Monday, April 10, 2006

I Am Not Obese

While I probably won't do a full tale of the tape until next Monday, I do want to proclaim from the rooftops that I am not obese.

I am still overweight, but what the heck. I take what I can get.

At 232 pounds, I would have to gain two whole pounds in order to be obese.

Yup. Two pounds and I would be headed for heart failure, various types of cancer, and who knows what all dangers of obesity. But fortunately, my two pound cushion is intact, and I am safely overweight, like most Americans.

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.

My BMI is 28.8. This is 0.2 points below the level that would make me obese.

To get an idea of how fit this makes me, check out this picture of Duane "The Rock" Johnson, whose BMI is 31.6:

So if my BMI is 1.8 points lower than The Rock's, this means, logically, that if BMI is a good indicator of health, that I am 1.8 points fitter than the Rock.

Poor fat guy.

Now I really don't want to make anybody feel bad, but tubby over here on the left has a BMI of 41.3. Sure, he's Ronnie Coleman, eight time Mr. Olympia, and he can bench press my apartment, but my BMI is more than 10 points lower than his.

Look, let's get real here. BMI might sound like some fancy super-advanced way of measuring your health, but it's not.

BMI is your weight averaged out for your height. That's all.

So ultimately, it tells you exactly the same thing as the scale. And so that's why all the other measurements are so important. Because you can have a BMI over 40 and look like Ronnie over there, but you could also look like Bam Bam Bigelow.

So by all means, learn your BMI. Track it. Use it. But don't worry--it's not magical.

Unfortunately, your health and life insurance companies do not read this blog (Yet!) so they still rely heavily on this number. It may save you in the pocketbook to know this number and get it somewhere reasonable, if for no other reason than that.

And really, let's be honest. Since I'm not going to be winning Mr. Olympia anytime soon, having my BMI under 30 probably is a good thing.


Alan H. said...


I totally agree about the BMI. Mine is 32.6 right now, and though I claim to have a target of 25 on my own fitness blog, but in the end I'm more concerned about body fat and endurance. Even if I get down to 20% body fat, my BMI will still show me as overweight (I'm just a stocky guy). Really makes me wonder about the value of the measurement.

Keep up with the exercise and the financial discipline!

Zappi23 said...

28.25, and I should be carrying less weight, it says. Funny that I've always been told this, even by a nurse weighing me at my doctor's who could see that there wasn't an ounce of fat on me. She pointed to a chart that showed, yes, I was approaching "dangerously obese". I was, for a short while, worried about this until I realised that it was patently a total load of bollocks. You know if you're overweight, you know if you're not, and the BMI is a total joke - perhaps even a little dangerous.