Everyone has a number in their head they think they should weigh in order to be healthy. Maybe you see that number on the scale, maybe you don’t. Either way, this idea of a goal body weight weighs heavily on many women’s body image.
When I was 20 I decided to run a marathon. I was never a runner, I was the complete opposite actually. In my mind it was something I told myself I could never do. I thought to myself, the only way to know for sure is to put in the effort and give it a shot.
I started training 3 to 4 times a week for 6 months. I went from not exercising regularly at all to running 3-4 times a week for 6 months. Guess what? My weight didn’t change. Even though I increased my physical activity like crazy, I still weighed the same.
How’s that possible? I was already at my body weight equilibrium.
Body weight equilibrium is the goal weight confident women have for themselves. It’s the weight you effortlessly maintain when you’re taking good care of yourself. It might not be the weight you want, but it’s the weight that allows you energy to enjoy your life.
I coined this term while training for my marathon because I realized I wasn’t going to lose weight, but my body composition was changing.
In my mind, I thought I would lose weight and slim down even more than I already was. I expected to see my legs thin out and my frame shrink down. Nope.
Believe me, if I was running this marathon to lose weight, I would’ve given up after week 3.
It takes an enormous amount of effort to weigh less (or more) than your state of equilibrium because this range is the weight your body effortlessly maintains when you’re taking proper care of yourself.
We’ve all been guilty of falling into patterns that aren’t healthy for our body. Whether that’s not getting enough sleep, exercising too much or not enough, and even allowing too much stress in our lives. But when you have that managed, it becomes easy for your body to maintain that equilibrium.
When you are taking care of your body, eating well, sleeping enough, drinking water and you STILL aren’t happy with your weight, you should ask yourself a very important question.
Why do I feel that this is the wrong weight for me?
This equilibrium is usually a range of 4-6 pounds that your body fluctuates between. This is completely normal. I know it feels like you should have control over your weight and always be consistently 115 pounds, but that’s ridiculous. Bodies fluctuate, bodies are constantly changing, so why would your weight stay the same?
Give yourself the mental grace and patience to allow your body weight to fluctuate. Trust that your body actually knows what it’s doing. Diet culture trains us to mistrust our bodies signals, to eat what we think is “good” and when we think is “best” but in reality, your body intuitively knows all of this.
It’s cultural obsession with beauty, thinness, and perfecting our bodies that intercepts these messages from our body and tells us to change course. As a woman, this is particularly harmful.
Femininity completely embodies change, cycle, and fluctuation. Look at your menstrual cycle for example, your body is always changing. When your mind is so fixated on how much you weigh, you miss out on everything else going on in your body.
Your body can’t talk, it can only get your attention. Through weight fluctuation, your menstrual cycle, pain, pleasure, etc. your body communicates what it needs. Instead of telling your body it’s wrong, try being more open to listening and experimenting with caring for yourself in new ways.
There is a point you can get to with the relationship with your body where you can say, I see you, I understand you. Maybe there are things I’d like to change about you, but not if it comes at the expense of my health, wellbeing, or time in the day to enjoy doing things that I love. It’s just not worth it.
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