[Never Say Diet] Why Telling Everyone Your Weight Might Rock


iVillage Never Say Diet body image Virginia Sole-Smith weight secrecyEven though, I know, you just got all horrified and squirmy when you read that subject line. Don’t get me wrong, I still worry that bathroom scales are mostly used for evil. But how is it any better when women keep that information a deep dark secret — even from themselves? Either way, you’re letting that scale define your business instead of saying “yup, that’s what I weigh, and that’s just one of approximately two million interesting things about me.”

So for the record: I weigh 157-ish pounds. And I’m 5’5″ tall. Right now. (I mean, I could always grow.)

But the more interesting things: I am learning to ride a bike (yes, at the age of 30). I’m at war with the groundhog who keeps eating my vegetable garden. My husband and I just got an inflatable kayak that we paddle around in the creek by our house while all the fancier kayakers in real kayaks zoom by us and probably giggle. We have named it “The Yacht.”

Your turn: Anyone brave enough to post their weight and some other fun facts about them to help prove this point? Do it anonymously if you need to ease into the idea. I’m not trying to out anyone. Just curious to see what happens when we take the powerful oh my God, nobody can know this about me! stigma away from that number.

I feel a little nervous. But also more free! Yay.

Oh and for more on all of this, be sure to check out today’s Never Say Diet post, which was inspired by this awesome XOJane post and the equally awesome My Body Gallery Project.



Filed under Never Say Diet

54 responses to “[Never Say Diet] Why Telling Everyone Your Weight Might Rock

  1. I am 5’2″ and weigh 140 lbs. I also am a natural redhead, have parachuted out of a plane for charity and am really good at anthropomorphising cuddly toys in a convincing manner. OUT AND PROUD!!!

  2. Iwnrtfp01

    I’m 5’4″, and I weigh 175lbs. I wear a size 14.

    I’m a writer and I’m making a quilt as a wedding present for two of my close friends. I love animals and right now we’re fostering 7 for the Humane Society (mama and 5 kittens, + 1 adult dog). I do yoga three times a week, and zumba twice a week. I walk dogs at the animal shelter every Friday. I don’t worry about my weight, because I know that I am healthy and strong.

    I do think we need to share our weights with others, just as a point of reference. I have a friend at the gym who is trying to lose weight. I told her last week that I don’t worry about losing weight. She said, “of course not, you don’t need to!” I said that I was technically obese, according to BMI standards. Then I told her what I weigh. She didn’t believe me. We have this strict and unrealistic expectation of what a healthy weight looks like. It’s time to shatter that preconception.

    • Ahhh… I love that story. I’ve had friends who were MUCH smaller than me say the same thing (while bemoaning their own thighs). Why can’t we be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends?

      Also, your friends are going to LOVE that quilt.

  3. I too am 5’2” and 140 lbs. I just finished up my student teaching internship (with the best bunch of tenth graders with mild learning disabilities EVAR) and got my BA in English and BS in Integrated Language Arts.

  4. JessC

    I am 5’7″ and weigh about 127lbs. I also wear a size 9. I am the optical illusion that proves that size and weight aren’t entirely connected.

    I intend to put on about 5lbs of muscle that an injury earlier this year cost me, and I look forward to feeling heavier and the strength that comes with it.

    Things more interesting than the wide skinny butt I proudly sit on: I am immensely curly-headed. I am a burlesque revivalist (on and offstage). I am a Master’s degree dilettante. I am supercrafty and love to make gifts rather than buy them. I just met my (likely) future in-laws for the first time. His mom gave me some of her pottery for housewarming gifts and I promised her handknit socks for Christmas. I’m going to follow through on that.

  5. I’m 5’9″, I weigh 136 pounds according to my gynecologist, and my clothes don’t fit me the same way as they did last year.

    Other things about me: I feel like shit today. I know how to make pickles. I sing mantras to myself in the shower every morning. I once was almost-arrested at a Canadian parliament session when we walking in in t-shirts that spelled out STOP THE SEAL KILL, but I really only went because someone I had a gigantic crush on was going (not that I’m PRO seal killing, just sayin). I edit for a living and out of passion. I smile at strangers a lot (when I’m not feeling like shit).

    • I hope that knowing how to make pickles makes you feel less like shit today! That is awesome. I’ve never canned anything, and I’m sort of scared to do so, but I want to make pickles.

