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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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″
- 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″
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.
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!
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!
Thanks for pinning!