“I would like to discuss your recent weight gain if you’re open to it.”
Does a sentence like that get your blood pumping or what? I remember hearing those words several years ago from my doctor and instantly felt like bolting from the room. My face got hot, and my palms started to sweat. I already knew I’d gained weight (close to 30 pounds if I’m being honest), but no one had yet to say it out loud to me!
Ever been there? Whether you feel too skinny, too curvy, or too heavy, I think we all can agree that there has been some point in our lives as tall women where we’ve felt that deep panicky feeling when someone brings up how much we “should” or “should not” weigh. Weight is a usually touchy subject, but for tall women it’s typically a nightmare.
Now, before I get going I just want it to be known that I am not a doctor or a dietitian. I am a Certified Health Coach, but that does not give me the authority to determine what a “healthy” weight standard is or whether the waist to height (W/Ht) ratio is “appropriate” for all women. For the record, my BMI says I’m “overweight” and my W/Ht says I’m “extremely slim”….really helpful, huh? Since a lifetime of feeling frustrated with one-size-fits-all health standards fails to give me the credentials needed to discuss this topic on a technical level, I’m going to focus on weight from a personal development standpoint.
So, what do you think you “should” weigh?
I ask because I work with tall women every day that are “shoulding” themselves through life. Here’s what I mean:
“I should lose weight.”
“I should weigh 160 pounds.”
“My body should look like hers.”
“I should have more curves.”
Your body shouldn’t look any way other than what makes you feel happy, comfortable, and beautiful. And before you say that you’ll feel that way when you weigh X, have a flat stomach, or are 5” shorter, I want you to know that weight loss or gain won’t change how you feel about yourself. Self-love and acceptance come first.
I know that for a fact because I lost the 30 pounds I mentioned earlier while working at Walt Disney World and was a miserable shell of a human being. I was actually living and working at “The Happiest Place on Earth”, skinnier than I’d ever been, and had zero nice things to say for myself.
I should have been happy.
I should have loved my body.
I should have felt beautiful because I weighed as much as I did in high school.
I’m hoping you can start to see where I’m going with this. Your body –your beautiful, graceful, unique, amazing body –is not meant to fit in a one-size-fits-all box. Even though I lost weight, I hadn’t learned to love myself unconditionally for who I am vs. what I look like. Physical transformation without a mental makeover means that you’re still right back to square one.
Lesson: It’s not about the weight. It’s about how much you love yourself on the inside.
If you truly do feel the need to lose weight to be the healthiest version of yourself, then let’s make it happen! But please do it because you love yourself and your body, not hate it. If you genuinely feel the need to gain weight to be fit and feel great, then that’s totally doable! But, again, don’t beat yourself up in the process. Live your life, love your body, wear the bikini, or try the aerial yoga class (highly recommended!) right now because you love the body you were given regardless of how much you weigh or what size jeans you fit into.
I have faith that one day the media, healthcare practitioners, and society in general will figure out that weight standards for tall women need to be re-evaluated. In the meantime, stop waiting on the weight and start loving the body you have ☺