26 answers

Am I Really Overweight or Is It Just in My Mind?

I am 48 years old. I am 5'4" and weigh 170 - 175. Everytime I look in the mirror, I think I am overweight. When I married my husband 20 years ago, I weighed 110. I noticed that I gained every January that I had gained 5 pounds from the previous year. I am very healthy but not very physically active. I have been more aware of my diet over the past few years.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for the great and varied responses! The family helped me pick out new tennis shoes and we have been going to the mall to walk as often as possible. Hubby likes to do that with me and I feel lucky there. Also, I have been making a lot of fitness drinks instead of meals. I weighed at the doctor's office yesterday and I am down to 169 pounds! Thanks again for all the support and encouragement!!!

Featured Answers

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A very general guideline for women and their weight is at 5' they should be 100 lbs. For every additional inch you add 5 lbs. So at 5'4" you should be approx. 120 lbs. Again, this is a very general guideline, but if you used to weigh 110 then it's probably a pretty reasonable expectation to shoot for about 120 lbs. A book that has really taught me a lot about taking care of myself physically through both diet and exercise is "Body for Life" by Bill Phillips. Good luck!


I am a 37 years old, 5'2 1/2" and weigh about 138 (a good size 8). I was hoping that seeing a range might help...

Best wishes.

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You can go and visit some web sites that will tell you what is a good weight for you by just keying in your age and height. I like www.prevention.com. I read an article that stated many women are very healthy but that they are still at risk for obesity. If you are getting more concerned about your weight issues start off by doing some light activity such as walking. I love to use Leslie Sanson's videos. She has people of all different ages on them and she's so talkative and energectic. Remember you have to like what you see when you look in the mirror. Embrace the woman you are now and see the woman that you want to become, as far as your body is concerned. Good luck!

Unfortunately yes, you are overweight. I am too, and actually consider my perfect weight to be 170, but I'm 5'8" and even then 170 for me is considered overweight by about 10-14 lbs. You can find weight chart guidelines online in a bunch of different places or at your doctor's office. The chart will list what you're supposed to weight for your age and frame-size and height. You probably are starting menopause, but being overweight can make you feel hotter.

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I am almost 5'10" and weigh 173lbs. and my doctor said that I was borerline overweight. I think the key is doing some sort of physical activity which I have tried to start lately. Watching what you eat is great but, that alone will not completely help with weight loss.

It sounds like you are overweight based on your height and previous weight. Perhaps you should make an appt with your doctor- OBGYN or primary care- and decide on the ideal weight for your height and frame.

I am in my mid 40's, 5' 3" and weigh now....180!!

My norm is 120 - 125.

I am in denial.

I'm FAT!!


I think to be healthy I should be around 130 - 140.

Perhaps we should both drop 20lbs and see if we FEEL better!


I am a 37 years old, 5'2 1/2" and weigh about 138 (a good size 8). I was hoping that seeing a range might help...

Best wishes.

Through the scale out. If you feel good and you are healthy and you are eating a good diet...what difference does it make what the scale reads? I am the same size as you...you are not alone. I eat healthy, but I have always had a slow metabolism. I think the suggestion to stop eating processed foods, no fast food, no fried food, read the ingredients so you know what you are putting in your body. If you are not happy then that is a different story. I think menopause affects how you are feeling about yourself. When the weather changes, start walking. You sound like you have a good family, you are healthy, just find your happy place...it still is there, just hiding. Be patient and be good to yourself. Look at your body and love it. I look in the mirror naked and say, "I love my body, I love my stomach, I love my legs,...". LOVE YOURSELF.

