Friday, June 12, 2009

My life being overweight

Most days as of late I weigh about 180 pounds but on some days a little less and on other days a pound more. This bodyweight feels about right for me at this middle-age point of my life. I weighed 161 pounds during my Army enlistment physical when I was about 3 months shy of my 18th birthday. After basic training, I remember weighing 154 pounds; that was too light. I’ve never been north of 200 pounds in my life. The closest I ever got was about 196 pounds, too much weight for my body.

What’s all this bodyweight rambling about? It’s leading up to a discussion about the nonsense of the body mass index (BMI) statistical measurement. The BMI is the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problem within a population including underweight, overweight and obesity.

The Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet invented the BMI statistical measure over 150 years ago during the course of developing "social physics". BMI is defined as an individual’s body weight divided by the square of his or her height. The literature I’ve read indicates that normal bodyweight is that which falls within a BMI statistical measure of 18.5 to 25. A BMI of between 25 and 30 is classified as overweight.

Guess what? At 180 pounds, my BMI is 25.1 so I am classified as overweight. Yesterday morning, my BMI was 24.9 as I tipped the scale at 178.5 pounds. So I had a normal day in the nonsense BMI world. The BMI has been used by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the standard for recording obesity statistics since the early 1980s. In a sense of worldly accomplishment, I’m a member of the international community of overweight people.

Here’s a video from last Wednesday of overweight me performing an Olympic clean and jerk of 175 pounds. It was done late in the afternoon at about the 19th to 20th hour of intermittent fasting so my bodyweight was probably 178 pounds. In the nonsense BMI world, I was not overweight at that moment.

Looks like I’ll be spending the rest of my life being overweight.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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