Before I start my post, I want to let you all know I won’t be around for a few days as I will be at a writer’s conference. I’ll catch up Sunday or Monday.
I’d also like to point you over to Bella Online which published a poem of mine in it’s literary review, Mused. http://www.bellaonline.com/review/issues/fall2010/p038.html
Now onto my post.
Long, long ago, almost in a different lifetime, I was thin. And I didn’t appreciate it! Imagine that? I’ve always had a skewed body image. Now, that I’ve gotten over it (well, sorta’) I find out I’m FAT!
Ok, we’ll start in the beginning. I was a gangly child, all arms and legs. As a teenager, I was skinny….actually in today’s standards set by society I’d probably be considered the perfect size. However, I was teased by a certain girl who called me “chicken legs”. I was very self conscious and never wore dresses, only blue jeans.
Recently, we had a family gathering. As all gatherings go with family, things are usually said later about people’s appearances. And always, there’s someone who can’t wait to tell you what so and so said about you. Someone said that many of us didn’t pay any attention to her because we were jealous that she looked so thin and we were all fat. Then it was added, “Susan sure has gained a lot of weight”. Well, it hit a nerve. It is the truth. I have gained a lot of weight. And I gained most of it over this summer. I was probably at the highest weight of my lifetime with the exclusion of full-term pregnancy. (which even then I was only five pounds heavier than that weight!) I kind of let the remark bounce off of me at first because I try to look for more substance in people than their weight. However, I became a bit more aware of what I was actually putting into my body.
The whole point of my biking and hiking was to prepare myself physically for our Utah trip. I can’t deny that I was secretly hoping I’d lose some weight, but was not going to allow myself to focus on it. I weighed before starting this regime which was three and a half weeks ago. I weighed a week ago and I’d only lost three pounds. Really? After close to a hundred miles (at least it seems like it!) of biking and hiking and only three punds? So, I decided to go ahead and make up with my enemy, potato chips. I have had some probably everyday since then. I weighed today and I’ve lost eight pounds. My thighs are no longer considered fire starters, as the two and a half inches I’ve lost on each one prevents them from rubbing now. But better than any of that is that I feel good. I have much more stamina than before. But I now ask you, should I invent the potato chip diet?
The following information is just to provide how even the health industries can’t agree on ideal body weights and fat percentages…or maybe the standards have changed through the years.
At one point in my life, I became obsessed with my weight. I was 134 pounds, and thought I was still fat…go figure! Prior to pregnancy I was 128 pounds and back to that two weeks after each pregnancy. (I only gained twenty-six pound each time.) This 134 pounds was when I was thirty-one. I really saw myself as fat while everyone else was worried because I was too thin. I went to a nutritional service for a body fat analysis. I dug this information out to share just to point out the discrepancies. Ok, at 134 pounds, my body fat was 27.7% with the average being 32%. So while being 4.3& under average, I was still 5.7% over optimum range. My optimum healthy weight range would have been 124 pounds. At any rate, I did not get any thinner than 134.
Three years later, I joined a gym. At age 34, my current weight was 142 pounds, and my body fat was considered 22.5% . Their analysis stated that my ideal range would be 134-141. Their suggestion was to lose one pound.
Fast forward…this is exactly what I weigh today which is seventeen years later. (For the record, I am not short either.) According to this website http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ my body fat composition is 32%. According to their charts, I am obese! So, the bottom line is that the very same weight that would have been one pound too much is considered obesity seventeen years later. By the way, I like the people who created this chart! And double darn it, I was just feeling good because I fit into (and can still breathe!) the size 8 jeans I bought a years ago as an incentive. It obviously didn’t work last year. I happened to remember them this morning. So now, I think I will stop looking at charts. I won’t stop looking at scales because that is how I got to this point in the first place. However, I am going to focus on how I feel. I want to continue to feel good and have lots of energy. However, wearing a smaller size clothes would really big a huge benefit.
I’m not even going to go into the range of basic metabolic rates that were given each time. Let’s just say that several sites give vastly different numbers. This all leaves me wondering whether these are national standards or if health organizations pick their own standards, and if they do change through the years.