Weight Loss Support - BMI Blues...




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southernbelle102
02-04-2011, 01:42 AM
So, I have lost 123 lbs so far but still have around 24 more lbs to go before I am out of my obese BMI and 63 more to go before I have a normal BMI. The crazy thing is that when I share this with others they are in disbelief. And, I have to say that while I still feel a bit overweight, I actually don't think I look obese at all anymore. Almost everyone assumes I am already done or just have a tiny bit more to lose. I know it is awesome that I carry my weight very well but technically my weight is no healthier than someone of the same BMI who looks bigger. It is frustrating that while I feel good about how I look, I still know that I am technically obese. That makes me feel like I must be fatter than I realize. I know that thinking isn't rational and that I should just not focus on the # at all, but that is hard to do. I am so glad I feel healthier and look a lot better but I am ready to be able to say that I am NOT obese anymore...


lostangel05
02-04-2011, 01:48 AM
I know what you mean about wanting to have a good bmi. It's still important, but what you have done is amazing! Congrats! And that's really great that people assume you have just a little left to lose. Soon that last bit will be off, right? :) Don't give up!

Linsy
02-04-2011, 01:52 AM
I know how you feel a little bit. I've lost over 50lbs and I'm still at a 41 BMI which is 2 points away from just being obese and not morbidly obese. It's kinda discouraging to work so hard and still be labeled as morbidly obese!

On a similar note, I'm not sure how I feel about telling people how much weight I've lost. I'm honestly embarrassed that I've lost 50lbs and am still really big. I'm going to stay with a friend pretty soon and his parents know I'm dieting, so I'm dreading the "how much have you lost since you were here last?" question and I'm hoping they don't ask. I'm pretty sure his mom weighs less than 100 pounds so if I tell her 15 pounds since late December (when I left their house) she would probably be shocked and confused. To someone who I'm assuming always been thin I'm sure that seems really strange. :lol:


Patrizia
02-04-2011, 01:54 AM
I know how you feel! When I tell people how much weight I have to lose, they seem to think I'm nowhere near large enough to need 120 pounds gone, or I only have a little bit left to go. Still, I know that I need to keep losing for my BMI to be healthy and to avoid future health risks. It's probably best to focus on the number and concentrate on health over looks (or how others see you), although that's definitely not an easy task!

Good luck on the rest of your journey, you've done incredibly well so far!

JohnP
02-04-2011, 02:23 AM
So, I have lost 123 lbs so far but still have around 24 more lbs to go before I am out of my obese BMI and 63 more to go before I have a normal BMI.

BMI is a meaningless number for everyone but more so for you. You're 6'2" so BMI does not apply. BMI is flawed because it assumes that a body's mass increases as the square of the height. Generally mass increases with the cube of the linear dimensions, so a formula using the square will skew to higher BMI's for tall people.

Also, if you've been lifting weights since you started losing weight it is practically guarenteed you carry more muscle than the average woman thus further screwing up the BMI calculation.

Forget BMI.

southernbelle102
02-04-2011, 04:16 AM
Thanks everyone! ps. I am attaching a current pic of me... I may just have a skewed perception of the way I look but I don't see an obese person in the mirror now...

John - I never knew that about BMI and taller people. It makes a lot of sense though. That actually makes me feel a lot better. I want to keep going with my weight loss because I would still like to get smaller. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that when I am still not in my "normal" BMI range, I might feel that I am small enough to stop. We will see. I have huge bones so I start looking pretty skeletal if I really get into my normal range much at all. (thats how I looked in High school... too small).

I will try to just focus on how I feel and how I look and forget the BMI.

Oh, and you are right, I know that I definitely do carry a lot more muscle mass than an average woman. I actually was really lucky and didn't loose much from my athletic younger years so I had a good base to work with.

