor to tell us the perfectly obvious, that we need to lose weight. Still, when it comes to infertility and conception and success, it's another uncomfortable conversation that is helpful, even necessary, to have. Statistics and research have shown that losing as little as ten per cent of our body weight, (when necessary) can have tremendous impact on all aspects of our health, including conceiving.
Two uncomfortable subjects being discussed this week on this blog. Luckily, we have two wonderful experts to speak on the subject. Dr. Mark Leondires, Medical Director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of CT and Carolyn Gundell, MS. If you have questions on either of these uncomfortable subjects that you would prefer to ask anonymously, please know that you can post them here and we will answer them. We do not have to, and will not; post your name or any other identifying information, and we will make sure that you get your answers.
Don't let embarrassment or shame get in the way of your conceiving or growing your family. Ask your questions, get your answers. A slightly red face is something we can all get over.