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MIZINA730 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 182
10/18/12 8:47 A

I went to the doctor yesterday and had a blood sugar of 88. That's an important indicator!


CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
10/18/12 8:44 A

Being overweight puts extra stress on your joints.

The following is from a sparkpeople article:

Did you know that every time you take a step, the force on your knees and hips equals two to three times your body weight? Climbing down steps will increase the pressure on your knees and hips by six-fold—that's 900 pounds of pressure for a person who weights just 150 pounds. Your risk of developing osteoarthritis generally increases with the amount of weight that your joints have to bear. Once osteoarthritis has developed, being overweight exacerbates the condition

AMPAVUK SparkPoints: (0)
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10/18/12 2:02 A

I determine my health mainly by how I feel. If I have energy and feel good mentally and physically, then my health is in check. I had a period in my life recently where I was mentally unhealthy. I was very angry with a lot of things that were happening in my life. Luckily through the support of my mom, friends, and boyfriend I was able to overcome and be. able to take on the challenge of getting my body healthy.

I also like doctor visits to determine my health. Mainly gynecologists because most of my medical issues have related to that area. They help keep my peace of mind as well.

DWROBERGE Posts: 374,494
10/17/12 6:58 P

only measures weight.

TROMIE SparkPoints: (21,760)
Fitness Minutes: (72,794)
Posts: 152
10/17/12 2:49 P

For me it's that I can walk up three floors and then start to feel a little winded - when only a few months before it was one flight. That I can run longer than I ever could in my life before. That I'm more active than I ever have been.

Sure, the scale has moved some (and needs to) but that's not what I'm choosing to focus on. :)

JUST_BE1 SparkPoints: (26,481)
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Posts: 376
10/16/12 6:23 P

Thanks for this!
I have a relatively low body fat and struggle with the number I see on the scale and my BMI. I must keep reminding myself that the scale doesn't indicate health!

TRANQULITY7 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 899
10/16/12 4:50 P

all I know is I am carrying to much fat on me.
being only half way thru my weight loss goal, I can sing with happiness and cry with gratitude how much better I feel.
and how I feel along with the lab work I need to do will determine how healthy I am.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
10/16/12 4:22 P

I think eating right and exercising are key.

With 66% of Americans overweight, that is a lot of people not eating right.

ROGERSBABE1 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/16/12 3:47 P

I went to a YMCA training and the educator mentioned that within the next 5 years, there are plans to do away with BMI as an indicator of health. For many of the reasons a lot of you have already mentioned. I pay attention to weight, but it's not my only indicator. All of my blood work is great and I am off blood pressure medicine. I am a size 12, wouldn't want to be below a 10 and I and my husband love my curves. One of my friends, a fitness expert and a beachbody coach, says we should aspire to a happy weight...the normal weight that our body falls at when we are eating right and exercising regularly.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,563
10/16/12 3:20 P

Clark, I agree.
We're in danger of becoming a society in denial. Fat is the new normal. That's why it takes the overweight so long to recognize a problem. Everyone else is so much bigger.

Just think of all the adjustments that have been made to accommodate this.
Home furnishing companies make their products larger
Urban buses need reinforced frames
Hospitals re-engineer their equipment to be able to serve patients
Manufacturers make clothing larger so we can continue to wear the same size
While these are necessary to deal with reality, they also mask the problem
Meanwhile our rates of diabetes, high blood pressure etc continue to rise and it becomes easier to make excuses.

FIRECOM SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 5,855
10/16/12 1:25 P

This is a TOTAL PICTURE problem for all of us. Looking at only 1 parameter is a bad decision.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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Posts: 827
10/16/12 1:20 P


I agree with your post about the scale giving you valuable information, about how there are exceptions to the bmi rule, but like you said, most people do not fall into the exception catagory.

You mentioned that 66% of Americans are overweight. 66% of Americans are not the exception to the rule. Overweight has become the norm.

I want to be both-a healthy weight and healthy. Healthy and overweight is not good enough for me.


