Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:34 PM   #1  
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Unhappy My Body vs. My Doctor and the BMI Calculator

I'm hoping this makes more sense to someone, because it sure doesn't make sense to me. I'm not trying to seek pity, I'd just like to weight my feelings against a general opionion to see if I'm on the right track, or if I'm just flopping out to begin with. If someone could help me understand this it would do wonders for my mental state, as starting a diet completely depressed because you think you're going to fail is NOT contusive to a healthy or happy future. (Aka: I'm not entering this feeling like I'm fighting a loosing battle.)

Currently I am 5'8" and 205 lbs (aprox. a size 14). I was always chubby when I was little, then in high school I went through the whole eating disorder thing and I lost alot of weight. The lowest I got was 150 (size 6) and EVERYONE started freaking out on me telling me I was too skinny - including my pediatrician. So, needless to say I went to college and got over my dislike for food, and replaced it with the opposite relationship. Now I'm back to being "fluffy", as I like to eloquently put it.

So... I introduce to you my friend, the BMI calculator. Right now it's telling me my BMI is 31 which is Obese. Ok, duh - I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is the fact that it's telling me I can get down to like 122 and still be in the "normal" weight range. That puts me almost 30 lower than I was when my doctors diagnosed me with anorexia. I asked my physician and she told me that now that I was 25, it was safer to weight that little than it was when I was 16. She seems to think that me saying I can’t physically weight 122 is me telling her I’m not willing to diet. (122 would make me like a size 2.) The weight gain has made me depressed and I've been pt on welbutrin because of it - something that I was told would help me lose weight and hasn't. She won't give me any diet medication either, so she's pretty much just depressing me more and not doing anything but making me feel like I have NO amibition to do anything. I was a swimmer for my entire life, I have the line backer shoulders to prove it, I honestly don't think I could EVER hit 122. (Also - my husband and friends have all told me I'd look disgusting.)

So... do I listen to my doctor and the calculator, or my family and the little voices in my head that are telling me there's not way I'm going to make 122? I guess what I’m asking is am I being realistic about what I can achieve or am I just making excuses before I even start?

Last edited by Shawski; 08-18-2008 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:49 PM   #2  
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122 sounds pretty skin and bones to me! I'm 5'7" and the last time I lost weight I got into the 150s, and people told me I was too thin. Especially if you have an athletic build, I don't think you should be making yourself crazy trying to get to 122. You'll know when you feel like you're at the right weight for your body. Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:53 PM   #3  
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Diet pills don't work. Who said you have to be 122, since that is the bottom of the range? Focus on eating healthy making small changes at a time if you need to. This is the way you'll keep it off. BMI is a terrible way to measure. Most pro athletes are considered obese if they measure BMI and that is because the have so much muscle so weight more. Body Fat is the way to get a better reading. But I wouldn't work about either one. I'd set a goal to lose 5-10% (pick a number) of my current weight and focus on that. When you reach that, do it again until you get to a weight you are comfortable with. You also need to exercise so that you burn fat. People who don't exercise lose muscle along with the fat. In fat, they now have a category called normal obese to describe these people.

It really sounds like you might be ready to lose weight right now. However is you weight is depressing you, you will have to be the one to get it off.

I suggest you get a copy of the Beck Diet Solution. This works with any diet but teaches you cognitive thinking that supports weight loss. We have a great thread on this over under General Diets. Come take a look.

I wish you well.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:06 PM   #4  
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my brother had 2% body fat and the bmi calculator said he was morbidly obese.

he was a professional body builder with a 64 inch chest and a 27 inch waist. he just weighed over 250 pounds at 5'9" but was rock hard from head to toe...

bmi just compares weight to height... body composition is a better way to go....
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:06 PM   #5  
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While 122 is part of the "normal" weight range for someone of your height, that doesn't mean that it is the right weight for you. 122 is also right on the border of being underweight (It is right at 18.5 on the BMI scale). To be in that normal weight, you don't have to be right at 122. The range for normal is approximately 166-122.

Not all people of my height are built the same way. I have a large chest and broad shoulders, so at my build I'd never dream of being 115 pounds (which some people of my height can handle). My goal isn't to get down to an 18.5 BMI but to a place where I feel great and am healthy.

Don't let the BMI calculator's "range" discourage you from reaching your goals! They make it a range so that all different types of people are taken care of. Aim for a weight that makes you feel healthy and fit!
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:32 PM   #6  
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Default Like the folks at Nike say...


I'm your height, and 150 is my goal weight. I chose it because for a year I weighed that when I was very active, but not dieting, so I know I can go there. I'm also comfortable with it because it's a normal BMI, and it's within the healthy weight range for my body. I don't care what the low end is!

It's too bad your doctor is so unhelpful, but think of it this way: You will only see her every once in a while, but you will look at yourself in the mirror every day, so if you are fine with being 150 then you will be happy there. Plus, the people on this board, and your supportive friends and family are the ones who will cheer lead you to success!

