It seems like so many people here are at healthy weights and trying to lose 5 or 10 vanity pounds. Dropping from a BMI of 22 to 21 (or lower) seems to be the stated goal of the majority of posters. I cannot, for the life of me, understand this. I don't think they are wrong to want to lose the weight, provided their new goal is a healthy one, but I don't understand why anyone would go through all this if they don't have to, if they are already at healthy.
When I first joined CC, I found that my frame is large, and I entered my height as 5 ft 4 inches. The site recommended a goal weight which put me at a BMI of 24, which 140 pounds. (I have actually put in a slightly lower goal weight since I'm actually 5 3.75, but that's only a couple of pounds different). I was glad. No, actually I was thrilled. I didn't have to try to reach 120 pounds? A BMI of 21 was not a realistic goal for me? I could reach 140 and say "Done!" and switch to maintenance? Awesome!
Anyone else with a large frame out there happy about it? Anyone else not crying that they will never reach waif-like dimensions? Or am I alone here?
I have felt that way at times, as my goal is to simply get within the healthy window on the BMI index. However, I try to keep in mind that it's all relative -- if you don't feel good in your clothes, you are going to want to change that regardless of whether it's 2 pounds or 200 you need to lose.
Rememeber that BMI and "healthy weight" ranges are general guidelines that don't always fit every individual. Many times that "extra 5 lbs" is enough to give someone confidence, or just some cushion come holiday time and they indulge in treats (this was the case with me when I finally began losing weight in a healthier way). Of course, there are some people with eating & body image disorders who believe losing the last 5-10 lbs will boost their self-esteem like pressing a button, and that requires a different fix.
I guess I'm trying to say that everyone has their own reasons and goals. :) I am 5'6" and while I would technically be "healthy" at 155 lbs, I'd rather not be that size/weight. Not because it can't be healthy or beautiful, but because competitive running is one of my top priorities and my performance declines around 140 lbs and above (note that this is quite heavier than some other competitive runners my height!). To each their own! It's always best to figure out and do what is best for yourself though.
Yes, yes. I know. BMI isn't god. Not implying it is. That isn't really my point or my question at all. :)
edit: I don't mean that quite as dismissively as it may sound. Whether or not I understand anyone else's goals is (or should be) completely irrelevant. It just seems there is a tendency on these boards to aim for the bottom, or "at worst" middle, of the healthy range, and disappointment if you (generic) don't get there.
My question is whether there are other people who, rather than thinking they want to push to the bottom of their healthy range, are happy that their frame size means that they are better off near the top of it?
So far as I can tell, no one else wants to accept that maybe a weight near the high end of their healthy range is better for them, much less be glad about it the way I am.
When I joined calorie count 1.5 years ago (or a little more now, I guess) I was at my high. I had gained and gained and gained, to the point where it seemed hard to dream about being at a 'healthy' weight, let alone getting lower. But I reached a point where I just felt uncomfortable in my body, and I hated it. Finally, I hated it enough that it was incentive enough to actually try and lose. There were a few comments - from a doctor I went to who told me my BMI and suggested I might be developing metabolic syndrome, an old teacher who kindly gave me a pie as a gift (and told me he'd seen a candy he though I'd like, too, but he didn't think I needed it), friends ... I didn't fit in clothes, and didn't want to buy ones large enough to fit.
It took a lot of work, but I managed to lose most of the weight in about 8 mos. So I spent the last year hovering in the high 140s. I remember going from obese ... To overweight ... To a bmi of 24+, and feeling great. And I had lost and gained and lost and gained so many times that I wanted to just BE there for a bit.
But now, I do want to weigh less ... And it is totally not about health. I just like wearing clothes when I'm thinner, and like the way I look. 60 pounds ago I would have been delighted to be where I am - and truthfully, I AM delighted, but I've also decided I want to lose some more.
I remember how demoralizing it was when I was almost 200 lbs, and all these people were talking about losing 10+. And I think it would be totally fine for me to stay where I am. I weight like 135 now, it is a HUGE accomplishment, and I look almost unrecognizable. I actually have an ID that I dont use, partially because people don't believe it's me.
There are a lot of reasons to lose weight, and some of them (many of them) have as much to do with vanity as health. But what matters is that you feel good where you're going, whether thats a BMI of 21 or 23 or 25. Setting out to lose a lot of weight is pretty awesome, impressive and scary thing to do. It takes a lot more gumption than losing 10 lbs.
I agree that it's a personal choice, but I also think about this myself. Seeing friends with healthy bodies not realizing that they are in fact healthy gives me the urge to tell them to relax and just make small adjustments to lose those 5 lbs they cry about - giving up high kcal coffee and cut the butter and white bread might do the trick. They set out on a crazy diet for a week or two, lose 5 lbs of mostly water and are then happy with themselves until they see the weight go back up after a week. And it's back on again.