We are in the same boat! I too was much thinner when I married my husband almost 9 years ago. Now I am 5'2" and weigh 152 when I am not pregnant (which I am right now so I can't do much about it at the present). I seem to remember reading an article on weight management for women through the years. It said that when a woman reaches her 40's that exercise is an absolute MUST in order to lose weight and maintain an ideal weight. I know that in the past I have been able to cut back on certain foods or change what I ate and easily lose weight. But the last couple of times I tried this, NOTHING! I am a total slug when it comes to exercise, although I don't think I am too terribly out of shape (I am not panting just from walking out to my mailbox, that kind of thing) and all of my vitals show me in tip top shape, no health issues at all. But I think I need to really make a concerted effort to work out. It doesn't help that I will have four really small kids (all under 7) by the time this baby is born. I don't know if you have the same issues as me, but maybe you can convince your spouse to be your buddy in this respect or even get a group together to be sort of an exercise club, to go walking or biking or some such thing with. I'd really love to do this but all the women I know work during the day and my husband comes home so late at night, we really need to work something out. Just something to think about. And to let you know you're not alone!

A very general guideline for women and their weight is at 5' they should be 100 lbs. For every additional inch you add 5 lbs. So at 5'4" you should be approx. 120 lbs. Again, this is a very general guideline, but if you used to weigh 110 then it's probably a pretty reasonable expectation to shoot for about 120 lbs. A book that has really taught me a lot about taking care of myself physically through both diet and exercise is "Body for Life" by Bill Phillips. Good luck!

Yes you are FAT and so am I. I'm 40 , 5'2 and weigh between 155-160. About a month and a half ago I weighed 174. I spoke with my doctor who put me on a diet plan, diet pills and exercise routine. I gave up bread, meat for Lent and I increased my water intake. I also bought a 20lb vest and take a 20 minute walk a day and I feel great!!! I also pulled out the old chart and started writing down what I eat and how many caleries, sugar and carbs I consume which helps me be more aware of what I'm eating. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor. Do a little research on (B12 shots!!!)

I would suggest that you visit Weight Watchers and get their guidance. I am 5' 6" and currently weigh 175 and I am considered overweight. I've also gained weight but it is from stress and have rejoined Weight Watchers.

Here is a link to a BMI calculator. http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,8458...#
If you enter your information you will see that you have a BMI of between 29.2 and 30 depending on which weight you enter (you said between 170 and 175). The range for "overweight" is 25 to 29.9 and the range for "obese" is 30 and up.

C., I would recommend you get the series of books by Dr. Mehmet Oz: You, The Owners Manual, You on a Diet and You Staying Young. You will learn a lot about what makes a person "healthy" and how you can improve your health. The suggestions are life changing but simple. I have used these books myself over the past several years, having been introduced to them by watching Dr. Oz on Oprah. I've lost 70 pounds which makes me look better, but the real plus is that I FEEL better. These books are all available at the Forsyth County Library if you want to try before you buy. You can also get deeply discounted copies through half.com. Hope this helps, S.

Female Height to Weight Ratio
Height 5'4
Low Weight 114
Target Weight 133
High Weight 152

If you really feel unsure of your weight, at your next yearly check up ask the doctor what the average weight for someone your height and age is. Then ask if they could check the percentage of your body fat and tell you what it should be. If those two check out fine, then you shouldn't worry. I found that as long as I do some sort of physical exercise at least 2 or 3 times a week, I feel a lot better about myself. I have recently lost 80 pounds but have come to a stand still at 189-192 pounds, it fluctuates. I am 27 years old and stand 5'8" and I should be 145 pounds. I get my body fat measured every other month, and as long as that continues to get better I feel good. If I gain only three pounds a year for the next 20 years, I will be happy. I hope you start to feel better about yourself.

It's those sneaky pounds that add up easily...'ah, it's only 5 lbs more than last year...' but year after year you see the difference. I read an article about this which really stood out in my mind...if I let those extra 5 lbs add up each year, in 5 years I'd be 25 lbs heavier, in 10 years 50 lbs heavier. And, the crazy thing is 5 lbs is something easy to manage, it's trying to lose the 25-50 lbs that is the challenge.

