I hit a milestone recently: 185 pounds. After a little bit I dropped past it to 184, which is where I weighed in this morning.
This may not seem significant, and may even seem pretty crappy to you. These are still significant numbers. I know fit people who’d have a fucking stroke if they woke up and weighed 184 pounds. But for me, according to the body mass index calculations, I’m now no longer “obese.” I’m just “overweight.”
Hooray, I’m overweight!
For people unfamiliar with the concept, BMI is a general rule of thumb that uses your height and weight to calculate more or less how much body fat you’re carrying. I’m going to go into the faults of BMI in a second, but in general: A figure of 30 or higher indicates you’re probably obese. From 25 to 29.9, you’re probably overweight. From 18.5 to 24.9, you’re probably normal. It seems to work better for populations than it does for individuals, but it’s a general guideline. Anyway. At 5-foot-6 (shut up) and 185 pounds, my BMI was 29.9, just sitting on that border of obesity and overweightitude. Now I’m 184 and have held there, the BMI number is off the border and headed with purpose deeper into overweight territory on the road toward normality. Keep in mind, where I’m at is still not great, but it’s much better than I was when I was around 208/212 pounds. I’ve spent most of my adult life several tokes over the obese line, pudgily stuck there. That phase is over.
There’s a lot of complicated math involved in figuring out your BMI, so unless you feel like doing that by hand, go here why not.
A few caveats: More virtual ink has been spilled about how BMI isn’t a strictly accurate measurement than I could possibly link to, so let me sum it up:
- It’s a general rule of thumb. There are many varieties of thumbs out there.
- It doesn’t take into account your frame size. I’m a short, medium-framed stump of a man. I used this to determine my frame size.
- BMI calculation doesn’t work for fit people with lots of muscle and/or athletes. I tried a BMI calculation using the average height and weight of an athlete at the CrossFit Games, and it came out to 27 and change — right in the midst of Overweight Country. This guy look overweight to you?
- According to how the Japanese calculate BMI, I’m still obese and will be until I hit 155 pounds. I wouldn’t be considered “normal” until I hit 142. Which seems like too little to me, but then again I’m not Japanese — so there.
Anyway, fuck it. According to this arbitrary and flawed measuring stick, I’m not obese anymore. As meaningless milestones go, this is a fun one. I’ll take it.
Here’s stuff that isn’t arbitrary: Since I wrote the first blog post in this (apparently continuing) series almost 3 weeks ago, I’ve dropped another 3 pounds. A pound a week, right on schedule. I’m down yet another hole in my belt and heading rapidly toward dropping down another hole. Just 3 little pounds have made a big difference waist-wise because I’m reshaping things, apparently. I now own no pants or shorts that fit properly.
The point I’m trying to get to: This stuff works when I stick with it. And it took metoo goddam long to figure this out and truly understand it. If you’re trying to change what you look like, don’t be like I was, and hem and haw and say you’re going to do vague half-assed plans you’ll try soon maybe. Figure that shit out and do it. It’s pretty great.¶