I feel nervous posting about BMI and weight–for several reasons. Weight is a sensitive topic for many, and for me it is painful and overwhelming. The way our society handles weight is really awful–and I worry that in some way this post will feed into that. But since a BMI of 25 is one of the 4 Ways to Prevent a Heart Attack, it is critical for heart health. (deep breath) I’m going to be brave and post about it anyway.
BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate one’s overall percent of body fat. After I saw the 4 Ways video, a BMI of 25 became one of my goals. There are a few ways to calculate it–I need to keep it simple so I use online calculators like this one: Mayo Clinic BMI Calculator
Some people are skeptical of the BMI calculation because it doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat. I get that, but I think as a general rule, it provides a goal range to shoot for.
I am reading “Fix It!” by Chauncey Crandall (I’ll definitely be blogging about this book in the near future), and Dr. Crandall confirms that 25 BMI is good–actually he says below 25. But he also says most people should remain about what they weighed at graduation from high school or college.
And when it comes to heart health, weight is important because it is a representation of what kind of food I am fueling my body with. Just like I mentioned in my Cardiac Workout post, a lot of what we do to our bodies is bad–there are only a few things we can do that are positive. Exercising and healthy eating are two of the good things that can deposit money into our heart banks.
Before now, I spent a couple decades wanting to weigh less, and fluctuating quite a bit. Some people told me that my focus needed to be health instead of weight….but I was healthy (I thought) so it just wasn’t my focus.
The day of my heart attack, I weighed 183 pounds. I was fairly happy with my weight at the time, but I felt like I needed to reach 25 BMI, so I gave myself 2017 to make it happen.
This past week I hit 159.6, and for a 5’7″ person, that’s 25 BMI on the dot. Coincidentally, 159 was what I weighed when I graduated high school in 1992.
So it turns out health can be an excellent motivator, because until now, a healthy weight seemed impossible.
A few people have asked me what do I do differently now–what did I do to lose weight? First of all, weight isn’t the focus anymore. My focus is trying to fuel my body with healthy stuff and not damage it with fake, fried or bad foods. But when I respond to this question, I usually say 2 main things: eat more plants (less of everything else) and exercise more.
And so far, to my great surprise, it is working! ❤