BMI Chart Bonfire!

December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ok I’m not going to burn the BMI chart but I am going to publicly declare my hatred for it.

 There’s just something about being charted, categorized and labeled that makes me want to scream.

 If you read my previous blog, you’ll know I recently had a not-so-uplifting experience at a follow up appointment where I was told that my weight loss wasn’t “good enough” because I didn’t somehow fit into the “normal” spectrum of what they “expect” by now.

This makes me wonder if the person I was talking to has children.

  If you’re a parent, you know there is no “normal” when it comes to charts, labels and categories.

 I can remember when I had my first child I bought the book “What to expect when you’re expecting”.

 I read it cover to cover and I was soooo ready to get everything I was expecting.

What I didn’t expect was to never go into labor at all.

  Get induced and have contractions for 22 hours where I only progressed an inch “and we’re giving that to you“–said the Doc.

 I didn’t expect the nurse to put my catheter in wrong so the pee kept sliding down my leg.

 Then have her come and yell at ME for intentionally peeing AROUND the catheter just to make HER life difficult.

Because THAT was totally my plan, right? 

I had nothing better to do at over 9 months pregnant with gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and so much pitocin being pumped through my system that I wanted to carve myself like a pumpkin and take the baby out myself.

 My plan was to beat the catheter to make my nurse’s life difficult?

I also didn’t expect to get rolled down to the operating room for a Csection only to have my epidural NOT take.

 How is that possible?

They kept putting something sharp on my stomach and saying “Can you feel that??”


I definitely didn’t expect to be put to sleep and have to be unconscious when my first child was born into the world.

 But that’s what happened.

 No moment for me—seeing your child come into the world, crying tears of joy as you lay your eyes on her for the first time.


 I was out like a light.

And the last thing I remember seeing before the lights went out was a doctor leaning over me upside down with a Donald Duck scrub hat on his head saying “I’ve got it under control“…

Donald Duck has it all under control….wasn’t expecting that either.

I finally woke up in a recovery room several hours later to the sound of a woman screaming for mercy behind a curtain across from me.

She had a 4th degree tear from childbirth.

Bet she wasn’t expecting that either!

She continued to scream, wail and cry for the next hour while I pressed the morphine drip for relief.

 Sitting alone in the dark wondering…where is my baby and are my guts going to come spilling out?

 That’s what it felt like after a Csection for me.

Something I hadn’t EXPECTED.

Something that I hadn’t been prepared for.

It didn’t fall into my carefully prepared birth plan.

 I didn’t expect to not see my child for another 2 hours after waking up.

 I also didn’t expect certain relatives to see and HOLD my child before ME–the person who carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her.

 I laid in the bed on the morphine drip with my stomach stitched back together while they came in excitedly to tell me ALL about MY child…

What she looked like….what color her hair and eyes were… and who they thought she looked like.

All before I ever got to see her myself.

I definitely did NOT expect that.

Where was THAT chapter in “What to expect when you’re expecting?”

My daughter didn’t walk, talk or read at the expected, charted, labeled, and categorized times.

She met some milestones earlier and some later.

I had a doctor suggest she might be deaf because she hadn’t started speaking at the “expected” time.

I can assure you now that she’s 15…she’s far from deaf.

I might be (4 kids later) but she’s not.

 She’s not deaf.

She talks.

She walks.

She reads.

And she managed to do it all without having to adhere to a chart.

She’s PERFECT in every way.  (Well I’m her mom so what do you expect me to say)

She started talking when she was good and ready to say something!

Not only was she not behind she was advanced in her verbal and reading skills forever after that.

So much for predictive labels.

My point is this—charts, labels, categories and “expectations” don’t always work.

 When it comes to the BMI chart—it’s just not a totally accurate judge of your health.

Here’s why:

Clearly these people are the same height/weight but are they both “OBESE”?

I don’t think so!

Go tell that to DeWayne “The Rock” Johnson and Lebron James who both are considered “obese” by the BMI charts!!

And if you do decide to tell them that please wait until I have my front row seat.

I can’t WAIT to see that conversation!

This picture clearly shows that physical fitness makes THE difference.

 It also means that someone who is technically overweight could be in much better physical health than someone who is thin.

Exercise wins again!!

It doesn’t mean you want to walk around with a high percentage of body fat because when you’re fat on the outside, you’re fat on the inside.

A picture of my liver told that story to me!

 BUT…how much you weigh and what your body looks like does NOT tell the whole story.

Check out the link below and see for yourself.

And don’t let the scale and the BMI chart get together and bully you.  They don’t get the last word.

Bet you weren’t expecting that!

Physical fitness trumps body weight in reducing death risks, study finds

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mariana Parreiras December 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

Holly, you are absolutely right not to get caught up in charts.

I worked with this one trainer that weighed 250lbs and had a client of the same height that weighed the same. If there was a picture taken of them, they would look like the cartoon in this blog entry.

I never went by the charts myself, I am pettite and very muscular. If you went by the charts (pre-pregnancy – I am nine months pregnant currently) you would call me overweight, but taking a look at me, you would never think that.

I always tell my skinny clients that are proud of their weight but who not eat well, nor exercise enough: just because you are not sick, it doesn't mean you are healthy.


Breanne March 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

I HATE the BMI chart. It was originally designed to aid in a sociological study (way back) about the effect household income has on height and weight. It was never intended by the man who developed it to be used as any kind of health tool or marker. I'm a personal trainer and I'm 155lbs at 5'6. This puts me at nearly a bmi of 25, or overweight. Psssh. I'd rather be overweight with muscle than be what I like to call "skinny fat", thin, but with no muscle tone. I'm new to your blog and I think it's lovely and surprisingly funny at times. Although I have never been obese, I have struggled with binge eating and bulimia in the past so I can relate to a lot of the food issues you have written about. My mom also had gastric bypass surgery when I was in the 7th grade. It didn't work out so well for her….her addiction to food transmorphed to full blown alcoholism. Although she is in recovery now (by the grace of God)I have seen her struggle with her weight and all the issues that caused her to be addicted to food in the first place. I'm in Corpus Christi so we are also geographically close. I'll be in San Antonio this Sunday through Thursday as a matter of fact. Anyway, I'm rambling. All I really want to say is I love your blog and I have great empathy and understanding. Much love to you and your family,
Bre in C.C.


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