So I guess this is where I make my monthly post to explain why I haven’t been posting. This month’s issue has all been medication. My Klonopin up and decided it was done working for anxiety and sleep both with no warning and no apparent reason and it just decided it was done after years of faithful service. I have in its place been put on a medication that I’m supposed to take 3 times a day, which is too much and I don’t remember to do that middle dose, and it doesn’t work anyway even when I do remember to do all three doses, I keep waking up in the middle of panic attacks and having stress dreams. I see my psychiatrist the day after tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be reevaluating that. I want to go back on my Klonopin and I want it to just WORK. This new stuff seems to be a less effective version of Xanax, and Xanax wasn’t good enough for me which is why I went on Klonopin to begin with. Anyway. There’s been lots of lab work and things to test for lupus and celiac and levels of different things and I tested negative for everything except that after what feels like it has to have been a year of this stuff I’m still anemic and my white blood cell count is still too high and still no one knows why. I’m now on 3 pills when I wake up, that one I forget in the middle of the day, and 9 at bedtime, and I’m tired and nauseous 100% of the time. So. That has not made for productivity, inspiration, or writing energy. Sorry 🙁
But as with every month we’re gonna take another crack at this and eventually one of them will stick. So what we want people to do for today, is to make sure you have (or, if not, acquire) a reliable bathroom scale, a flexible tape measure, a notebook, and the fortitude to see where you land on the BMI spectrum. Wherever you are on it, don’t beat yourself up about it. I’m well into the obese range. Some people may be quite underweight, some may be mathematically perfect and just need to know to maintain a healthy weight while they work on other things, we all are where we are, and we can’t change where we are today, but we can know where we land and what adjustments need to be made to start being the healthiest us possible and get that number to its target range.
So for today, log down your weight and your measurements. Make a chart in that notebook, or make yourself some excel spreadsheets if you’re techy like that. Do NOT retake your weight and measurements daily, that’s a great way to get discouraged. You can take it weekly if you want to. If you get discouraged by slow progress then consider taking it monthly. The healthiest way to change your weight is only by one or two pounds a week, otherwise things just tend to yo-yo and rebound. So it’s to be expected you won’t see huge changes on a weekly basis. We’re gonna have some fun making it happen together though, nauseating medication or not.
Hop on the scale (if you have pets, beware and make sure it’s balanced properly. My cats like to think my scale is their personal expensive flashy light up throne and every time I get on it I’m excited to see I’ve lost anywhere from 13-34 pounds… until it occurs to me it’s off balance. So make sure you resituate it on a flat, even surface every time you check your weight so you don’t end up disappointed like me.) and jot down your weight. Remember, no beating yourself up, it is what it is but not what it’s going to be. In addition to logging the date and your weight, also write down your measurements for your chest, your waist, your hips, your wrist, and your forearm. Ladies, this is a good opportunity to make sure you’re still wearing the right bra size for you and whether your life would be much happier with proper fitting support.
BMI is calculated using that pesky metric system, that if you’re in the US like me is probably not something you’ve used much since the 5th grade. So here’s how we calculate it: If you already use the metric system, your BMI is simply your weight over your height squared. If you don’t, we need to do a little conversion. You’ll want to multiply your weight in pounds by 0.45. I, for instance, tend to hang out around 250 lbs. So I’d take 250 x 0.45 = 112.5. To get your metric height you’ll want to multiply your height in inches by 0.025. I’m 64 inches tall, so for me 64 x 0.025 = 1.6. Then you want to take your metric height (1.6 for me) and square it. So more of that math stuff. But squaring a number is just multiplying it by itself 🙂 So, in my case, 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. Then you want to divide your metric weight, by your metric height. For me that’ll be 112.5 / 2.56 = 43.94. That gives me my BMI. So, mine is 43.9, or for all practical purposes, 44. A healthy BMI is considered between 19 and 25. So, I’m about double 🙁 Sad face, but like I said, we’re not gonna beat ourselves up today, we’re just going to take stock so we know where we stand.
