The Ideal Body Weight Pisses Me Off

Weight ScaleFeel like losing weight?  What a surprise, me too!  Like every other knucklehead, I went to workout on New Year’s day to lose some weight I gained during the holidays.  I got a sweaty two hour tennis match in and then hit again with my buddy for another 1.5 hours the very next day.  I’m not delusional to think that after two days I would lose any amount of weight, but I stubbornly got on the scale before and after anyway.

Hoping to see a loss of a at least a pound due to less water weight, the damn scale betrayed me.  In two days, I had gained 5 pounds from 164 lbs to 169 lbs!  How the hell does someone gain 3% more body weight in just 48 hours.  I didn’t gorge myself during this period, so I’m at a loss for words.  I could blame the flashing “battery” signal on the scale, but that’s just an excuse.  I suck.

At slightly over 5 feet 10 inches tall, 169 lbs is a lot to carry on the tennis court.  Allen Iverson of the 76ers was my height (listed as 6 feet), but could easily dunk and weighed only 155 pounds for example.  Ever since that trip to India 11 years ago, my weight hasn’t fluctuated more than 4-7 pounds (162-169lbs).  But, now I’m dangerously close to breaking this 11 year record with all the crap I’ve been eating.  I feel guilty because in high school, I was a trim 150-155 lbs.  I also feel guilty because I’m disrespecting the poverty I witnessed in India and all around me.

I don’t accept mediocrity in my work, so why the hell do I accept being overweight and mediocre in my health?  Makes no sense at all.

MAN ON A MISSION TO LOSE WEIGHT

I don’t want to be another big blogger.  My field has a disproportionate amount of folks who can’t run 3 consecutive miles even if an angry three-legged bear was roaring after them.  As a result, I am swearing to myself and to all of you today that I will get in ideal shape in 2012.

So what is the ideal body weight for someone of my height with a mid-sized frame?  There are numerous amounts of calculators which determine what you should weigh.  Based on an average of four sites I checked out (healthstatus.com, halls.md, healthcentral.com, healthdiscovery.net), Healthdiscovery.net’s estimates look to be the most accurate and reasonable.  One site had a lower range of 129 lbs as a healthy weight for someone my height.  Maybe the starvation look is in?

As you can tell from the chart, at 169 lbs I’m about 6-18 lbs overweight for my medium size frame.  I’d like to think that because I have large quads due to tennis, I’m not that much overweight.  However, that’s just another stupid excuse!  It annoys me that for 11 years I thought that weighing 162-169 was a good weight.

After checking out all these sites, I now realize I’m just wrong and my doctor lied to me when he said I’m fine.  15% body fat is double where I was 20 years ago and is also at the high-end of the 8%-18% “acceptable” range.  Don’t coddle me like a western parent, doc!  I can handle the truth.

IDEAL BODY WEIGHT FOR MEN

Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame
5’2″ 128-134 131-141 138-150
5’3″ 130-136 133-143 140-153
5’4″ 132-138 135-145 142-156
5’5″ 134-140 137-148 144-160
5’6″ 136-142 139-151 146-164
5’7″ 138-145 142-154 149-168
5’8″ 140-148 145-157 152-172
5’9″ 142-151 151-163 155-176
5’10″ 144-154 151-163 158-180
5’11″ 146-157 154-166 161-184
6’0″ 149-160 157-170 164-188
6’1″ 152-164 160-174 168-192
6’2″ 155-168 165-178 172-197
6’3″ 158-172 167-182 176-202
6’4″ 162-176 171-187 181-207

IDEAL BODY WEIGHT FOR WOMEN

Height in Feet&Inches Small Frame Medium Frame Large Frame
4’10″ 102-111 109-121 118-131
4’11″ 103-113 111-123 120-134
5’0″ 104-115 113-126 122-137
5’1″ 106-118 115-129 125-140
5’2″ 108-121 118-132 128-143
5’3″ 111-124 121-135 131-147
5’4″ 114-127 124-138 134-151
5’5″ 117-130 127-141 137-155
5’6″ 120-133 130-144 140-159
5’7″ 123-136 133-147 143-163
5’8″ 126-139 136-150 146-167
5’9″ 129-142 139-153 149-170
5’10″ 132-145 142-156 152-173
5’11″ 135-148 145-159 155-176
6’0″ 138-151 148-162 158-179

Definition of medium-frame: Your middle finger and thumb just touch when you hold your wrist.  You are large-framed if your fingers do not touch.  You are small-framed if your fingers overlap.

MY WEIGHT LOSS GOAL AND HOW I’M GOING TO GET THERE

From today forward, my mission for 2012 is to get under 160 lbs and be firmly in the band of “ideal weight”.  I was ideal weight in high school, and almost 20 years later, I plan to be back there again.  For 11 years, I’ve been complacent in staying the same weight.  Well I am stupid and lazy for being so complacent.

