What is my ideal weight? Well, how do you look, how do you feel?

How many times have you looked for an answer to the question "What is my ideal weight?". How many times have you hoped that somewhere out there you'll find a magic number, that someone will tell you exactly what you should weigh so that you'll have that body you aspire to.

A lot...for me, about 60 times, about the same number of diets and programs I went on.

We've become convinced of two things - firstly, that there's a magic number that we should strive for, and secondly, that it's up to someone else to tell us what that magic number is.

Well, both these are wrong! And to achieve the vision you have for yourself, then its about time you let yourself off the hook regarding the whole numbers thing, and accept the fact that the only person that knows what is best for you is you.

And you do know. You know what you want to look like, you know how you want to feel, all you need are some tools and strategies for taking the actions you need to take to create those things.

You will be able to answer the question "what is my ideal weight?" when you get there, and then you can get on the scales, just out of curiosity, and have a look at what number that is.

But it won't be the number that has made all the difference, it will be the daily choices and actions you take while focusing on the image you hold in your head.

Moving past "what is my ideal weight"...

What you want to look like and feel like is far more important than the number that is assigned to it by charts and figures. Those numbers have a place, but it's a small place.

When you've created the body you're happy to be living with, then you will know the answer to that question "what is my ideal weight?", it's exactly where you'll be, and it will be about the way you feel, and look, the number is really just one way to keep score, or to keep on track, and it's not a very good indicator of how you feel or how you look, it just tells you what weight you are...that's it, nothing more, nothing less, it's a measure of the amount of physical weight you are, just like a kilogram of apples, a pound of sugar, a ton of sand...does any of those weights and numbers really tell you anything about the things themselves? No.

And a number doesn't tell you anything very much about you or how you feel either.

If I say "I saw a man that was 250 pounds" What does that tell you, nothing. You may look at that number and think, that's a lot, he must be overweight, but it doesn't tell you that he's an Olympic weight lifter, that he works as a blacksmith or that he's 6 feet 10 inches tall, or that he smiles when you ask him about the Olympics and his job, because he's in great shape for both those things that he loves to do.

Numbers tell you very little, so instead of focusing on what the numbers say, focus on what it is you want your body to do, and how you want it to look.

What about a healthy weight range, is this better than what is my ideal weight?

A healthy weight range may be helpful, if you want some idea of how much your weight is affecting your health. The research is pretty clear, the more overweight we are, the greater health problems we're likely to have.

This is a range of weights where researchers have found (or believe, at this time) that you are more likely to be at your healthiest, where your weight won't be affecting your health in a negative way.

Unlike an answer to that inevitable...what is my ideal weight...it allows more for individual differences by having a top end and a lower end.

But even a healthy weight range isn't going to do much to help you reach your goal, which is that mental image of how you'd like to look, tied in with the way you want to feel.

It can be a good place to aim for if you are very overweight, it gives you a starting point to work towards to improve your health, and reduce your risk of some problems, but does picturing, say the numbers 60 - 65 in your head really detail what it is you're trying to achieve?

So, now what do I do?

Focus on the picture in your head, not only the physical look, but everything, including how you feel and what your body will be able to do, when you imagine yourself actually looking like that.

Then take action to achieve that. There's a good chance that as long as that image shows you full of life, smiling and glowing, that when you get here you'll find yourself somewhere in that healthy weight range, and you'll have answered the question what is my ideal weight, all by yourself.

I haven't owned a set of scales in over 5 years. In fact the last time I weighted myself was in the doctors office when I went in for a routine checkup.

Part of losing weight and creating the body that you want is also getting to know yourself, and numbers can be misleading.

I can feel exactly the same one week to the next, I can look the same in my clothes, but the scales won't agree. One week they say I'm 3 pounds heavier, then the next week they'll tell me that I've lost that 3 pounds and another 2!...that's why I used my scales to level a set of shelves in the shed. There they don't cause any trouble! Cos' they were no help at all with answering what is my ideal weight!

I'm entirely impressed with what my body can do, how it takes care of itself, even if I don't treat it very well, and how, if I do nurture it and give it what it needs, it'll give me what I want to.

The process of losing weight as part of creating the body you want, has nothing to do with numbers! I tried telling my body that if it was just a 58-60 it would be great, it would feel good and everything would be on track. It flatly refused to pay any attention!

In fact, once I got it to 58 (kilograms) by giving it water, lots of sunshine and rest, and not much else, (and I got it to that number in 2 weeks)...except I was so exhausted, I couldn't do anything, and I was looking pretty white and pasty too.

I realised that just being thinner, just losing weight, just getting into a healthy weight range, just wasn't what I actually want, and just wasn't enough.

There's so much emphasis on quantifying everything with a number! The fact is though, that each of our bodies is different. They may all follow the same guidelines and principles, in theory, but jeepers, they sure do have their own personalities.

Let's say that you and a friend, same height, same gender, same enough to come under the same number column on a chart that answers our 'what is my ideal weight' question with the number 64...

Ask your friend to describe what 64 represents to her, I'd bet that it's not the exact same vision you have for yourself. And I'll bet that if you and your friend both reached that so-called magic 64...that you wouldn't look like either the image you have in your head, or the same as each other.

Nor would reaching that number for either of you, necessarily magically give you the bodies that you wanted.

Making choices that help you create the body you want, isn't about starting with a number answer to the question "what is my ideal weight", it's about starting with a visual picture of what it is you want to create, then taking actions to get there.

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