This past February I set the stage for a 20 pound fat loss goal. When I set the goal, several people told me that was too much weight for me to lose. My primary motivation for dropping 20 pounds was to increase the odds that my left knee, which had been in pain for a while, would heal quicker. But I was never convinced that a 20 pound reduction would be optimal. In fact I had it in the back of my head that I’d lean out, heal and then regain. From the section What is My Ideal Weight? on the post How I Regained the Weight I Lost.
If I were to ask my body what it believes my ideal weight is, I’d get different answers. My shoulders, chest and legs, would say I look most muscular at 215. My abs might say 185. My face looks younger at 200 than 185. But right now only one vote counts and that is my left knee.
My goal is to lose 20 pounds and return to 195. Once my knee heals, I can decide if I want to stay there or go higher.
But as the weeks and months went by, I started to doubt that reducing weight and performing the knee exercises I had researched were having any benefit. I lost half the weight and lost interest. When I left Seattle and arrived in California, I had to adopt to a shared kitchen, new grocery stores and new restaurants. I also no longer had access to a scale. For a while I was playing around with a tape measure, but eventually I even stopped doing that. My knee wasn’t improving, but my sleep was great and so was my skin, which were two things that weren’t great when I was super lean. So I stopped tracking weight or inches or calories or protein and gave up the goal completely.
Although I plan to discuss the knee more in a separate post, I now know what I suspected. The primary reason it is not healing is because I drive a stick shift car in traffic. Since college I have been driving stick-shift hatchbacks. Not the best thing for someone 6 foot 2.5 inches tall. I’ll shelf this discussion for its own post. Back to the fat loss goal.
So last week I was able to weigh myself 3 times from 2 different scales. This is the first time I have weighed myself since June. My weight is the same. I was able to keep the 9 pounds off that I lost in Seattle.
Maybe I have found my ideal weight? Maybe I don’t have an ideal weight? I’ve gone my entire adult life wishing I was some other weight than what I was. When I was scrawny, I wanted to gain. When I gained muscle, I wanted to be ripped. When I finally got ripped, my face looked like a meth addict and I wanted to gain again. Back and forth and never completely satisfied. That lack of acceptance wasn’t healthy.
Today I am happy with my weight. If I lose 5 pounds of fat or gain 5 pounds of muscle that would be great, but if I don’t, that is fine as well.
Photo by Wade Kelly