Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Researchers questioning BMI

Well, duh. Bloggers have been questioning it all along. [I could soooo get lost in that Medrant blog!]

BMI was never intended to be used as a diagnostic tool, but that is what it has evolved into in recent years. According to Wikipedia [which can be unreliable, but this seems to be accurate],
"it is meant to be used as a simple means of classifying sedentary (physically inactive) individuals with an average (mesomorphic) body composition."

It looks like some researchers are coming around. Here's a link, and another.

My BMI recently slipped from obese to merely overweight. I'd certainly have to agree that a BMI of 30-and-over falls into the obese category, based on my weight and pants size. However. I haven't had bloodwork done in almost a year, and I bet even when my BMI was greater than 30 my cholesterol levels were normal. My blood pressure certainly isn't a problem. I'm able to work out steadily for more than an hour on a daily basis. I eat a high-fiber, low-fat, healthful diet, and I avoid sugar. Do I think I'm going to develop heart disease? Nope. Diabetes? Uh-uh. Was I headed there last year?

You bet.

I'm happy that I've reversed that trend. There are no guarantees in life, of course, but if I want to see my grandchildren grow up – and especially if I want to play with them along the way – it's up to me to be in the best physical, emotional and spiritual condition I can muster. Probably not in that order.

Moving on ... I managed to do a 70-minute workout yesterday made up of THIRTY minutes of weight training – the most I've done in one session this year – and 40 minutes of yoga. The weight training consisted of two sets of 12 repetitions of eight different moves, done slowly, deliberately and correctly, instead of letting gravity and momentum do all the work. I am feeling it this morning. It's hard to tell, though, if the lovely ache I feel in my shoulders and back is from the weight training or triangle pose. No matter; it's all good.

I'm not feeling any lovely little aches in my midsection. One of the commenters yesterday suggested that yoga wouldn't do much for my waist, but weight training and aerobic activity would. I don't disagree. All I can say is that the other time in my life that I practiced it regularly, I walked taller, straighter and leaner, even though I weighed more than I do now. I've seen others' bodies change remarkably after a few months of regular practice.

My own body surprised me greatly when I lost a lot of weight 10 years ago. I've had three abdominal surgeries, and thought I'd never have a flat stomach again. I was wrong. I wore a two-piece swimsuit for the first time in my adult life 10 years ago. [At my age, that ain't happening again. Especially after seeing some, ahem, mature sunbathers by the hotel pool in Las Vegas. But it was fun while it lasted!]

For Deborah, who wondered what team he plays for [referring to the almost-naked pitcher from yesterday's post], that's Tim Robbins as Nuke LaLoosh in my favorite baseball movie, Bull Durham. The movie really is a family favorite; my daughter's family named their new puppies Crash and Annie. I watch the DVD every April, as baseball season begins. As October draws near, it's a good time to watch it again. Or for the first time, if you've never seen it. It's not just about baseball.

Do you read Jonny Bowden's blog? I just discovered him a month or so ago. Yesterday he offered a great little motivational paragraph from a book by Esther and Jerry Hicks about getting from here to there that just makes so much sense. It's so simple and logical.

I've been trying to figure out a way to tell a funny little incident without mentioning the commercial you skip past at the top of the page. My daughter didn't skip it a couple days ago, and was led here. Considering a recent conversation here, we thought it was pretty funny. Proving that, while Blogger is great for blogging, it's probably not so great for commerce.

Think I've put enough links in this post? Hehehe.


Vickie said...

Debbi -

Check out Erin's post today:

Also, I have rattled on for two days now about my belly fat (again). I am moving on to another topic tomorrow - but wanted to let you know it was there incase you want to read.

Greta said...

I am firmly convinced that fat accumulation patterns are genetic and you can reduce the total fat accumulation all over your body through diet and exercise but you can't change the fact that you have a thick waist and skinny legs or a skinny waist and thick legs. No exercise or diet I have ever been on has done a THING to change my natural genetic fat distribution. In other words there is no such thing as "spot reducing". The one thing I HAVE found is that my curves get less curvy as I get thinner and thinner. I think that when people get thin enough some fat deposits nearly disappear altogether. Thin folks are more like boards and the heavier folks are curvier. That means that the only route to a thinner gut in your case or a smaller rump and thighs in my case is plain old overall weight loss.

I totally agree about health being of major importance. When people are in the process of losing weight they are exercising and eating very healthy foods and so the health benefits of being much thinner are attained immediately. That's a great benefit of the dieting lifestyle. I also am one who hates the BMI number because I have a lot of muscle and muscle is not taken into account in the BMI number. It's seen as fat.

elizabethd said...

I'm with you on the yoga, Debbi. The theory, I mean - not the practice. Do you use tapes or DVDs, or do you just have a routine you follow on your own?