"I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have
than to have things I am not able to appreciate."
— Elbert Hubbard
Jo Cordi Sica's work as a writer, trainer, and motivational speaker provides
her an impressive insight into human behavior. Throughout her life, she has overcome
great adversity and turned every challenge into an opportunity to grow both personally
and professionally. Today Jo travels throughout the country sharing her insights
to help others achieve success. Jo writes from her heart; sharing personal experiences,
challenges and victories.
When I started my low-carb way of life, setting a goal seemed so
simple – pick a weight less than my current one. Sure, I gave it
some thought. I considered what I weighed when I last remembered
feeling thin, and added a few pounds, since I am, after all, over
I heeded some of my own advice about setting goals that are
challenging, yet attainable. In the end, I settled on the nice
round number of 150 pounds on my 5’7" frame. As I creep closer
to that number, I wonder if I set my initial goal too high. When
I look in the mirror, I see more than 10 pounds that need to
disappear — I think I could afford to lose another 10 pounds
off each thigh!
Later in the day, as I slip on my newly-purchased size-10 jeans,
I convince myself that I could stop right where I am. This
stunning reversal convinces me my own judgement is suspect. So,
I set out to find the proven, magic number that corresponds to
my height. Surely, with all the self-proclaimed weight experts,
someone must know how much I should weigh.
Two hours, 9 calculations, and 30 number possibilities later, I
am more confused than ever. We’re not talking about differences
of a couple of pounds; the range from lowest to highest ideal weight
for my height is a staggering 45 pounds!
Foolish me, imagining that
there would be some simple formula for calculating a reasonable,
healthy weight. Nonetheless, I commit to doing the research and
earnestly read and follow all the instructions for measuring my
I wrestle a tape measure around my wrist, holding one
end with my thumb while trying to maneuver the other end in place
with my pinkie and ring finger. I extend my upper arm from my body
at a perfect 90 degree angle, turning my forearm parallel to my
torso, and rotate my hand so my palm turns inward. I maintain this
pose while using the thumb and forefinger of my other hand as
calipers to measure the bones in my elbow. I measure my waist in
relation to my hips. I estimate the relative position of the sun
to the moon on Fridays in mid-November. (Ok, maybe not, but I might
just as well!)
After a multitude of contortions, computations, and
profane exclamations, I know that I have a large frame. Or a medium
frame. Or in-between a medium and a large frame. It depends upon
which source I assume to be correct. The one thing I know with
certainty is that I do not have a small frame.
I am pleased; I can cross 6 possible numbers off my list, including
the extremely alarming suggestion of 121 pounds.
With renewed resolve, I stare at the remaining ideal weight choices
for my height. My ranges now vary by only 32 pounds. Breathing a
sigh of relief, I concede that I am making progress in my quest
for the perfect goal.
I contemplate plugging the data into a
spreadsheet along with the measurements that correspond with
each size in women’s clothing and writing a formula to calculate
the exact size that would result from any given weight. I decide
that doing so would demonstrate an obsession worthy of in-patient
treatment. I settle on picking the number in the exact center of
the range. That would be 151.
Heavy sigh. Three hours into this process, I am right back where
My next plan of attack is to establish a point of comparison with
someone whose shape I would like to achieve. I think of all the
celebrities and cult icons. Twiggy is out. While we are the same
height, I just cannot see myself at 91 pounds. Of course, there
is always the timeless Marilyn Monroe. Taking into consideration
the difference in height, I would need to weigh about 140 pounds
to replicate her shape. I would also have to attach an industrial
vacuum to my head and suck all the fat from my hips upward to my
I give up on celebrities and consider some of my friends. The one
person I know whose shape I most envy is my friend Linda.
Unfortunately, this thought leads me back to the issue of the
vacuum. I give up on this method and move on to Plan C.
I contemplate asking someone I trust to tell me how much more
weight I need to lose. Who might that be? I begin by considering
my darling husband. After much thought, I realize any answer he
gives will lead us to the next episode of Divorce Court. If he
tells me I am perfect the way I am, I will be angry because
clearly he is lying. If he tells me I need to lose ANY number
of pounds, I will be highly offended. Asking him that question
at all, would be akin to signing his death warrant. I love him
far too much to do this to him.
Upon further consideration, I
decide that I also like my friends too much to put any of them
in the same awkward position.
Time to shift gears.
Instead of determining a goal weight, perhaps I should just
determine a goal size. I think back to the size I was most
comfortable wearing. Already I’m in trouble. As I recall, it
was a size 7 and I was twenty-something. Now, I don’t want to
cheat myself out of something that is attainable, but I have
to realize that no matter what size and weight I am, I will
never have the same body I had in my twenties. The gravitational
pull of the earth is so much stronger these days!
I suppose I could split the difference and settle on a size 8
which allows for a little more extra baggage in the southern
regions of my body. That sounds pretty good; it is a single digit
size and a place where by most standards I would not be considered
Great! I have arrived at a solution; I will deem my
goal achieved when I can fit into a size 8 off the rack in any
given store. Clearly, this is attainable as it is one size less
than my current size. I sit back in my chair, feeling victorious,
and wondering, how much would I have to weigh to wear a
Hmmm... About that spreadsheet...
Jo Cordi Sica,
SPHR Organizational Development
Copyright © January 2004 Jo Cordi Sica and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury
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