Posted by: Caro | 2011-05-31

Choosing my own goal weight

Dear Graham
I weigh about 90 kgs (maybe less as I haven''t weighed myself in 6 months) and have steadily lost 10 cms around my bust(now 125), stomach(105) and waist (which is now at 101cm) and thighs (66cm). I am 1, 60cm and according to BMI, obese. Yet when I look at pictures of others at the same weight, I dont look like them. I feel attractive and many people find it hard to believe when i tell them that I weigh nearly 90kgs. The index shows I should weigh about 60 - 65 kgs but I feel that I will be happy at 74kgs which then still makes me overweight. I will probably wear size 36 then as I am 40 - 38 now. My wrists are 18cm - so I am not small.
Am I putting myself at risk by being happy at 74kgs? I am apple-shaped and aware of the dangers assiciated. I exercise regularly by uphill walking, running slowly downhill and flat and don''t eat wheat due to an intolerance but this has helped in my weight loss and cravings these past months. Fatty foods also lately make me nauseous as I''ve been diagnosed with Gilbert''s syndrome, though it doesn''t rule my life. I eat lots of fruit (as much as I like except for juice), yoghurt, milk, cottage cheese, veg and lean animal protein and legumes (because I like it). I drink 2l of water a day.
Please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Caro,
It is quite refreshing to hear from someone who it's not automatically uncomfortable in their body. Yes, as much as you are some way off falling into the normal weight range, it does appear that your elevated weight might be, at least part, explained to a high muscle/fat ratio and a naturally larger frame. I would advise that you not try and do anything extreme or intense in your attempt to lose weight. You suggest that you might have recently lost some weight. That is great, as the closer you can bring your weight towards the normal levels, the better your overall health and the better chance you have of not developing any serious medical complications associated with a high weight (eg, diabetes, hypertension, raised cholesterol). Try to keep exercising moderately. Your GS can make you prone to jaundice, so be careful to try and keep your stress levels to a limit. The GS can also make you easily fatigued, so listen to your body and don't push yourself to far physically or mentally. You say that you are apple-shaped, which is less dangerous than being pear-shaped, as you want to try and keep your excess weight from all accumulating around your abdominal area. That can put you at greater risk to developing cardiac complications. I suggest that you see a physician at least once annually for a full medical in order to confirm your safe health. If you manage to continue to lose weight to within the mid-70s, you might very well remain optimally fit. Just be sure that you are not pre-diabetic, sitting with raised cholesterol or raised blood pressure. Seeing a registered dietitian might confirm or educate you towards a healthily-balanced diet. Having GS might make it all the more worthwhile seeing a dietician for a professional opinion on your eating habits. I hope this helps.

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