Theoretically, we should try not to be more than 11 pounds heavier that we were at age 18. For me that means I need to be no more than 130 lbs (At age 18 I was fighting a battle between 115 and 120 lbs and thought my 120 was shameful and drastically overweight. Bah.) The less you move around in your daily life the lower you want your BMI to be (while still falling in that healthy range, so no lower than 19.)
If all of that in the example was a lot of numbers and confusing and you prefer fill in the blank so you don’t get it wrong (I’m with you) equations, the formula for calculating your BMI without my numbers cluttering it up is your weight in pounds multiplied by 0.45; your height in inches multiplied by 0.025 and then that answer times itself; the resulting number from your weight divided by the resulting number from your height. If you’re still all “meh. Math.” then here’s a handy dandy excel spreadsheet you can use if you’re on a pc that I’d love to give credit to the creator of, but I snagged it off some website back in like 2015 and have no idea where I got it, just that it was free and downloadable. So. Thank you unknown generous person with math and tech skills!
It’s even got a handy-dandy chart to let you fill in those numbers from your measurements of different body parts.
So, why do we care about BMI? It helps to determine your fitness level and your risk of developing chronic diseases. If it’s too low it’s an indicator that you need to check out your dietary habits because you may be malnourished. If it’s too high you run the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. I am very aware that there is a big movement of “just because I’m fat/obese doesn’t mean I’m not healthy” people out there, and you’re absolutely right, your weight or BMI by itself doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy, your appearance doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy. But they’re indicators of risk, and that’s something to be aware of.
Another thing to be aware of though is that the BMI system, while the best thing we’ve got going in home fitness assessment right now, isn’t flawless. It’s the same formula for both genders, and by nature women have more body fat than men. It also doesn’t recognize that muscle weighs more than fat, so you may be buff instead of fluffy and end up in the higher end of the BMI spectrum. I don’t even know how plastic surgery and various implant and extractions and whatever else affect your BMI and how it indicates your fitness level, and certainly all of that has become much more common.
Don’t let it get TOO into your head. If you feel like a healthy, fit person, and your BMI tells you you’re obese, measure your waist and compare it to averages for your gender and age. Wider than average waists are an indicator of obesity, and can help you determine if you need to visit your doctor to discuss whether you’re as fit as you feel. You might be, you might not be, it helps to know. If you feel fit and healthy and are under the recommended BMI range, there’s not really an external measurement that will help you out, but you can still have a chat with your doctor and see if a blood panel shows you as being deficient in any vital nutrients or if they think it’s a good idea for you to chat with a dietitian to make sure you’re getting enough healthy calories and variety in your daily diet.
As for why we’re tracking BMI, measurements, and weight to begin with? It’s important to know where you stand and what adjustments need to be made. You may know “I need to lose weight” and think, okay, diet, exercise, I don’t need a tracker to tell me this. But different methods work for different people, and tracking your results while using consistent approaches to fitness will let you know whether or not it’s working, and how well it’s working compared to other approaches you might try. At the end of the day all that really matters is that you feel good, and sometimes being active is all that that takes and weight just really isn’t a big deal. But it’s still good to know what you’re working with. Don’t ever let numbers make you feel bad. Let them make you feel motivated.
I’m gonna feel so freaking amazing when I cut my BMI in half!
And because it’s been a while, to make sure we’re all still on the wagon, for today:
- Use a good quality cleanser on your Face. Give it some extra love.
- Clean your Guest Bedroom if you’ve got one, or another bedroom if you don’t.
- Do some Body Weight exercises. Planks, pushups, crunches, leg lifts, lunges… anything where your body is your only fitness equipment.
- And since it’s that time of year, listen to a guided meditation or subliminal audio (or both) to help with allergy and sinus symptoms.
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: New Attitude
Album: 80’s Soul 1’s (Eco-Friendly Packaging)