BMI = B.S.

I randomly decided to check my BMI today, and see at what weight I would be considered just “overweight” instead of “obese”.

I’m going to sound like a total hypocrite here, because I think that the BMI is bullshit. I don’t think that the BMI provides an accurate assessment of a person’s actual health or fitness. It’s simply an outdated formula where you plug in your height and weight and it tells you how far you fall from “normal.”

The thing I wish people would understand (and I think that more people are seeing) is that you CAN be “overweight” and still be healthy. Of course, too much extra weight is not good. But there are lots of people who run marathons at over 200 pounds (my father being one of them). “Overweight” people can be avid triathletes, hikers, skiers, etc. And if you consider the fact that muscle weighs MORE than fat, it’s easy to understand how the BMI is flawed. Technically, a person could be considered “overweight” even if their percentage of body fat was low, simply because they had a lot of muscle mass.

At my height (5’7″) I would have to weigh 180 pounds to be considered simply “overweight.” I’d have to weight about 155 pounds to be considered “normal.”

When I was in high school, running 30-40 miles a week, my weight held steady around 180 pounds. I was, undoubtedly, in the best shape of my life. But I was still “overweight.” It’s just ridiculous. I can’t imagine what I would have to do to make it down to 155 pounds. Underneath all of my fat, I have a muscular build. Because of that fact, I will always weight more than someone who is built differently. I would probably have to exercise compulsively and seriously restrict my food intake to make it to 155, which clearly wouldn’t be healthy and wouldn’t be maintainable in the long term.

Even after I get to my goal weight of 180 pounds, I will still be considered “overweight” by the powers that be. And you know what? I’m OK with that, because I know how good I’ll feel. That’s enough for me.

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One Response to “BMI = B.S.”

  1. questionsfordessert Says:

    I still have over 10 pounds to lose before I leave the obese category. I can’t imagine that my body would even ever reach 140 for me to be normal. I don’t ever see myself getting there. And that’s okay. I’m really trying to focus on behavior and not numbers.

    Thanks for all the support ’round my place!

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