JohnP
02-04-2011, 04:56 AM
My BMI is 26 which means I'm over weight, except that I'm not overweight I'm just too tall for BMI to apply at all. Unfortunately I don't have the overly muscled thing to go by. :D

M0vingon
02-04-2011, 07:22 AM
I agree BMI is innaccurate. Maybe you can have your bodyfat % measured instead? I think it gives a more realistic, individual look at where you are health-wise. The trick is to have someone who knows how to do it for you so that it's accurate- and the BEI scales can't do it accurately, so don't trust them either! ;)

Starbuck
02-04-2011, 07:44 AM
Wow, I think you look great! Definitely not obese

shellsbrood
02-04-2011, 08:30 AM
I agree, you look wonderful! Not at all "obese". I do think BMI tends to be a bit messed up for taller people. I'm not as tall as you, but I do get "there's no way you weigh that much" from nurses at the doctor's office when they'd weigh me. I'm also willing to bet that you wear smaller size clothing than other people at your weight.

Awesome job losing 123lbs so far, btw! You rock!! :carrot:

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 08:50 AM
BMI for individuals is MEANINGLESS. BMI is only good for using for data for masses of people, nothing more. So FORGET the BMI - PERIOD.

I have a 5 year old son, who, like me has a very large frame (I know, I know... don't all fat people say that? Well, for me it's TRUE!). AND he's very tall. When he steps on the Wii, depending on the day, it has him at obese or at risk. When you look at the growth charts for children, he's way over the 95th percentile for height AND weight. Yet, he's a slim boy! No doctor has EVER said he was overweight or his BMI is too high, because it's simply not true!!!

Now, is it true that you probably could lose a bit more to be at your "ideal" weight. Yes. But that does not make you obese. Only you can know what your ideal is and really, I would get a caliper test down by a professional or a dunk test taken to see how much 'fat' you really have left. BMI is absolutely meaningless.

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 08:56 AM
And wait, how can you need to lose 63 lbs to have your BMI be in the perfect range? That would mean your "ideal" is 127 pounds when you're 6'2" tall? My wii says my ideal at 5'6" is 136 (for a normal BMI) and I know that's WAY too low for me. I would be underweight. Did you miscalculate somewhere? Are you sure you didn't plug in 5'2"?????

kaw
02-04-2011, 09:18 AM
BMI correlates pretty well with body fat for most people. John's right about very tall people and bodybuilders, but I'd caution against assuming that that BMI is "guaranteed" to be wrong for anyone who lifts. Most non-steroid using women lifters simply can't put on enough muscle mass to skew BMI calculations enough to nudge them into the overweight or obese category. This makes sense: just as the categories seem sticky on the way down, as the OP noted, so too are they sticky on the way up.

Moreover, in my experience (15+ years at this) most women who want to build muscle are also pretty careful about keeping body fat low. There are exceptions, particularly in women's powerlifting and related sports. But, the typical woman lifter isn't willing to accept a big jump in fat in order to maximize muscle gains (the classic bulking strategy), so her actual weight and hence BMI isn't going to shift around all that much, even if she lifts heavy.

Imperfect though it is, BMI is consequential because its correlated with health outcomes, and health insurance companies care deeply about these correlations. They're not going to test all their potential clients for body fat: it's way too expensive and besides, every known BF% testing method, short of post-mortem dissection, has known measurement error. For the average American, BMI isn't that much worse than these more expensive measures, and it's averages, and average risk propensity, that drive insurance companies' profits. Aetna simply doesn't care whether you or I are upset that we're labeled "obese" vs. "overweight."

//b. strong,
Kim

Heather
02-04-2011, 09:26 AM
BMI wasn't designed for individuals but has been co-opted for them because it's very easy to measure and does have correlates with health outcomes.

But I would say that you can choose your end goal, and don't worry too much about BMI per se. Worry about your fitness and health. Talk to your doctor and go from there.

Cali Doll
02-04-2011, 09:35 AM
You are gorgeous, southerbelle!

rachael
02-04-2011, 11:08 AM
And wait, how can you need to lose 63 lbs to have your BMI be in the perfect range? That would mean your "ideal" is 127 pounds when you're 6'2" tall? My wii says my ideal at 5'6" is 136 (for a normal BMI) and I know that's WAY too low for me. I would be underweight. Did you miscalculate somewhere? Are you sure you didn't plug in 5'2"?????

