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Bmi???

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #1
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Question Bmi???

I have a question about BMI. I hope someone here may have some knowledge or info that I do not... According all the BMI charts, I'm a lost cause. I am 5 feet, 9 inches tall and they say I should not weigh more than 169. That seems crazy to me. I only weighed a few lbs less than that 20 years ago when I was on a competitive swim team and working out for at least 8 hours every week! About 9 years ago, after having three kids, I lost a bunch of weight and got down to around 180. At that point, I had people telling me I was starting to look TOO thin. And they weren't telling me in a mean or jealous way, it was more of a concerned, maybe-you-should-lay-off-the-dieting-a-little way. But according to these charts, I was still "overweight".

Now, I know that losing even a little weight can improve your health, so I'm not giving up just because of the stupid BMI charts. I want to be healthy, but I also want to have a realistic goal and I just don't think the BMI standards are right for everyone.

Any thoughts??
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:58 PM   #2
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Here's the thing with BMI charts... They're not accurate.

They do not take into account your frame type or muscle mass. If you feel like you looked healthy and felt good at a certain weight, then that is the weight you should be at.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
Here's the thing with BMI charts... They're not accurate.

They do not take into account your frame type or muscle mass. If you feel like you looked healthy and felt good at a certain weight, then that is the weight you should be at.
Exactly! Don't get too caught up with numbers. You know your body better than a chart does :]
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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BMI charts are meant for populations, not individuals. So, there will be outlyers. There will be people who should actually weight less than the range the give and those that should/could weigh more.

It's just another tool, not something to get overly concerned about. Getting fit and healthy is the most important thing.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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I've read that the BMI charts are of questionable use for athletes who are 'heavier' due to muscle mass. But we have to be reasonable here ... are we muscular, or is there a fair amount of excess fat.... I was in the middle of my 'average' bmi a long time ago and really can't imagine being 20 pounds lighter at this point, although I know that it is possible if I eat 100% clean and get rigorous daily activity.

There's also an optimum waist circumference for men and women - you can google that - which is another relative measure of health.

Ultimately, I think that BMI needs to be taken in consideration along with waist size, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. in order for us to be able to assess our health.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thank you, everyone, for your input. And Exhale15, I did google waist sizes and found an article relating waist size & BMI. According to that particular article, I was healthy at 180 because my waist was less than 35". There is so much information online about weight loss, so many charts & measurements, that I sometimes feel like I get overloaded with all of it. But I am going to chill out a bit & just focus on regular exercise & healthier eating habits. Maybe when I get to Onederland, I'll worry a little more about the other stuff!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by berryblondeboys View Post
I just want to quibble a bit.

I agree that most of us could fit within the BMI guidelines, as you are right, most of us are not athletes with lots of muscle, but, let me put this out there.

We all have different frame sizes. So, let's say I have a small frame (and there are tons of calculators out there to show that). And, I'm 5'6" tall. That would mean that my healthy BMI range is this: 118-148. With my small frame, 118 might actually be ideal with a good body fat percentage of let's say 23%. But, according to these charts, I could weigh as much as 148 pounds THIRTY pounds heavier and still be considered "normal weight" even though my body fat percentage could be over 30% body fat. There's a lot of wiggle room on that chart if you have a small frame.

Now, take someone who has a large frame at 5'6" tall. They might look at that 118-148 and laugh! Holy moly... 118? They work hard and sweat and get to 148 and then they have an 20% body fat percentage. They just squeak into the acceptable BMI range for their height, yet, there is no wiggle room and, they have a much lower body fat percentage than her same height peer. Sure, she can get to the range, but who is going to have a harder time staying in that range?

I watched it with my husband. he wanted to take off weight about 18 months ago. He was already in a healthy BMI range, but sure, he could probably lose some. So, he dropped 20 pounds, did weight training and actually gained some decent muscle mass and he's still in the healthy BMI range for his height.

Me on the other hand, I got to 165 last summer. My body fat percentage was around 26%, I wanted to shoot for 25% or lower and then got derailed a bit. I'm 5'6" (and a half). According to the BMI charts I still needed to lose 18 pounds to fit within the BMI range for my height. I would have been THIN, Thin thin. Most people don't need to get that thin to fit within "normal" weight range.