  6. I’m 5’4″ and yesterday at the doc’s office, I weighed 214 lbs. No matter what weight I’ve been (and I’ve been thin, fat, and everything in between), clothing has never fit me well. I take in foster puppies from our animal shelter even though I have three shelter dogs I’ve adopted (if they’re too young to spay, the alternative is euthanization), I speak 3 languages (two badly, but still), have written a book, sing loudly in my car. have had more than 60 random people from other countries couchsurf with me, love to travel (next trip: Germany this October), am pretty good at making stuffed toys, mom of two lovely grown children, got married for the second time on Halloween (in costume, no less), and work in healthcare.

  7. I’m 5’8″ and 7 1/2 months pregnant, so I get weighed a LOT. I’m at about 160 right now, and it’s the heaviest I’ve been, but that’s what’s supposed to be. I love it. I want to swim all the time and let my belly float to the top. Too bad I live in Brooklyn.

    Other things: I write teen novels, I love Fiber One pop tarts, my favorite baby presents are the two homemade blankets friends made me and I’m buying my first apartment soon, which is freaking me OUT. Way more than my weight.

    Love this notion. Will share after-preg too!

  8. Laurin

    I’m 5’8″ (i think.. i’m from Australia and we think in metric here.. I’m 173 cm) and am not sure how much I weigh.. I don’t own scales anymore. Part of me trying to build healthier habits. If i have them, i focus on the number and a whole bunch of yuck follows from that. I suspect I’m about 90kg (I think that’s about 180 pounds? I’m not sure). and I wear a size 12-14 Australian..

    other things about me. I’m a year into my PhD in social psychology (currently on leave trying to save money, but about to travel to Europe for a conference. so exciting!). I’m trying to do health at every size, and learning how to be imperfect.. I love belly dancing but haven’t been able to do it for a couple years because of an injury. I love love love baking. I am a baking geek! 😀 I love reading trashy novels and fantasy..
    I had short spiky hair for a long time after I shaved it off, raising money for ovarian cancer, and love wearing big dangly earrings with it (although it’s not *all* short and spiky anymore).
    I ♥ rainbows.

  9. Lucy

    What a brilliant idea for a post.

    I’m 5’3 and I weigh 158 pounds. I’ve weighed the same, give or take 5 pounds, for 12 years. My body likes this weight.

    More interestingly, I sent the magazine I edit to press today. I am an enthusiastic, if disastrous mountain biker. I like to dress up when nobody’s looking – just for me, for fun – and then curl up on the sofa and read. I plan to buy my first ever bikini later this year – I haven’t been avoiding them out of body shame, but because I live in the UK, and really, what’s the point? But now I am going on holiday somewhere sunny, so this is my chance!

  10. Becca

    I’ll play – I’m 5’8″ and usually stay about 140. Currently I’m a bit more than 7 months pregnant too and I think I’m weighing closer to 165 right now. Last pregnancy I ended up at 180 by the time I delivered my daughter. I have been scolded twice by the doc for too quick weight gain this pregnancy which makes me feel bad in that moment, but it’s a snapshot number and instead I focus on growing this new little human (which neither the scale nor my doc is doing)
    I’m an at home mom, knitter and I am so happy that we’re back in fresh berry season!

  11. Janet

    Wow, some really skinny women here! I am 5’3″ and 140 pounds as age 53, so I think I look pretty good for my age. I don’t mind revealing my age or my weight and I am angry that beautiful women are encouraged to feel bad about normal weights and appearances.

  12. I’m 5’1 and weigh about 119 lbs. I don’t own a scale, so I only weigh at my mom’s house. I also have a food blog, two adorable cats, a beginner’s but quite productive garden, and I sang with my college choir at Carnegie Hall. I’m also trying to learn to be a runner, but the Texas heat is killing me!

  13. Pingback: 190 | This Is A Woman

  14. I loved this idea so much I wrote about it at This is a Woman. Hope it’s ok to share the link here.


  15. Bryana Edwards

    I am 4’11”, 23 years old, and weigh 113 lbs. I used to be 4’11”, 20 years old and weigh 212 lbs. But that doesn’t make me who I am. I’m a mom to 2 beautiful kids, I am working on getting my insurance license, I’m getting married in 10 days, my son just graduated from Kindergarten, my daughter turned 2 today, and we are moving in 9 days. I love who I am, not because of the scale that is in my bathroom that is more of a toy for my children than to show me “my number”.

