I often don't remember to weigh myself. Mostly, it's because I'm busy and distracted, co-hosting “Morning Joe,” doing all things Know Your Value and spending time with my family. As a result, until recently, I hadn’t stepped on a scale in more than a year.
I got on one a few weeks ago, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head. At 5 feet 6 inches tall and a size 4 or 6, I assumed I was my typical 135 pounds. Much to my surprise, the number was just shy of 150 pounds.
I had gained 15 pounds without really realizing it.
For a second, I wondered if that was OK. Then, I checked myself. Of course it is!
I evaluated my lifestyle. I exercise, eat healthy and have significantly cut back on sugar, which as you may know, is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life. It’s a journey I detail in my book “Obsessed.”
Aside from my lifestyle, how I feel about myself also matters. And the truth is, yes, I may have gained some weight. But I like what I see in the mirror. I like the way my clothes fit. I feel good about me.
So after seeing that number on the scale, I took a deep breath and re-evaluated my initial response. I then proudly told myself: “This is my weight, and this is who I am at 52. I like it, and I'm owning it."
But it did make me wonder how important the number I see on the scale really is. That’s why I turned to “Morning Joe” medical contributor Dr. Dave Campbell.
Dr. Campbell put my mind at ease. He assured me that my BMI is in a normal range, adding that as a person who regularly exercises in my 50s and pays attention to eating nutritious foods that I’m “a picture of health and fitness.”
I was glad to hear that, because as you may know, I've struggled with body image, as many women on television do.
Dr. Campbell also told me that women should “strive for a body weight that works for them. Like age, weight is just a number ... Just keep moving.”
Of course, women should speak to their own doctors about their particular circumstances — and it’s important to note that being significantly overweight can have serious health complications. But in cases like mine, I’ve learned my extra weight gain especially for a woman in her 50s is nothing to lose sleep over.
“Daily exercise and a nutritious diet, while avoiding tobacco and minimizing alcohol is the formula to stave off the inevitable effects of aging. Age is just a number. Good health and fitness are the result of hard work,” said Dr. Campbell.
I also turned to NBC News health and nutrition editor Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom to sound off on some of the biggest myths about weight. You can read more about that here.
I wish I would have followed this advice a long time ago, but let me share it with you now: Don’t give yourself ridiculous, unreachable goals regarding your weight.
Don’t have a private war with the number on the scale. I weigh 149 pounds. I'm proud of it. And I own it. Don't worry too much about your number on the scale. Just be concerned with how you feel.
Join me. Let’s talk about our weight. I want to hear what your number is and what your struggles are. Let’s talk about it and help each other.