It’s very easy to get carried away with numbers on scales, tape measures and, yes, your body mass index. But seriously, take a look in the mirror, check yourself out – what do you really think?
Your BMI is something health professionals obsess over but in reality, it’s bullshit. It’s worked out by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches and multiplying that number by 703. That’s it. It doesn’t take into account your body type, your body shape, your muscle-to-fat ratio; it simply uses the raw numbers provided and decides whether you’re OK and healthy, underweight, overweight or obese.
The problem with BMI is that it isn’t a true picture of a person. It doesn’t know whether you’re weightlifting five days a week or running 10k every other day. It doesn’t know that it’s telling you you’re overweight but you’re actually a Size 12 and fine with that. (True story, my girl is a personal trainer and shows others how to get in shape yet her BMI says she’s overweight!)
All BMI does is challenge your body image and make you question yourself. If you are overweight and unhappy about it, you can do something about it. But you probably already know you’re overweight by how you feel when you look in the mirror, not because some formula tells you so.
Some of the fittest people on the planet who look pretty buff to us (David Haye, for example) are considered obese when they check out their BMI! So, really, it isn’t giving you anything like a true picture of your body. Muscle is denser than fat and so if you have a higher than average muscle percentage then your weight will be higher than someone who is more average, and this will push your BMI up, even though you’re in better shape and much healthier than the other girl.
Numbers can be dangerous if you’re trying to get fit and it’s very easy to get obsessed and do serious damage to your body image if you’re focusing too much on what the numbers say and ignoring how you feel when you get dressed and look in the mirror.
BMI may be handy for doctors when they need to make a quick assessment but when it comes to your overall health, it is BS. Focus on how you feel and be proud of your body.