  16. Michele

    I’m 5’5″ and currently 183 lbs and, watch out another not-supposed-to-tell-if you’re-female # coming at you, 46 years old! I wear a 14-16 and have never been comfortable in clothing- maybe because I never felt like I deserved nice things & always bought cheap clothes. I recently bought a few nice bras and 10 pairs of VS panties that I love. It’s a start. My daughter is 6 and was recently weighed & measured at school, the results of which were sent to me in a letter that says her BMI is 17.5 and she’s “overweight.” The whole thing makes me want to hurt people. When I was a teenager my dad said that I would never be “skinny” and he was one of the nicer adults in my life- I guess he thought he was doing me a favor. I want better for my daughter, no matter what size she grows up to be.

  17. I am 5’6″ and 211lbs. I am so far the heaviest one who has replied, but that doesn’t bother me! I love who I am, and I think I am beautiful. I carry a good chunk of weight in my chest. I bounce back and forth between a DD and a DDD, they are not tiny. That being said, that rest of me is thick as well, but I think it’s in a beautiful way! I am trying to tone up a little bit, for healths sake, but I don’t really want to change the way I look. I feel like I am the definition of a woman. I have curves that make me feel like a real woman. I can put on a shapeless dress and make it shaped in all the right places.
    I haven’t always felt this way. This time last year I was 5’6″ and around 230lbs. When I was that weight I felt like a box. I still had curves, and a hefty chest, but I didn’t feel proud of myself. It took me a long time to get here, and I am proud of myself for doing it.
    I believe that every woman should feel sexy just being a woman, knowing the power of the female body. Your body can hold life, your body was designed to nurture, and to feed. Your body is more than just skin and bones, your body is sacred. A lot of women get caught up in the fact that they don’t feel attractive when compared to Hollywood celebrities. First of all, how many of those celebrities are real? They have all been nipped and tucked, and photoshopped to look that good. Secondly, I bet you any amount of money that those celebrities feel insecure when comparing themselves to other celebrities. When looking at Angelina Jolie, the first thought is “God, I’d love her lips.” I bet she looks at Kim Kardashian and thinks, “I wish I had that booty”. Kim Kardashian probably looks at Jessica Alba and thinks, “I would kill to have that natural gorgeous smile”.
    My point is that it’s natural for women to think, ‘I would love to have her *whatever*”, but we can’t lost sight of who WE are, and how special each and everyone of is. We are all different, and we all have different things that make us unique. I believe that what makes me unique is my smile, and my natural tanned skin, and my deep brown eyes. Rather than comparing my smile or eye to someone else I like to focus on the fact that there is no one in the world that looks exactly like me, and rather than focus on trying to be someone else I try to celebrate that no else is me!

    • Katie — You are amazing. I wish we could figure out how to bottle you to give to every girl and woman in the world!

      • Aww. Thank you 🙂 It took a long time to get here, but now that I am here I am happier than ever. And I *know* that every woman has this feeling hiding inside of them. It’s just a matter of getting here.
        My email address is kt.brown9@gmail.com if anyone, ever, wants to talk about their body issues. I am open to help in ANY way I can!

  18. semisweetCJ

    I am 5’6″ and clocked in at 245 pounds at my doctors a week ago. I think I was 252 a few weeks before that, but since then I have cut my almost waist length hair up above my shoulders. I don’t know if that actually accounts for the weight difference, but it sure FEELS like it. 😀

    I knit, write fanfiction I never let anyone see, play too many video games, have an obsession over the color pink, and princesses, have a season pass to the second most awesome waterpark in the world and CONSTANTLY delight in totally reinventing myself every couple of years. This has not landed me a great job or the secret to happiness, but I have killer bar stories. I sing karaoke and imagine I am a famous singer. Also, I can drink you under the table. Yes, you. And STILL beat anyone in the room’s butt at air-hockey.

    This past year, my reinvention has been to love myself at the size I am (I have gained almost 100 lbs in the past two years, and occasionally, this makes me absolutely SICK, but I’m working on it) and to love everyone else while I’m at it. Toss your shoulders back in your bathing suits, people! You’re beautiful!

  19. I finaslly got round to converting my 64kg weight into pounds – apparently its 141 point something. I’m 163cms, I think that’s either 5’3 or 5’4. for about 6 years, I was a steady 63kgs without any effort or even paying any attention, then I for no apparent reason lost 2 kgs last spring, then almost immediately put 5kgs on. My clothes are still tight. I am very annoyed that my magical natural weight blance has been screwed with.

