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Old 03-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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BMI / ideal weight / calculators

how much stock do YOU put in BMI, "ideal" weight, and the various calculators?

i cringe when i look at a chart and a person my height/age should weigh anywhere from 104 - 137 lbs. for me to weigh 104 lbs...i'd have to chop off my leg. and when i put 150 (my loose goal) in to see what my bmi would be, it still says i'm overweight.

i just get frustrated because especially with this woe, we need to be intune with our bodies..listening to how we react to certain foods, etc and a number on a chart may not be how our body wants/needs to be.

i know for myself, i was in the marching band..i danced my entire childhood and my dads built like a linebacker... i'm not a frail gal, even if you took all the excess fat off.

i just hate to think that some people may feel defeated because they are not attaining a certain number or BMI and they feel like they have failed. if you meet everyday overcoming some obstacle and make even the smallest steps to improve your health, you're winning like sheen!

i put 150 on my stats but if i get to 175 and i look like a rock star, i'm not going to feel like i failed because i didn't attain a certain goal that may not have been within my reach in the first place.

just insomniatic thoughts... hope everyone has a beautiful thursday.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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If I were to get down in weight where I am supposed to be(145) ...i would look like one SICK puppy!lol
I am built on the muscular side.My calves are 16", they will never be small . I have had the same size legs for ever I think, tried every thing to lose some inches there , but it is solid muscle. I know where your coming from , I was never a small person and I don't expect I ever will be . I am comfortable pretty much where I am now , maybe the last few#'s can go , but that is pretty much as far as I am going .My bones protrude to much when I am that low in weight , suggesting that I weigh 145#'s ...that is too low for me. It was said to me when I was 16 years old I was built like a brick sh*t house, at 125 #'s.I was heavier then my peers at that age.so I am what I am.
I know that this woe has helped me in so many ways that I know I can do this for life,regardless of how much I lose. Happy Thursday to you !
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:11 AM   #3
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BMI means NOTHING! Some, actually a LOT of top notch athletes are considered overweight or even obese looking at the BMI chart!! It does not take body composition into consideration at all. Im like brandy and have thick calves. But they are all muscle! I too would look sick if I got down to 145 pounds which is supposedly "normal weight" for my height.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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I would ignore online calculators or any other external measures and go by how you look and feel.

As I was losing, my doctor told me that I looked great at 170 and could stop losing at that point, even though by all measures, I was still overweight.

However, I continued to lose just to see how I felt, and I began to feel best at about 145-50. When I go below 145, I begin to feel ill and weak.

Would I like to say I weigh 110? Sure. But the number is irrelevant to looks and health. Ignore the number and decide what's best for yourself.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Best measure of fitness, IMHO, is % body fat. I'm going for 15% body fat. Don't care about weight or BMI. If I can get to 15%, everyone will be happy.

That said, I've been (literally) working my a$$ off in the gym, and I'd like for the scale to move. It's been bouncing around a bit. Big changes in my waist, arms, shoulders, but little or no weight loss in 6 weeks. Tough to ignore the scale, but the truth is, it is a big fat liar about your overall level of fitness.

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Old 03-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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I read somewhere that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be considered overweight by those BMI charts. I agree with BobnAtlanta that calculating fat percentage is the best measure medically. But I think that listening to your own body and how you feel in it is extremely valid too!
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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Hi, Shaun. In the fifties and sixties, it was very common to hear that 5 feet and 100 pounds was the recommendation, and 5 pounds for each inch over 5 feet. Of course, there is no such thing as one recommendation for everyone, but such declarations were very much the norm, then.

Due to internalizing the values of that day, I have vanity numbers in my very marrow putting pressure on what I think I ought to weigh.

That said, Dr. Richard Bernstein says to just stand naked in front of a mirror, and lose weight until you are happy with how you look. The scale is a mere adjunct.

Eating VLC and doing Callanetics have given me a sleeker look, due to muscle tone, than I would have eating the SAD and not doing Callanetics.

That vanity number plagues me, but I make deliberate effort to enjoy life in my own body, regardless of the tyranny of the numbers.

