Or the proof that BMI is a complete fail.
Since I’ve been reading up on fat acceptance lately, I’ve been working on how I view myself. Several interesting reads that I plan on reviewing here but not in this post.
Last night, I was looking at my previous parish’s event photos. I was hoping for a photo to use on my LinkedIn profile since I don’t currently have a photo up. Found photos from when Fr. J was installed (yep, you install priests; in this case, it’s a special rite and I got to be part of it). So I’m looking at myself and thinking how “thin” I look. Which, at the time, I considered myself fat and in need of losing weight so considering myself “thin” is highly questionable. This was six years ago. Unfortunately, the photo won’t work (doesn’t crop well).
At some point, I decide it would be a “good” (read really bad) idea to check my BMI. Now, after reading fat acceptance books and knowing how inaccurate BMI actually is, checking it is probably an act of futility. And I used four (4) different calculators to check. Only one asked me for sex. Back in September I had a BMI of 31 (“obese”) and will only a five (5) pound gain I now have a BMI of 33.5 (again, “obese”).
Disclaimer or The Facts: I am 5’7″. I wear clothes largely in medium or in some cases, large. Yes, I’m “overweight” and look it. However, except for GIRD, probably IBS, and depression and anxiety, I’m healthy. I eat pretty healthy (hey, I bake my own cookies from scratch because store bought ones taste terrible). And I could always work on exercising more. But I’m healthy.
But according to BMI, I’m obese. Actually, after weighing myself this morning (a few more pounds gained since Sept), I’m now into “morbid obesity” range (BMI over 35). And it takes less than a five (5) pound gain to bring me to that point.
So I honestly believe that BMI is harmful and useless. It does not help in any way though all the major medical associations think it is the perfect diagnostic tool in determining “obesity”. My weight has very little to do with my health. I am fat but not excessively so. But “obese” means rivers of fatty flesh that is “disgusting” which again goes back to considering weight a moral issues instead of just a number. Considering America has been heavily influenced by Puritanism and Calvinism, no wonder we like to judge and shame for perceived moral failings instead of actual moral failings.
Which set me off. Or more accurately, brought me down. Here was the “proof” I had once been “thin” and acceptable so all I had to do was loose weight and everything would be better again. I didn’t emotionally eat and kept the one fat acceptance book to reread as a means to bolster myself. I also didn’t have an appetite which probably came from a subconscious belief that if I didn’t eat, then I would lose weight and go back to that “thin”, acceptable person.
I did find ice cream bars at the grocery store for cheap and with more in the box than the name brand. So I treated myself to ice cream bars and ate one for dinner. Well, I ate one in the car sitting in the parking lot at the grocery store because I needed to eat otherwise my blood sugar would have dropped too low.
I hate that I still want that “thin” body. Diets don’t work. And I would probably have to starve myself to get back to that point that I was and I wouldn’t have it for long. But I already eat pretty healthy (other than the sweet tooth). I just need to work on exercising more. I do not have to lose weight to be healthy. A thin body will not make me friends. Or make my mother love me. These things will not change. I have friends.