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Setting Goals

How did you set goals for losing weight?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Most women know intuitively their goal weight. I was pudgy as a kid, and when I was in my twenties and thirties, I was about 15 pounds heavier than I am now.

After studying obsessively what makes women feel balanced from their cells to their soul, I’ve concluded that a body mass index (BMI) of 20 to 23 is best—for me and most women. Your BMI is based on your height and weight. You can use the calculator at http://paleolibrary.com/bmi-calculator-adults/ so you don’t have to do the math.

Some women prefer to be thinner, but that starts to creep into the slippery slope of the bone loss zone, or higher, and that creeps into the you’re-creating-an-inflamed-neighborhood-for-your-cells zone.

I’m 5 feet 5 inches tall, and when I’m 125 pounds, I’m good at a BMI of 20.8, but I need to make sure I’m getting the minerals I need for my bones. When I’m around 130 pounds, typically during the winter, my BMI is 21.6, which is just right. My clothes fit. I don’t take radical vows of no-this and no-that every Monday. I pull on my skinny jeans and they fit, year after year, and don’t feel like sausage casing.

I set my goal weight around how I want to feel — and I want to feel at peace, generous, and celebratory. I don’t want to swear off wine or sugar for the rest of my life, but I want to create the best neighborhood possible for my DNA.

Sara Gottfried, MD, a mom of 13- and 8-year-old daughters, a board-certified gynecologist, and the author of The Hormone Cure, in Berkeley, CA


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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: After my kids were born, my desire to lose my pregnancy weight was a source of stress. I realized that I needed to set a realistic goal for myself. I decided I didn’t need to get all the way back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’d be happy to get close. I adjusted my expectations, and that made it easier to achieve success.

I found that after my kids were born, my priorities really changed. I still wanted to look good, but I didn’t want to put as much effort into it as I had before. With kids, so much of your energy is sucked into caring for them. Everything changes.

Aline T. Tanios, MD, a mom of 10- and 4-year-old daughters and an 8-year-old son and a pediatric hospitalist and assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, MO

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.