Ideal Body Weight – Fantasy vs. Reality

A doctor once told me that for my height, I should weigh between 124 and 138 lbs. I laughed right in his face. That seemed to upset him, so he went on to preach about the dangers of obesity, and how the excess weight I was carrying around was destroying my body. I laughed again, much harder this time. Just so you know, at the time I was 31 years old, carrying 285 lbs. on a 5’4 frame, and sicker than I had ever been in my entire life. I was standing in an examining room of a Bariatric Surgery Center, waiting to be evaluated as a possible candidate for Gastric Bypass surgery. So yeah, Doc, since I’m here asking you to cut me open, section off my stomach and make it physically impossible for me to eat as much as I have been, I think it’s safe to assume that I already got the memo about the dangers of obesity. Tell me something I don’t know.

Mandy Rosado Before After photos

For weeks after that appointment, those numbers rattled around in my brain. 124 – 138 lbs.? Are you serious? Could that even be possible? Did I even want it to be? I have been overweight since I was a child. I have no memory or image of myself at what would be considered a “normal” weight for my age or height. Always chubby, and it never really bothered me. Trying to imagine my face on a 124 lb. body was impossible, and a little scary. Every time I tried, I kept seeing those bizarre looking BRATZ dolls with the huge heads and buggy eyes, and tiny little bodies. Not exactly the look I was going for.


My parents are thin, but for some reason, my sisters and I are not, and for the majority of my life, it wasn’t really an issue for me. I never struggled with body image issues. I wasn’t a morbidly obese child, just carrying a few extra pounds. By the time I got to high school, I weighed about 170 lbs. about 30 – 40 lbs. overweight, and it didn’t hinder my life at all – I was cute, got good grades, had lots of friends – Life was good. I was happy.

All that changed when I went to college. During my four years at Boston University, I managed to gain around 80 lbs. I came back to New York after graduation weighing 250 lbs., and over the next ten years my weight would continue to fluctuate as I tried, and failed to lose weight.

It’s been a year and a half since that doctor’s visit, and I’m still haunted by that number. I never did have the surgery, but I did manage to lose 60 lbs in a little over 6 months, but that was almost a year ago. Currently, I am sitting at a robust 225 lbs., and holding. Well, stuck at 225 would probably be more accurate. How I lost the weight and why I can’t seem to get passed this roadblock is a story for another day. When I think about the fact that I’m still a full hundred pounds over what I SHOULD weigh, it makes the task seem too daunting. I know, and accept, the fact that I will never get to that number. I don’t think I want to. There will never be a point where I will be considered a “skinny” girl, and that is ok with me…I think. Realistically, the goal I have set for myself would still make me about 50 lbs overweight. Am I wrong to set a goal that would still put me in the category of “obese”? Is it just fear and self-doubt that makes “124” seem like too low of a number? Questions I have no answers to…yet. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now I’m more concerned with getting on the scale and seeing the numbers”224″ on the readout. Then I’ll worry about 223….

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  1. KawistamandaNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for sharing this nice blog. I get additional from this website. May be you can check the health info on my website… Thanks

  2. Yum YuckyNo Gravatar says:

    Ah, forget about those ridiculous height/weight ratios the doctors try to force on us!

    60 pounds in 6 months is excellent. Breaking down your weight loss goals into small chunks opposed to staring at the big picture every day is so much better. Keep it going! Don’t give up! (your before and after pic is awesome!)

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Yep, in the military they expect you to be a certain height and weight and its pretty ridiculous.

  3. Michael KwanNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel. My buddy Gary was in a similar situation as you (he’s taller, but you get the idea) and he set out on a mission to drop the pounds. Last I checked in with him, he lost ~120 pounds over the course of less than a year. It’s quite astounding. You can follow him on Twitter as @_fatdad (there’s an underscore in there). He’s got a site set up at He does weekly videos, documents his diet and exercise program, etc.

  4. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Buddy, your weight loss so far is incredible. Keep it up!

    For your doctor to be telling you to be 124-138lbs at 6ft tall makes no sense. I’m glad you laughed in his face! I was very unhealthy/skinny in highschool, and upon graduating i was 149/5’1″ and probably 10-12% body fat. I couldn’t be much smaller!! I started working out and eating well after that…different story though.

    I read that you’re doing HIIT, great stuff! That stuff just strips the fat off of you! Check this out — the local university is currently doing a lot of research on HIIT sprinting in the Kinesiology dept. Without changing diet or weightlifting routine my friend Paul went from 12-8% body fat in SIX WEEKS. Incredible. With the amount of weight loss you’ve achieved, it would seem like you are experiencing similar results!

    The good news is that some experts (Dr. John Berardi for example) believe that your body keeps a certain memory for fat loss patterns. In otherwords, if you take the fat off once your body won’t mind doing it again OR staying at the same level! It’s just a matter of maintenance.

    Anyways, take care and keep rawkin.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Matt, Mandy’s doctor told her that, not mine. lol. But I agree with the HIIT and fat loss. It’s a body shocker that shows results.

  5. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Oh hahaha. That makes a lot more sense!

    It almost wouldn’t surprise me though.

    Did you know that most doctors (medical) receive almost no nutrition/exercise education? It really shows, as there are a high percentage of obese doctors.

    What is the world coming to?

    PS I do HIIT tomorrow with sprints. I’m terrified to start again lol.

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Yeah, Dr. Kal put me on to the fact that many doctors know nothing about being healthy, just treating illnesses with medicine and surgery. Regarding the sprints, I love them but they kick my ass!

  6. Matt SNo Gravatar says:

    Well, as promised, I did mine today.

    Good Lord, I nearly died.

    I came home, showered, then walked for 30 mins to interview a local fitness store owner. I was wiped!

    I’m feeling great right now though.

    How often do you use HIIT?

  7. DonnaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, you have such an interesting blog!!! I will definitely become a faithful reader to see your progress. And please don’t let those doctors get you down!!!!!
    What is important is that you have already recognized that you need improvement and you’re willing to work on it in a healthy way. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  8. JeremyNo Gravatar says:

    No offense Mandy, but you still look like you need to lose 100 more lbs. My buddy knows you, says you drink lots, maybe dropping the booze will help you drop the pounds.

    • BASILIONo Gravatar says:


  9. JenNo Gravatar says:

    Mandy you are AWESOME! I am overweight and have been since 2002 when I had my first child and then I had twins in 06. I used to weight 126/5’6″ now I am 220.( I weighed myself today and wanted to cry) I struggle with myself every single day, my self hate is just aweful. What is the HIIT? Please any advice you have would be so helpful. I have been to Dr.’s, medical weightloss programs, perscriptions, diets,Jenny Craig, exercise. NOTHING. My boyfriend says I don’t try hard enough, but he does NOT support my weight loss at all. I have had bloodwork checking my thyroid, nothing. I feel like I am drowning inside myself.

  10. JeremyNo Gravatar says:

    Mandy awesome, only when she’s on her knees, fat whore.

  11. pure nonsenseNo Gravatar says:

    I’m a 26 year old 5’11 293lbs female. I’ve always been a big girl and when my doc told me I needed to get down to atleast 172 lbs, I like to have fallen out of the chair… 210 lbs is the smallest I’ve ever been in my adult life and with my. Bone and muscle mass, I wouuld look terrible any where below 200lbs I do believe so my goal is to get there and stay. I don’t see anything wrong with being a comfortable weight for you… I figure 200lbs will atleast kill me slower than 293lbs and I’ll be comfortable. 60lbs is awesome in any amout of time… I say just do you!

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