This was a dilemma for me in choosing my goal weight- I’ve been familiar with the “5 pounds for every inch over 100” guideline since I was a teenager and knew even then that 130 for 5’6 was considered a little too far on the average side, the implication being that women should aim for a little smaller than that. The fact is however, and one that I’ve tried to ignore for over 30 years that I am on the larger-framed side (wider shoulders and alas, calves) and that my ideal weight is actually closer to around 143. I will admit that I too, aim for lower than that to give myself a little breathing room but I also know that at 140, my face and smile look their best (it’s a little narrow below that) and I also look and feel just as fabulous 10 pounds more than I am now. Of course by the reverse token, women who are smaller-framed are advised that they should remove 10% from the established guideline, but some may prefer a more voluptuous (and equally gorgeous) 10 or so pounds over that. Basically, the guideline revolves around knowing where you look and feel your best and aiming for that, and your body will tell you where that is.
I spent the whole of my tween- and teenage years literally trying to shrink into myself, slumping to hide my wide shoulders and miserably wishing I was petite. When I was in the 9th grade a boy in my class called me “big”, even though I hadn’t gained any extra weight at that point and I’m certainly not an amazon- this only reinforced the sense that I was unattractive and that there was no hope for me of being “normal”. I then proceeded to spend the next 20 years taking “big” to a whole new level (this was on me, I certainly cannot give the insignificant remark of a cocky teenager that much credence), like a child breaking a toy they can’t have. How much time I wasted spiting and punishing myself for my perceived “defects”. These days, I’ve learned good how my wide shoulders look with my small ribcage and long torso, and my favorite feature is my long, slender arms. In other words: we all have something that stands out and makes us beautiful- honor and celebrate yours too 😉