Why the hell should I be proud of staying overweight for the past 11 years?  That is not an accomplishment at all!  That’s 11 years of mediocrity!  I haven’t pushed myself, except for being mindful of the starvation of others.  I need to do better and here’s how:

* For every two hours I spend online writing, I will spend 30 minutes exercising.  So long as I keep this 4:1 mental-to-physical ratio, I will at least not blow out.  I regularly am online 20 hours a week, therefore I will exercise 5 hours a week.  Simple as apple pie with vanilla ice cream on top.

* I will do 60 push-ups and 150 sit-ups for every basketball and football game I watch.  Watching sports is the worst for an athlete, because it’s a double negative.  Instead of playing sports ourselves, we’re rotting away our bodies and our minds.  It’s bad that I’m a college sports fanatic.

* I will eat more slowly to give my body time to know that I have eaten.  It takes 15-20 minutes for the body to know one is full.  Hence, that 15-20 minutes is a crucial period where one can overeat and gain a lot of weight.  The solution is to eat slowly and be mindful of everything I put in my mouth.

* I will eat vegetarian 40% of the time.  The system will either be 2 out of 5 meals a day vegetarian, or eat vegetarian 3 days a week.    With this mindset, I hope to then average 40% of the time eating vegetarian and more raw foods.  Eating vegetarian feels great, is good for digestion, and could very well be cheaper.  I will also consciously reduce dairy and sugar from my diet.

* I will stop gorging myself when I go out with clients for lunch and dinner!  When things are “free”, it’s easy to order the most expensive and highest caloric item on the menu!  This is partly why you don’t want to pay more taxes to the government, because they will spend your money unwisely.  Instead of thinking about the most delicious thing on the menu, I’ll consider the most delicious and healthiest items.  Perhaps items such as beet salad, mussels in white wine sauce, skinless chicken breasts, lamb chops instead of massive prime ribs, and so forth.

* I will play tennis 3 times a week on average for 2 hours each session.  This is automatic, as I’ve had this routine for 3 years.  I would play more, but I injured my elbow and shoulder.  Hence, a solution is to fix my injury so I can play 4 times a week.

YOUR WEIGHT AND YOUR HEALTH ARE IMPORTANT

I used to tell myself that I have more muscles now.  Bullshit.  I used to blame a slower metabolism on being heavier than normal.  Another lame excuse.  I used to tell myself that I’m healthier now.  Do do brown.  I am no longer delusional and am saying NO to weight creep.

157 pounds by 12/1/12 here I come.  That’s 11-12 pounds and roughly 7% of my current body weight I plan to lose this year.  The ideal body weight pisses me off because it’s so low.  In actuality, I’m just pissed off at myself for letting myself go.  Being overweight puts a burden on society, who ultimately pays for my extra health care costs through longer wait times and more expensive premiums.  But then again, maybe I will die earlier since I’m less healthy, thereby paying less in medical bills!  Optimist for life!

Who’s with me in no longer making excuses and getting down to the middle of the ideal body weight for 2012?

Photo: Me at 167.8 lbs after finishing up this post and eating lunch after tennis.  Lost 1.2 lbs, thanks to ferocious finger exercises, go figure!  But of course, am 170 lbs after coming home last night.  Stupid scale.

Recommendation:

I encourage everyone to shop around for health insurance, especially with the Affordable Care Act debacle that is not proving to be cheaper for many people. The internet has really helped lower the cost of insuring yourself and your family. eHealthInsurance has some of the lowest rates and best coverage due to its largest network online. They are based right here in the Bay Area, and I have met a number of their representatives.

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. MIGHTY says

    Though I don’t do it any longer, I used to be a very high level personal trainer. I’d be happy to help you with any additional information you need to reach this goal. No foolsies. No strings attached.

    Hit me up at mighty at funkmode dot com. Please don’t hesitate to ask. No obligation. Totally gratis. Glad to do it.

  2. Andrea says

    I think your charts just told me I need to lose weight, which coincided with what my jeans were telling me today. I’m supposed to be baring the bikini in Italy in July :/ I better get myself in gear, yowza

  3. leslie says

    The problem with the scale is that no one checks it until they are trying to lose weight. You need to know your body’s normal fluctuation first! Without doing anything out of the ordinary, my weight can easily fluctuate by 5lbs day-to-day! This doesn’t really mean that I’m gaining or losing a pound a day. I’d say learn your body first before trying to change it.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I believe that Leslie. Kind of like finance! We need to know what we are spending money on in order to optimize. The chart makes me mad, but in reality, I know it’s the truth, b/c I was 15 lbs lighter when I was in prime shape.

  4. Johnson says

    Bullshit! I’m 5.8 and the lowest I ever weighed was 156 and that was practically starving myself and working out everyday like nuts! Right now I’m 168 and if I could get down to 160 I’d look like a super model. I do lift weights but that makes you burn even more calories so I think you’re being too hard on yourself. Depends on body type. Do the mirror test. If you look good, you’re healthy as F!

