Body Mass Index (BMI)

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-chart

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.

20170925_082750-1

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! ❤

17 thoughts on “Body Mass Index (BMI)

  1. Great post and so interesting – I think that there is a real connection between BMI and health. And interestingly enough I would love to get back to my high school graduation weight when I was certain I was overweight but seems ridiculously unachievable from where I sit at the minute. . . I seriously respect the changes you are undertaking and the lifestyle you are reinvigorating Shannon. Keep sharing and don’t be swayed by what the fickle public think. This is valuable information and motivational on so many levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shanny, that really means so much. And yeah the reason I remember my high school weight was that day was the first time I signed up for Weight Watchers. Crazy! 25 years can certainly provide a different perspective, lol. Miss you and hope you are well! xo

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  2. Congratulations on your healthy achievement! I’m certainly sorry that it was the heart attack that triggered this new lifestyle, but like you I am exercising more, eating more fruits and vegetables, trying to eliminate sugar and working on a similar goal. You are my inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura Worden

    Shannon, you are doing a HUGE service to people by sharing your story & tips on how to live a heart healthy life!
    I *know* you from Stampin’ Up (I’m a former demo). I had a TIA 2 years ago at a fairly young age of 44 so I totally get the wake up call for a change in lifestyle!
    Congratulations on your successes & know you are making a difference!
    You have a big fan base, cheering you on!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been struggling to restart my fitness since I was sidelined while taking care of my mother-in-law. My BMI is terrifying, especially with my family history of death by heart attack. I need to change my wish to get healthy & fit into a WILL to get there. You’re story often runs through my mind, especially because you are younger than me!
    Thanks for doing this blog Shannon. Love ya, see you in November.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Denise Waddell

    Wow! So very interesting and so happy you are telling us about your progress. And you look fabulous by the way …. I am finally getting to read your new blog and I am so happy you are sharing your journey. Thank goodness for moms that make you go to the hospital and those fabulous doctors and nurses who take care of things. We all need to learn to take care of our bodies and hearts too.

    Liked by 1 person

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