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Weight + BMI, Oh My

In my opinion, Body Mass Index is the worst measurement to determine how healthy a person is.
When I was at the doctor not too long ago, it was no surprise when they requested I step on the scale. When we got back in to the room, the woman who wrote my number down had to leave the room to try and find her BMI chart, to be sure I was in a “safe range.” I sat there nervously awaiting the result. Actually, I could have cared less.
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What is the problem with BMI? It does NOT distinguish between fat and your lean body mass (bones, muscle, tissue). Let’s face it, I am no stick figure. I weigh a lot more than what most people think. If you compare my body type to another female that is the same height and clothing size but lives a sedentary life, I can almost guarantee she will be at least 10-15 pounds less that me. It is my personal choice not to weigh myself on a normal basis.
When I used to work at a weight loss centre, the scale was the primary thing the staff and clients cared about. Clients would walk in the door for their weekly visit and only be concerned about that one thing. They would rush me through my appointment because the scale was always the final part of that 15-minute visit. Their whole world would come crashing down if that scale didn’t budge or heaven forbid, they were up .6 of a pound. There were so many instances when clients had gained a pound or two and they would walk out the door in tears and we would never see them again. How horrible is that? To make matters worse, the staff members all had to line up every Tuesday morning. Our weight would be documented on a chart and openly discussed in front of other staff. I certainly felt anxious and humiliated more than enough times.
Unless you are a well-educated health professional, it isn’t expected that you know the multiple reasons why your weight fluctuates. We are told this is our best measurement of health and sadly, in some circumstances, social acceptance. Sudden weight gain can happen if your body is inflamed, you have digestive disturbances, you are dehydrated or even overly hydrated, taking prescription medications, stress, muscle soreness…and the list goes on and on. Does this fluctuation on the scale necessarily indicate you have gained FAT? No!
The fact of the matter is a heavier weight doesn’t necessarily spell poor health. A perfectly healthy person can be both large and fit! Many smaller individuals actually have a vast amount of health risks and complications. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 51 per cent of “obese” people had healthy weight circumference, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Twenty-four per cent of “normal” (thin) individuals were metabolically abnormal, and more vulnerable to heart disease. They also had a higher chance of anemia, osteoporosis and a weak immune system. This body-shape classification is now known to some professionals as “skinny fat.”
Bottom line? To obtain a clear picture of whether someone is of a healthy size or at risk for health complications, the following are some of what should be considered :
-eating habits
-waist circumference
-body fat %-where the fat deposits are
-genetics
-hormonal issues
-energy levels
-activity
-weight history
I advise you to look deeper into your health rather than thinking your low number is demonstrating health and longevity, or your above-normal number shows poor and deteriorating health. PUT THAT SCALE AWAY!

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