Here's to mental freedom!
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by PghPALady1974 View Post
BMI means NOTHING! Some, actually a LOT of top notch athletes are considered overweight or even obese looking at the BMI chart!! It does not take body composition into consideration at all. Im like brandy and have thick calves. But they are all muscle! I too would look sick if I got down to 145 pounds which is supposedly "normal weight" for my height.
^^ This. My husband is 6'2", and maintains himself at 180 without having to do anything. Shortly before we got married (many moons ago), he put on about 25# of muscle. He looked I_N_C_R_E_D_I_B_L_E!!!! BUT, he was in the Air Force, and when they did his physical, it pushed him into the "overweight" category.

Whatevs.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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I was 6' by the time I was 11 years old, so the weight charts became a joke to me and my family. A 6' tall 11 year old girl just didn't fit the mold. Therefore, I go by how I feel. yes, i have a target weight range, but that is just something I aim for. My true goal is to look good and feel healthy by my standards. I guess the key is it will be my standard I look to, not doctors or unrealistic social stigmas.

At 49 years old I'm 255 pounds (11 down since last monday) and would love to get to 180, but realistically, if I can get to 200, I'll be over the moon.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:46 AM   #10
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I can wear a size 7 junior jeans and I am no where near my "weight" goal. I'm fine with that right now.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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BMI is a great tool for looking at whole populations of people for insurance and sociological study purposes... like all 37 yo females who are 5'6". It shows trends over time in populations. It's great for that.

In fact, it's pretty good for telling someone who already knows they're overweight approximately how they compare to others of their height/gender. I know I'm fat, but being able to go from Obese 3 to Overweight would be a serious achievement for me.

It's NOT great on the individual level, once you're down in the overweight/normal range, especially if you're extremely fit or muscular. It's not good for fine definition... just overall categorization.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #12
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BMI is a great tool for looking at whole populations of people for insurance and sociological study purposes... like all 37 yo females who are 5'6". It shows trends over time in populations. It's great for that.

In fact, it's pretty good for telling someone who already knows they're overweight approximately how they compare to others of their height/gender. I know I'm fat, but being able to go from Obese 3 to Overweight would be a serious achievement for me.

It's NOT great on the individual level, once you're down in the overweight/normal range, especially if you're extremely fit or muscular. It's not good for fine definition... just overall categorization.
Synger, what a great post. Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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BODY FAT % is the best measure IMO.

It all depends on what body type you want to sport.

In general my thoughs are:

Essential Body Fat: Women (10 to 12%) Men (4 to 6%) (Minimum to stay alive or competition body builders).
Athletic (Professional Level/Daily+ Workouts/Conditioning): Women (14 to 20%) Men (6 to 13%)
Fitness (Serious/Probably 3+ workouts per week): (Women 21-24%; Men 14-17%)
Average (Occassional Activity): (Women 25 to 31%; Men 18 to 25%)
Obese (From not necessarily "fat"/solid/big-boned to too big to move without assistance): Women (32% +); Men (35% +).

Do a search for Body Fat #% for guys and gals to get an idea of what each range looks like. Of course, it gets progressively harder to get into each lower range, which generally requires more strength training/conditioning and revisions to diet at each stage, and increasing levels of time/energy commitments to maintain.

For Example: My avatar is approx my current body condition for M/32/5'10", which is about 16.9 to 17.4 Body Fat depending on the week, and that's doing 4 hours of martial arts a week for cardio/conditioning, and 2-3 strength training workouts at the gym (no more than 15-20 minutes worth) per week, and eating low carb (enough to stay in ketosis) and somewhere arround 2250 kcals p/day. (Weight fluctuates between 160 and 170 per week (up to 3-4 lbs per day) depending on water/sodium/food/sweat and occassional cheats knocking me out of keto.....
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Last edited by Taxbane; 03-08-2012 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #14
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I'm pretty sure the guy who developed BMI explicitly stated that it's not meant for individuals, but for some reason US physicians stick to it. (Come to think of it, the last few times I visited a physician it felt like a colossal waste of time and money)

