Monday, August 22, 2011

No longer obese according to BMI charts - just 'overweight'.

I don't pay BMI numbers much mind. They aren't meant for an individual, but for tracking populations, but for some reason the public and doctors use them as guides for individuals too, even though it's a really flawed measure. It  makes the assumption that all people fit within those guides for their height, but there are always outliers. And, just because a range is, say, 120-140, that doesn't mean 120-140 is the ideal range for everyone of that height AND that if you are within that range, you are at your optimal weight.

I'll take my mother in law as an example. She was 5'8" tall and has tiny, tiny bones. For people her height, her range should be 125-160. She typically weighed 130 until she got to be about 50 years old and she looked just right. Weighing 160 and she would look chubby. She weighs 175 now and is significantly overweight (she has shrunk to 5'6" now), but by BMI charts, she would just be ' a little' overweight. (and no worries, my mother in law thinks weight is no big secret. As a matter of fact she doesn't get why Americans are so secretive about their weights).

Me on the other hand have a very large frame. For my height, I should weigh between 117 and 153 according to the BMI chart. Yet, I know I looked like this when I was about 150 and 5'5.5" tall and 15 years old. I grew another inch since then and filled out a bit more too (I was a late bloomer):

There is no way I could ever, ever weigh 117 pounds and be healthy (or even alive?) Doctors have predicted in the past that 155-160 for me would be an ideal range. I wasn't even very fit in this photo!

Well, if that is right for me, and I think it is, that would mean I fit in the overweight range for my height.

So... while technically, I've just reached the 'overweight' range according to BMI charts, I've been just 'overweight' for awhile now, and not obese. And, well, I don't think I look obese.

Man.... I look at that photo above and I felt so fat back then because I knew I weighed more than anyone else on the squad. Why didn't I understand that I was destined to weigh more on the scale and just work on toning my body? Why didn't I (or anyone around me) realize that the number on the scale was not important? Ugh... I think of all the angst I had as a teen and college kid - feeling huge because of the number on the scale when other girls weighed 120-135 typically.

And that's why I hate charts. They are a guide and a guide only - not the bible on how much people should weigh!

Stats for 8/22/11:

Beginning weight: 255.6  Now: 187.8

No comments:

Post a Comment