  5. Eric Shun says

    I think the scales are a little light. I’m exactly 6 feet tall, small, or rather slim, frame, lean & toned. On “heavy” days I can barely make it to 160 lbs. That’s right at the top of the scale for my height and fame. But for 35 years people have been hounding me that I need to put on weight. I’m a good athlete, lift weights and bike or run daily; my exercise routine is 60 to 90 minutes, and I have done this routine for 30 years. I eat what I want when I want, but generally reasonably healthy.

    Since age 17, my weight has ranged between 155 and 165 lbs. I’m now 48.

    • Rob says

      Again genetics, I’ve gone from 177 age 24 to 260 at age 53 and guess what, I’ve reduced my portion size by some 50% over the last 10 years. I do snack on junk food but has always done that.

  6. Travis says

    I’m right at 6’0″. I was up over 180lbs in high school and normally ranged from 175-180lbs in college. Now I bounce between 158-162lbs, which puts me on the low end of the “medium frame.”

    A lot of people focus more on exercise and less on eating, which is the exact opposite of what they need to do. Cut out the sodas and junk food. Eat real food. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients in what you’re eating, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it. Would you like some Tert-Butylhydroquinone with those chicken nuggets? MMmmm, tasty.

    This year I had two surgeries — one in June and a follow-up in October — and even with all that downtime, I didn’t gain weight even though I eat enough to feed a small village. I still need to focus on turning some fat into muscle, but losing weight was incredibly easy as soon as I paid attention to what I was eating. I honestly started out at 175lbs and planned to stay that weight, but to convert the fat to muscle. However, as soon as I cut out the junk food, the weight came off without even trying. I actually had to increase my meal portions just to maintain my weight. My 17 year old self would have never believed losing weight was so easy. I guess drinking a 2-liter bottle of soda a day and eating fast food all the time back then didn’t help…

  7. Dan says

    Hey man..enjoy your posts – you’ve given me many good ideas that I have employed regarding personal finance. Just curious…what is your ntrp rating in tennis?

  8. Takoda says

    You are an inspiration dude. It’s like I’m reading my own mind when I read your blog posts…. except they’re written by someone who’s much more eloquent then myself. Thank you for putting so much of yourself on the internet for others like myself to take in and enjoy.

  9. Dr.Bombay says

    Frankly, this ‘ideal weight’ stuff reminds me of teenage (physically or mentally) girls worrying about ‘split ends’ of their hair, or that one zit on their forehead.
    In other words, lack of real problems make people obsessed with trivialities.

    Is your ‘weight’ causing you some health problems? By all means, solve that. But other than that, ‘ideal weight’ is probably just that hysteric teenage girl talking.

  10. Rob H. says

    Frankly.. I think the charts are bullshit. When I was in University, I was riding a bike 8 – 10 miles four days per week, and swimming a mile three days per week.. and was also on a very limited caloric intake (poverty, I think it’s called).. my weight, at 5’9″ – 171 lbs.. I was a freaking rock.

    Now – after many, many years, I was up to 248 four months ago and, yes, I was FAT.. I can tell the difference. Today I’m down to 213.. and still know I need to lose, I’m guessing, about 20 lbs to be, basically, healthy. That will have me at about 190 – 195.

    Oh.

    BTW.. in the last three years, I’ve completed four triathlons.. so, put less stock in these so-called “scientific” charts and consider where your blood pressure is, where your cholesterol is, what your resting heart rate is.. (all normal or below normal for me, even my current weight) and how active you are and how you “feel”.

    And throw the chart in the garbage.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Great to hear these charts piss you off as well! But I think if we are honest with ourselves, we realize we’ve still got more pounds to lose.

      How’s you find my article in the first place curious to know.

      Cheers

  11. Jeff says

    Be careful of “ideal weight” charts. Depending on age, they are not so ideal. For a young person they are fine, but as age progresses studies show that somewhat heavier people actually live longer than skinny people after adjusting for factors like smoking and various diseases that could cause lower body weight. The short version seems to be that heart disease is the number 1 killer and higher weight is a risk factor for it. But there are a lot of less common causes of death that collectively kill more people than heart disease and they tend to prey on skinny people.

  12. Kate says

    Tim Ferris’ 4 hour body. That’s all I have to say. Best book ever. I am a 5’7” small frame female lawyer. Was 145 within 4 years into big law firm life. 4 months after starting the 4 hour body and now I’m 125. Body looks amazing and can’t believe how big I looked earlier this year. I thought it was IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight. Crazy thing is that it wasn’t even hard to lose once I knew what to eat and had a plan to follow. Crazier thing was that at 145, I worked out way harder and, by normal standards, I ate healthy and low calorie. Now I eat more calories, work out less and have a way better body.

  13. Mike Hunt says

    Sam,

    What is you weight these days? I am still holding at 160 lbs with a 6’2″ medium frame. Life is good.

    -Mike

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