Friday, May 17, 2013

BMI Bullsh*t

Warning: This is a little bit of a ramble.

I spoke a little about this previously, but I know that I struggle with my weight. I find it hard to motivate myself. But for a little bit I was getting into it and working out, and it felt great! Then I fell off the wagon for a bit because of jury duty. Not an excuse, but I just couldn't make it work. I kept hoping each day would be the last, but it dragged out for almost 2 weeks. Then coming back to work I had to catch up on so many things. I had no time, energy, or motivation to work out. I still have been ok with my diet, I slipped up a bit, but I haven't had any noticeable weight gain. Not that it makes me in the clear, but at least I didn't completely go back to square one. But the one thing that has always plagued me is the BMI - Body Mass Index. It has almost always classified me as overweight, which at times I could understand, but I wasn't overweight all my life! More recently it's been telling me I'm Obese. I have a BMI of 30.1, so my Wii Fit says I'm obese and in danger of all these things, the Wellness Center at my job also says the same things. But then my waist is 32 inches and they say that's normal.

Now I am by far not trying to say I'm healthy. I know I'm not. My issue is with the BMI not accounting for the difference between fat/bone/muscle density (which are all different), body types/shapes, lifestyle, or male/female differentials. And I know I'm not the only one that thinks this way. I came across a few articles here, here and here. It makes me feel less crazy. I'm 5'5", 184 lbs, 32" waist, 38D/36DD, 41" hips. While I do have some excess in my abdomen that I want to lose, I do not look at myself in the mirror and see an obese person staring back. I carry most of my weight in my legs and lower half of my body, which is almost toned up. Plus that rack ain't light! If I could get rid of it I would. But I digress. It can be said the same of someone opposite. Someone mentioned it in the comments section on the article I linked above - "Number 11: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a person with low bone and muscle density may be deemed fit when in fact they may be too high in body fat percentage. This person could be a risk for heart disease, diabetes, etc. and not even be aware of it because his BMI appears normal." The BMI isn't all that reliable. Granted there are other ways to figure out your fat/muscle ratio, I just don't understand why this is so popular/mainstream, aside from being as cheap as it gets.

Having everyone tell me I'm obese and I'm going to die from all these diseases I'm at risk for gets on my nerves. For one it is disheartening to hear that I need to lose 40-50 lbs and a 'healthy' weight for me is 133-137 lbs. It makes the struggle seem even that much harder, that my goal is that much further. And its just not fair dammit. So I protest against the BMI and refuse to accept those numbers. I know how I feel and how I look. I'm (mostly) comfortable with the way I am and am taking the steps towards meeting my goals.

 Anyone else think their BMI category doesn't match up?

- L

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