What’s Your “Ideal” Weight?

What’s your ideal weight? I have no idea!!! because “ideal” weight is a myth.

But, I can hear you now, “but I DO have an ideal weight. When I used to weigh _____ (fill in your number, when I was 22, last year, before the baby, according to BMI calculations, etc.), that’s when I felt my best” – says most of us.

So let’s talk about some truths when it comes to weight and health before we get into the 8 tips to ditch this myth through Intuitive Eating, a self-care eating framework.

First things first, the scale can make us crazy.

It can shift our mindset in an instant.

One moment you’re having a great day, the next you’re not…just because of a number on the scale. Let’s take our power back!

Scale fluctuations are normal

So no, you didn’t really gain/lose X pounds of actual body weight in one day.

“It [is] physiologically impossible to gain or lose three to five pounds of fat overnight, no matter what the scale says,” says Kelly Hogan, MS, RD, CDN

BMI is not an accurate measure of your health.

”…in the 1990’s a bunch of Americans went to bed and woke up “overweight.” Their body size hadn’t changed-however against recommendations from The World Health Organization (which was funded by the makers of a weight-loss drug) decided to lower the BMI. The reality is that BMI really tells you nothing about someone’s health or behaviors.” – Jennifer Rollin, Eating Disorder Therapist

So instead of focusing on weight or BMI, shift to practicing these healthy behaviors instead:

8 tips to ditch the myth of “ideal weight” with Intuitive Eating

#1 Learn to honor your hunger and fullness, for the most part (as there’s no such thing as perfect eating)!

#2. Acknowledge that we are all emotional eaters. So no, emotional eating isn’t “bad.” Instead, notice if it’s your only or main coping strategy and together, we’ll explore some new ones.

#3. Slow down and eat in a relaxed and conscious manner – again, for the most part. Create a pleasurable experience around meal times.

Prioritize meal time as a nourishing experience for optimal digestion.

ditch the myth of ideal weight and nourish your whole self to be your healthiest
ditch the myth of ideal weight and nourish your whole self be your healthiest

#4. Be in touch with your body’s internal cues and be aware of which foods energize you versus deplete you. Take the time to explore. Everybody’s digestion is unique.

#5. Move your body in whatever way works for you and because it brings you joy not because you “should.” Fitness looks different on every body!

What's your ideal weight? Your ideal weight, where your body is healthiest, may not match diet cultures.
What’s your ideal weight? Your ideal weight, where your body is healthiest, may not match diet culture’s.

#6. Honor the importance of basic nutritional knowledge. Learn how to eat to balance your blood sugar (which stabilizes mood, cravings and energy), strengthen your digestion and more. Ditch the diet mentality and practice gentle nutrition.

#7. Honor your genetics. Body diversity is part of the human experience. We’re not all meant to look a certain way and health doesn’t come in a certain body size, shape or weight. And, our bodies are meant to change throughout our lives.

#8. Prioritize stress management and be aware of “who you are bringing to the plate.” Are you constantly worried about food, your body? Stress impacts how your body digests foods and poor digestion is often unfairly blamed on the food itself!

So let’s review.

What’s your “ideal” body size?

There’s no such thing as “ideal.”

So no, it’s not necessarily what you weighed when you were 22, 2 years ago, 2 months ago, pre-baby, or when you dieted, obsessed over and restricted your food and over-exercised to achieve it.

“Ideal weight” is a myth.

Want to learn to take care of your deep health and ditch the myth of an “ideal” number on the scale?

Let’s explore your health through deep health coaching and allow your body weight to be where it’s healthiest, not where diet culture says it “should” be.

  • Tanya

Why ‘You Look So Skinny’ Needs An Upgrade

Compliments are great, right?!

Of course, we want to tell someone when they look great. Who hasn’t complimented someone who has obviously lost a significant amount of weight?! We probably all have. But we may be doing more harm than good…

In 2013, after finishing nutrition school, I weighed the least I’ve ever weighed, which was far less than when I was 16 years old. Yet I was complimented for how lean and fit I looked. The truth is this was an unhealthy weight for me and it was a result of being overly obsessive with my food choices and exercise. It was a result of having an unhealthy relationship with food. And while back then I loved the compliments, now I see how they reinforced my desire to stay at this unhealthy weight.

If you have to restrict, purge, over-exercise, or punish yourself (including your mental health!) in order to stay there (or get there), your body is not meant to be at that weight. – Gina Susanna, @Nourishandeat

Here are a few more human factors to consider as well.

What if someone’s weight loss is the result of a terrible breakup? Loss of work? Illness? Unbearable stress or depression?

What if that compliment is phrased as “Wow, you look so much better!” Well, this could easily cause a mental tailspin for the recipient. Were they judging me before, thinking I should look better? Was I loved less by them before I lost the weight?

A few readers at Beauty Redefined weighed in on this topic. One said, “When my mom was sick and three months later passed away, I was so stressed out and grief-stricken that I lost about 20 lbs. Everyone at work complimented me and told me to keep doing whatever I was doing because it was really working for me.”

Our culture reinforces the body image ideal that thin is desirable.

It’s time to shift the conversation.

In Heather Widdows’ article, A Duty To Be Beautiful, in Psychology Today, she says, “That (the) preoccupation of trying to attain unrealistic beauty standards causes increased anxiety, worry, feelings of failure, lowered self-esteem, disordered eating, relentless dieting and exercise obsessions, mental and physical health issues and overall diminished well-being.”

We can teach our daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters (and all human beings) that they are more than their bodies. We can do that by shifting the way we speak about bodies.

A person’s appearance is the least interesting thing about them. So, what can we say instead to turn the conversation to things that actually matter? How about…

It’s so great to see you so happy and healthy!


You’re so much fun to be around!


I love your perseverance.

If you really want to give a looks-based compliment, pair it with a compliment based on their character. For example,

You look incredible! I admire your ability to set goals and really pursuit them!

And finally, if you want more strategies to create a more positive body image for yourself or future generations, checkout my latest article in the JH Woman special section of the Jackson Hole News and Guide, Mirror mirror on the wall, what we look like isn’t all.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and questions. I’d love to keep the conversation flowing. Let’s chat!

  • Tanya