BMI: Do Your Numbers Add Up?

In my efforts to get fit and get back to my ideal pre-pregnancy self, I have blogged quite a bit about weight, from public perceptions and media treatment of body image, and the dangers of trying to lose weight with stimulants, to how I personally feel and the efforts I’ve personally made to get fit. (I’ll add links below, if you’re interested.)

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight is probably aware of Body Mass Index (BMI,) a typical tool used to gauge whether a person is overweight, based on height and weight.  Here’s a pretty little chart to give you some idea of what I mean.  Height and weight are plugged into the formula to give a BMI number, and then your number falls into general categories.

bmi-chartAs you may imagine, however, this simplistic equation does not factor in either lean body mass, like muscle, which is heavier than fat, nor does it account for excess belly fat, so your results may not be 100% accurate.  If you are healthy and comfortable with your body, don’t let these numbers get you down!

Where you to go to a gym and avail yourself of assistance from a personal trainer, they could give you a more accurate idea of whether or not your weight is healthy and right for your frame.  They do this largely by taking measurements of your body (and likely a “pinch test”) and plugging them into another formula, thus taking in to account not only your weight, but it’s general distribution on you body.

Well, I don’t have a gym membership or my own personal trainer, so I workout at home, doing Jillian Michael’s Shred or some other of my favorite videos on YouTube (great if you don’t want to buy a workout DVD and be stuck with the same workout all the time) and I have an elliptical I use to do HIIT.  I don’t own a scale (I use my neighbor’s,) but I take my basic measurements– you know, hips, waist, belly…

Yesterday, I got curious and looked for a more detailed BMI calculator online.  This is what I found, and what it looked like when I plugged in my numbers. *Bear in mind it does not allow for half-inches or fractions of inches.

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If you’d like to plug your numbers in, click here.

Okay, now…  according to this, I am slightly overweight (I agree,) and I am “apple shaped” (disagree.)  My ideal weight is approximately 125-130, which seems to almost correspond with this chart.  But this chart does not account for the loads of muscle I have.  I’ve always had a sort of athletic build, like a gymnast (fitting, since I used to engage in gymnastics, horseback riding, and then martial arts.)  I have muscular thighs and…eh hem…a well developed gluteus.

So I’m putting it out there for you all (and myself.)  This is what “overweight” looks like.

...minus the dirty bathroom mirror and carefully concealed face and bed-head

…minus the dirty bathroom mirror and carefully concealed face and bed-head

IMG_3030

So, yeah… I could stand to lose a few more pounds, and I’m working on getting a smoother physique…  But despite how hard I’ve been working and my mostly  strict dedication to logging calories in My Fitness Pal, the going has been slow…Too slow for my tastes anyway.  Because I love to eat, my calories restrictions are minimal, so the fat isn’t exactly melting off.  Also, I have noticed since starting the 30 Day Shred (waaaay more than 30 days ago,) I have gotten a lot stronger.  My arms are more toned.  So I think I’m getting the job done, but the fat around the middle is just the last to go (stubborn shit.)

But I’m going to keep at it.  If nothing else, I love how strong I feel lately.  Even my volleyball serve has improved!  And here, gentle readers, is where I’ll be posting the pics when I’m finally bikini ready once again. Besides, I have a horror convention to go to in July, and I plan on Cosplaying, so I need to be fit!  Even if you are happy with your weight, you can never be too strong or too healthy, so join me and let’s support one another. Join me if you dare!

And, if you are already struggling with weight or are interested in fitness and body image, here are the links I promised.

Rather Weighty, This

Rather Weighty part Deux (What exactly constitutes an ideal body and what is your “ideal” body image?)

‘Eff you, Skinny Jeans!’ (Jeans, I defy you to damage my self-esteem!)

Sexercise!

On My Little Pony and “Being Fat”

Below are some other articles about BMI.

Alright, off you go!

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‘Eff’ you, skinny jeans!

Recently I was disturbed to find that I backslid with my weight-loss efforts, and that I had regained most if not all of the ten pounds I had lost over the past year.  I was extremely discouraged to discover that I no longer fit into the new jeans I got last year (that I love so much. )  I’ve been wearing yoga pants for most of the summer.

So I had to go and buy “fat jeans.”  When I came home with a pair of size 11 LEIs (for some reason they just seemed to fit the best, better than the women’s size 10 in other brands,) I was happy to have some new jeans, but very discouraged after all the “trying on” and by the fact that my other LEIs after my weight-loss were size 7!

Then, a day or so later, my neighbor gave me a pair of her old jeans that no longer fit her.  They fit, albeit I would have them maybe a half size larger if I had my choice…   And they were size 5.

And a revelation I’ve had before came to me anew (I guess that makes it a re-revelation???)  Size 5 jeans now are not the same as size five jeans ten years ago.  The sizes are getting smaller.  Today’s jeans are made for girls without figures…  basically prepubescent girls or girls built like 12 year old boys.  I need to go one size larger just to fit my ass into a pair of jeans.  Maybe this is because I am trying to wear junior sizes, you might suggest. (I am petite and also I find the cut and style of junior clothing generally more appealing.) Well, it used to be if you are size 5 in juniors, you’d likely wear a size 4/6 in women’s.  Following this logic, I purchased a size 11 in juniors, but I should be able to fit a size 10/12  in women’s. (We already know the tens I tried didn’t work.)   Yet these 5s from almost a decade ago fit almost perfectly.  Incidentally, my “skinny” jeans from last year, they’re a size 7.

So what does that tell me, aside from the fact that the sizes are getting inexplicably smaller?  Well, to me, whether on accident or by design, clothing manufacturers are encouraging the already dangerous trend in society that propagates self-criticism and self-esteem problems in women.  It’s bad enough that average women are told repeatedly through pop culture’s fashion and tendencies that any fat is bad, that anything less than a model’s body is bad, now they have to be reminded every time they try on a pair of jeans.

Now maybe some of you think I am probably just a bitter fat woman who just sits on her ass but complains about being fat.  Rest assured, I have been exercising five to six days a week religiously for the past two to three months, and I have once again started keeping track of my food intake.  As to my weight, while I am over my ideal weight by about fifteen pounds, I am not fat.

I love to eat and because of that I’m not losing through calorie restriction as much as I’d like, but I do feel stronger and more empowered from my exercise routines, so eff you, skinny jeans!  I will fit into you again, but until I do, I will not allow the size of my jeans to dictate my body image.

 

Related: 

http://blogs.prevention.com/get-fit/2012/06/05/your-jeans-not-genes-can-motivate-weight-loss/

My Dirty Secret

No, not dirty in a good way.  Just not something I discuss a lot…or at all.  And not something I really want people to think of when they think of me.  Why?  Not because it’s disgusting, or people won’t want to be near me or talk to me or even admit they know me.  I don’t smell funny or have some weird fetish (well, i do, but I’m not telling you!)  But because it’s sad.  Kinda pathetic really.  But I’m not sure what I can do about it.  But I am willing to bet I am not the only person who feels this way and isn’t sure why.  “What is it, already???” you may be asking.  Just this: Continue reading