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Old 03-06-2016, 06:55 AM   #1  
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Default Does the BMI standard ever make you feel discouraged?

I feel like I'm all about a number. As my weight slowly goes down I always do a BMI chart check and I'm always overweight! It doesn't matter if I look thinner, feel lighter, fit into smaller sized clothing, exercise each day, get compliments on how fit I look - when I go to the doctor my BMI is printed in big numbers along with the words obese or if I'm lucky overweight. The BMI number is the only standard US doctors go by in determining appropriate weight level and it doesn't seem like I will ever be able to get down to their version of normal - even if I'm not far off. It's very discouraging.
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:37 PM   #2  
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Based on your starting weight, you DO look thinner, ARE thinner, fit into smaller clothing, etc. (Congrat, btw!)

BMI doesn't discourage me. It's a good rule of thumb for the general population, and there has been a lot of health research using it. Actually, for me it's a bit too forgiving - my body fat percentage makes me obese, and my BMI says I'm just overweight.

I know for me personally, where I feel the best is in the BMI 'normal' range. It isn't because of the BMI range, but it does correlate. For you, you may feel best right where you are.

I just know that for me, my goal is to feel comfortable/awesome because I've spent way too much of my life feeling trapped in my body. I won't settle for something less than what I want this time. And maybe you shouldn't keep going just because of the BMI scale? If you feel amazing and it's not a health risk for you, then maybe you're great where you are. Have you talked to your doctor about it?
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:29 PM   #3  
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It's not that I feel awesome now - I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to lose more weight! It's kind of like Sundove said - there is NO acknowledgement on the progress I've made - I'm a number that's only looked at as I am today - the past weight loss and current journey don't matter. My BMI today is overweight, therefore I am an overweight person, therefore I must be a couch potato who eats junk food all day and needs education and scolding about exercise and diet, because overweight people obviously all have bad habits. There is no concept of - but look where she was a few months ago, or a few weeks ago - she is making progress. It's very frustrating.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:43 PM   #4  
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No, never.

At my lowest weight, 5' tall, 140 pounds I was still overweight. I had managed to lose around 80-85 pounds at that point. I could run 8 miles easily. I would often do back-to-back kickboxing and Body Pump classes and feel "good" exhausted. I had a 31-32 inch waist. It was the smallest I had ever been in my adult life. And healthiest! My numbers were stellar. My BMI number was not. Could I have whittled myself down to a normal BMI? Of course, but at what cost? To constantly battle white-knuckle hunger? To potentially incur an eating disorder that I've never had? I'm with Penny that if BMI correlates to a good, healthy weight for you, great. BTW, when I was at my lowest and fittest, my doctor was thrilled. Not once did BMI enter the conversation. But I know that I have a doctor who has broad perspective and is very supportive.

I don't pay attention to BMI at all for all the reasons and eloquent explanations that Penny and Sundove point out that I can't improve on

Finally, if my response comes off as having an edge to it, know that it has nothing to do with you. I feel the whole BMI conversation that exists in the public sphere creates a lot of unnecessary havoc, angst and distorted feelings about one's body.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:51 PM   #5  
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I didn't see my internist (she's about 5'0" and 90lbs) for over 5 years because of my weight. When I finally went to see her after a significant weight loss (which she didn't notice), she had thought I moved out of town and moved back! I had to reregister as a new patient!

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Old 03-06-2016, 03:13 PM   #6  
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It definitely sucks when you weight train. I find I can never reach a normal BMI and am always a little in the overweight category.
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:15 PM   #7  
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You say it doesnít seem like you will ever be able to get down to the doctorís version of normal and thatís very discouraging. Yet, you were already there! According to your siggy, you were 148 and that would be a normal weight (BMI) for your height. You were there once and you will get there again...no doubt even lower this time, meeting your goal. Just keep doing what youíre doing, believe it will happen and it will. Reading between the lines, you seem to be kicking yourself for getting down to 148 a few years ago and then gaining a few pounds back. Donít be so hard on yourself. Donít focus on the past few years. Focus on the rest of this year and realize that you can and will get back to where you were before and then some. You did it once. You will do it again. Plus, youíve managed to shed 44 lbs. thus far, which is no small feat. Give yourself a big pat on the back. In the meantime, if your doctor is criticizing you, rather than trying to help and encourage you, then find a new doctor, since your current one is useless.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:30 PM   #8  
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guacamole, is it that your doctor is unhappy with your weight and refuses to acknowledge your progress? If so, I would seriously have a sit down with her/him and tell the doctor what you need and don't need; tell your doctor what will help you and what is definitely not helpful. Unless there's an immediate problem (in which case you would defer to your doctor), you are in charge.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:14 PM   #9  
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Honestly, it's doctors I've met across the board, from my internist, gynecologist, and other specialists. I get asked if I eat fruits and vegetables. I get asked if I eat a lot of hot dogs, pizza, and other junk food, I get asked if I ever exercise. Apparently I look like I live on a diet of fast food, soda, and sit on the couch all day. Also, all my doctors tend to be skinny or average in weight. They are otherwise good doctors and I really don't think I would find others who would be less harsh about weight (I tend to be super sensitive about my weight, if you couldn't tell ).

