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.


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


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!)


On My Little Pony and “Being Fat”

Below are some other articles about BMI.

Alright, off you go!

Rather Weighty, part deux

I decided the “food diary” phase of my weight loss journey is over.  I did it fairly loyally for about a year (longer than I would have thought it would last.)  I believe it has served its purpose, in that I am now more aware of what I eat and exercise better portion control.  I have lost 15 pounds since this time last year (per my doctor.)

But now that I have my elliptical, I feel I’d rather bump up exercise and not worry so much about what I eat.  I can’t see keeping a food diary the rest of my life anyway.  I will try and maintain a handle on my portion control and keep cooking with healthier ingredients, but lately it is practically impossible for me to stay under 2000 calories a day, especially given my propensity for mid-night hunger and my child’s erratic sleep schedule (she keeps me up, and when I’m up, I eat more.)

Also, frankly, I miss being able to eat what I want, when I want.  I love night snacking.  My metabolism is 30, though, and my stomach still wants to be 19.  So here’s to you, Chili Cheese Cheetos and mesquite BBQ kettle chips.   I’m still determined to drop a little body fat and lower my blood pressure, but have no fear; my role models are Bettie Page and Tura Satana, not Olivia Wilde and Kate Moss.

Tura Satana (Faster, Pussycat! Kill, Kill!)

Bettie Page with a riding crop

Bettie Page

Incidentally, I came across a blog just now that ranted about “real women’s” sizes and claimed that this:

is what a “real” woman looks like, and fashion designers should make an effort to make more clothes for large and even “obese” people.  While I applaud people who are truly happy with their size and weight, and agree there should be more clothes for women of “real” sizes, a lot of people seem to be suggesting lately by their attitudes that since being overweight is the new American “norm,” it should be acceptable to “embrace” that.  It brings to mind the phrase “Me thinks [she] doth protest too much.”  In other words, you don’t need to try to convince me your weight is “normal” and you are “happy;” you probably need to convince yourself.

The fact is, from a medical standpoint, the woman in the above photo is not a “healthy” woman.  She’s an overweight woman.  If she is happy with her weight and body image, that’s great!  But the reality is, she is probably well over her acceptable BMI and percentage of body fat.  This puts her at risk for more than just tight-fitting clothes.

Maybe, instead of looking for more designer clothes for “obese” women, obese people should be trying to get healthy.  Not THIN.  HEALTHY.  I’m 5’2 and 132 pounds.  I am not thin.  I’m 31 and I wear a size 7 (I like juniors jeans better than traditional womens, and they are all in ODD sizes.)  I’d like to reiterate that my role models are full-figured women like Bettie Page and Tura Satana, so you can see, I am not unrealistic about what women’s sizes are.

Just this humble woman blogger’s opinion…

Edit: 6/2017

It is interesting (and sad) to note that I have gained weight back when I  stopped watching calorie consumption.  I have since gone back to counting calories with MFP.  I finally learned the valuable lesson I was doing my best to ignore for all these years, and that is:

I will never be able to not watch what I eat if I want to maintain a certain weight, because you can’t out exercise a poor diet.   And I, personally, will always be able to out-eat any exercise I do! I just like to eat, and I eat a LOT.  That said, I have incorporated lifting into my routine. I LOVE it.  I weight more than I did before, naturally, but I am more fit, stronger, and more confident.  If you are still struggling with weight, I highly recommend giving lifting a chance.  It’s a slower path, as your body is basically recompositioning, but the benefits are worth the time.  Best luck!