Posted by: Health & Lifestyle Coach Julie | 20/05/2010

Me? “Overweight”???

So yesterday at the doctor’s office they measured my height and weight w/shoes off. The black stick w/ the height measurement that has a black bar going on top of head read 5′ 4″ (64 inches = 162.5 cm). I blurted out, “Hold up! That’s not right! Are you SURE the black bar is straight? Am I looking down too much? Can you measure it again please?”

You see, for the longest time I thought I was 5’5″ (65 inches = 165 cm). I think even in college I got away w/stating on my driver’s license that I was 5’6″ (167.5 cm) or something (I had some thick soled sneakers, I guess).

So the nurse/nursing assistant lifted up the bar and resettled it on my head…5’4″ (162.5 cm) again. Shoot! I shrunk an inch! Then I thought to myself…
hey, if all this time I was using the BMI scale for a height of 65 inches (165 cm) would one inch really make much of a difference in my BMI category of ‘normal’ vs. ‘overweight’? Should I have scheduled the appointment first thing in the morning (spine elongates as you sleep and you are at your tallest in the morning) instead?

So when I went home and took a look at the BMI (Body Mass Index) chart I use for my 8 wk workshops. At my highest weight of 144 lbs last year (June 2009…before mindful eating journey began) and this new height of 64 inches, I was considered “Overweight” w/a BMI of 25! ….Say What?!? What you talking about, Willis? Or at least that’s what it looked like on this paper tool. I thought I was CLOSE to this category last year but not actually IN it. That was an eye opener.

I then went to the Mindful Eating Lifestyles website “Tools” page (click here to go to webpage) and inserted the same information in the CDC’s BMI calculator (also available in metric units…meters & kilos).

According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), BMI is “a number calculated from a person’s height and weight. It provides a FAIRLY reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems”. Since it calculates to the 100th place, according to them, even at my highest weight of 144 last year, I was still considered “normal” (24.71), two pounds shy of “overweight” (25-29.99). “Whew!” A sense of relief.

As I contemplated this whole scenario unfolding, I realized “overweight” or not, I feel better NOW and am at a very healthy weight NOW. I might not be a Hong Kong person’s ‘ideal’ weight w/a current BMI of 23 (I think HKers prefer BMI of 19 or 20 at most). That is OK. I am happy and with the healthiest mindset I’ve ever had. No more need to restrict or deprive myself in order to ‘fit in’ to HK standards (or anyone else’s standards for that matter) because that just leads to self-loathing, feelings of unworthiness and guilt. That’s not an optimal place to be in.

I guess that’s why I love watching the TV show Glee. It has a powerful message. Accept yourself. Be proud of who you are. You are God’s gift to the Universe. No need to change to fit into someone else’s standards.

If you want to lose weight do it b/c you want to be healthier not for anyone else or to fit into society’s standards.




    • That’s correct, Gigi! I will spell is like you wrote it next time. Love ya! -J

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