Trouble Reaching My Goal Weight Range

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
In my gym class they measured our BMI. I was 5 feet and 2inches tall and weighing about 128 pounds. My paper I got back from my teacher after reading my BMI told me I was overweight and should try eating healthier and getting more excersise. So I did and I am now 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 117 pounds, but it told me to try to aim for some where around 108-114 pounds. It was easy to loose weight at first but now that i've reached 117 i can't get any lower. What should I do? Also, I do dance and gymnastics so I have a lot of muscle and my mom told me that's why i can't be 108 pounds. Last, most of the people I know who are my age weigh way less. One girl my height ways 93 pounds and one girl three inches taller than me only weighs 101 pounds. It really makes me uncomfortable to talk about weight with them because they are sticks. Can you help me? Thanks. :)
Signed: Trouble Reaching My Goal Weight Range

Dear Trouble Reaching My Goal Weight Range,


TeenHealthFX would like to applaud you for the changes you have made to your daily diet and exercise routines that have allowed you to move into a healthier weight range for your height. You should definitely feel proud of your efforts and what you have accomplished.


As far as losing those last three pounds that would then put you into the 108-114 category, keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, those categories are averages and are not set in stone for every single person. Different people have different body types – so even two people of the same age, gender and height may have a different shape and a different goal weight based on their body type. Second, your mother has a point in that muscle does weigh more than fat. If you participate in activities such as dance and gymnastics, odds are that you are going to have more muscle mass than someone who does not engage in such high energy aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. What all this means is that 117 may be a perfectly healthy weight for you considering your body type and the specific kinds of sports you participate in, and that there may not be a safe way for you to get your weight any lower.


FX really wants to stress the following for the situation you are describing:


  • As difficult as it can be, try not to compare yourself to other girls your age. As we stated above, different people of the same height and gender have different body types and different weight levels that are safe and healthy for them to achieve. In addition, most females naturally put on more weight as they go through puberty and become women – this may also occur at different rates for different girls – so, again, try not to compare.
  • The most important thing in the end is that you consistently maintain a healthy diet and get a healthy amount of exercise on a regular basis – if you are doing that, then that is more important than losing 3 pounds.
  • Make sure that you continue to feel proud of yourself and give yourself credit for each day that you make healthy decisions about your diet and exercise regimens. What you have been doing is extremely admirable – and you should feel very good about yourself and your accomplishments here!

If you are still worried about this, FX recommends that you meet with your doctor or an adolescent medicine specialist who can assess the situation and let you know what a healthy goal weight would be for you. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact Girl’s Street – A Young Woman’s Health Program – at 908.522.2555.

Signed: TeenHealthFX