A BMI is TMI

Nothing is more discouraging than finding out you are not just overweight, but clinically obese. According to all of the nifty body mass index (BMI) charts, someone my height (5’2″) becomes overweight at 136 pounds, and obese at 164.

But at 164, I’ll fit into things in size 12 and 14. That hardly seems obese. And, at 136 . . . well, to be honest, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to weigh 136 pounds.

After my experience being physically ill from a condition doctors couldn’t figure out, I’m wary of charts like the BMI. I don’t take it as gospel truth. It doesn’t really help me or any doctor know something we didn’t know just by looking at me. The fact that there are not differentiators once you get to 30+ reminds me of sizes switching from the calibrations of 10, 12, 14 to the X sizes. You’re just big, the BMI and Xs seem to say, and it doesn’t really matter with great specificity how big beyond big.

So, here is one of the only times I’ll bring up my BMI on this blog:

How to people who have talking scales feel? That’s got to suck.

I have a love/hate relationship with this scale, both because it gives the BMI, and because it remembers my weight. I sometimes wonder if friends using our bathroom ever bump one of the pre-set numbers by accident, see my weight, and wonder which one of us matches that number. Seems highly unlikely, but welcome to my world of worrying about unlikely things. By posting this, I’m giving that particular worry away to the universe.

Update:
Aha! Someone else who is onto the fact that the BMI numbers aren’t really all that helpful or accurate. Kate Harding on Shapely Prose with a BMI slide show for your edification.

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