I got in a discussion with a friend about weight/BMI yesterday. He casually inserted, “Well, he’s not overweight like me,” into our conversation. I was like, “Hold up. Why would you say that about yourself?” to which he replied, “Well, I am technically overweight.” I told him that I was too, and I think it’s a junk metric. He said, “But you look great!” So does he, not that this has anything to do with how much a person weighs. For example, I don’t think “fat” is a bad word. To me, it’s just descriptive and I would never use it in a negative light. If someone told me that Rebel Wilson or Melissa McCarthy were “fat, but beautiful,” I wold correct them that, no, they are fat AND beautiful. The two are not mutually exclusive. If someone wants to call my picture on the left (or even the right) “fat,” then as The Dude said: “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” It’s not how I would describe myself, but you’re not hurting me.
Anyway, my friend, who I would describe as svelte and slightly muscular, didn’t say “fat.” He specifically said “overweight,” as if he is buying into the weight charts as standards that actually matter. Really? He tried to convince me that what he said was true, because his BMI “says” this. I had to calculate my own BMI, which also calls me “overweight” and even “pre-obese” depending on whose chart you use. If we accept that weight is a junk metric, then of course BMI is too, because it uses weight in its formula. To win (or at least end) the discussion, I had to pull out this photo and point out:
There is not a single pound of difference between these three frames.
I am in the exact same outfit, standing against the exact same wall, the exact same distance from the camera, and weighing 182 pounds in all three. The only thing that changes is time and how I look (including my hair and glasses).
I see notable changes in my face, chest, midsection, hips, and thighs — not to mention how much stronger and faster I am. The goals and milestones that I set for myself at boot camp center on my ability to do the exercises themselves. The way I end up looking is a byproduct, but I care absolute zero about my weight/BMI and being “overweight.” Yes, I know the science behind why my weight has stayed the same despite the loss of inches. My point is that I wouldn’t call myself super muscular or super athletic and yet weight and BMI charts still can’t account for me. Junk. Metrics.
Our bodies are not the same, and we shouldn’t be comparing them to each other and certainly not to charts.