Edited by: CLARK971 at: 10/16/2012 (13:24)
DINAOREILLY SparkPoints: (71,935)
Fitness Minutes: (84,565)
Posts: 1,386
10/15/12 8:51 P

I hear you....that is why I do all three..weight, measurements and body fat using calipers..only way to have a true picture of progress.....I walk and run...lift some weights and the elliptical...I know it has to come off eventually..

BALANCE-4-ME SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,408)
Posts: 35
10/15/12 6:48 P

Ok, I agree that a scale is not the best measure of overall health.
However, with the following assumptions: you are not taking in any sort of harmful substance, and don't have a profession that puts you in contact with dangerous chemicals on a daily basis.

Your weight issue has been caused by typical reasons - lack of exercise, growing older, having kids, office job sitting at the desk, emotional eating, improper food intake, etc.

Now that you are trying to eat healthfully and exercise, a scale can give you at a very simple level - feedback on how you are doing. This, combined with how you feel and how you fit into your clothes are easy indicators to continue with your program, or modify to see better results.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/15/12 12:37 P

Very true. My boyfriend is 5'6" and 140lbs. But he eats crap food unless I make him healthy stuff to eat, 3-4 Pepsis a day, chews tobacco, would sleep 12 hours a day if he could, and suffers from Crohn's disease. He's not healthy really, but according to the charts, he is. I'm slowly working on him :) I'm 5'3" and 150 (which is the lowest I've been as an adult) and am still considered "overweight" even though I have a pretty good diet and take pretty good care of myself. Even in high school I was in the 140-150 range despite playing soccer and doing track and field, but I was still considered "overweight". 140 would put me in the normal range.

I could tell I was getting healthier when I had more energy, and my skin and hair quality improved. Also my blood pressure always come back normal, whereas before, my doctor was telling me I'd have to go on meds for high BP unless I made some changes. Pretty depressing considering I was only 27 when I was told that.... and it took me until I was almost 30 to start making the changes!

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 10/15/2012 (12:38)
BLUBEL1 Posts: 1,003
10/15/12 9:49 A

The scale can only show weight not health !!

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
10/15/12 5:23 A

Once again, I state that the scale is a tool and how you incorporate that tool is important. Is the scale the only indicator of good health - absolutely not. When you are fighting a battle of perception meaning that you do not perceive the weight you are gaining or losing it can assist by helping to correct that perception. Is it the indicator of health - no but it is a tool to help acheive accurate perceptions and work toward health.

HELZIE Posts: 509
10/15/12 4:11 A

I think a scale is a good indicator for somethings like overall weight, but it's not the end of the world. If you feel energetic and do an extra workout, or choose vegetables over chocolate, then you are making progress anyway...sometimes scales and tapes need a while to catch up.

JRUD10 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (516)
Posts: 6
10/14/12 11:39 P

I think the best measurement for health is probably going to be body fat percent. This measurement takes into account your height, weight, and physical dimensions to calculate what % of your body mass is fat and what % is muscle. I've been using this site to calculate mine for my weigh-ins :

I wish spark people did the calculation for you somewhere -_- it would make the process easier.

A-AMILAMIA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,482)
Posts: 2
10/14/12 4:57 P

I have lost only 2 pounds in over a month, but I feel great! My goal wasn't to lose weight (118 5'3 is fine) but to start being as careful with what I put into my mouth as I am with what I put on my skin. I don't think I look any different but the FEELING...

DIETER27 Posts: 8,985
10/14/12 3:53 P

i agree......

10/14/12 3:35 P

Personally I finally hit under 200lbs and when I look at myself in pictures I seem almost as small as some of my friends that weigh 50lbs less than me. I know I have way more muscle. I rather be building muscle and losing fat but the scale is a slower process but in the long run you end up looking good.

JOYFULME01 Posts: 621
10/14/12 1:48 P

Life is a balance. Healthy living should be measured by a variety of things - self esteem, # of calories, weight, amount of exercise, how you feel, and the list goes on. Those that live by the scale are focusing on one tool.

