Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chester County, PA, but I'd rather run free amongst the sheep
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I am obese, by anyone?s definition? I am 5?4? tall, and weigh 187 lbs with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 32. I am not posting my stats so anyone will feel sorry for me, but to give you an idea of how far I have come. When I started dealing with my weight and food issues, I weighed 240 lbs and had a BMI of 41. That was eight months ago, and I still have around 57 lbs to lose before I will be at a proper weight for my bone structure and height.
I am frustrated, to the point of obsession, with those who think they are overweight when they are not. In my mind, I know that everyone?s definition of overweight is different. I also realize that a person who believes they should lose five pounds can be as obsessive about it as those of us who have more to lose. I am sick and tired of hearing from women (some of whom I work with, some of whom are friends or family) complaining when they are 5?6? and weight 130 lbs. That?s a BMI of 21. Any lower, and they could become underweight. Why aren?t they satisfied? Who helped them create their idea of an ideal body? Whose fault is it? I often wonder whom to blame for this image we have of ourselves ? the media? The modeling industry? Our parents, for not teaching us how to deal with food in a healthy way?
An entire weight loss industry has sprung up from our obsession with weight. Diet pills, fat-free and sugar-free foods, herbal ?supplements? that purport to block fat. We have carb free diets, sugar free diets, and diets based on eating all the cabbage soup you want all the time. We have weight loss gurus telling us what we should be doing, what we should think, and how we should think it. The thing that disgusts me most is that the majority of people using these products, going to these meetings, or eating only bananas because of reading the latest book ARE NOT OVERWEIGHT.
Scientifically speaking, in order to be considered overweight, one must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 25. To be considered obese, one?s BMI must exceed 30. There is a simple formula, for anyone who is interested, to calculate BMI. Take your weight in pounds and convert it to kilograms (divide by 39.37). Then, take your height in inches and convert it to meters (multiply it by 2.2). Divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared, and you will have your BMI (kg/m2 = BMI).
IMHO, if you do the calculation and come up with a number that?s 25 or less, pat yourself on the back and continue on your way. If your number is higher, make a decision whether you want to do anything about it. Choosing to lose weight is a personal journey and should be done FOR YOU. Not for your partner. Not for your children. Not for your friends. If you are happy, then move on with your life and enjoy it. You should not let society dictate how you should live your life. This is the exact reason I struggled with weight for almost nine years before finally succeeding.
Just my $0.02, your mileage may vary.
edited to correct formula