the
post
visit the
blog
skip to
comments
lots more
sdl
get it in
your email

Me Then. Me now. And Why I Don’t Care About My Weight.

In 2005 I remember celebrating dipping under 250 lbs for the first time in years while on a trip to Yellowstone with my family. I felt so skinny at the time and knew that I had a ways to go to get to my goal weight of under 200 lbs. I had a waist size of 40″ (yay!). I was 25. I could bench 175 lbs. And, I could jog around the block without running out of breath.

Now it’s 2013. I’m 32 and I weight 251 lbs; yes, more than I did then. I have a waist size of 35″ (yay!). I can bench 295 lbs. And, I can hike up steep mountains, climb rock walls, and ski down double black diamonds while barely losing my breath at all.

Then. And now. I’m 6’4″ tall.

Then. And now. My BMI is 30.3-30.5.

According to the BMI, I was obese then. And I am apparently obese now.

why-BMI-doesnt-matter

I am “obese” now. When I’m in the best physical shape of my life, you can see my hip bones, I can do sprints up mountainsides, and I wear a size large shirt (which is rather loose on me). I am considered obese.

Friends, weight doesn’t matter. BMI doesn’t matter.

Being healthy… that’s what matters.

We all need to stop putting value in some dang number on a scale because it means nothing. And the BMI, for a lot of people a lot of the time, means nothing.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

153 comments
DieterCPT
DieterCPT

Dear Dan

As it turns out, the BMI index should have been scrapped when it first came out.  I am a happy 1.83m tall (sorry, Imperial measurements kill me) and I am, according to the BMI, overweight.  Yet, I'm the skinniest I've been in a few years and my size 32 denims need to be held up by a belt.

I agree, don't worry about your weight - worry about being healthy.  Fit would be good, too, but focus on health, first :)

barefootmama0709
barefootmama0709

Good for you, Dan! I am a bigger person myself (I am 5'3" and about 180) but last time I went to the doctor my cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure were all excellent. I do lots of walking, eat healthy and recently participated in the "onehundredpushups" program. Weight is not a great indicator of health!

AmandaK
AmandaK

I've always hated BMI. At 8% body fat, I was barely in the "healthy" range. As a health professional, it's pretty easy to tell if you need to talk to your patient's about weight loss to assist in their overall health control. 

Liz Loquacious
Liz Loquacious

btw - GREAT blogger about farts. Seriously. I laughed so hard I cried in my hotel room.

Brianne Lindblom
Brianne Lindblom

Debbie, this fatty agrees with you! There are people who think I should weigh no more than 100 pounds because I am five feet tall. They can kiss my fat butt! I don't need to weigh 100, but I also shouldn't have been pushing 190 either! I have lost 57 pounds with a few more to go. I will never be skinny and I am okay with that. If a person is healthy, and feels and looks good then who cares what the number is?

RochesterNP
RochesterNP

After reading all these comments bashing BMI, I had to respond. I am a nurse practitioner, and in my opinion, BMI can be a very useful screening tool. I agree that it does not take into account body composition (as it is based on height and weight alone), but as an initial screening tool, it helps me decide whether to do further evaluations. In my experience, with the exception of very muscular people and performance athletes, most people with a BMI greater than 25 would would have overall greater health if they ate healthier and increased their activity. Which is what I counsel them. Conversely, those with a BMI of less than 19 are usually thinner than is ideal for their health. BMI is just one of many health evaluation tools, none of which is perfect. Also, most medical offices don't have a means to evaluate body composition, so BMI, along with visual examination, is the best we have. I believe people should love their bodies no matter its shape or size, but they should also love their health enough to want to eat healthy, be active, and maintain a weight/body composition that supports a healthy heart and other organ systems.

GlynisStandishGittens
GlynisStandishGittens

I just had that conversation with a friend today about her 14 year old son... I told her what I have always told my kids:  if your body is functioning properly and is healthy (blood sugars, heart, lungs, etc.), then the number on the scale is just a number.  Some people are naturally larger than others, and it should only be an issue when it becomes a HEALTH issue.  Good for you for realizing that :)

Aleta Schaffer Plouffe
Aleta Schaffer Plouffe

I had a conversation with my kids' babysitter today, she is size zero and said she couldn't run 20 feet, this was after I came home from a run and I am far from a size 0.