    Other thing: I speak three and a half languages – german, english, french and luxembourgish. The luxembourgish is the half one, not because it’s a half language but because I cannot write it at all, just speak and read.

  20. Kayleigh

    I am 5′ 2″ and 102 pounds. I’m 17 years old and a recovering anorexic, so that number will have to go up at least 5 pounds before my psychiatrist declares I’m at a healthy weight. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to reach this weight, and while the number still terrifies me, I’m proud of myself for fighting. Blogs like this have really helped give me boosts throughout my recovery. I am also senior class president and director of my school news show. I’m a sci-fi geek and I’m really good at doing nail art. I tear through memoirs at a rapid speed. I own a sugar glider who is my pride and joy. I’m thinking about going into psychology once I start college. I hope one day I can be fully recovered and finally see that I am so much more than my weight.

  21. Jennifer Feeney

    I am 37 years old, 135 lbs, 5’8″. Threw out the diet after child number 4 and decided to eat real food and cut all of the fake, low fat processed garbage. uFnny, actually lost weight. But that doesn’t matter. What do I want people to know? Have 30 chickens, 3 pigs, 2 bee hives, many blueberry, raspberry, blackberry bushes, plus peach, cherry, pear, plum, and chestnut trees. We started a mini farm as a family. We home school our kids. We are cutting out toxic chemicals and beauty products. We love life and have fun learning together.

  22. I am 5′ 3″ and 173 lbs, I wear a size 10 and I’m 37yrs old. I love watching English soccer matches on tv and I read a lot. I also enjoy dancing and listening to a rather eclectic collection of music.

  23. I don’t tell people my weight because I constantly compare myself to others and personally don’t want others to compare themselves to me and feel the way I do when I see someone else’s weight, especially if it’s less than mine. that’s just my personal take on it, so know I would never share my weight or my dress size.

  24. Pingback: A FashFem Fix…

  25. Maggie

    I’m 5’5″, around 165 pounds, and 29 years old.

    I study early Christian texts because I love them, and have been working my way through translating the Gospel of Mark out of Greek. My grammar is alright, but my vocabulary still sucks a lot. Four years ago I realized I wasn’t in love with my husband, and two years ago I divorced him. That process was the hardest, most painful thing I’ve ever done, and I love who I’ve become because of it. I sing out loud in the car. I’ve read every Terry Pratchett novel. In a month or so I’m moving to a completely new state, sight unseen, because I need a change.

    I’m having a fling with a man with whom I’ve been in love for years. I don’t think we could ever make it as a serious couple, but I love him, anyway. I never thought we’d get a chance for even this, and so far it’s everything I could want it to be.

  26. I’m 42, and I am 5’7.5″ and I weigh 171 pounds. I’m a US size 12 or 14 depending on brand. I am a scientist, and keeping on track in my career has always been more important to me than the traditional route of being married and having a family. But I have four fabulous cats.

  27. I love this post!

    I’m 5’11” and weigh about 180lbs (about 13 stone). I’ve written a series of short stories about a seaweed monster that drags people under the sea to live with him. I’m obsessed with polar bears and the author David Mitchell. I could eat Wensleydale cheese all day long (and actually live in Wensleydale) 🙂

  28. I’m 5’7 and my weight ranges these days from between 158 and 165 pounds. Once a couple of years ago I was at the DMV and was asked for my height and weight for my license. I told the clerk my height and my actual weight (at the time it was 155), and she looked me up and down and told me that I didn’t need to tell the truth on the license. I looked at my license later and it said that my weight was 145….

    I love to run and to eat lemon blueberry cupcakes.

  29. Plop

    I’m 1m62 and weights around 50kg.

    I really have no fat except a little belly, and people always remind me of it whenever i eat sugar (and i love dessert)
    But you know it makes me mad because i feel my bones when i’m sitting on a chair, and that’s deeply inconfortable. I want to have a little fat to stop this.
    But how can i say to people : “Do you realize that my IMC is already at 18 ?? Do you *really* want me to become anorexic ? So let me eat it without making me feel guilty each time i buy one of my favorite foods !!! ”

    Argh !

    *breathe* Nice idea for a post 🙂

  30. What a great post!! I am around 150 – I have no idea because I really don’t care! I have to get weighed every time I go to the hospital, which is a lot and the nurse finds is really funny that I never want to look. I know if I am at a healthy weight by looking in the mirror, obsessing over every pound is just insane. I have been been very over weight and very underweight, tipping the scales at both ends. I am 5.2, have black hair, brown eyes, eight dogs and am a Dr of Biochemistry!

