My love/hate relationship with a "healthy" BMI.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't have a lot of love for the BMI measurement, because it doesn't take into consideration several things that impact me personally: the fact that I have a large skeletal frame, and the fact that through strength training since day one of my weight loss journey, I have quite a bit of muscle on me, and of course the density of muscle is greater than the density of fat, so more muscular people weigh more.

However, despite the fact that I have a healthy body fat percentage as well as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers that are within the healthy range, I couldn't help but be excited that I am inching closer to that magic 24.9 BMI number (or for my height of 5'5", 149 pounds). Granted, the only advantages that I can think of are that if I maintain it for 6 months, I can apply to get my life insurance rates decreased and I would be a more acceptable candidate for plastic surgery in order to get the extra skin removed from various areas of my body, but it's still exciting to get back to a weight that I haven't seen since I was a freshman in high school and to achieve another goal per se (and I'm DEFINITELY a goal-oriented person!).

So I'm still in weight loss mode, looking for that 24.9. Yes, even those who have disdain for such an arbitrary measurement can be suckered in. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I hear you I HATE the BMI number too I'm smaller Leaner than I've ever been in my adult years (i don't weight less once for a very short amount of time 124) but yes that dumb BMI number I've been maintaining a just healthy 5'4" 144 lbs BMI (wanting to weigh 135) so
    magic BMI #24.7 just at the average just. gain 3 lbs over holiday no big deal it will come off but guess what I'm overweight according to BMI And I keep trying to lose weight so if I gain a pound or two I will not have to think about being over weight. Sorry long winded it just on of those numbers things that work me best of luck
    3036 days ago
    it is a battle, for sure! yay for all you've accomplished!
    3041 days ago
    It's "normal" BMI that is medically defined as between 18 and 25.

    That's why I use the term "healthy" BMI because I get to define it.

    And my position on BMI is that just about anything between 18 and 30 can be considered "healthy." Once a person is under 30, it's time to focus on body composition, rather than weight.

    Just my 2 cents.


    P.S. I'm going for a follow up DEXA scan next Wednesday for an uber accurate assessment of my body composition.
    3042 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2013 12:01:56 AM
    3042 days ago
    It's not a perfect measurement, but it can be a useful guideline.
    3042 days ago
    @ Azul

    Unfortunately, it's the one that a LOT of people go by in order to determine health, including the life insurance industry, because it's quick and cheap. Taking caliper folds to determine the body composition of prospective risks takes a lot more time, which equates into increased underwriting costs and less profits. As most life insurance companies these days are publicly traded, profits are the most important thing, since they'd rather please their stockholders than their customers. emoticon
    3042 days ago
    Add to that having a ridiculously long torso and 20# of breasts that aren't going anywhere and I that's where I am with BMI. It just does not apply to my body type. At all.

    I am hearing the same things as you from my doctors...and the concensus is that my goal weight, with a BMI of 27, is going to be just fine. Heck, I am still technically obsese and all of my numbers (A1C, fasting glucose, cholesterol) are in a really healthy range even though I am pre-diabetic and have a bunch of other health issues.

    BMI is just not a very good measure in a lot of ways. It's far too simplistic.
    3042 days ago
    @Holly, I thought the same thing as well and also had discussed it with my doctor, but until you've actually gone through the process, you don't know what you'll end up doing once you get to that point. TRUST ME on this one. You may end up changing your mind and going for it as well!
    3042 days ago
  • HHB4181
    emoticon emoticon
    3042 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12557708
    emoticon Someday I hope to be in the sprint toward a healthy BMI--haven't seen it in about as long as you!
    3042 days ago
    I have no desire to be in that "healthy BMI" range. I discussed everything with my doc and we decided on a number together. It's still in the overweight category, but as long as my blood work and everything continue to come back normal, she's happy with it.
    3042 days ago
    @Earl: I do use fat calipers every 4 weeks, which is why I know I have a healthy fat percentage. You must have missed that part in this blog entry...because it's in there!

    As I said, it's a love/hate relationship, because there ARE some advantages to using the BMI, and since I'm almost there anyways, I might as well get that number to go along with the rest of them I've racked up along the way (healthy fat percentage, healthy blood pressure/blood sugar/cholesterol numbers, etc.). However, I still think the measurement is a bit too arbitrary for my tastes.
    3042 days ago
    Whatevery you have to do... as long as you keep it going!
    3042 days ago
    It's a goal! Go earn your BMI number!
    3042 days ago
  • NEPTUNE1939
    Forget the BMI - use fat calipers - they are about 98% accurate. Earl
    3042 days ago
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