Well, it’s official. I’m no longer obese! I am now simply overweight … and loving it.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated using a person’s height and weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta (why do they always add the “in Atlanta” in sci-fi movies?), a person’s BMI “provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people.” Body fatness? Okay. It says that based on my height and my weight of 159.5 pounds as of today, I am overweight. Not in morbid trouble, but I could do better.
The thing is, they are right and wrong about me. I am overweight and I want to lose 9.5 more pounds. But even at my goal of 150, BMI standards will still put me in the overweight category. I have no plans to ever reach normal. I often joke that I’m dense, but seriously I look fine and feel terrific at 150 pounds. To get out of the overweight realm, I would need to drop to 140 pounds, a weight at which I’m bony and have to continuously diet pretty severely in order to maintain the status quo.
Imagine a lifelong diet that never ends? Nope. I’m going to be overweight when I meet my goal of 150 and switch to a maintenance level diet, but I will be fit and will feel and look thin and that’s just fine with me.
Harvard Medical School is just one organization that has written on the concept of being overweight and fit. Their April 2005 newsletter article notes that study results vary, but that it seems it’s okay to be a little bit fat as long as you exercise. Movement seems to prolong life in every weight category, and in some cases lean but inactive people could a higher risk of dying earlier.
These studies all measure the likelihood of dying soon. But as Washington Monthly blogger Kevin Drum noted back in ’05, “there’s more to good health than just being alive.” An important test, in my opinion, is whether you can sit down comfortably in a pair of jeans on the floor without kicking over an end table. Isn’t that really what it’s all about? 😉
Author by Larissa Brown