AISLING88 Posts: 5
10/14/12 1:23 P

I wouldn't say any particular measurement is an indicator of health, since someone could be slim and very unhealthy at the same time. I judge my health by how I feel, my resting heart rate, and my physical fitness level. The best judge for how much weight you're losing (by weight I mean body fat) is definitely your measurements though.

DOUGDC Posts: 2,167
10/14/12 1:09 P

OK. If not the scale, what? Let me ask, if you wanted one single best test for health right now, what would you suggest? My nomination is waist circumference. Other thoughts?

AISLING88 Posts: 5
10/14/12 11:40 A

I get unhappy when I see that the scales haven't shown any difference in my weight, but then I remember that I'm doing weight training as well as cardio. I don't just want to lose weight, I want to lose fat and build muscle, so the actual weight loss will be far slower than the change in my looks and how I feel.

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
Fitness Minutes: (56,956)
Posts: 4,033
10/14/12 11:27 A


LINWASH23 SparkPoints: (88,134)
Fitness Minutes: (130,624)
Posts: 1,984
10/14/12 9:32 A

I like the weight monitoring and the clothe fit changes over time work just fine for me emoticon

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,563
10/14/12 9:26 A

TOHIKEAPTRAIL - Bone structure makes a difference. That's why the healthy BMI range mirrors the "size of frame" range we used to see on the charts. At my height I can have a healthy BMI between 117 and 154 pounds, Unfortunately, in my state of denial as I added weight I decided that my small frame was really medium, and then large. LOL

LOVESTOWALK49 Posts: 705
10/14/12 9:01 A

People discount bone structure. I was often surprised when I would buy clothes and ask someone that looked my size their weight. Thin women don't seem to be reluctant to tell another woman their weight. Anyway, it wasn't uncommon for a woman to weigh as much as thirty pounds less than I and wear the same size. I figured that I must have very heavy bones which makes sense since I've fallen down Navy ladders a few times and never had more than bruises. (Many men that fall down these metal ladders onto a metal desk break bones.)

I have seen many pictures of people on the Internet posting height and weight and clothing sizes. I know that I'm small for my weight. There is no way that I'm fooling myself. Too many shocked nurses when they have weighed me and other evidence. We used to have bone structure on height weight charts before one size fits all BMI.

Edited by: LOVESTOWALK49 at: 10/14/2012 (14:10)
BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,563
10/14/12 8:42 A

With 66% of Americans overweight or worse and our nation’s health and fitness steadily worsening, can we really attribute that to unhealthy thin people? They’re an ever shrinking minority. Everyone has an anecdote about someone who defies the odds. I had a heavy smoking relative who lived into his 90s, but I wouldn’t use that to suggest that smoking is OK. I know all about the body builder/elite athlete BMI not fitting the norm, but how many of us really are in either of those categories?

I agree that no one should stress if the scale shows some extra pounds, but when 10, 20 or 30 turns into double or triple that, I find it hard to imagine that health isn’t being compromised. I use other measures too, but the scale has valuable information to tell us that shouldn’t be ignored.

10/14/12 5:18 A

I think the tape measure - and the fit of clothes is an equally good measure

TORTOISE110 Posts: 7,988
10/14/12 5:11 A

Along with bp and cholesterol, we need to think about cardio fitness. I do lots of walking and know something is off if I get short of breath with a little exertion.

TCANNO SparkPoints: (369,310)
Fitness Minutes: (213,720)
Posts: 73,214
10/14/12 4:25 A

there a monster sitting in the corner ready to bite you if you do something wrong.


JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (600,231)
Fitness Minutes: (357,167)
Posts: 17,099
10/14/12 3:08 A

I agree with you.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,995
10/14/12 2:16 A

i've always had a hate relationship with my scale. back when i was lifting weights, it said i was very obese. everybody figured me for 30-40 pounds less than i weighed. now that time and energy has put weight lifting more in my past, i'm all flabby and i weigh less. my cholestrole levels have always been good, and now that i'm eating more healthy with less fast foods, they are even better.

