BMI calculator. I'm on the cusp of overweight right now, and have started to make better choices so I can fit back into the healthy range by making sustainable lifestyle changes. Let's face it, it's also so I can feel good about being in a bathing suit in January, as I did not this summer. But I was struck by playing around with the numbers on this calculator. How is it that the "healthy range" for my height has a difference of 42 pounds? At my lightest last summer, at 156, I was still 4 pounds heavier than the Middle of that range? The range is 132 - 174. You mean I would still be in the healthy range if I had kept going and lost another Twenty-Four pounds?! I personally don't think that a 5' 10" 132 pound woman fits into a category called "healthy". Seems REALLY SKINNY to me.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site, and it says a healthy weight is within the range of 5% - 85% percentile of age, height and weight. Five percent?! Seems like an enormous range to me. And if you're going to use 85% as the upper range (with 85 - 95% being "overweight" and 95%+ being "obese"), wouldn't you think that you'd at least even it up an use 15% on the bottom range? I wonder if the perception of "healthy" is influenced by our concept of "beautiful."
I recently found another great blog, and these posts, especially, got me thinking. I posted a few weeks ago about how I want to "Lose Weight" again. I have since realized really what I want is to feel healthy again. I want to not be stiff in the morning, be able to run upstairs for something without getting winded, to have more energy, to feel happier because my body is healthier. I know I'm a little off from where I'd like to be. I'm often tired, I don't run from here to there as often as I did last summer. And, yes, there are a few really great dresses I'd like to fit into again. But I just found out that gorgeous Mad Men star Christina Hendricks wears a size 14 - just like me. I am so down with that. I can buy more really great dresses that fit me in the body I have now. I just want it to be healthier. Too bad the media calls her fat. She's a great example of what healthy beauty looks like. And it makes me feel awful to hear it -for her and for me and for everyone who is like me. What do you think about where you fit on the BMI scale? How you feel in your body?
PS - I wonder if part of the reason I liked being pregnant so much (besides the fact that I was Growing A Person! How cool is that!?), was that I was fat and gorgeous and people smiled at me because I was perceived as gorgeous "even though I was fat." Now when I dress, I'm afraid that people will think I'm pregnant when I wear an empire waist shirt or dress. How did I go from feeling great about my shape to shameful - just because I'm not incubating a human being? I'm still beautiful - belly and all! My friend Molly brilliantly has this to say about the subject, and some fabulous advice for us all.
PPS, I'll get back to talking about food next time. Promise.
Photos here and here.