Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So I just checked my BMI and it's 26.3. Which means it's smack dab in the middle of overweight (between 25 and 29). I've never given BMI a second thought and never calculated that in my life. And I find that to be complete and utter horseshit. Admittedly, if my BMI was saying I was average than I'd probably be singing a different song but seriously the whole BMI thing is ridiculous. For one thing the terminology is completely whack. Overweight? Over WHOSE weight? And obese? Supposedly that means you are in serious risk of health problems. But none of those numbers take into account the host of over numbers that make up health and truly reflect how healthy you are. Stef, has some damn great cholesterol numbers. Mine are squarely in the "normal" range of things. Looking at my heart rate, I'm amazingly healthy. Where both of us a challenged is the blood pressure. But does a BMI look at that mosaic of health indicators to assess health? Nope.

Health is such a weird term to begin with. It's so weird how we as a society associate health with how you look. On top of that, we associate both looks and health with virtue. If you look good you obviously must be doing something right. You must be HEALTHY. I got diagnosed with diabetes around the same time I found that Christina Applegate had breast cancer. I remember thinking, "Christina Applegate? Why her? She looks so healthy!" I had to deconstruct that to realize I was really thinking, "she looks so thin and pretty." As much as there are contributing factors to health, we aren't better people because we are healthier.
Healthy doesn't mean we treat our co-workers with respect and stay in touch with out of town friends.

Healthy means that your body works. Unhealthy means something in your body broke down. BMI says very little about how well you body is working. Only what it looks like.

1 comment:

Stef said...

My BMI is horrible. I don't even want to think about it.