SLUNDQUIS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 1,044
10/13/12 11:30 P

cardiopulmonary rebound

ANYANP1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (103)
Posts: 6
10/13/12 11:26 P

I always think back to when I was a little girl and my parents organised some life insurance. Back then in NZ you had to go for a full medical exam to get insurance (now we just answer a few over the phone questions).
My stepfather was a lean man, worked as a mechanic and appeared to be pretty healthy. My mother was a 5ft5 lady weighing in at around 100+kgs.
My mother thought it was a hoot that she was worth 300k more than my stepfather because she was, by far, more healthy and fit. (even though she was a smoker and he was not)
I have known since then that size has nothing to do with healthy.

10/13/12 9:22 P

because i have many, MANY friends who can't jog around the block without feeling like they're going to die and eat fast food many times a week, and although the scale may say that i am well over 200 lb (fat by almost anyone's opinion), i jog 5k at least 4 times a week and eat a super healthy well-balanced low calorie diet and have for the past 7 weeks! so the scale may say that my thin friends are lighter, they are most certainly not healthier!

UMBILICAL Posts: 12,786
10/13/12 8:48 P


SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
10/13/12 6:05 P

I think how you feel is a good indicator. Even though you have not reached a goal if you are losing weight and feeling good that is a great indicator as well as how your body responds to exercise.

SMANISMELL SparkPoints: (76,799)
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Posts: 725
10/13/12 5:54 P

Even though I have lost weight, my cholesterol levels and LDL levels have not gone down like I feel they should. I am one to ten points on the high side. People say I look better, but my bloodwork has not shown that I have gotten healthier. I wonder if I will have any differences in my bloodwork once I go from an obese BMI to just an overweitht one.

LKG9999 Posts: 1,747
10/13/12 2:37 P

I agree with KACEYSW, blood pressure and cholesterol are the two top medical tests to indicate health. When my cholesterol came in at 257 last March, I could no longer deny that the extra 50 pounds I was carrying around were not the only indication I was heading in the wrong direction for staying healthy. Now that I have lost 30 pounds, I am still in the "overweight" range on the BMI scale, but my cholesterol is back to normal levels.

I'm continuing to work on getting back to a "normal" BMI for my height. Something I am noticing is that my diastolic number seems to be creeping up as I'm getting older, even though I am exercising consistently and eating well. My dad has been hypertensive since his 40s so it's possible that even with lifestyle changes I may have a genetic predisposition towards high blood pressure. I'll be interested to see when I'm at a normal BMI for a while if that will also be reflected in my blood pressure.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,563
10/13/12 2:07 P

Exactly right Kacey! And how many of us do that with any regularity?
I considered myself healthy and I was. That was my excuse as I kept gaining weight. If I was healthy before, why did I need to carry around all the extra weight and make my heart, joints etc work harder? I have to thank the scale for the wakeup call to turn things around.

KACEYSW Posts: 5,874
10/13/12 2:03 P

You really need all the bloodwork and other medical indicators as well as the fitness indicators to make sure you are healthy. The scale is only a small portion of the measures of good health.

MIZINA730 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,581)
Posts: 182
10/13/12 1:32 P

BMI only measures your weight in proportion to your height. It doesn't tell what your weight consists of. Two people can have the same BMI: an athlete and non-athlete. Yet the athlete will be slimmer and more muscular.

I just started taking my measurements. That is another indicator of progress when the scale doesn't move.

BANKER-CHUCK Posts: 6,784
10/13/12 11:10 A

Weight fluctuate throughout the week. It is good to weigh yourself but not to be used as the only indicator of progress.

DWROBERGE Posts: 374,494
10/13/12 10:53 A

Weight is not an indicator of health.

EOWYN2424 Posts: 9,108
10/13/12 9:33 A

General appearance

PARISAPRIL1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (22,499)
Posts: 518
10/13/12 9:24 A

Fat weight vs. muscle weight.

Many people who are very healthy can be labeled overweight or even obese according to their scale and their BMI even though they are perfectly healthy.

Just a little something to keep in mind when weighing in! How clothing fits is a much better indicator.

What are some other ways you can tell you are getting healthier?

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