Debbie Shepheard
Debbie Shepheard

Weight matters, if it's FAT. It doesn't matter if it's muscle. Don't EVER tell a FAT person they shouldn't lose weight because their life might depend on doing just that. - coming from a fat person.

4 under 5
4 under 5

If you compare the quantity of fa t vs muscle, fat weighs one lb, muscle weighs 3 lbs. That is why people who are attempting to lose weight by exercising often see their weight go up.  Also, boobs are mostly fat so if you fall into that category you will weigh more than us less busty gals who are built the same otherwise.  

xoZer0
xoZer0

I applaud you, Dan! I am realizing the same thing for myself right now.  I am the heaviest I've ever been in my life, but I am also wearing a size smaller than I did in HIGH SCHOOL! Bravo! Sharing this with friends!

Amanda Keith-Beasley
Amanda Keith-Beasley

I've said this on my personal page....but you guys are awesome for changing you're profile pics!!! Love seeing all the red as I scroll through!!!

Jessa Peters
Jessa Peters

Great to see you are doing so great!! Keep up the good work!

Jessa Peters
Jessa Peters

I'm 5'7" And I'm 125 lbs. Trust me, there are no bones. My collar bones are barely there. :) Although I wouldn't loose more weight, as I am feeling great!

Veronica Bulla
Veronica Bulla

apparently for my height I should be about 108 lbs...seriously?!? NOT going to happen unless I start up a meth/cocaine addiction.

Lisa Hoover Green
Lisa Hoover Green

AMEN! You look awesome! Didn't realize you are sooo tall. :-)

Harry Ung
Harry Ung

It's not the numbers on the scale between your toes, it's how you feel about what you see in the mirror in front of your nose! Muscle is denser and weighs more per volume than fat.

hols83
hols83

sadly, it matters to the insurance companies who refuse to insure those of us who don't meet their vision of healthy -- which sucks.  but you looked great then, and look great now!

hgubisch
hgubisch

Thank you! Bravo! And you look great! You should be proud!! **hugs**

roxana297
roxana297

Ah it's always a happy day for me when I hear someone else realize this! Let's spread the word out there, and maybe the world will finally begin to understand how silly this whole BMI has been all along. 

I remember my parents used to tell me (we lived in an ex-comunistic country) that communism was about making everybody the same, same clothes, same ideas, everybody had to be as identical to each other as possible. To be friggin honest, this whole BMI thing sounds to me like someone trying to make us all look the same! That fits out there as one of the most damaging ideas humanity has come up with throughout time.

Delvin Nakuzami Rennoldson
Delvin Nakuzami Rennoldson

You may be the same size, but the way you look . . . are you sure that's you in the first picture? xD

AdrienneAudrey
AdrienneAudrey

Just curious. At what point did your hair get darker? Did it just start to get dark one day or did you dye it? In half your photos you are a blondie then all of a sudden it's brown. Either way, you look fantastic with both!

Heather Lord
Heather Lord

@Maria Ortiz -- he's dyeing his hair. The light shade is his natural color.

Marie O. Walters
Marie O. Walters

BMI is a crock! Long before I reach what is considered "normal" range for my height/build, my bones start sticking out.... trust me, not attractive on a woman!

LindsayTomtene
LindsayTomtene

Thank you! I have been worrying about that "number" lately. Would I like my ass to be a bit smaller? Sure, but what does matter is being healthy and able to play with my kids. Which I can do. I have started trying to eat better, work out more and drink more water and I think those are the most important things. 

Maria Ortiz
Maria Ortiz

I just want to know. HOW DID YOU GO BRUNETTE? You were blond for so long and now, almost as dark as me, and I'm mexican! How did that happen?

Rebecca Mercer
Rebecca Mercer

I'm another one that needed that reminder today. I'm kinda on the other end of the spectrum, I don't really have any issues with extra weight, but I have body image issues and food issues and I dread stepping on the scale and seeing that number. I'm 5'9" and usually weigh in around 118lbs, and I have people hassling me about it all the time, so critical people can be, especially the ones that love you. There's just always someone picking on me about my weight, telling me how wrong, how bad it is to weight this particular amount, but I'm healthy at this weight (and have been at this weight all my adult life), so why does it have to be an issue?? As long as you're happy and healthy, it shouldn't be an issue at all. And I gave up on BMI a long time ago, it tells me that I'm underweight and "at risk for malnutrition," which runs contrary to my lifestyle and eating habits, and I don't need a made-up formula and number adding to the criticism I already get about my weight. I am what I am, I'm not struggling with my weight, I'm not unhealthy, so I'm trying very hard to be satisfied with that in the face of the criticism I deal with all the time.