She doesn't currently weigh 190, that is her goal.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, either. I would talk to your doctor about what she thinks about your weight and worry about that.

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 11:16 AM
She doesn't currently weigh 190, that is her goal.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, either. I would talk to your doctor about what she thinks about your weight and worry about that.

Oh Good grief, :^:was my head in a fog or what? Phew... I was thinking, WHAT?????????? 190 sounds good! Phew! :o

Eliana
02-04-2011, 11:19 AM
I have only recently sort of-kind of come to the conclusion that I need to be more size oriented than BMI oriented. I feel like BMI is more of a guideline for me now than any kind of end all be all. I still have a BMI of 25.5, but I don't think I look overweight at all and haven't for a while. I still want to get to 145 (my BMI normal number) just because that classification really messes with my head. But I am a size 6, sometimes a 4! (Sometimes a 10! :dizzy:) I am really happy with those clothing sizes and I judge based off those.

At 6'2", you probably have some idea of what a good clothing size is for you. I'm guessing size 6 is not it. ;) I'm not very good at judging pant sizes as they go with height.

mkendrick
02-04-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't like when people say that BMI is useless or that it is garbage, but I agree it can be flawed. For the average height, average-muscled, regular kinda person, I think it's a very fair tool. It gives you a rather wide weight window to fall into the "normal" category. I'm 5'7 and on the low end of my normal BMI, but my healthy window is roughly between 120-160. I can assure you, that 40lbs will make a significant difference. I'm naturally fairly scrawny, but if I had 25lbs more of lean muscle, I'd be an absolute TANK, and I would still fall within normal range. It does give some wiggle room to allow for different body types and personal preferences.

That said, BMI is a much more useful tool for assessing a population. As I said, it works just fine when it's applied to an average height, average muscled, etc kinda person. It works well on the average. In a population, there will be women who are 5'7 who are highly muscled and 5'7 women who are scrawny like me, but it will average out and their collective average BMI's will give a fairly accurate portrait of the weight situation for that population.

AAAANYways, I like to defend the BMI a bit because it is not garbage and it is not useless. It's ONE tool, ONE guideline that can be used to assess an individual or a population's weight. That said, of course it's more accurate to define guidelines for each individual based on muscle mass, frame size, body type, age, gender, yadda yadda yadda. And for many people, their ideal range for health may be outside of the BMI range.

Southernbelle, you have done a stellar job on your weight loss so far :) And you do look lovely. As such a tall woman, and you said you have above average muscle mass, it is very likely that your ideal range is outside of the BMI's normal range. Have you talked to a doctor about what might be healthiest for you? Some doctors blindly follow the BMI, but others ignore it almost completely. My husband was concerned that I had lost too much weight, so at a doc appt, I brought it up and asked what my healthiest range would be. She did some frame measurements, measured my body fat, and kinda poked on some of my muscles and quite frankly told hubs and I that I was a scrawny woman. My body is meant to be lean and boney. The range she gave me was 120-135 which I thought was fair. Shut DH up at least, haha. Anyways, I digress...

pucedaisy
02-04-2011, 12:06 PM
wow, you look gorgeous. congratulations on losing 123 pounds! i don't have any input on the BMI, but at any rate, your progress is amazing!!

lucysam77
02-04-2011, 12:32 PM
don't give up just keep working on it... sometimes i drink a cup of green tea before going to bed, it help me boost my metabolism.... Good Luck...

by the way... you don't look overweight at all!

Larry H
02-04-2011, 12:39 PM
Wow!! 123 pounds lost is fantastic!!

Congratulations!! :carrot:

I have no opinion for or against BMI

I do firmly believe that what you think and feel about yourself is very important. What others may think and say about you is unimportant.