Just go for it, I bet when you get there you will be perfectly happy with 150.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:29 PM   #7  
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I honestly haven't even picked my goal weight yet. I picked 128 before, because I never thought I'd get anywhere close (more attainable). When I reached it, I switched to 122, which is 2 lb below my college weight (I guess just to see if I could?).

Now, I'm really not sure. I'm at 125, and I'd like to lose a few more. I think. I'm in pretty good shape, between running and weights.

Point being, I'm basing my goal weight on how I look and feel about myself. I have no idea what 122 for 5'3" is on the BMI. Not a clue. (I do know they said a normal range would be as low as 104. 104?!?! You've got to be kidding me!!!)

Ignore the doctor and the BMI. Do what feels good!!
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Old 08-21-2008, 10:47 AM   #8  
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Default find yourself a new calculator - and a new doctor

I was really alarmed when I started reading your post. I was a healthy slender at 5'8" 145lbs (size 14) when I was in high school (that was just one or two centuries ago) 122 would have been skeletal.

I found a calculator online at the National Institute of Health website. (sorry, can't post links yet.)

It said that 5'8" at 122lbs is nearly underweight and that I could be as heavy as 159 and still healthy. I know that there are more accurate ways to measure BMI than height/weight ratios, but this is more in line with what I've heard from other sources than what your doctor is telling you.

Definitely find a target that's acceptable to you. It's not like you can't revise it later.

Setting a target weight was a problem for me this time because of how hard the final 20 pounds were last. I was nearly at my goal and I gave the whole thing up when an emotional crisis hit.

My solution was to focus on smaller, more immediate goals (I've got over 100lbs to take off altogether) and just keep setting new goals when I achieve them. I don't have to decide today what weight I want to be in the long term. I'll know when I've hit the healthiest weight I can maintain.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:11 AM   #9  
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The BMI for my height, 5'4", is also incredibly low. My goal weight, and who knows if I will ever get there, is 140lbs, which is on the higher end of the healthy weight scale for my height. I think I would look emaciated at a lower end weight. I AM big-boned and when people learn that I weight between 186 - 190 lbs, they're always suprised becuse I carry it very well.

Don't worry about being 122 lbs. Get to a weight where you feel comfortable -- no one ever said you need to be as skinny as possible and imo your doctor was silly to suggest you get to 122 lbs, esp. after you expressed doubts about it. Personally, if I were a doctor, I would just say "concentrate on losing at least some weight for the time being and getting within that healthy range." It makes the idea of losing weight at all seem much more possible.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #10  
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I think that may be too small for your height. Also, you should take into account your frame size. There are plenty resources on google to help with that.

I am 2 inches shorter than you are. I lost down to 128 pounds once but it wasn't purposely. I was too small, I wore a size 2 skirt back then. I don't think I was at a healthy weight for my frame size and lifestyle.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:39 PM   #11  
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I think you should listen to....... You
Your goal weight doesn't have to be set in stone - especially when you are first starting out. alert Most medical Dr.s really know squat about nutrition. They may be able to tell you exactly how all your internal organs work, and name every vein and artery that gets the blood there; but they have no more clue than you do about what to feed them to make them work right. She probably wants to weigh 122 so thinks everyone should. end

Pick a weight that is within a healthy range - upper end, lower end, or right smack in the middle; completely up to you - right now all that matters is getting started. You can adjust up or down after you've had a chance to get your eating and exercise plans rolling and see how you feel at each "milestone". You have plenty of time

Last edited by yoyonomoreinvegas; 08-21-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:18 PM   #12  
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I'm 4'11...sadly and my BMI is off the chart...however it tells me to be between 95-110 pounds with is highly unlikely. Not saying that I couldn't get down to that weight, I just don't think I would like right. BMI acts as if every one is standard size but at least 40lbs of my weight is in my G cup chest. I've lost 50 lbs and my cup size hasn't changed. SCARY! I know I'd look sick at a weight that low.

IMHO, the BMI is crap. Not saying it's not helpful for some folks, but we are not all made the same. What would be a healthy weight for one 4'11 person may not look well on me. If you eat healthy and exercise, screw what the scale says; if you like the way you look, that's what matters.
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:18 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by caligirl98 View Post
...IMHO, the BMI is crap. Not saying it's not helpful for some folks, but we are not all made the same. What would be a healthy weight for one 4'11 person may not look well on me. If you eat healthy and exercise, screw what the scale says; if you like the way you look, that's what matters.
Well, part of the problem is that the BMI calculator most of us use is not a genuine measurement of our body fat percentage. It's close in many cases, but not every one. In order to guarantee an accurate body fat measurement, there are expensive tests that use infrared light, x-ray, and other expensive technologies. Most people don't have the means to get these tests.

No chart can tell you half so well as your own body whether you are living in a healthy way. You'll know when you're at your peak health because of your energy level, mood, level of pain (if you suffer from joint problems), and mobility.

So there,

Last edited by twilit tera; 08-22-2008 at 11:18 AM. Reason: typo correction
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:32 PM   #14  
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I think the BMI calculator is based on average healthy weight. Personally ? I say just do what you feel comfortable with, if you get to 140 and feel comfortable with that then stick with it.
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