Perhaps a little more context is in order. The reporter is a guy who is working on a long lead piece, and I had already spent a bunch of time with him. He's a very nice, interesting and curious guy, and I certainly didn't think he intended to do me any horrific harm when I got his request. I think he was understandably perplexed when I told him that I didn't want to send the information via email, but preferred to share it via the phone. As he said, it wasn't as though he was asking for my social security number.
Upon reflection, I was, in fact, being a little bit weird. The fact of the matter is that although I'm at my goal weight, I'm still self-conscious about writing my weight down. This got me to wondering why I am so uncomfortable with this? Prevailing wisdom suggests that men are very comfortable talking about how many pounds they weigh. Or are they?...
So for those curious about how much I weigh, here it goes (deep breath...):
- I'm 6'3"
- When I got weighed last week, I was 204 lbs, one pound over my goal weight of 203 lbs (this is with clothing -- in fact, I was wearing chain mail armor)
- This puts me at a BMI of 25.5
|Though I'm down 5 lbs, I would guess that I still weigh more than the witch and the duck. That doesn't make me a warlock, so put your pitchforks away.|
- My waist size, which is 34", well under the target of 38"
- My body-fat percentage as measured by a commercial grade impedance device. I came in at 16% body fat. I tested it again last week and I was at 17%. According to the American Council on Exercise, 14% to 17% qualifies as "fitness" and 18% to 25% qualifies as "acceptable". I usually bounce around from 15% to 17%.
- I have never had any problem talking about my weight loss (30 pounds), but I have never been as comfortable talking about my absolute weight. Most people guess that I weigh less than I actually do (I think that's a good thing), a fact that makes me feel all the more self-conscious about the actual number. I do understand that I am overly obsessing about a number, and too often ignoring observations such as my skinnier, post-weight loss clothing still fitting and that I am looking vaguely the way I should look. More importantly, I am still living very much of a healthy lifestyle, so that is clearly the most important consideration. Yet, I still worry about that little number. What can I say? I have an in-grained need to keep score on myself.
- I feel accountable to the people I work with, particularly given my role in the organization, to be the walking, breathing example of Weight Watchers. I am happy to be at my weight for myself, but I feel obligated to make sure I stay there for others. I'm not sure this is an entirely bad thing. Feeling a sense of accountability for our health for others can be a useful and effective motivator (at least for me). It is certainly a good will gesture for my family, who would like to see me around for a long time. I also believe that the success of each of us can help motivate others to do the same. It has often been written that obesity is contagious: if all of your friends are over-weight, you are statistically more likely to be overweight yourself. I'd like to think that the opposite is also true.