It is obvious that you have a very healthy self esteem, so many of us have a very low self esteem which makes sticking with a diet plan difficult if not impossible.

Larry,
---------
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes. ~Sally Field

JohnP
02-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Sorry but BMI is not that important for an individual. Anyone who thinks it has great meaning for an individual is mistaken because wether it says you're normal, under or overweight doesn't matter. So what does matter?

Your health. A full panel blood test and physical exam is what matters. You can have a "normal" BMI and health markers that are far worse than a person who is "overweight".

BMI is only good for groups which is what it was developed for. The larger the better. In groups it does what it is supposed to do.

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 12:54 PM
Sorry but BMI is not that important for an individual. Anyone who thinks it has great meaning for an individual is mistaken because wether it says you're normal, under or overweight doesn't matter. So what does matter?

Your health. A full panel blood test and physical exam is what matters. You can have a "normal" BMI and health markers that are far worse than a person who is "overweight".

BMI is only good for groups which is what it was developed for. The larger the better. In groups it does what it is supposed to do.

Yep - completely agreed.

mkendrick
02-04-2011, 01:02 PM
Sorry but BMI is not that important for an individual. Anyone who thinks it has great meaning for an individual is mistaken because wether it says you're normal, under or overweight doesn't matter. So what does matter?

Your health. A full panel blood test and physical exam is what matters. You can have a "normal" BMI and health markers that are far worse than a person who is "overweight".

BMI is only good for groups which is what it was developed for. The larger the better. In groups it does what it is supposed to do.

I'll concede and agree with this statement for the most part :) I agree that it is by far a more useful tool when used with an AVERAGE of a population. And like you said, the larger the sample, the better the average.

But for a fairly average person (like many of us), it's not useless to compare our individual numbers to numbers based on the population average...and of course, take the numbers with a grain of salt.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, because I do agree that the BMI is a tool for populations and not an individual. For individuals who are obvious outliers from the average population (the average American woman is 5'4, I believe...the 6'2 OP is definitely an outlier), it is more or less useless.

Heather
02-04-2011, 01:23 PM
For those wondering about all this BMI controversy we're talking about (and interested!), here's a decent article about the history and use of BMI: http://www.slate.com/id/2223095/

One excerpt:
"Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet devised the equation in 1832 in his quest to define the "normal man" in terms of everything from his average arm strength to the age at which he marries. This project had nothing to do with obesity-related diseases, nor even with obesity itself. Rather, Quetelet used the equation to describe the standard proportions of the human build—the ratio of weight to height in the average adult. Using data collected from several hundred countrymen, he found that weight varied not in direct proportion to height (such that, say, people 10 percent taller than average were 10 percent heavier, too) but in proportion to the square of height. (People 10 percent taller than average tended to be about 21 percent heavier.)"

And later:
"Keys had never intended for the BMI to be used in this way. His original paper warned against using the body mass index for individual diagnoses, since the equation ignores variables like a patient's gender or age, which affect how BMI relates to health. It's one thing to estimate the average percent body fat for large groups with diverse builds, Keys argued, but quite another to slap a number and label on someone without regard for these factors."

Sum38
02-04-2011, 01:28 PM
I never understood it....When I was at 140 pounds with BMI 24.9 I wore size 6, SIX!! So at 141, still size SIX, and I was considered over weight :(

I felt very skinny. Just don't get it.

southernbelle102
02-04-2011, 01:32 PM
Heather, thanks for sharing that article... very interesting!

Thanks for the input, everyone else!!

SweetScrumptious
02-04-2011, 05:14 PM
I agree with others about BMI... body builders who have incredible big muscles are considered "obese" with the BMI calculator.

I got my body fat % measured and have a better idea of how much overall fat I need to lose from my body in order to be considered a healthy body type.

mkendrick
02-04-2011, 05:26 PM
I agree with others about BMI... body builders who have incredible big muscles are considered "obese" with the BMI calculator.
I got my body fat % measured and have a better idea of how much overall fat I need to lose from my body in order to be considered a healthy body type.