Was it doable, yes it was, but how easy to maintain? How many hours at the gym would I need to put in? I'm built large. As is my younger son and his pediatrician told me to ignore the BMI charts for him as he will probably never fit within them and that's OK - he's proportional (not chubby, just built like an ox). Guess where he got that from?
I agree with you. I am also a large woman, and I don't mean just the excess weight. I always have been. Always taller than all the girls in my class, as well as most of the boys. I have never had a fashion model's figure and I never will. I do believe I would look skeletal if I got into the "healthy" BMI range, so I'm going to shoot for just a little above that. I think that's healthy for me. Thanks again for your ideas and opinions!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhale15 View Post
I've read that the BMI charts are of questionable use for athletes who are 'heavier' due to muscle mass. But we have to be reasonable here ... are we muscular, or is there a fair amount of excess fat.... I was in the middle of my 'average' bmi a long time ago and really can't imagine being 20 pounds lighter at this point, although I know that it is possible if I eat 100% clean and get rigorous daily activity.

There's also an optimum waist circumference for men and women - you can google that - which is another relative measure of health.

Ultimately, I think that BMI needs to be taken in consideration along with waist size, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. in order for us to be able to assess our health.
I just want to quibble a bit.

I agree that most of us could fit within the BMI guidelines, as you are right, most of us are not athletes with lots of muscle, but, let me put this out there.

We all have different frame sizes. So, let's say I have a small frame (and there are tons of calculators out there to show that). And, I'm 5'6" tall. That would mean that my healthy BMI range is this: 118-148. With my small frame, 118 might actually be ideal with a good body fat percentage of let's say 23%. But, according to these charts, I could weigh as much as 148 pounds THIRTY pounds heavier and still be considered "normal weight" even though my body fat percentage could be over 30% body fat. There's a lot of wiggle room on that chart if you have a small frame.

Now, take someone who has a large frame at 5'6" tall. They might look at that 118-148 and laugh! Holy moly... 118? They work hard and sweat and get to 148 and then they have an 20% body fat percentage. They just squeak into the acceptable BMI range for their height, yet, there is no wiggle room and, they have a much lower body fat percentage than her same height peer. Sure, she can get to the range, but who is going to have a harder time staying in that range?

I watched it with my husband. he wanted to take off weight about 18 months ago. He was already in a healthy BMI range, but sure, he could probably lose some. So, he dropped 20 pounds, did weight training and actually gained some decent muscle mass and he's still in the healthy BMI range for his height.

Me on the other hand, I got to 165 last summer. My body fat percentage was around 26%, I wanted to shoot for 25% or lower and then got derailed a bit. I'm 5'6" (and a half). According to the BMI charts I still needed to lose 18 pounds to fit within the BMI range for my height. I would have been THIN, Thin thin. Most people don't need to get that thin to fit within "normal" weight range.

Was it doable, yes it was, but how easy to maintain? How many hours at the gym would I need to put in? I'm built large. As is my younger son and his pediatrician told me to ignore the BMI charts for him as he will probably never fit within them and that's OK - he's proportional (not chubby, just built like an ox). Guess where he got that from?
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #9
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BMI charts scare the beejeezus out of me. After seeing the article yesterday about CVS requiring their employees to provide weight/BMI info or be surcharged on their health insurance and then my own experience with my doctor's office, I am stressing out just thinking about all of this.

My doctor's office literally inputs your height and weight into their calculator and gets the BMI. Doesn't matter that I am big boned and will probably never even get to the high range of a healthy BMI (less than 159lbs), doesn't matter that I have literally lost 34% of my highest weight on record (I think I was more at one point but wouldn't get on the scale), doesn't matter that I am losing weight as fast as I can in a healthy plan medically supervised. NOTHING else matters, I am just a number on a chart.

And really, if my body shape and frame got to 159, I would look like I needed a couple of cheeseburgers. It would not be a healthy look for me.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonde94 View Post
Thank you, everyone, for your input. And Exhale15, I did google waist sizes and found an article relating waist size & BMI. According to that particular article, I was healthy at 180 because my waist was less than 35". There is so much information online about weight loss, so many charts & measurements, that I sometimes feel like I get overloaded with all of it. But I am going to chill out a bit & just focus on regular exercise & healthier eating habits. Maybe when I get to Onederland, I'll worry a little more about the other stuff!
I'm with you. Focus on living a healthy lifestyle and the 'measurements' will fall into place.
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