Wednesday, July 6, 2011

BMI, you're such a tool!

I had an appointment with my nutritionist today. She was pretty impressed with my weight loss since my last appointment. I'm pretty impressed too! We talked a little about BMI (body mass index) and weight loss goals. I told her that right now, my goal is 5 more pounds, to be at my high school weight, but I wanted to know if using BMI was even realistic for me. First, she reminded me that the BMI is an average, it's for the masses. It doesn't work for particularly active or muscular people and it is certainly not individualized for anyone.

First we looked up, based on my height, where I should be according to BMI. Well, let's say I've got more to go than 5 pounds! I'm not even going to pretend to know anything about calculating BMI. However, 25 is as high you want to go if BMI is your measure. Even 25 is considered 'overweight'. Now, I'm looking at BMI tables here. You can also calculate your BMI here. Based on the calculator, mine is 27.8. Hmmm, according to the government, I'm overweight. OK.

Anyway, so we looked up where I should be if my BMI was 25...According to the government, I should weigh less than 145. So, I asked my nutritionist, is this a realistic goal for me??? Well, she asked if I've EVER weighed 145. I said, well, no. She said, then it's not a realistic goal and that I should stick with my goal of getting back to my high school weight. I said, for now. No, I didn't really say that, but I thought it. Trust me, I'm not taking the BMI as a challenge. I don't even know if I'd look good at 145.

So now you know...even before grad school, I weighed more than 145. But the truth is, the weight I was at then, in my opinion, was the healthiest I've ever felt and the best I've ever looked. I was comfortable in my body (most of the time). I was toned and muscular, my blood pressure was consistently on the low end of the scale, my skin and hair looked great, and I was just happy with my body. I bring up skin and hair because when we're not healthy, these often will not look all that great.

For now, I'm not shooting for 145. I didn't really get much help in setting a longer term weight loss goal. For now, the goal is 5 more pounds and to maintain that. In getting there and maintaining it, she said I should be getting a mix of cardio and resistance training. OK. That's certainly not a problem for me! If I have 3 work-outs per work, she recommended that 2 be resistance and 1 be cardio. I'll probably end up with 2 cardio and 1 resistance, but that's OK too. I highly doubt that anyone will fault me for the mix of my exercise...personally, I think it's more important that I exercise at all than it is to scientifically mix it properly.

Either way, I think today's take-away is the the BMI is a useful tool, but we must remember that it's not an accurate indicator for everyone at every stage of our lives.

Standard, regular breakfast

So, I'd like to tell you all about my lunch...but I didn't actually eat it. I guess it's fitting that I forgot to photograph it then. It was a basic salad with pita bread. I got so busy that it was taking too long to eat and all of a sudden it was 4:15. I threw well over half of it away.

I actually had 3 tacos for dinner, but only two fit on the plate at a time.

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