When I’m in the zone, losing weight and I’ve nearly reached my “right weight” I’m frequently asked “Will you know when to stop so you don’t lose too much”?
And in my case the answer is “yes”.
I’ve been asked that by my doctor as well as my neighbor (who thought I already looked too thin bless her heart). I can’t actually tell you exactly where my optimum weight will end up being. I have a general idea but as we age things start to shift and what was a perfect weight for me 5 years ago might actually be too thin for me now (don’t roll your eyes it has absolutely happened to me!). That means each time you embark on a weight loss program of any sort you have to watch for your own personal body weight indicators. And for me that’s when my curves start to disappear.
Several years ago when I hurt my back I gained about 30 pounds. Once I was back and functioning I set out to lose that weight. I worked with a doctor and set a weight goal based on my BMI – and when I got there (a weight that was slightly higher than my prior ideal weight) I was not altogether pleased with how I looked. My chest had flattened out and my hips had all but disappeared. I had to face facts – I’m just happier with a little more meat on the bones.
It’s kind of funny because I monitor my weight very carefully and I try to balance my love of good (and by that I mean rich and caloric) food with my desire to eat healthy. When the scale tips too far in the wrong direction I’m pretty quick to get myself on a course correction diet. So I always marvel when people caution me not to lose too much weight. I mean you’re kidding – right? I don’t exactly look as though I’ve missed any meals.
But I’ve come to understand that weight loss can be a slippery slope and when tipped too far toward the loss side the health issues can be more substantial than you might think. Runaway weight loss is unquestionably something to worry about. I also appreciate the concern shown by those asking. Clearly they have my best interests at heart. Kind of like my friend Clarissa as I was nearing the end of my 30 pound weight loss. She and I met for lunch at a trendy eatery – she looked me up and down and said “How do you like your chest being smaller – ’cause it is?”
After taking a second to regain my composure (at that point I’d been feeling pretty good about how things were looking) I responded politely “I know and I’m actually happy about it”. She looked at me through narrowed slits. “No, really” I assured her “When my chest is too big I feel matronly and I hate that”. Being a small chested woman herself I’m not sure she was buying it – oh well – c’est la vie!