OK, so maybe I should rephrase my question. How do I tell when I am at a healthy weight? How do you tell?
I guess I'd use several factors - what size my clothing labels are, what my weight is, what my BMI is, my bone structure, how I feel, how I look in clothes AND out of clothes, what my husband, sister, mother or trusted girlfriends tell me.
I really do think that we all have the instinct to know if we are too fat, too thin or pretty much average and right. I also think that our media and American culture have so distorted the image of a woman's body and weight that we have been fooled into thinking the wrong things. We have NO clue what a proper portion of food is, we see emaciated models in magazines and think they are an example, our children are becoming more obese each year, and no matter how hard we try, we still feel "fat" and "dumpy."
So, maybe take a sheet of paper and write down all the factors:
positive/negative feelings about how you look
opinions of others (be honest and willing to listen)
how you feel - energy, health, etc.
Then look at the overall picture. Is it a picture of a healthy woman who feels good and likes how she looks, generally, in and out of clothing (no one is perfect!), or is it a woman who feels squishy and dumpy. Is it a woman who is constantly looking at the numbers on the scale and feeling like a horrible failure. Is it a woman who is always on a "diet" and "needs to lose a few pounds."
You'll know. Trust me! I've been to h*ll and back on the weight and diet issue. It's a bummer to live that way!