Let’s Talk BMI ~ What’s Yours and What To Do With It.




This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

scale

Let’s Talk BMI ~ What’s Yours and What To Do with It ~ some straight talk about body mass index; how to find yours and how it affects your overall health.

legs on scale

Last I checked mine was 25.5.  It’s annoyingly just outside the healthy range, so I’ll be looking to lower it in the next few months.  Checking your Body Mass Index can be really helpful in maintaining a healthy weight because you can focus on the bigger picture, not every little pound.  (The healthy range for any given height spans a generous 20+ pounds.)

What is a BMI?

  • your BMI is your body mass index.  It’s a way of measuring your weight that takes your height into consideration, and it can give you an idea of where you stand in terms of being under-weight, a healthy weight, over-weight, or obese.  (It’s what your doctor uses.)
  • BMI is a broad stokes type of measure, but I  kind of like that, because it allows for some natural variation in what is considered healthy.

You can easily obtain your BMI with online calculators, here’s one from the National Institute of Health, click on the image below to go to the calculator.

BMI calculator

Ok, so you know your BMI, now what to do about it?

  • If yours is under 25 and you feel good, nothing!  Be happy and stay healthy.
  • If yours is between 25 and 29 (or higher) you’re going to want to think about shedding some weight to get back into the healthy range.  The good news is that you’ve got quite a bit of leeway there, the healthy range spans 20+ pounds.
  • Good news if you’re over 60, studies suggest that older adults might benefit from slightly higher BMIs, in the 25-27 range, so adjust your findings accordingly.

 

Years ago our doctor had a big poster in his exam room that said Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels and it irked me and made me feel self-conscious as I sat there on the table dangling my legs in my paper gown.  That poster should have said: Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.  Now that’s something we can live by.

 

oat bran power bowl with spoon
oat bran power bowl

 

What are the limitations of BMI?

There are several arguments against using BMI to calculate your healthy weight…

  • Measuring your BMI doesn’t take into account where the fat is located on your body ~ if it’s around your middle that’s the most unhealthy arrangement.  But if it’s distributed elsewhere, like on your hips and thighs, that’s a healthier place to carry fat.
  • Muscle mass is heavier than fat, and so can throw off a BMI in someone who is extremely fit or especially flabby. (Yes, you can register in the healthy weight range but still have too much body fat!)
  • BMI doesn’t take into account a person’s frame size: a smaller boned person should weigh less than a larger boned person of the same height.  You can determine your frame size by the measurement of your wrists relative to your height ~ check out below for how to calculate your frame size (it’s from the National Institute of Health.)   I always thought I had a small frame, but turns out I’m average.

determine your frame size

Determining your frame size

To determine your body frame size, measure your wrist with a tape measure and use the following chart to determine whether you are small, medium, or large boned.

Women:

  • Height under 5’2″
    • Small = wrist size less than 5.5″
    • Medium = wrist size 5.5″ to 5.75″
    • Large = wrist size over 5.75″
  • Height 5’2″ to 5′ 5″
    • Small = wrist size less than 6″
    • Medium = wrist size 6″ to 6.25″
    • Large = wrist size over 6.25″
  • Height over 5′ 5″
    • Small = wrist size less than 6.25″
    • Medium = wrist size 6.25″ to 6.5″
    • Large = wrist size over 6.5″

Men:

  • Height over 5′ 5″
    • Small = wrist size 5.5″ to 6.5″
    • Medium = wrist size 6.5″ to 7.5″
    • Large = wrist size over 7.5″

weight loss soup in a white bowl

healthy weight loss soup

 

Interesting fact ~

Even though we’ve generally stopped  growing by our 20s, new findings show that our hips actually keep growing wider right into our 70s!  This phenomenon can be responsible for a 3 inch increase in waist size over time.  So those bigger pants you’ve been buying don’t necessarily mean you’re getting fatter.  Your BMI will be a better indicator.

 

Fish with Blood Oranges and Thyme ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

fish with blood orange and thyme in parchment

 

Changing the way we see our bodies in 2019

I’m loving all the empowering self-image campaigns in media and marketing these days (Dove, American Eagle, Athleta, Nike, even Victoria’s Secret is getting in on the action!)  This isn’t new, Dove’s been doing it for 10 years, but it’s just starting to take hold in the mainstream. Everything’s moving toward ‘real’ and away from fantasy and I love the trend.  And these companies aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, they’re doing it because it sells.  We consumers are sick of the same old body shaming and are demanding change.  Get ready to see a lot more approachable, relatable body images in ’19 ~ wrinkles, muscles, bellies, thunder thighs, zits, and even cellulite ~ bring it on!

