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BMI, "ideal" weight, body frame...oh my!

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Old 04-17-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default BMI, "ideal" weight, body frame...oh my!

I'm relatively new to this whole weight loss/lifestyle change thing. And where I come from (Newfoundland), losing weight is a struggle anyway, because food is *such* an integral part of life here. People being bigger just isn't that big a deal here, I don't think. I mean, yes, there's still pressure, I suppose...but being overweight is almost seen as being normal. I don't think that's a good thing, but there you go.

So basically, this hasn't just been a lifestyle change for me...I've had to change my entire mindset when it comes to food and what it represents. Not to mention, I've had to sit down and actually try to figure out what constitutes a healthy weight for me.

And that's...really, really effing confusing, I've discovered. *L* I'm short, so I know that the amount of weight I'm currently carrying is definitely not good for me. I've dropped nearly 20 pounds so far, but I know that's just the beginning if I want to be healthy. I'm not *sick*, mind you, but there are health issues in my family that are going to be knocking at my door if I don't get myself in check *now*. I'm not a kid anymore, and I can't eat like one.

But I can't really figure out whether I should even *set* a goal weight for myself, or if I should just play it by ear. I once read an article that said that (for women, at least) if you're 5 feet tall, you should weigh 100 pounds, and then add 5 pounds for every inch after that. Well, I'm only 5 feet tall, but let me tell you...the last time I weighed 100 pounds, I was ten friggin' years old, okay? I cannot even *imagine* being 100 pounds. Especially considering the fact that I look at myself in the mirror now (at 184 pounds) and have a hard time believing I weigh that much. I just don't *look* that heavy. So I can't imagine how skeletal I would look at 100 pounds.

So part of me thinks I should set a goal weight, to give me something to strive for, but another part of me thinks I should just go on the way I am and see how I feel as I drop the weight. If I feel good and am satisfied with the way I look at, say, 150 pounds, then so be it.

But then there's the damn BMI, which says that in order to be at a healthy BMI, I would have to get down to 125 pounds, which is also within the "healthy weight range" for my height that WW recommends. 125 has been my unofficial goal weight, simply because of that BMI business. I've read about BMI having a role in most of the health conditions rampant in my family.

So what say all of you? With the goals you have for yourself, were they influenced by BMI/ideal weight ranges, or is it just a weight that you think you would be comfortable with? Sometimes I look at my weight tracker and I think to myself, "Holy crap, 59 pounds to go, I can't do that!" *L*
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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When I first started out, I put 135 as my arbitrary goal. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I would break it up into 5-10 lb goals and slowly I got there.

Once I was there, I realized I could go lower and that's where I am currently. I'm not sure what my final "goal" weight is going to be but it's going to be finding a balance between where I feel happy and what's sustainable

I think for now just focus on the next 5-10 lbs and go from there. The important thing is finding "your plan" that is sustainable!
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #3
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I don't really trust BMI weight ranges as they don't really consider muscle mass in the calculation. If you can buy a scale with a body fat % calculator that's the best way to measure your progress. The acceptable body fat % women should go for is a target of 25-31% for good health. Right now I'm sitting at 39% and I started at 40.3% on 3/31. It's a slow process for the body to burn the fat, but it's a more accurate measure of health than what your weight on the scale can tell you. 130lbs may not be the right goal weight for me. I might be at 25% body fat at 135 or 125. I won't know till I get there, but I definitely want to be at 25% or very slightly lower in the fitness range of 21-24%!

As Grace said before me, set small weight loss goals and go from there. Try not to overwhelm yourself with lofty goals at first.

(I got my info on the body fat % from WebMD, can't post links yet otherwise I would have. Google works wonders if you want more info! I just typed in Body fat versus BMI )
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #4
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I dont have a goal weight really, i mean I do, but its not really a goal if that makes sense. My goal? to wear a single digit pants size (9/10 or lower)...now whether thats at 130, 145, i dont care, but just to lose something and get healthy. The 130 came from before I got preg with my 2nd daughter, i weighed about 130-135 and wore a 7/8 and 9/10. I hope that makes more sense.
I only yesterday figured out my BMI at 27 and thats overweight for my height and age. Im 25 and 5'4 and weigh 160.

I would set realistic goals. where do you want to be?
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:01 PM   #5
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Hi Snoofie I wanted to respond as a fellow 5-footer lady. We're a rare breed!

Right now, I'm 126lbs... I feel great, confident, but not proud enough to wear a bikini. Still, I feel strong. Someone was talking to me the other day and said I had to weight, at most, 110lbs... Hah! I would say 125-120lbs is a great starting goal, and to reevaluate when you get there.

