A Chart Can’t Determine Your Ideal Weight

A Chart Can’t Determine Your Ideal Weight
photo: Laura Lewis, Creative Commons
photo: Laura Lewis, Creative Commons

Look at any height and weight chart and more than likely, you will find yourself outside of the “ideal” weight. It is not like a bell curve at all – there is such a tiny section of ideal weight.

Take note that a healthy weight is not always found on a standard height and weight chart.

I know extremely healthy people who live active lifestyles, exercise regularly, and still find themselves outside the parameters of the ideal weight. My marathon-running friends clearly burn more calories than my sedentary friends and yet even their numbers do not fit into a standard height and weight chart.  (Probably because muscle mass weighs more than fat.)

It can be a bit demoralizing if your current weight doesn’t match the “ideal” on a chart.

There are so many factors which play a role in determining your weight. To name a few: your body type, the number of fat cells you have, how much muscle you have.

Even the numbers on a standard body mass index (BMI) chart are just approximations.

This means they may not be the best measurement of good health. For instance, a chart might group some women as overweight by not measuring body fat and others overweight who have a higher ratio of muscle to fat.

So, instead of comparing yourself to the numbers on a chart, think about your weight in view of a healthy weight. This number is not found on a chart, but will be determined by so many other things. Strive for a healthy weight that is, more than likely, outside the lines on the chart.


If you’re struggling with finding a healthy weight and body image, you might want to attend our workshop on Saturday, May 3rd. Reflecting a Healthy Self-Image is designed to give women a safe space to share their struggles. Contact me for more information or to register.


Marlayne Whitlock, M.A., LAPC

mwhitlock@ GROWcounseling.com


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