I've started walking in my neigborhood and notice the difference when I have crazy weeks and cannot fit in my walks for 4-5 days at a stretch...I need that extra activity. At one point I was consistently doing them 3-5 days per week (when I didn't have as much going on) and varying the lenths of the walks between 2-4 miles (we have a lot of hills that add resistence which is good too) and I started to actually lose a few and noticed more that I could fit into things I couldn't a few weeks prior. I'm upwards of 150 and 5'3" so I'm heavy for my frame...130-135 is ideal for me. Start with some small activity and increase it every week or so. Don't overdue it because you won't enjoy it and then won't keep with it. Don't get too monotonous...do something different each time. You won't get bored with the activity and your body will actually respond better to the variations. Journals are a great way to start analyzing your own behaviors and seeing where your bad habits occur...try it for a week, note all of your eating habits, times, amounts, etc along with what you are doing at the time. I did this once and realized that I'd been adding sugar to my coffee and tea, which was something I never did previously...when I looked at the pages and realized I was consuming 5-6 teaspoons of sugar a day just in the coffee or tea I was drinking, I knew that was one habit I could easily ditch. Know that you will not see results until you start changing what you are doing today. Good Luck! You can do it! =) ~A.

Here is a great little quiz to determine what your weight should be.

1. Multiply your height in inches by itself ( for example if you are 5'8" then it would be 68x68) and then by 0.031.

This will give you your weight at BMI 22, which is right in the middle of the 'healthy' range and is a good starting point

2. If you have a small frame, multiply the number by 0.95. If you have a medium frame, leave the number as is. If you have a large frame, multiply the number by 1.05

To find what 'frame' you fit into, measure your wrist:
If you are under 5'2" - <5.5", small; 5.5-5.75", medium; >5.75", large.

If you are 5'2"-5'5" - <6", small; 6-6.25", medium; >6.25", large.

If you are over 5'5" - <6.25", small; 6.25-6.5", medium; >6.5", large.

3. Add 1 pound if a sibling or parent is obese.

4. Add 2 pounds for each decade you are over 20.

5. Add 5 pounds if you've had children.

6. Subtract 1 pound if you exercise and weight train once a week, subtract 2 if you do it 3 times a week, subtract 3 pounds for five or more times a week.

7. Add four pounds if you smoked at least a pack a day for a year or more and have quit.

8. Add one pound if you allow yourself a treat now and then.

You know, overweight is really something that should be determined by your state of health. Are you able to walk up and down stairs without losing your breath and feeling your heart race? Can you play with your dog without sweating and feeling light-headed? Are you comfortable in your body, and do you like what you see in the mirror? Personally, I would set out to drop at least 50lbs by eating whole grains and limiting fats and perhaps making a daily brisk walk part of my routine. You are only 48, so definately get into shape and enjoy a few more years of being hot! Go for it. Oh, and for heaven's sake do not spend your money on slimming products!!!! Get your heart pumping, limit fats, and avoid soft drinks like the Plague. The energy will come to you as you drop the weight bit by bit. You do not need to put any of that synthetic junk in your body that your metabolism really does not know what to do with anway.

This website (I just found) looks great. http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/body.htm It uses your height, weight, gender, and age and shows the weight that others in your category consider ideal as well as what is medically recommended. In your case, 140 is considered "ideal" and up to 146 is medically recommended. It also notes, "Women tend to imagine their ideal weight is unrealistically low, so they diet unnecessarily. Men tend to allow their ideal weight to be higher than medically recommended. Men and women should learn from each other. Set a realistic "Ideal Weight" goal for your body. Try to Feel Good about yourself even if you are overweight."
The most important thing is for you to feel good about yourself and be realistic. Try noticing your eyes and smile next time you look in the mirror rather than focusing on your weight. Then, work to lose weight in a healthy way. Could you find ways to be more physically active? Even if you don't lose weight, you will feel better physically and feel better about yourself. You will also have fewer health problems as you age. Recognize your good traits and qualities and don't obsess about your weight; that is not good for you mentally and could even lead to eating disorders. Flylady.net has some great resources, including "Bless Your Heart" and "Body Clutter" (way at the bottom of Flylady.net home page) as well as lots of ways to feel motivated and good about yourself.

