Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 59: How Much Should I Weigh?

20080306-scale.jpgAfter last Friday's weigh-in of 225 pounds, I am well within single digits of what I thought my goal weight was: 218 pounds. But all week I have been thinking: How much should I weigh? Where did I get that number? Is it right?

So many pounds, so many inches, so many questions.

When I look at the federal weight guidelines for men six feet tall, I find nothing but agita.

Even big-boned, large-framed six-foot-tall men are supposed to weigh somewhere between 164 and 188 pounds. I have not weighed 164 since I was ten years old, and hell, I haven't been south of 200 since I got married in 1978. Who puts together these ideal weight charts, anyway?

So if I don't use the government's ideal weight charts for real world guidance, who should I take my proper weight cues from? What should my goal weight be? Is it wise to even have a goal? Isn't my serious diet a journey rather than a destination?

The 218 number that seems to be stuck in my brain from an elaborate set of calculations involving waist and wrist measurements, age and gender-appropriate ideal body fat percentage ranges, and lean and actual body weight figures, that I found in the book Protein Power. I just pulled the book off the shelf and, aha, the calculations I did in 1996 indicate that my ideal body should be somewhere between 205 and 220.

How 218 became stuck in my head, I'll never know.

Anyway, does any of this make a difference? I weigh somewhere around 225 pounds at this moment (we'll find out exactly how much in a moment). I feel good, I look pretty good, my wife thinks I'm sexy, and I'm getting around the squash court a helluva lot better than I used to. 218 is as good a goal weight as any, especially since I now know that my real goal is to find a way to eat the things I love in moderation so that I can live healthily alongside my wife to be a ripe old age, so that I can keep posting on Serious Eats when I'm 85 and we can play with my grandchildren alongside my son.

The Weigh-In

224. Down another pound from last week. Grandparenthood here I come.