Did you know that the average American woman in 1990 weighed 142lbs?
Did you know that the average American woman today weighs 160lbs?
I was shocked when I saw this in a mini-article that came in the mail from Blue Cross Blue Shield in the Spring 2013 Healthy Woman guide. It talks about the most common excuse that people give for not being able to exercise. Time. When work is crazy, the kids are driving you up the wall, the dog is having accidents for no reason in the house, and/or you haven’t had a quiet evening with your husband or boyfriend in weeks…. exercise is violently thrown, not pushed, to the side. We know this because we all do this.
When I saw that the average weight has increased to 160lbs, my first though was “Wow….maybe I’m not so overweight after all.” I’m less than 10lbs above the average. My next thought wondered if that should actually make me feel better. If the “average woman” is 160lbs now, does that mean that it is okay to be around the average weight? Or should I continue to strive for a lower number?
Earlier this week, I asked you to answer why you decide to exercise. So now, I feel like I am asking, why do we strive for a certain number on the scale. Can you be healthy and overweight? Well, that’s a loaded question. In my opinion, and my opinion only, I feel that I need the number on the scale to come down a bit. When I got a body analysis from a nutritionist, I learned that I had about 100lbs of solid muscle mass on my 5’3” frame. Now that explains why I don’t look as heavy as the scale says I am. According to the BMI, I should only weigh between 117 to 140lbs. After the body analysis, the nutritionist suggested that I aim for 150 and see how I feel because I will look much smaller than the scale indicates because of my muscle mass.
I feel that I am completely rambling in this post, but I hope that you are able to make some sense of what I am trying to get at. Everyone has a weight that is appropriate for their body that makes them feel good and that they shouldn’t have to go crazy to maintain. (sidebar: I don’t think that this number has to be what that BMI indicates either.)
When the average woman is weighing more than usual, does it make you feel like you should weigh less? Or that it is okay to weigh more since everybody else weighs more?