The other day I was listening to NPR talk about BMI or body mass index with regards to healthiness. I have always poo-pooed BMI because as a former personal trainer I know that it doesn’t take into account actual body fat percentage. For instance, a well conditioned athlete might have enough muscle to be considered obese using BMI while somebody in the ‘normal’ range might actually be skinny-fat and thus too weak to really function on a day to day basis. And, as I looked for a link to the story I was listening to at NPR.org it looks like there were many follow-ups or alternate stories that feel the same way.
BMI is a bogus measurement
However, despite the reality that BMI is a bogus measurement I decided to get real on my personal situation. While I used to be a professional wrestler and a personal trainer, I have been 5 years retired from both and my fitness level is that of a social media game developer( my current profession ) but my eating habits have not changed enough to compensate. So right now I am sitting at 240 pounds which is considered obese by the BMI measurement for a 6 foot tall person.
On the flip side, 220 pounds is the top end of the overweight label for my height and 180 is the top end for the normal range. Its interesting to note that 180 pounds was my weight in High School, probably when I was most active without trying to add muscle. I know that 220 is realistic as I was about 225 when I wrestled. However, is 180 realistic?
Getting real about the numbers
Let’s go through the numbers, keeping in mind I don’t actually know my bodyfat percentage right now.
If I’m at 30% body fat ( which is high for a man but definitely believable ) than I have 168 pounds of lean body mass and if I could somehow lose the weight without losing muscle mass ( a very difficult task – though attainable ) then I would be at 7% body fat. 7% body fat is pretty low, especially for a social media game developer. Am I willing to lose muscle mass, is it still that important to me?
The truth be told, I could have a higher or lower body fat than 30%. If it is higher, 180 could be attainable without losing muscle. If it is lower then I can just kiss some of that muscle goodbye if I want to hit 180.
Do I even want to try?
Do I want to try for 180? That’s a big goal. If I get to 180, will I have done it in a healthy way that I can continue for the rest of my life?
The answer is yes, I do want to make the journey toward 180 pounds and I’m going to use this blog to take you all along the journey with me. I say journey because I know that is more important than the destination. I might find a fork in the path along the way that is better for me and I will share that if I get there. For now, I have a destination and I just have to look through my old maps ( old personal training books ) and possibly get some new ones ( apps for my phone have helped in the past ). I guess one of those forks will come when I have to decide if losing muscle mass is worth it to me.
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