MelodyBoals
MelodyBoals

From what I hear the way they measure BMI now is archaic.  We aren't the same size that we were then.  Also, you look GREAT, so never let anyone tell you differently!  You are great no matter what you look like.  Beauty is more than just skin deep, it's inside.  And you, my friend, are beautiful inside and out!

modernmom23
modernmom23

BMI was created by insurance companies in the 50's.  Big deal.  Be happy with how you look, what you can do and stop worrying about BMI!!!!

emp
emp

Good work man!!!

BMI is a lousy reference,  if you do any amount of research on it you will find there is a lot wrong with it.

I personally think it was made up to test your average couch potatoe out and shouldn't apply to anyone who does any amount of reasonable phsyical activity.

I am 5"7 and 175 pounds very fit and active (Karate 9+ hours a week, jogging and other activities).  According to BMI I am in the overweight category.(27 something on the BMI scale). Compare that to when I got a Body Composition Analysis done, my body fat %  was under 17% (17% being considered ideal for men). My water retention was 1 lbs.  

So ya.. .weight and BMI are lousy metrics to use.  Be fit, healthy and happy.

PS: ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!

cheers

p

Maryellen Harbaugh
Maryellen Harbaugh

Muscle weighs more than fat, so anyone who lift weights and strength trains should throw the scale (and BMI calculations) out the window! You're in much better shape now than you were at 25! You can feel it and you know by your size that you've shed some body fat. Screw the scale!

justme
justme

Man that's just crazy!  Perfect example of the number not being the thing to focus on, but the shape your body is in.  Thanks for sharing those pics!

Olen W Dodge
Olen W Dodge

@amanda.. same for me at 5"7" as a guy I need to be at 157... i would look like death eathing a cracker LOL

Heather McVoy
Heather McVoy

RIGHT. ON.  You look terrific, and the main thing is that you are healthy!!  Just keep on keepin' on, Dan.

MikeHitchcock
MikeHitchcock

BMI is a total waste of time if you are athletic. Look to your body fat percentage  - which can be measured on a $40 machine...I'll bet it's under 15%.

RachelNoelleLewis
RachelNoelleLewis

I agree. If more people thought like us, kids like I was wouldn't suffer so much agony in school. Congratulations on your hard work and success! You totally deserve it!

KristaIrwin
KristaIrwin

BMI is inaccutate, at best. It doesn't take muscle mass into account. And muscle weighs more than fat.

Stephenie Keil
Stephenie Keil

Agreed!!! It's definitely more how you FEEL than a number on a scale.

Sandra Coleman
Sandra Coleman

I'm 5 feet tall and I look normal to maybe a little skinny at 120!

AudreyColeman
AudreyColeman

@RochesterNP Honestly, I'm getting really, really tired of so-called "medical professionals" "counseling" me about my weight. It's not as if I don't own a mirror. I know I'm fat - I don't need a  condescending doctor or nurse to tell me that for the umpteenth time.

Being open to "Health At Every Size" is odd for a medical professional. Many of them generalize, and assume that fat people don't exercise or eat healthy foods - and then read them the riot act for drinking too much soda and eating fast food . I was just given this same talk by a nurse about a month ago ( for the record, I don't drink soda, and I eat gluten free, so I can't eat fast food). We would all be much better off if medical professionals ignored the weight chart, stopped diagnosing people with outdated "health evaluation tools," and actually treat their patient as a person with a problem - that may or may not be related to their size. 

emp
emp

@modernmom23 

Ya... the first time I did my life insurance, the BMI and a Blood Pressure test were all that they did for the "How healthy am I" check...

Pissed me off because my (now ex) wife got a better score then me and she is your average couch potatoe and I work out quite a bit...

After we split and I went with a new company. they did blood/urine tests as well as measured waist, chest, bicep and a few other measurements in addition to the overall Height/Weight test... My premiums this time were almost 1/2 the previous company and I got a very healthy result.