My employer even offers health insurance reimbursements to employees who successfully minimize BMI. Maybe I should let my muscles atrophy so I can be "healthier"?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:54 PM   #15
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great discussion everyone! thanks for your input!
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #16
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This is a very good question. It is also something I have been considering a lot, since I am not *very* overweight (only about 15 pounds) and my body has simply *refused* to lose more. It might be a stall...OR it could mean that the only thing really left is extra skin and the subcutaneous fat (read: very hard to lose until you lose the skin) that comes with that. Take into account a large and robust bone structure and being VERY muscular for a woman (I currently leg press 390 kilograms, which is the max that the machine at the gym allows)...and I start wondering how accurate the 'recommendations' can really be.

I am 5'7'', weigh in the 170s (the lower ones, when it isn't TMI time!), wear a size 8 jeans and a size M top. I don't look fat (unless you see my extra skin underneath the clothes but that is another matter). In fact, I have lovely, shapely legs and often wear tight clothing and skinny jeans. I wonder how much weight my body is still capable of losing...the numbers on a chart say one thing and how things look...well, aside from the skin, that says another!

As a side note, BMI was never intended for use on individuals. It is a statistic that was designed for population analysis and is wildly inaccurate when it comes to individual use.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:22 PM   #17
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I put little stock in BMI and ideal weight charts, but for a different reason than OP. I am small boned and not particularly muscular, so if I'm in the upper half of my "healthy" BMI range, I'm fat. I look best at about 110, which is at the upper end of the "underweight" BMI range for my height. I can assure you that I'm quite healthy at that weight. I'm a size 4 at 110, whereas I know other women my height who wear a size 4 at 140 and look great. We're all individuals, and charts and BMI's don't work for each unique individual.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxbane View Post
BODY FAT % is the best measure IMO.

It all depends on what body type you want to sport.

In general my thoughs are:

Essential Body Fat: Women (10 to 12%) Men (4 to 6%) (Minimum to stay alive or competition body builders).
Athletic (Professional Level/Daily+ Workouts/Conditioning): Women (14 to 20%) Men (6 to 13%)
Fitness (Serious/Probably 3+ workouts per week): (Women 21-24%; Men 14-17%)
Average (Occassional Activity): (Women 25 to 31%; Men 18 to 25%)
Obese (From not necessarily "fat"/solid/big-boned to too big to move without assistance): Women (32% +); Men (35% +).
This is very, very interesting. See, BMI says I am overweight. But my body fat % says I am average.

Of course, if I had the time I'd love to be at 'fitness' level. Maybe after law school when I have a little spare time? I can at least work on it over summer break!

Anyhow, it is food for thought and shows how inaccurate the BMI chart is!
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:45 PM   #19
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Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss---and the Myths and Realities of Dieting by Gina Kolata

Great book , what I got from it is that you should be comfortable with your SET weight. Sometimes we dont all get to weigh 102 pounds but we should feel good about what we are at as long as its a healthy place.

Being 5'2 and looking at others on the board I should want to get down to 100-110, Last time I tried I got stuck at 145, which was no where NEAR my "ideal weight" Even though I looked goood, and I felt GREAT I wasn't happy. So I ended up giving up and gaining all my weight back plus 40 pounds. If I would have been happy with the 145 maybe I would still be there.

Long story short, don't let ANYONE else tell you what you should weigh, ONLY YOU know what feels good inside and out.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghPALady1974 View Post
BMI means NOTHING! Some, actually a LOT of top notch athletes are considered overweight or even obese looking at the BMI chart!! It does not take body composition into consideration at all. Im like brandy and have thick calves. But they are all muscle! I too would look sick if I got down to 145 pounds which is supposedly "normal weight" for my height.


My DD was told by her nurse thay her bmi was too high...she was made to feel overweight....she weighed what I do now and a tad shorter....but solid as a rock athlete! I told her to not listen to that bologna! I still wish I was as "overweight" as she was then! Her calves were thick too...muscles!
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxbane View Post
BODY FAT % is the best measure IMO.

It all depends on what body type you want to sport.

