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The Pounds Are Relative

Thursday, February 09, 2017

My mom weighs 225 and wears a size 24 and a 3X. I weigh 253 and wear a size 22 and a 2X. She's 5'5" and I'm 5'7". When I am 225, I wear between a size 18 and a size 16 (1X). I'd hate to see what she would be wearing at my size. But I digress. When I was 200 lbs, I wore a size 14 and was between a L and XL. I felt fabulous! I got lots of compliments. No one was wiser about what the scale read. Just me and my personal trainer, who was impressed by how my body was responding physically in measurement, and not by the scale. When I weighed in at 185, I was firmly in a size 12 with my eyes set on size 10. I was excited to even be possibly going down to a size 8. Something I had not seen since I was 30 (I'm 48 right now).
(Photo of me at 259 and at 200)

It just got me to thinking about how the medical field wants to label people as "obese" based on the scales, when in fact, there are many who are physically far from it, even if the scale says they are. Case in point. I have a friend who is an aerobics instructor. She is 6'2", weighs over 190 lbs, all muscle, and gorgeous! Guess what? Her doctor told her she was obese. Yes, obese. She is far from it! When I was 30, and wearing a size 8, physially fit, playing sandpit volleyball on a weekly basis, as well as in the gym daily, the doctor called me obese, because I weighed in at 165 lbs at 5'7".

Something is wrong with the medical world if they are relying on the scale and not on something more plausible and measurable as the physique. I know many who are not "obese" who are far from being physically fit. They are called "thin fat", whereas, I know more women (and men) who are "fit fat", yet don't look fat at all.

My first experience with being called "fat" when I wasn't was when I was 15. I weighed in at 120 lbs at 5'5", was an endurance swimmer on the high school swim team, ran everyday, and ate healthy. Because of my stature, I had been approached by a modeling agency and told to call them about opportunities. I was stoked, so I called. When they asked how much I weighed, I wasn't shy and told them "120". They then proceeded to tell me that I needed to lose weight. Excuse me? Unfortunately, at 15, those words stung, and it began a vicious cycle of anorexia and bulimia for 10 years. It didn't help when 3 years later, I was told during an armed services physical that weighing in at 145 and 5'7" was pushing the upper limit. Again, not an ounce of fat on me.

So, why does it seem that the medical profession wants to "fat shame" us, when there are going to be people who don't fit the BMI chart's "perfect" vision? I know for a fact, that at 145 (which is where the chart wants me) makes me look unhealthy. Yet, the doctors keep telling me that is where they want me.

How do we shake the medical community awake and get them to realize that they are part of the problem? How can we get them to help us find the medium of what really is healthy and quit telling people who are healthy that they are "obese"? Something needs to change, but I don't know how to do it, or where to go to make that change or difference. Maybe being more vocal in the doctor's offices would make more of a difference than outside.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are SO right! I think this is why non-scale goals are so important. We should measure health and fitness by the fuel we put into our bodies and the performance we get from them, NOT a number on a scale or an even more vague calculation like BMI. If your doctor is more concerned about scale numbers and not about your bloodwork or activity level: fire them. Thankfully, I think more and more doctors are starting to understand that health is a much bigger picture.
    1109 days ago
    Don't get me started on this topic. They've become obsessed with metrics to classify us rather than listening and observing us to help us be healthier. The focus is all wrong.
    1110 days ago
    Good discussion. I don't know the answer, but the question is appropriate and relevant.
    1110 days ago
    Oh well, everyone knows now not to listen to model agencies nor to most doctors, right? :)
    1111 days ago
    Well said. I've thought about it this way, you are completely right. If have an answer please post.
    1111 days ago
  • MARYBETH4884
    emoticon emoticon Not to mention the leftover skin after a large weight loss. No one should be judged by the scale alone!!!
    1111 days ago
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