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  33. I’m 5’5″ and weigh 175 pounds. I’m a Theatre and Gender Studies double major (soon enough a Spanish minor) at Northwestern University. I have the greatest family that I could ask for. I’ve been to New York several times (but still not enough!!!), Hawaii, Florida, and am headed to L.A. with the fam for the first time ever next week.

    I am so much more than what I weigh.

  34. I’m 6’4″ (no, that’s not a typo: 190cm)
    I weigh about 185lbs (give or take five pounds – it’s been a while)
    I balcony-garden
    I make jam and pickles and bread and cupcakes from scratch (when I’m inclined, which is fairly often)
    I’m in an erotic live-lit troupe
    I’m self-conscious about various bits of my body that probably should bother me the way they do
    I do yoga once a week
    I forage from fruit trees growing on scrub land in my neighbourhood
    I’m learning how to use a hula hoop and (slowly) to ride a unicycle
    I can, and do, walk in 4″ heels
    I’m a slightly rusty singer, but I can still (woohoo!) hit a high B-flat

  35. I am 5’8″, 174 pounds, age 32. According to BMI, I am overweight, but based on a caliper fat test, I have an athletic percentage of body fat. My brain (and self-worth) wavers between those two observations, which drives my husband nuts. He says I look sexy, and if he thinks so, why should I argue with him. All my friends tell me I look great and are jealous about my fitness level. I still have a terrible time finding clothes that fit at stores.

    But I am so much more than that… I am a voracious reader, I am a beginning tennis player, newbie runner, gardener, baker, photographer, and librarian.

  36. Pingback: [Guest Post] Emily Does Not Strike Him As Someone Who Is Curvy | Beauty Schooled

  37. bodiesdontmatterhere

    I am 5′ 5 1/2” and weigh 110, probably a little less now because of finals stress. I have a healthy body image and this is about my set weight. I am anxious to graduate i the spring and get back into my swimming and yoga routine and (re)build muscle to help increase my weight and health. I haven’t always had such a healthy image though. When I swam competitively for 11 years before college I hated my upside-down triangle-like physique. My shoulders were strong and broad because I swam butterfly the most. I HATED that I was teased for having “Madonna arms” and that feminine blouses and dress would fit me perfect, everywhere except my shoulders, so virtually nothing form fitting looked right on me. Stores presumed I must either be perfectly slim or wide all over. I was a size 0 and wearing small shirts, yet I thought cutting back on protein would help me diminish my muscles and look more like the women in Vogue. It only made me sick. Fuck that. I look like that now, and I’d be happier looking stronger and less traditionally feminine. Someetimes I feel guilty and angry that I naturally have a very high metabolic rate and petite bone structure that conforms to ideal female norms. People make comments telling me how lucky I am, that they wish they were me. I want my Madonna arms back so I can hit them, or at least frighten them out of making these uncomfortable “compliments.”

  38. I am 5’3″ and weighed 138 lbs this morning. I have struggled with eating disorders for years, and rarely (if ever) do I tell anyone my weight, but I like this exercise!
    More importantly, I am a beginning rock climber, which is the first athletic activity I’ve ever tried that I instantly fell in love with. It helps make me feel confident and strong, and I love challenging myself to do more difficult climbs every time! I’ve also recently gotten into sewing my own clothes, which also makes me feel (and look) great! My body image now is the best it’s ever been, and even though I still have my bad days, I’m proud of how far I’ve come 🙂

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  41. p.d.b.

    i am 5’8′ and according to my doctor as of last week i weigh 164 lbs. i watch what i eat and work out a lot and sometimes obsess about my size, but i recently started pole dancing classes and find myself loving every inch of my nooks and cranies!

  42. Anna

    While I’m a little behind on this, I’m 5’3, 145, and a size 6. I’m about a pound overweight, according to BMI… Either way, I don’t particularly mind. Since it seemed like everyone else was sharing something about themselves besides their weight: I would like to own a muffin shop. Or be a graphic designer. Or both. I spend too much time shopping. I like to design my own clothes. I like to make my own recipes. I think I know more Australian people than is reasonable for someone who’s lived in American her whole life. I adore hiking (except when there’s poisonous bugs.)

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