You've probably read my "weight loss journey" on top of this page where I described how I used to look quite different. I had lost weight fast by doing a lot of cardio and eating very little. Then I went up and down for years, although never went quite as high as where I started. Back in April 2013, I was at a point where I had kind of let myself go a little more than usual and I had noticed my weight creeping up and my clothes not fitting as well anymore. That was when I knew I had to do something. These pictures were taken right when I started training with my coach, and I weighed 133 pounds that day (I'm 5'5). That was actually a light day for me. Around that time, I had been seeing the numbers more in the 135-137 range. So I could still hide my extra flab while wearing clothes, but it's a different story in a bathing suit!
I started lifting weights a lot more seriously (at least 4-5 days per week) while doing moderate cardio (3-4 days of 30 min per week). I started seeing my body getting tighter and my weight dropped to around 126-128 for a good portion of last year. I also went down a size in clothing. But I was eating around 1550 calories a day and I just wasn't getting the muscle definition that I wanted. My goal was always to add more muscle rather than being skinny. So about 2 months ago, my coach and I decided to move me into the "building phase" and upped my calories to 2000 per day, with 220g of carbs! I kept training hard, and I immediately started seeing more definition. My weight did creep up slowly which was expected. These pictures were taken last month, and I was the exact same weight as a year and 4 months ago - 133 pounds. This is the range I'm hovering nowadays - 130-133 (sometimes higher if I have a cheat meal the day before).
So, as you can see, I have definitely leaned out and gotten toned up, and yet I weigh exactly the same! Here are the two pictures side by side for better comparison:
Ok so I learned to pose a little better too from all the progress pictures I've had to take! =P But, you get the idea.
This is why it's hard for me to tell you just a number to aim for. I think it's more important that you judge by how your clothes fit than what the scale says. Usually when you gain muscle, your shoulders will get wider in relation to your waist, and you may also get a bigger and perkier butt and nicer quads! More importantly, you will feel stronger and just awesome!
Don't get me wrong though, I do think the scale is a useful tool to have. I weigh myself every single day, first thing in the morning. Then I log them in a spreadsheet with an explanation if it fluctuates more than a pound or so. I like to keep track of how different types of food I ate the day before affects my body. I also like to keep track of trends throughout the month. Sometimes I make graphs with my data points. I know, I'm a little crazy... lol! I think the more you learn about how your body reacts, the better you can control what you should be eating and doing to look and feel your best. But don't let the scale be the determining factor. Trust me, I know it's hard! I still get scared when I see the numbers go up, but it's just a battle I think I will likely have for a very long time to come.
Anyway, so there you have it. You've probably heard all of this before, but I thought sharing pictures might be easier to see, and I hope this helps a little!