But I guess it all comes down to having learned what it's all about. I have been through quite a process losing 66 lbs - and I do really want to lose those last 12 no matter what. I'm just within a "healthy BMI" (not that BMI is necessarily a good indicator) but I still have belly fat to lose. It's my choice and I've made it consciously based on my achieved knowledge. They don't see what I see. They might never see what I see. They have not been obese, nor do they understand the concept of calories/expenditure/metabolism/water retainment - you pick.
I definitely feel that way. Not that I don't have goals, but if I get to the point where I'm not yet at my ultimate goal but I'm healthy, I feel good, clothes fit well, I can do anything physically that I want to do, and I can maintain it without superhuman effort...well, at that point I am DONE.
It seems like many women I know have a number in mind that is based on some point in their life. Like "I want to weigh 114 lbs. because that's what I weighed when I graduated high school" or "I want to weigh 133 because that's what I weighed when I got pregnant with my first child."
Not 115 lbs...114.
Not 134 lbs...133.
It's all very exact, you know? And pretty arbitrary. Those single pounds are not going to amount to a hill of beans in terms of body shape. They're just numbers.
I know I'm going to get to the point where losing more weight isn't going to really do anything for my figure or fitness level and instead I need to up my workouts and build more muscle. At that point, who cares what the scale says?
I know what you mean. I will never be a skinny mini.
Based on my hieght (5'-3.75) I am suppose to be 125 thru 130. NO WAY
I even asked my doctor about it and he said due to my large bone structure and body shape I should be between 170 and 200. He said whatever weight you are healthy at is the most important.
So my 1st goal is just to reach my weight when I got married - 210.
SW-313, CW-294, GW-210
I truly believe that once you reach a certain weight, it makes way more sense to work on body composition than weight loss per se. I can't really deal with people who say "OMG I'm so fat and disgusting," yet are in the healthy weight range. It just seems like a useless and unhealthy attitude (not to mention totally lacking in empathy for the actual fat people out there).
When I first started, I was obese and thought I had a large frame, but as I lost weight I discovered that my frame wasn't so big after all. My BMI is currently around 23, and I can see that I still have about 5-10 lbs of extra fat on me. But, there's no way that I'm going to make myself crazy about it.
Since hitting my goal weight last year, I've been working on eating a more nutrient-dense diet, learning to eat intuitively, and becoming faster, stronger, and more physically capable in general. My weight has barely changed, but I've gone down a size, feel great, and love not having to count calories anymore.
Continually striving for self-improvement is great, but there are things that are way more important than the number on the scale.
I am probably one of the people you are referring to but it comes down to several things. Mainly your frame of reference, body composition, goals, difficulty of achieving goals, and personality
1. Frame of reference - if you have a naturally high metabolism and have never been overweight, it seems noticeable and a big deal to gain 5-10 lbs. You see flab and think you need to lose the weight, regardless of BMI because you are used to not having it there. Also for a lot of people, it depends on their social circles - if all your friends/family are very thin or very overweight, you naturally fall into similar habits and lifestyles and begin to see it as "normal"
2. Body composition - it depends on your height or bone structure. Both of mine are small so it makes sense for me to be at the lower BMI range for my height
3. Goals - it depends if the goal is "be healthy" or "look good". For me, having somewhat achieved the former, sometimes the latter is more important. There is nothing abnormal about vanity - people dye their hair, blow money on clothes, wear makeup, and even get plastic surgery/anti aging treatments all for the sake of vanity
4. Difficulty of achieving goals - you say "why would anyone put themselves through this" for a few extra lbs? For some people it's not torture to lose weight. They just cut a few things here and there and can still enjoy food/life. Depends on metabolism and your love of food
5. Personality - if you are a perfectionist in many areas of life - school, work, etc. you may also have this trait when it comes to your appearance; nothing wrong with it unless you're being unhealthy
Personally, I've never paid attention to BMI or recommended guidelines. I'm perfectly happy knowing when I look and feel my best and use myself as the judge. When I look in the mirror and am no longer happy, at whatever weight it is, it's time to lose (or gain)
I am someone who is currently at a BMI of 21. Sometimes, I think I look great. Others, I am really uncomfortable. Personally, I find I look best at a BMI of about 20, or just under that. Anything below 19.5ish and I start to look sick, anything above about 21.5, MAYBE 22, I start looking chunky in my eyes. Maybe not to anyone else, but my opinion is the only one that matters. I'll probably try to get down to and maintain BMI of 20 over the course of this semester, but I don't plan on going any lower.