 

positive body image Athleta

Athleta

For most of my life I’ve maintained a healthy weight, and for most of that time I’ve longed to be thinner.  But thanks to the new healthy body image trends I’ve actually lost my appetite for skinny ~ what a revolution!

 

Heart healthy Dark Chocolate Detox Bites!

dark chocolate detox bites

 

Thanks for pinning!

 

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

19 Comments

  • Reply
    Guy23
    January 23, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Thanks for this. Super-informative and so well-timed. So many of us are obsessing about our weight after the holidays. This brings much-appreciated perspective.

  • Reply
    Grammy Sheila
    January 23, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Sue, great post from Great Island! Love your recipes and your outlook. Made the Salted Caramel Pot de Creme the other day-yum!
    Today’s post was right on. I am a large boned, post-menopausal, 60+ year old. My BMI has always been on the high side yet I grow a huge garden, cook 98% of our meals from scratch and get at least my 10,000 steps a day. I finally have a sympathetic Doctor who gets it and doesn’t believe in the “one size fits all” medicine. His goal is to get his patients to be HEALTHY, no matter what their size. Would I love to have a smaller “muffin” or thinner thighs, or fewer wrinkles? Not really-they make me who I am-a relatively healthy, happy and well-fed grandma.
    Keep doing what you do, we love it!

  • Reply
    Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
    January 23, 2019 at 10:20 am

    What a fantastic post Sue – it’s so full of great information and reminders :) Guess that kills the cookies I was thinking about making – haha. Outstanding way to think about being healthy!

  • Reply
    kim
    January 23, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Super interesting! And I’m definitely loving all of the healthy recipes shared!

  • Reply
    Denise
    January 23, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Very informative article. I never knew about wrist size! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and those yummy looking recipes too!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 8:40 am

      The frame size thing was a revelation for me, I always thought I had small bones and therefore was supposed to weigh less, so I’m relieved to find out I’m ‘average’ ;)

  • Reply
    Sues
    January 23, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I can’t believe your doctor had that poster in their office- that is SO terrible!! I don’t love the BMI number since there are so many factors involved in being healthy, but it’s an OK starting guideline. Also, I want that fish with blood oranges!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 8:37 am

      I know, right? And it was situated right there where you couldn’t help but stare at it as you waited (and waited) for him to arrive.

  • Reply
    Darlene
    January 23, 2019 at 8:27 am

    This is a great post, especially for this time of year when everyone is focused on losing holiday weight and hitting the gym! I love the healthy recipes that go with it. I made those chocolate bites for Christmas and loved them! I plan on trying the firecracker chicken wraps next! Thanks Sue for all the valuable info!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Thanks Darlene, it’s always hard to branch out from known territory :) I’m so glad you make those bites, they’re fun, aren’t they?

  • Reply
    Heidi
    January 23, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Sue…Thank you so much for posting! I have the exact same feelings that you expressed and it really is a relief to be able to feel “OK” in the skin your in as long as you are healthy! Did the BMI and scored a 25 too! Tired of chasing that “skinny” feeling around haha but I will continue to strive for balance! I enjoy your site immensely and make so many of your recipes! Fabulous job!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 8:39 am

      <3 Heidi!

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    January 23, 2019 at 8:17 am

    This is such great info! I tend to be so concentrated on the actual numbers of my weight, so this is really helpful to me!

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    January 23, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Great info! I think we focus so much on the number on the scale, and don’t often think about BMI. On a side note, I really need to make that avocado herb salad…it looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Donna
    January 23, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Best thing to do is purchase a bodyfat monitor scale, and forget BMI, especially if one is athletic and works out. I’ve had three brands, but my most favorite is my current one, the EatSmart Get Fit Digital BodyFat Scale. It costs less than the Omron and Tanita but is so much better.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 7:54 am

      I’m almost afraid to try one of those ~ I walk every day but the rest of me is not especially buff ;)

      • Reply
        Donna
        January 23, 2019 at 9:35 am

        No, they are great. That way you know what is what, and can keep track of it. So if you are walking you know its leg and hip muscle, or if you are sitting around like I did over the holidays, you know what that is as well !

  • Reply
    Nancy
    January 23, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Love this take on food and bodies. Both are so beautifully presented and yes healthy is our desire. I enjoy all of your posts, this one is especially uplifting. Thank you for your well done work.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 23, 2019 at 7:39 am

      Thanks so much Nancy, I was a little unsure as I pressed publish today, but I’m trying to branch out a little bit and explore interesting topics that naturally relate to my recipes, glad you liked this one :))

Leave a Reply