Help with Weight Issues

Updated on February 03, 2012
C.D. asks from Saint Louis, MO
7 answers

I have a two part question but I will give some background information first.
I am in my mid-thirties and look under weight and unhealthy. I used to play soccer, work out, and jog a few times a week. I got a very bad back injury in 1999 that required 3 back surgeries, the last one was in 2002. I have chronic pain and have to take medicine daily. At one point many year ago I was very depressed and I didn't do anything but watch tv all day or read. I was at my heaviest weight then at 145lbs. I am 5'5 tall. I got my act together and was down to about 130lbs when I got pregnant with my daughter. I gained 22lbs while pregnant but lost it all and then some due to sleepless nights and collic.
I usually loose weight in the winter and gain some muscle in the summer because I can't handle cold weather at all. I am still able to walk with my 3 year old daughter and play a bit with her In the yard but if I do much more than that I will pay for too much activity for days. I do not eat properly but I get plenty of protein daily. I take a vitamin every day.
I am currently 5'5 and 118lbs after loosing 3lbs unintentionallyin 9 days. My face is very thin and it has caused me to look 15 year older since I had my daughter not quite 4 years ago.
My first question is how much should a normal stature woman weigh at 5'5?
My second question is how do I gain the right kind of weight without just eating a ton of junk food or something else unhealthy?
I am a very picky eater. I eat protein, carbs, very few veggies, and fruits.

I typed this on my phone so any mistakes may or may not be mine.

Thank you for any advise you may offer.
To all of you who have a few pounds to loose, the grass isn't always greener on my side of the fence.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone who answered my questions. I do worry about gaining weight in all the wrong places. I have a very skewed perception of my weight. If I were to the store to buy clothes without trying them on I would get a large shirt and a size eight pants. The smallest size pants I buy is a size 6. They are most of the time too big. Other than a little bit of saddle bags and a somewhat flabby butt I look like a 14 year old boy. My husband loved my body when I was pregnant but I never looked more than 4 months pregnant through the whole pregnancy. I was tested for Ciliac disease a few months ago when I had my gall bladder removed but I never was told the results. I was only to that it "looked" like I have it. I don't normally see the doctor that I saw in the hospital so I don't know how to find out for sure what the upper GI results were.

More Answers



answers from Raleigh on

Bread, bread, and more bread. I have been thin my whole life (genetics). To put on weight when I was young (because I was really skinny then), I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (my favorite). Bread sticks to the bones. I am now 5'6 and 128 lbs, and happy with that.
Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think you should see the dr first to make sure you don't have a thyroid problem, anemia or any other medical issues. S/he'd probably also be a good resource for telling you what to eat to gain weight in a healthy fashion. Having said that, you should eat more veggies and fruits just to be healthier - these won't really make you gain weight but it'll give you vitamins and make you prettier on the inside :) As for the outside, if you eat carbs - great! That's your best bet. Just be sure to choose whole grains rather than processed white so that you can get nutrients along with teh extra calories. (i.e. whole grain bread, whole grain crackers like wheat thins), you can also munch on healthy things like low-fat cheese, low-fat dairy, hummus and pita, avocados (lots of good fat!), etc. Use good oils like olive oil. If you eat well and nourish your body, you body will naturally settle at what's a healthy weight for you. It's more important how you feel than what you look like so exercise, eat right and your body will do the rest. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Your BMI is in the healthy, normal range. I am 5'7" and the online bmi calculator said a healthy weight for me is between 118 - 159. I just lost 6lbs and would still like to loose another 9 to be 125lbs. Check out BMI calculators online.
Also, are you weighing yourself at the same time everyday? I weigh 2lbs more at night than I do in the morning. My weight also fluctuates depending on where I am in my cycle.
If you want to gain weight in a healthy way try eating nuts or making yourself a protein shake with a banana and whole milk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Have you seen a doctor for this? Maybe you should rule-out a metabolic problem - thyroid disease, etc. Could you be anemic? Is it possible you are still struggling with depression? Do you have body image issues?

Otherwise, what about adding more dairy? Whole milk? Smoothies made with whole milk, yogurt, fruit? Weight-gainer shakes? Ensure?

If you know you don't eat properly, why is that? Are you afraid of gaining weight? Fruits and veggies won't necessarily add a lot of calories, but they are a better source of vitamins and antioxidants than just take vitamins?

Google "Body Mass Index" (BMI) for a calculator that can tell you what your BMI is based on height and weight, and from there you can figure out what it should be.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am incredibly petite...always have been. Likely always will be. Here is what my Dr. told me, when you have a naturally small frame, it's body fat that counts. I am 5'4 and 100 pounds (although, I look like I weight more then that), but my body fat is totally healthy. I might be thin weight-wise, but the proportions and levels of fat in my body are not. I am healthy as far as iron counts, blood pressure, hormones, thyroid, etc. My dr. has never worried about me, because my build is so slight, and my bad fat and levels are so healthy. Now, I don't LOOK unhealthy. I don't look gaunt, and most people would never now I weigh 100 pounds unless I told them. (In fact, people don't believe it. You say you LOOK unhealthy. Your face looks old. I think it calls for getting your body looked at. Things like iron, body fat, thyroid, adrenal glands, hormones, etc.

Also, there is NO normal with weight. On some frames 118 is dangerously skinny, on other it's totally healthy. Weight only matters when your overall health suffers. On my frame 118 would be far too much, on others, it would be scary. Don't worry about the scale, worry about your HEALTH. I'm getting that you don't feel healthy, and that likely has something to do with your body not working correctly in some way...not as much to do with your weight.

As far as foods, GOOD fats are your friend! Avocados, olive oil, salmon, buts, omega 3 fats. (You can take a supplement.) I am someone who NEEDS protein, so I eat proteins for snacks. Eggs, cheese, yogurt, avocados, etc.

DO NOT RELY ON BMI. Many, many doctors will tell you it's a terrible indicator of health. My BMI would be underweight, but my fats are not. BMI is incredibly inaccurate. When you have something that tells every body must fit into this one little's not going to be an accurate assessment. Just because your BMI says something, does not mean that's what you should be. My Dr. said I'm one of the healthiest patients she's ever had, if she relied on BMI, I'd be packing on the pounds...which is not healthy for my tiny frame.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

For someone 5'5, you are much too thin. What your weight "should" be depends on your frame. I am 5'8 and am 170 lbs. I am not fat at all. I have a larger frame and most people would agree that I have an attractive, feminine figure. For someone with a small frame, my weight would be seriously fat. For an average woman of your height, you should weight between 135-155. So, like a size 6-10. The main issue is, you don't feel good. You do want to eat more carbs, eat cheese, avocados, nuts, and add healthy oils like olive oil to your food. I would not be afraid to have some cream sauces either assuming your cholesteral is ok. Also, roasted veggies taste great and so does fruit this time of year. Good luck!

I agree...BMI is not a good indicator at all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

It definitely depends on your frame. I am 5'4 and weigh between 116-119. I work out daily but do not diet other than the fact that I don't eat fast food or drink soda. I am pretty satisfied with my weight but only because I have gained muscle. If I didn't have muscle I would need to weigh about 112-115 . Anytime I get close to 120 I don't feel good and my clothes are tight. It's really about if you are eating good and exercising. I personally am small and do not think it looks good to have much fat. If you work out you will feel better about yourself. It has made me feel amazing. My weight has been about the same but everything looks better and othes fit better. I usually wear a size 2 and don't think I am too small

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