In general my thoughs are:

Essential Body Fat: Women (10 to 12%) Men (4 to 6%) (Minimum to stay alive or competition body builders).
Athletic (Professional Level/Daily+ Workouts/Conditioning): Women (14 to 20%) Men (6 to 13%)
Fitness (Serious/Probably 3+ workouts per week): (Women 21-24%; Men 14-17%)
Average (Occassional Activity): (Women 25 to 31%; Men 18 to 25%)
Obese (From not necessarily "fat"/solid/big-boned to too big to move without assistance): Women (32% +); Men (35% +).

Do a search for Body Fat #% for guys and gals to get an idea of what each range looks like. Of course, it gets progressively harder to get into each lower range, which generally requires more strength training/conditioning and revisions to diet at each stage, and increasing levels of time/energy commitments to maintain.

For Example: My avatar is approx my current body condition for M/32/5'10", which is about 16.9 to 17.4 Body Fat depending on the week, and that's doing 4 hours of martial arts a week for cardio/conditioning, and 2-3 strength training workouts at the gym (no more than 15-20 minutes worth) per week, and eating low carb (enough to stay in ketosis) and somewhere arround 2250 kcals p/day. (Weight fluctuates between 160 and 170 per week (up to 3-4 lbs per day) depending on water/sodium/food/sweat and occassional cheats knocking me out of keto.....
Hey Taxbane, can you tell me where you found this information, because I keep finding conflicting and often contradictory info about body fat % on the net...it seems that none of the sites can agree, and I'd like to know where I really stand How is your info more reliable than the others? I am hoping it is, since it makes me 'average'
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #22
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At one point DH weighed 240lbs and had 11% body fat. According to the BMI he was obese.

Even when thin, I am a 36DD. I literally have 10-15lbs of boob. The weight chart says I should weigh 130lbs. At 130 I look like a walking skeleton.......with big boobs.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbiOh View Post
At one point DH weighed 240lbs and had 11% body fat. According to the BMI he was obese.

Even when thin, I am a 36DD. I literally have 10-15lbs of boob. The weight chart says I should weigh 130lbs. At 130 I look like a walking skeleton.......with big boobs.
HA HA!! That would be me, too! Despite having lost from a F cup to C, mine are still HUGE on me. Always will be...I can't say I was born that way, but almost!
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #24
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In the fifties and sixties, it was very common to hear that 5 feet and 100 pounds was the recommendation, and 5 pounds for each inch over 5 feet. Of course, there is no such thing as one recommendation for everyone, but such declarations were very much the norm, then.

That's the weight standard I grew up with and it messes with my head to this day. If I remember correctly there were no allowances made for different frame sizes or body types.You were also expected to stay the same weight for your entire life. People in general were smaller then and a hundred pound five footer wasn't considered thin, just normal or average. For a five foot woman to be regarded as thin she'd have to weigh in the low nineties or less. 110 pounds was chunky and 125 was obese.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #25
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I was playing yesterday with a BMI calculator someone linked in here just because I'd never really explored it before. Since different people get a one-inch difference in my height, I plugged in the higher number just for curiosity.

It instantly put me from obese to ideal weight, and even let me add in a few more pounds with the extra inch in height. (Don't worry; I have no intention of plugging them in in real life! )
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardustshadow View Post
Hey Taxbane, can you tell me where you found this information, because I keep finding conflicting and often contradictory info about body fat % on the net...it seems that none of the sites can agree, and I'd like to know where I really stand How is your info more reliable than the others? I am hoping it is, since it makes me 'average'
I kinda just looked at multiple sources on the net, compared them, then took rough averages for the categories/ranges.

Like anything, these ranges will be a moving target depending on the medical study of the month, and who you choose to believe.

Remember, its progress and/or concious maintenace of your body condition that matters (life-long process), not where you happen to fall on someone's chart (at any single point in time) that matters. IMO anyway
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:05 PM   #27
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I think they are pretty accurate. They usually give generous ranges so the person looking has a wide option. Now the BMI doesn't take into account muscle vs. fat which is annoying but oh well. They are all measures and I use them along with tape measures and the mirror.
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