How much should I weigh for optimal health? 5'5" female - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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How much should I weigh for optimal health? 5'5" female


I want to weigh what I feel my best at. My mental and physical health deteriorated to nothing when I was anorexic, but I decided to recover and have been gaining weight steadily since then.

My eating disorder happened before I finished maturing physically, so I don't know what weight I should be at for my age as a young adult woman. The ranges for my height are so broad.

The more weight I gain, the better I feel - I sleep better and feel a lot better overall! But I got sick and it absolutely is destroying me. My body goes into complete emergency mode if I so much as under-eat for one day. Right now I bounce around between 115 and 120 lbs; is that enough? Should I try to gain?

Btw, I don't have much body fat. I have an extremely active job and a lot of my weight is muscle. I'm on my feet, walking constantly, bending, and lifting for 8 hours per work day. I'm 5'5", 21 years old. Thanks.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:31 AM
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BMI isn't really a viable system to track how much someone should weigh, so I wouldn't bother too much with scales. As long as you're eating well and exercising regularly, your body should be healthy. You sound fine, btw
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:35 AM
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Really depends on your body structure. But 120 at 5'5 does sound healthy
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:37 AM
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110 if you want to be up to my standards. I'd settle for up to 120 though.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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110 if you want to be up to my standards. I'd settle for up to 120 though.
Yeah haha your standards are ridiculous if you think most girls can be healthy at 110 lbs unless they're shorter or have a very specific body type.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 02:53 AM
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120 seems fine off the top of my head. With the extra muscle you may still even be slightly thin. You're in a healthy range though. Seems fine.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 03:03 AM
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143.l (lbs)

We have this unofficial "rule" in my country. We use centimeters measuring height, and 5'5" = 155cm. Last two digits is the ideal weight in kgs. 55kgs = 143.1lbs.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 03:54 AM
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You should be around 117 - 130 pounds if you're a small framed female, so you're in the normal BMI range at your heaviest at least. So maybe try and eat more carbs and protein rich foods also, as well as healthy fats to boost calories more that you need for the active job. I used to be underweight myself and my energy levels crashed fast, but I was unfit as well so that's even worse.

Good luck in your recovery from anorexia too, it'll be an ongoing battle, so don't beat yourself up too much!

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 06:20 AM
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Around 125lbs is nice for that height IMO, but everyone wears their weight differently.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:16 AM
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I want to weigh what I feel my best at. My mental and physical health deteriorated to nothing when I was anorexic, but I decided to recover and have been gaining weight steadily since then.

My eating disorder happened before I finished maturing physically, so I don't know what weight I should be at for my age as a young adult woman. The ranges for my height are so broad.

The more weight I gain, the better I feel - I sleep better and feel a lot better overall! But I got sick and it absolutely is destroying me. My body goes into complete emergency mode if I so much as under-eat for one day. Right now I bounce around between 115 and 120 lbs; is that enough? Should I try to gain?

Btw, I don't have much body fat. I have an extremely active job and a lot of my weight is muscle. I'm on my feet, walking constantly, bending, and lifting for 8 hours per work day. I'm 5'5", 21 years old. Thanks.
110-150 lbs ish is the 'healthy weight' range according to the NHS (http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweigh...ght-chart.aspx)

But, as you don't have much body fat as you say, and you suffered from anorexia, perhaps you want to aim for the upper of the range - certainly if you feel better at a higher weight in this range then go for that. But I wouldn't sweat it much if you are within that range, as worrying too much about weight is probably something you want to avoid I suspect
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 08:03 AM
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110-150 lbs ish is the 'healthy weight' range according to the NHS (http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweigh...ght-chart.aspx)
110!? Are you kidding!? That is underweight, according to the BMI calculator here in the U.S. I'm 5'5 and in the 115-119 range, I look sick and people aren't shy about telling me so. I'm just now up to 119 and still look underweight.

As for the OP-I'm not sure where you fall on the frame scale and I've no experience with eating disorders (so I tread lightly here). But I can relate to having a physically taxing job. My recommendation would be to try to get as much protein into your diet as possible. This is actually harder done than said, but I find protein shakes really help. When I worked as a therapist at a massage school, it was incredibly taxing; I would often eat eggs and whole grain toast with butter in the mornings, a protein shake mid-morning, and usually a big salad with chicken at lunch (and sometimes an additional protein shake after that). With dinner, again, I made sure to include more protein. It was impossible to put on weight at the pace and intensity I was working, but it kept my energy levels up and helped to preserve muscle mass.

If it at possible, I would try to gain-as you pointed out, we have a pretty wide range for what's considered healthy for our height. You stated that you feel better when you are at a higher weight-that alone should be motivation enough. But coupled with your taxing job and tendency to drop weight-that's all the more reason to try gain, if possible.

You might also consider supplementing B vitamins (especially B12) to keep your energy levels up as well.

EDIT: And...I see that you are either Vegan or Vegetarian...which makes B12 and protein all the more crucial. I don't know if you eat eggs or consume milk products, but if not, there are in fact pea-based protein powders. Might be worth trying...
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 10:59 AM
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@tieffers - I'm glad to hear you talk about your ED in the past tense Well done!

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:35 AM
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110!? Are you kidding!? That is underweight, according to the BMI calculator here in the U.S. I'm 5'5 and in the 115-119 range, I look sick and people aren't shy about telling me so. I'm just now up to 119 and still look underweight.
Its the start of the 'healthy weight' range according to the NHS (I don't work for them ). Like I say, given what the OP says about her body fat and previous anorexia I would suggest the upper half of the range.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 05:48 PM
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I'm about your height, 121 pounds, and trying to gain some weight. I'm not sure what you mean by "emergency mode," but when I undereat I get really hungry, cold, and weak. I think I'd look and feel better at around 125-130.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 06:48 PM
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Its the start of the 'healthy weight' range according to the NHS (I don't work for them )
I understand I just couldn't believe that 110 was considered within healthy range! Even for a small-boned person...

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when I undereat I get really hungry, cold, and weak. I think I'd look and feel better at around 125-130.
I, too, feel and look better within that range, with 130 being optimal.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 06:59 PM
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:01 PM
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110 if you want to be up to my standards. I'd settle for up to 120 though.
She's already too hot for you bud.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:05 PM
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120-130lb
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:19 PM
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I understand I just couldn't believe that 110 was considered within healthy range! Even for a small-boned person...
Ah ok, I misinterpreted your post a little sry
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 08:14 PM
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She's already too hot for you bud.
You don't even know what I can do bud.
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