Obesity Defined – Sorry – It Had to be Done

Obesity isn’t a pretty word. Not to say, not to write, and definitely not to see applied to you. The first time I saw the word obese applied to myself was when I was at a doctor’s appointment for one of my pregnancies. The nurse was prattling on about something, and I was busily reading my chart upside down. I saw all the vital statistics, and then the row of boxes with various check marks. Curious, I examined which boxes were checked and saw that the box which held that vile word – obese – was checked. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I was heavy, okay fat – but obese? Obese was for people who had to ride in carts in the grocery stores, not for a young 20-something Mom-To-Be! But there it was in black and white. I was medically obese. And I was fat. The whole rest of the appointment passed in a blur. The doctor talking, me responding, while all the time my mind was reeling with the implications of this revelation. What exactly did obese mean? Why did it matter?

I did some research, and found the definition of obesity. The free dictionary defines it as: Obesity traditionally has been defined as a weight at least 20% above the weight corresponding to the lowest death rate for individuals of a specific height, gender, and age (ideal weight). Twenty to forty percent over ideal weight is considered mildly obese; 40-100% over ideal weight is considered moderately obese; and 100% over ideal weight is considered severely, or morbidly, obese.  These days, medical professionals like to use the BMI index to determine obesity. Here’s a calculator you can try: [overweight-calculator]

Well, that was fun wasn’t it? When I was overweight, I had a BMI of 45. That was at 305 pounds, and a height of 5’9″. Not so good. But, now my BMI is 21.2, which is well within the normal range. Some people say the BMI isn’t accurate for athletes and some muscular men and women. For most of us however, it’s not a bad place to start. Once you know where you stand on the BMI range, and the obesity definition, you need to decide for yourself whether or not those numbers and definitions bother you.

They bothered me, BUT, I still didn’t do anything about it. That seems to be the theme for me. I’d be bothered by my weight, or my physical ability, but I didn’t do anything to turn the trend around. Instead, I just keep eating too much, sitting on the couch all day long and feeling sorry for myself. Unfortunately, even after that doctor’s appointment, and after the pregnancy was over, I still didn’t lose weight. Instead I gained another 30 pounds. Life went on around me, and my obesity problem got bigger.

If you are only a little bit overweight, now is the time to start getting your weight under control. Don’t wait like I did, until I was morbidly obese, and on the verge of experiencing numerous healthy related problems. If you are realizing, maybe for the first time, that you are obese, don’t despair and run to the pantry. Instead, come up with a good healthy weight loss plan, and get started. It is never too late to begin anew. Rather you are just medically overweight, or medically obese, you will feel better when you weigh what you should. Always check with your doctor before you start any weight loss plan, to make sure you are healthy! Diane

12 thoughts on “Obesity Defined – Sorry – It Had to be Done

  1. Chloe says:

    I didn’t like seeing I’m really considered obese. I mean, I knew it, but instead of making me upset and eat, I’m going to try and do better. Thanks for a great post, as usual.

    • Diane says:

      Great attitude! I used to get mad at my weight and instead of choosing to eat healthy foods, I’d go get some chocolate and ice cream. I was only punishing myself. Thanks for the comment, and I’m rooting for you.

  2. Mary says:

    Thanks for the post, the information and the encouragement. It’s one thing to say, you’re too heavy, but another thing to help us know we can get healthier. You are an inspiration.

    • Diane says:

      Thanks for the nice words. You know, it is all about the health isn’t it? It’s wonderful to lose weight and wear different sizes, but it’s another thing entirely to gain some real health benefits. I appreciate your comments very much!

  3. Pam says:

    How funny I am finding yet another similarity between the old you and myself – instead, I knew I was obese, but morbidly obese? The first time I saw this was on a medical record while I was pregnant that I had to fax to my work for my time-off. I was looking at all of it, and this one sentence jumped right off of the page “The patient is a 36 year old morbidly obese female….” I felt like someone had slapped me. Thank goodness my BMI will at least be entering the 40’s this week from 60.6 at my highest, so its on its way!

    • Diane says:

      Good for you on the BMI coming down! Seeing those words made a lasting impression on me, and sounds like on you too. I’m so glad to hear that you are getting healthy and are on your way! Just day by day – right? Thanks for reading.

  4. A Girl Running says:

    I noticed years ago that my body seemed to find it’s way back to a certain weight, no matter how much I lost, I would gain back to this amount.

    I just did the BMI link and that weight I always found myself in is healthy for me.

    At the time I thought it was too heavy, now I can’t wait to return there.

    • Diane says:

      Isn’t that funny how that works? I was the same way. When I was a size 12 I thought I was fat, but when I gained up to almost 300 I would have given my right arm to wear a size 12. It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it!! Thanks for the comment, and I think this time you will get back to the weight you desire!

  5. Jenny says:

    Hard to look at that word, but it’s true. Aren’t we funny that way. I’m just glad I’m on the right track. I’ve lost 15 lbs so far but still have over 100 to go to get within the proper range for my height. I’ll only get there by one pound at a time. I’m enjoying reading your blog. You and I are the same height, and I got serious about losing it at about the same weight as you did. I already feel so much better. Thanks for being an encouragement!

    • Diane says:

      Hi there! Thanks for the nice comment. I looked at your website – your children are lovely, and look like they have a lot of fun. I need to try those pancakes you made. Congrats on your weight loss so far. You are exactly right – just one pound at a time is the only way it will come off. Have a lovely fourth!

    • Diane says:

      You’re right, height/weight isn’t the only thing for sure. There are a lot of things that we use to measure our health. For me, it was yet another wake up call. I knew I needed to fix myself, and knowing I was medically obese helped move me in the right direction – eventually. I think we shouldn’t focus on just the BMI either, but rather use it as part of the overall picture of our health. Thanks for the reminder.

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