Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Normal BMI


About three years ago, I set a goal to reach a normal BMI* (Body Mass Index 18.5-24.9) within a reasonable amount of time. I always had exercised and did weights at a health club, but still maintained a fat ass of 200+ pounds (BMI 27.4). I realized exercise was not going too get me a normal BMI. I would have to change my eating habits.

I began by cutting out those foods with delicious but useless calories, namely peanut butter and deserts. Slowly I began to lose weight and found myself eating less of all foods. At my Peace Corps physical two years ago, I was at 191 pounds (BMI 26.1). At the time I left for Samoa one year ago, I had finally, just barely, crossed over into the normal range (BMI 24.8, 181 pounds).

Now I am at 174 pounds (BMI 23.8), squarely within the normal range and the Peace Corps nurse is worried that I am too thin. Add to this depressing news is research which indicates that if you really want to reduce the risk metabolic syndrome diseases (you already know what they are), you should have a BMI between 21 and 23. Be small. What’s a guy to do?

Some interesting side effects of my experiment on myself are uplifting. I know my heavy (good) cholesterol is up; my low (bad) cholesterol down. From two years ago my blood pressure went from 134/84 to 134/71; my pulse rate from 70 to 51; my waist from 38 to 34. Most importantly I feel great, or I just may be fading into black.

If there is a moral to this blog entry, it is to be careful of the goals you set. For if you reach them, there is always someone or something that changes the rules of the game.

* To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters (1 pound = .456 kilos, 1 inch=.025 meters). You can always Google.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If your pulse rate gets any lower, you will need a pace maker installed.