Hi again C. :),

Whether you are overweight or not is not a critical issue unless you are unhealthy. Now that I've said that....if you are consistently gaining 5 pounds a year, something is imbalanced in your body so you may not be as healthy as you think you are.

Just because you have no "medical" conditions doesn't mean your body is working right. Menopause can be a tell-tell sign of whether you are healthy or not. A strong immune system and supplementation can balance health and we see differences in our appearance. When our body is truly balanced, it will not keep weight on that is not supposed to be there. My husband lost 110 pounds just by taking a good absorbable multivitamin and mineral. He did not change his eating habits or his activity level until he had lost 60 pounds. That proves to me that until he started the vitamin regimen, all things weren't working the way they should.

I'll be glad to share more if you're interested. Let me know!



P.S. I forgot to tell you in your last request that when I started taking the natural supplement for menopause I dropped 10 pounds...

I am 40 and have during the Fall and holidays added 10 lbs to make me 5'5 and 162. I must say that I am definitely overweight! I was never as small as you were, but was about 125 when I got married. At this point I'm aiming for 140 as a weight goal. I have started going to the gym 4-5 times/week, but don't see any weight loss yet. I feel more energy and expect some results eventually.
Good luck to you - you are not alone!

I am the same height and I am 122pounds and was as small as 110-115 when I married 10 years ago. I have three boys so I know it can be hard but you should, for yourself, get some exercise. We don't eat much fast food. I cook healthy, not processed foods and I workout avidly (run, yoga, cycling, etc.) It clears my mind, lets me eat sweets and just helps me all around. You are overweight and your BMI (Body Mass Index) would show that but you can do small things to help you get to a normal weight (120-140). If you need encouragement just let me know!

Or you could just type in BMI and some sites go by your age and weight and will tell you what yu bmi should be for your height and age.

Hi C.,

I am 5'9 and the US Surgeon General says I should weigh 150. I think the best thing you can do is ask your doctor specifically what your target weight should be given hour height and your build (small bone, large bone, etc.) Also as you age it is very important to know what your body fat percentage is. That to me is more important than your weight in lbs. I am 47 and I know that once I turned 40 I started gaining weight even when I watched what I ate. The hormonal changes of menopause cause us to start carrying weight around our middle, which is the most dangerous. I have been battling that for the last 5 years. We also lose muscle tone which is very important for our later years to prevent broken bones. There is a great book that has been out for 10 years or so titled Smart Women Stay Young. It is about building muscle tone and proper nutrition as we age. Any bookstore has it.

Good luck!

Hi C.,

I would recommend exercising! You will be surprised at how much you can lose that way, especially since you are gaining 5 pds each year. Were you too think when you were married? Set your goal and start with that. If you are interested in weight loss products I have some excellent ones that are natural, chemical/dry/artificial sweetner free, and they are botanically based. The line includes an new energy drink that doubled my husband's workout so that may be what you need to get going on the exercise! It also has protein shakes, chews and fiber shakes, that may help adjust your diet so you can lose weight in a healthy way. Let me know and I can send you information on my products so you can see the ingredients, etc.
Hope I can help!

If your interested in a diet and fitness program you should try Trim Advantage. Here is a web site to check it out: http://adelmolino.qhealthbeauty.com/Default.aspx
Here is a little information from the web site:
XS™ Power Nutrition features fuel and tools to take you beyond. XS features sports nutrition products in the form of XS Energy Bars and XS Sports Drinks. Trim Advantage ® nutritional support for balanced weight and good health –including protein bars, meal replacements bars and shakes, and other weight-loss tools and services.

We all put on weight as to if your fat or not will that depends on your view of yourself and if your happy with yourself.
I hope you have an awesome and blessed day,


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