Yes, I got down to a normal weight in 2012-2013, but it was only for a few months until I popped back up. I think I was at 148 for less than a month. I don't have much confidence I could ever get back down to that weight or lower and stay there.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:19 PM   #10  
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BMI doesn't discourage me, because I get happy even if it goes down .01 a point and I remind myself that I'm going to spend a long time in the groups so seeing obese a lot doesn't bother me so much, but I do get happy when I leave a category.

As for doctors, mines has always been really nice and supportive about my weight, so I can't really share the experience but I have heard some horror stories. I go back to see him Wednesday after almost a year and a half, so we'll see how that goes.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:04 AM   #11  
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I view it as a guideline. As in, I know I'm overweight from looking in the mirror and am already dieting by the time my appointment comes. The doctor just needs to know the BMI (which itself is bogus and scammy and has changed over the years) in case the weight goes up or down dramatically in a short time. My doctor is so cute and PC, she hems and haws until finally I say it for her: "You don't have to say it. I need to lose weight. I Know!!" Then she seems to inaudibly sigh with relief at the acknowledgement and we move on...

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Old 03-08-2016, 09:08 AM   #12  
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When the numbers are controlling my happiness I try and concentrate on fitness instead. Making some fitness goal, like yoga everyday for the next 7 days. Or trying to reach some type of goal. It helps adjust my mind away from the scale and I try to imagine in already where I want to be lifestyle wise so everything else will fall in place in time.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:33 PM   #13  
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BMI is effective as a population level tool. Health trends at various BMIs work, that way.

It isn't perfect for individuals, but there is a 40lb range of healthy weights for each height. Hardly one size fits all. A lot of us here have American goggles on, and we see so many 200+lb women walking around that heaviness is absolutely normalized. Don't be defeated by a chart.

If the best health outcomes are found in a certain range, that is absolutely what the chart
should say.

(Obligatory plug for outliers, which are something like 10% of the population.)

I find it very motivating. I was overweight, obese, then overweight for 13 years (since age 19.) It was hard work to get down out of that into the healthy range (just got there!) So what? No one is trying to crush me or discourage me. Just the numbers in black and white, regardless of whether my peers are ignoring it or not.

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Old 03-14-2016, 12:42 PM   #14  
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I find it as a good indicator, it's generally right about most of the population except those who a serious body builders.

I get really excited everytime I go down a category, I went from morbidly obese, obese class 2 and now obese class 1! Almost to overweight and onto normal! Woooo
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:00 AM   #15  
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I find that the whole BMI chart thing, giving a bit, is a bunch of crap!

My oldest son, is a muscle house! 5'11", weighs 180, a state trooper and swat sniper. He repels out of helicopters, for heavens sake. Can run 400 meters in 51 seconds. Bench 250, squat 300 and deadlift 450, but BMI, according to some dumb chart, says he is OBESE!

On my husband and my last insurance eval, I am 5'5", 140, insurance came back and said I was obese!

Really!? I can deadlift 185! On a bad day! I walk 5 miles a day. I can run circles around anyone half my age, (I am 55) and I work for a veterinarian, so I do not have a slouch job, I keep stats for a high school football team, I run, and BMI says I am fat!

My hub, 6' tall, 170. Health insurance came back saying he was as obese, as his 5'10" boss that weighs in at 300 pounds!

I saw all this paper work!

In the beginning, BMI, started out as a good thing. Now it is just a thing that insurance companies use, with a set, set of measurements, that do not take into consideration, lifestyle, body type, lifestyle, etc.

Oddly enough, the gal that originally, insurance exam, took my blood, and asked me about my height and weight, and got after me, was in no position, to question me or my weight or eating or workout habits.

In retrospect, I was very pissed off.

I worked very hard to lose 60 pounds. And I have kept it off.

No one can take that away from me.

I am a much healthier person, a much happier person. I have good health numbers, my last blood draw, a few weeks ago.

I will not be a slave to some dumb chart, that says, I am still fat, according to the health insurance company.

The other thing, BMI does not take into consideration, is, some of are built differently.

My nephews wife, is a rock! She lifts, runs, referees, eats right, totally healthy.

But she is a big girl! She has a booty! She has thighs like an o lineman, and shoulders, most men would die for. But she rocks it! I would not tangle with her! But she looks awesome! Rocks everything she does, and is so pretty!
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