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