I've noticed, in my personal opinion, that women with BMIs of 20-22 look fantastic in bikinis, so that's always in the back of my mind. I think the highest weight I would want to be is where I'm at a BMI of 22.

If it's helpful at all for you, my progress pictures (the link in my signature) shows my weight at 157, 139, and 129. You may or may not find that helpful, but I figure that since we're the same height, it might.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Actually those body fat calculators are not accurate either, especially for women. They basically just calculate teh body half of the body and women carry more body fat in the bottom half of the body. Only accurate ways to determine is with calipers and by someone who knows what they're doing or a water dip test.

But really, just do what you need to do - exercise and eat right and you will settle into a weight that works for you.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:33 PM   #7
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I am the same height as you and my goal weight is 130 5 lbs more than yours. I have a small body frame too and I would love to be 125 but 130 seems more tangible to me. I think you should go with what wait you would be happy at and what weight you would be comfortable at.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:46 AM   #8
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My goal was essentially to be "normal" so I wasn't really aiming for a certain weight but eventually, I figured that I needed to hit a normal BMI range. Once that goal got closer, I started imagining 140 lbs as my goal. Once that got closer, I inched over to 135 lbs. My ultimate WLG is 125 lbs because a lot of people around my height have targetted that as their own goal but now that I'm hit my original goal, I'm taking it easy and coasting over to the way I want my body to look. My constant ideal has been a small stomach (no belly flap) and I'm getting closer to seeing that but I'm not there yet. I guess, whenever the belly shrinks or I hit 125 lbs will be when I'll start myself on actual maintenance and that means making sure I don't dip below it.
I agree that it's a tough decision to make. Look at me, I can't even answer this question without rambling on :/
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Ignore BMI- if you have any amount of muscle it is not a good indicator of healthfulness. Instead try to find our your Body Fat Percentage. The trainers at my gym do these measurements for people.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #10
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My goal is 140lbs. It's 15lbs within my healthy BMI, it would be a total of 100lbs lost, and it's the weight I was in high school so I think I could maintain it with better eating habits (I was really active then but my eating habits were HORRIBLE!). If I get to 140lbs and I decide I want to lose a bit more I will. However, I really have a hard time picturing myself at 130lbs (the advice that person gave you with adding 5lbs for every inch) but we shall see.

My immediate goal is 155lbs, though, and I have other mini-goals along the way. We want to have another kid and since I recently had a miscarriage, I really want to be at a healthy BMI before we try to TTC again.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InControl2Day View Post
When I first started out, I put 135 as my arbitrary goal. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I would break it up into 5-10 lb goals and slowly I got there.

Once I was there, I realized I could go lower and that's where I am currently. I'm not sure what my final "goal" weight is going to be but it's going to be finding a balance between where I feel happy and what's sustainable

I think for now just focus on the next 5-10 lbs and go from there. The important thing is finding "your plan" that is sustainable!
Thanks for the comment! I think that breaking the weight loss into manageable chunks of 5-10 pounds is a great idea; it certainly makes the whole thing seem more do-able. Seeing that I still have 59 pounds to lose....well, it makes it seem as though I'll never be able to do it (although, I mean, hey, when I started, I had 79 to lose, and I've managed to get it down this far, right? *L*)
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArEyBee View Post
I don't really trust BMI weight ranges as they don't really consider muscle mass in the calculation. If you can buy a scale with a body fat % calculator that's the best way to measure your progress. The acceptable body fat % women should go for is a target of 25-31% for good health. Right now I'm sitting at 39% and I started at 40.3% on 3/31. It's a slow process for the body to burn the fat, but it's a more accurate measure of health than what your weight on the scale can tell you. 130lbs may not be the right goal weight for me. I might be at 25% body fat at 135 or 125. I won't know till I get there, but I definitely want to be at 25% or very slightly lower in the fitness range of 21-24%!

As Grace said before me, set small weight loss goals and go from there. Try not to overwhelm yourself with lofty goals at first.

(I got my info on the body fat % from WebMD, can't post links yet otherwise I would have. Google works wonders if you want more info! I just typed in Body fat versus BMI )
Right now in terms of body fat percentage, I'm pretty much where you were; I'm sitting at 40.1%. I have no idea how much higher it was before I lost my first 19 pounds! Maybe it's better that I don't...lol.

So I'll keep an eye on my BF% (my scale tells me that) and my BMI, and take both of those into consideration. Thanks for your comment!
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