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Your BMI and Why it Matters

Updated on December 20, 2016
This chart depicts what your BMI is based on your height and weight.
This chart depicts what your BMI is based on your height and weight.
A picture taken of the device after it displayed my BMI
A picture taken of the device after it displayed my BMI

I joined the gym a couple months ago and I was doing mostly cardio because it was easy and I was familiar with it. One day, a personal trainer came up to me and informed me I was allowed to have a one-on-one fitness assessment session with him. This got my attention and I made an appointment to see him the following evening. I was very nervous because I knew I was in very bad shape and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of someone who works in a gym. I took a deepth breath and told myself to go in and get the fitness assessment. After all, it could only help me and inform me of where I was in terms of my health.

Since I go to the gym with my boyfriend and we have a joint account, he was also scheduled to participate in the session. First, we got weighed on their scale and I found out I weigh 253lbs. I honestly thought I'd weigh more, but the trainer was surprised because I carry most of my weight in my hips, thighs, and buttocks. This causes most people to underestimate my weight because my belly is not as prominent as it could be. Then, he had us hold a device that measures your BMI (Body Mass Index) after you put in how much you weigh and how old you are.

This is where it got interesting and quite frightening at the same time. My BMI was at 46.2%! This puts me in the morbidly obese weight range. So, in simple terms, your BMI is a percentage of how much fat you have stored in your body, based on your weight and in relation to your height.

Now, the reason why this matters is because it will tell you whether or not you're in a healthy weight range and mine certainly is not! Normally, a BMI over 30% means that you're obese and could use a lifestyle change. A normal BMI is between 18-24.9% depending on your height, and usually a BMI under 18% means you're underweight, but like I said, it depends on how tall you are.

BMI is not a direct measure of how much fat you possess and it may not be 100% accurate, however. For example, if a person weighs more than their supposed to for their height, it doesn't necessarily mean they're overweight in terms of fat content. Remember, muscle and bone are more dense than fat, so a muscular person or someone who's very athletic can have a higher BMI or even the same BMI as an overweight person.

Despite this, calculating your BMI is an effective way to gauge how healthy you are. I have never worked out before and even as a little girl, I was never into sports. I'm simply not an athletic type. So, naturally, when it came to measuring my BMI, I was pretty sure it wasn't calculating my muscle. Not with all this jiggle.

Within what range does your BMI fall into?

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© 2016 Rachel Ring

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