Body Fat and BMI - My, Oh My!!

Phat in My 40's Health Guide January 10, 2010
  • At the beginning of any journey it is important to take note of where you are and where you are going.  Like planning a trip so to speak.  On this journey I do not have a specific destination in mind, instead I wish to focus on the scenery along the way.  Health and better fitness.

     

    I’m still at the stage of taking note of where I am right now.  No New Year’s Resolutions here, just simple observations and an interest in making better choices.  Being new to Obesity Connection, I decided to take a whirl around this website and the accompanying Diet and Exercise website to see what assessment tools are available.  I found the “Just Getting Started” page which offers calculators to measure Body Frame, Ideal Body Weight, Body Mass Index, Body Fat Percentage, and more.  I will definitely be bookmarking this page for future reference.

     

    So let’s see how I measure up today, January 10, 2010, shall we?

    Weight: 268.3 lbs
    Height: 5’5”
    Hips: 52”
    Calf: 19”
    Thigh: 32.5”
    Wrist: 6.75”

    For my own reference:
    Waist: 40”
    Chest: 46”
    Neck: 16”
    BP: 124/79
    Pulse: 72

     

    To measure Body Frame Size, you need to know your gender, height, and wrist circumference. Since my wrist measures larger than 6.5 inches and I am 5 ft 5 in tall, my body frame is considered Large.

     

    To calculate Ideal Body Weight, you need to know your body frame size, height, and weight. A person of my height and body frame would have an “ideal weight” range of 146 - 160.6 lbs (66.4 - 73 kg.).  Weighing in at 268 lbs, I am consider overweight by 107.4 lbs. (49 kg.).

     

    To calculate Body Fat Percentage, you need to know your age, weight, gender, hips, calf, thigh, and wrist measurements. With my measurements as they are today, I have 39.8% body fat with approximately 106.5 pounds of fat and 161.5 pounds of lean (muscle, bone, body water).

     

    The average percentage of body fat in American women is 32% (according to Covert the author of the tape measure test referenced on the linked page) and a “healthy normal” percentage for a caucasian woman would be 22% body fat.  I’ve got a ways to go before approaching average, much less healthy normal.  LOL.

     

    To measure Body Mass Index (BMI), you need to know your weight and height.  An adult who has a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, 30-39.9 is obese and > 40 is morbidly obese.  My Body Mass Index comes in at 44.6.  To get my BMI below 30 (the point at which folks are considered obese), my weight would need to be 180 lbs.  (More information at the CDC website.)

     

    These are simply numbers which will help me keep track of any objective progress I make on this journey.  They do not directly represent health or fitness, but will help me to stay focused.  I don’t plan to measure everything every week, but perhaps monthly.

     

    Hey, how about testing the tools and see where your numbers stand?  If you do so, please share in the comments.  I’d love to know that I’m not alone here.  :)

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    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.