Mika: I'm not afraid to talk about my weight — and you shouldn't be either

"Don’t have a private war with the number on the scale," the "Morning Joe" co-host and Know Your Value founder advises. "I weigh 149 pounds. I'm proud of it. And I own it."
Know Your Value founder and "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski.
Know Your Value founder and "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski.Courtesy of Mika Brzezinski

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By Mika Brzezinski

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!

Upon seeing the number on the scale, Brzezinski proudly told herself, "This is my weight, and this is who I am at 52. I like it, and I'm owning it."Courtesy of Mika Brzezinski

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.”

RELATED: Mika: My lifelong struggle with sugar

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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.

RELATED: Mika on body image: ‘I’m no longer a slave to outside expectations’

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.