According to the most healthy-seeming, reputable weight charts, at 5’1″ Francesca is “supposed” to weight between 106 – 132 pounds. At 132 pounds, her BMI would be exactly 25, the most which is considered “healthy” before moving into “overweight.”
For years Francesca has been trying to remember when she last weighed 132 pounds. She knew it was before college, because she remembers, in her first year of university, doing a Jane Fonda tape every day and being very excited to go down from 153 to 145 pounds. (When she graduated from college she weighed 162, and in the 14 years since has gone well over the 200-pound mark.)
Lo and behold, when Francesca visited her dear parents a few months ago, Mamman — who had been busily working on clearing the old home of unnecessary papers — handed Francesca a stack of old school report cards and lovingly asked Francesca to please remove them from the premises. Francesca dutifully took them home and filed them under “Nostalgia.”
This past weekend Francesca went through the report cards, and among them found copies of the school health records as well (proofs of immunizations, that sort of thing). According to the doctor’s report of 1987, Francesca at that point weighed 60 kilograms: exactly 132 pounds.
In other words, at the age of 37, Francesca is expected by her doctor, Weight Watchers, etc to recreate the body she had in tenth grade.
Society is full of people who wish they could fit into their prom dress, and the answer is usually that women are expected to gain weight as they age. The last time Francesca weighed 132 pounds, prom dresses looked like this:
Francesca is intellectually honest. She knows she could take better care of herself — exercise 4-5 times per week instead of 1-2 times, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water — and that if she did these things she would be much, much healthier (which is the point) and perhaps lose 10, 20, maybe even 30 pounds (which is beside the point). She would be stronger and better fortified, and still obese at 170-180 pounds. That would be plenty fine with her.
Go down to 132 pounds? Really? Who are we kidding? (Not Francesca, obviously.)