I don't mean to pick on you, but....

People parrot this "body builders are obese according to the BMI" line SO often. But really, does that mean the BMI is useless? Is a body builder an AVERAGE person? No, they're outliers. Most of us are average people and our healthiest weight is going to fall within the fairly lenient 40lbs or so of the normal BMI range.

HMM3
02-04-2011, 07:04 PM
I think you look great and your weight loss thus far is inspiring ... :carrot::carrot:

I too get the BMI blues ..... I thought I was almost out of obese range but different BMI sites have different gauges as to what is obese and what is overweight .... which was very depressing to me when I was somewhat elated getting to 88kg and thinking I was now just overweight .... very irrational as if I went to another site I would feel better ....

Take care ....

Meg
02-04-2011, 07:23 PM
I think BMI isn't very helpful for those of us who are/were morbidly obese. Because of our weight, we've developed heavy infrastructures of strong muscle and heavy bones. When we're morbidly obese, every step we take is weight bearing exercise and we tend to carry a lot of lean muscle mass. Fat chicks are strong chicks! :strong: And we develop killer bone density (I had a bone scan done recently and am way, way above average, thanks to years of carrying around 120 extra pounds).

After we lose weight, we still have our heavier than normal infrastructures of bone and muscle and many of us tend to weigh more than average. For us, body composition is a far more reliable indicator of health than is BMI. So for Former Fat Chicks, I say forget BMI and look to other indicators of health and fitness. :)

fatmad
02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
I think you are looking great, and that and your health are all that matter. For a tall woman like you, the actual number of pounds may not make sense on the BMI scale.
That said, when I was obese, everyone (including me) would say I looked a bit overweight, but not obese. But when I look at photos now of me at that weight, I would say I sure looked fat then. Accepting my obesity was my first step in losing weight and getting healthier.
The other thing is the BMI cutoffs between healthy, overweight, obese and morbid can be a bit arbitrary. None the less it was a big celebration for me to leave obese behind and settle into being overweight. (easier to go down a level than up for sure).
Whatever your BMI, you look good, sounds like you feel good, and have been learning to eat and live more healthy. That counts more than any number!

Matilda08
02-05-2011, 05:24 PM
Not really concerned with what my BMI is I just want to look and feel great regarding my health and overall feeling!!!

fattymcfatty
02-05-2011, 11:42 PM
I want to take a BMI chart and strangle it and the idiot who made it. Wait, he's dead right? (Or so I read on here...)
Anyway. I'm 5'9". Probably 5'9" and a half. But I round down. Whatever. Size 12 narrow shoe. 7" wrist circumference. I just posted in the mini-goal my 60lbs lost pic. I'm 210 in that picture. Go check it out. So yeah, I'm still "obese". Yeah, I got some fat rolls, but obese? Really? I'm a former athlete (volleyball and swimming--I seriously bulked up weight training so I could swim faster) and I have a lot of muscle mass. I know I do. I'm not sure if my goal weight of 165 is going to be an OK look for me, it might be 175 or so. The thing I know for sure, is that the starting range of 125 pounds for someone of my height to be "normal" is SICK. (Sorry if I offend anyone of that height and weight) For me, that would look like the ****s got a hold of me!!! Take it in stride.

I have a cousin your height who lost down to 195 or so and she looked SKINNY. Not an ounce of fat. True story.

BTW, I am inspired by your loss!!! Keep it up!!!

fattymcfatty
02-05-2011, 11:43 PM
Woops, "people who committed unspeakable crimes against others during WWII" if you didn't get what I meant.

milmin2043
02-06-2011, 12:45 AM
southernbelle-You are beautiful!!

Congratulations on your weight loss. 123 lbs. is phenomenal!! I think each of us should decide how we want to look and how we want to feel and shoot for that. Also, as others have said, have your body fat measured and get blood tests done, etc. to make sure that healthwise everything is A-OK.

By the way, I would love to be your height!!