Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Should I Weigh?

This is a question that is on, or should be on, everybody's mind. With a population that is 1 in 3 obese, what should we each weigh? I did some tooling around with this myself. I had been a power lifter for many years. The Navy classified me as obese for the longest time. Based on my heck, chest, and waist measurements along with my weight, then between 235 and 245 pounds, I was called obese. I exercise almost daily, but am still told by the VA that I am overweight. The question is how do we calculate our ideal weight?

There are several methods which can be used. I caution you to use them at your own risk. 

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a calculation that boggles me. I present the calculations below in both metric and imperial units:
  • BMI metric units: Your weight (kilograms) divided by the square of your height (meters)
    e.g. Weight 80 kilograms. Height 1.8 meters.
    1.82 meters = 3.24
    80 divided by 3.24 = BMI 24.69.

  • Imperial units: Your weight (pounds) times 703, divided by the square of your height in inches.
    e.g. Weight 190 pounds. Height 6 ft (72 inches)
    722 = 5184
    190 x 703 divided by 5184 = BMI 25.76
Health authorities worldwide mostly agree that:
  • People with a BMI of less than 18.5 are underweight.
  • A BMI of between 18.5 and 25 is ideal.
  • Somebody with a BMI between 25 and 30 is classed as overweight.
  • A person with a BMI over 30 is obese. 
According to my doctors, I have my BMI is 28.6. To them, I am borderline obese. I run at least 3 miles a day, do 200 jumping jacks, 200 seal jacks, 2 minutes of crunches, and I am up to 55 burpees. Clearly, I am not obese; however, according to the physicians who look at my charts, I am borderline ... Is an intriguing little page. This page asks you if you are male or female and how tall you are. The page then proceeds to tell you how much you should weigh. When I put in my numbers the site tells me that I should weigh 140 to 189 pounds. When I was in that range, i was very skinny and gangly.Check it out and see what you get.

There are several ways to measure and calculate what you should weigh and how much body fat you have. Skin calipers, water displacement, BMI, waist to hip, and the list goes on.

None of this answers the question of "Am I fat?" Let's face it, that is what we are asking. Do the naked mirror jump test. Stand in front of a mirror nude and jump up. Body fat jiggles, muscle and bone don't.

Is your doctor concerned about your weight? If yes, then keep at it.

If not, are you able to be happy with how your body is now? I know I am.

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