Thursday, February 18, 2010

How much do you weigh?*

191 pounds

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

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—I truly believe that one of the problems with the way women perceive themselves in this country is the fact that we have the false sense that everyone else weighs less than we do.

Dave and I have seven nieces and nephews—ranging in age from seven to twenty-one—and recently my mother-in-law and I were having a conversation about the two oldest nieces (her granddaughters), who are just about to be fifteen and twenty-one. Both of them are gorgeous young women—tall, fit, and simply beautiful.

Sometimes I feel like all young girls are beautiful these days. It certainly seems like all of my female students are stunning. When I was young, there were a few really pretty girls in every class, but most of us were pretty dorky, as the picture above clearly shows. (By the way, I'm the one on the right in the way cool red and orange vest, and I believe I weighed 125 pounds that year.)

What I want to know is when did that change? Because whenever I go to the mall, I feel like every single young woman under the age of eighteen looks amazing—they all have long, luscious hair, perfectly applied makeup, adorable little tiny t-shirts, and matching accessories. Every one of them in identical skinny jeans and the same Ugg boots, as if they’re all catalog models fresh from their latest photo shoot.

When I was their age, I am pretty sure that I was more Plain Jane than catalog model. In fact, on more than one occasion, I was mistaken for a little boy.

And this brings me back to my two eldest nieces—they both look just like models too: every hair perfectly in place, each eyebrow expertly plucked, every piece of clothing perfectly coordinated.

(Maybe this is part of the reason it’s so difficult for regular women to feel good about themselves—almost no one looks “regular” anymore.)

So it’s understandable that my mother-in-law would think that her perfect-looking granddaughters are extremely attractive, but what I don’t get is that she also thinks they weigh next to nothing. One of the girls is probably 5’4” and the other one is around 5’8”, but my mother-in-law contends that they both probably weigh less than 100 pounds.

Less than 100 pounds???

That would make their BMIs between 15 and 17, far below the healthy 19-25 range.

There’s no doubt that these girls are thin, but thankfully they are not anorexic. And that’s what they’d have to be to have a BMI that low.

I think the real problem is one of perspective. My mother-in-law sees two thin, attractive young women, and she just assumes they weigh next to nothing.

I told her that I figured they more likely weighed between 120 and 130 pounds, and you should have seen the fit she had. It was as if I had said that aliens were landing on the lawn.

And therein lies the problem. If we see every thin, attractive woman as weighing less than 100 pounds, no wonder we feel bad when the number on our scales is almost double that.

That’s actually part of the reason I decided to post my weight on this blog in the first place. I feel like if more of us talked about what we weigh, then we could dispel the false notion that our weight is so 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?


  1. You look amazing, Courtney! Proving that we need to re-evaluate what numbers we consider attractive. Thanks for stepping up!

    What about everybody else?!

  2. I love seeing these numbers! It's like we live in a new world: honesty land.

  3. Jill, I am REALLY glad you posted your number because since I just saw you recently, I know that you are literally in perfect shape. (A fact that is supported by the fact that you just ran your first half-marathon.) Honestly, I don't think you could lose five pounds without being too thin. And that means that 166 is a realistic number for the rest of us to aspire to. And that's what we all desperately need--real numbers for real women. Than you so much for sharing!

  4. sorry, i didnt post that to show off, but being super curvy I felt* I had the right to post, too.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. 245, while people think I really look 180 and good.

  7. 193, 60, healthy and loving life and food!!!

    Don't have a full body shot, but when I do I'll send it.


  8. Hello....I am Alyssa....15....170. :)

    I love your blog. it made me feel much better about how i felt about myself. Usually I lie about my weight. People think I look 140. But i won't be ashamed anymore.

    Thank you.

  9. 5'6" and currently somewhere around 115.

  10. I'm 5'4 and weigh about 129. I am, however, petite by nature and could stand to lose 10 lbs and still look very healthy and normal. It just goes to show you that EVERYONE'S bodies are so different and we should not be comparing ourselves to anyone else! For example, 200 lbs on one person could look amazing!

  11. i'm 5'5 and weigh 180 hoping to lose about 30 lbs

  12. What's really interesting about all of these numbers is that no one is under 125 pounds, and I wrote this post because my mother-in-law wrongly believed that her nieces weighed around 100. They are thin, but they're not anorexic, which is what they'd have to be weigh 100 pounds at their height. In fact, the younger of the two recently told me she weighs around 130, proving my point: we all imagine that everyone else weighs so little when in truth most of us weigh 150 or more.

  13. 197

    I am just coming out of a 13 year eating disorder. Although I am not comfortable at this weight I know that this is better than dying to be something I am not. I like food and I always will and I am learning to love me just the way I am at any time!

  14. That's great, Stephanie! I'm so glad you're overcoming your eating disorder and feeling good about yourself the way you are. Whenever I forget what makes me beautiful, I just ask my friends and family—they always see the good stuff. I love them for that.

  15. So glad you're healthy and happy, Loriannsoo. And that's a great weight! You should be happy with it!

    P.S. This blog has moved to a new site located here: