What's a BMI and who stole the tapemeasure?

Being accountable just means saying, "Yes," out loud, to someone else that you are going to do something to change. It always, always starts with telling ourselves the truth. If we are not honest with our own thinking, we will join the 76 - 82% who start losing weight or exercising and just drop out.
The first step is finding a tapemeasure or getting on the scales. Because body composition is a health related component of any weight loss/behavior change, we have to measure first. If you can't find a tape measure, use a string and then find a ruler to write down what your waist measurement truly is. Use a paperclip to mark the spot where the string meets!
Here's how to find where to measure. Find your iliac crest, which is directly underneath your armpit and the highest part of your pelvis with a bony protrusion. Lay the tape measure or string right above it on a horizontal plane. After a normal exhalation (no sucking in), measure three times to make sure you have the same inch measurement.

Secondly, find a scale and take all your clothes off. Hopefully, this is not in the entrance of Wal-Mart or at a department store. (: Open your eyes and see what the scale says without holding onto the wall or standing on one leg. This will give you your starting point for discovering your B.M.I. or body mass index.
Write down these two numbers in a journal, a planner, a calendar, or log onto http://www.caloriecount.com/ (free site)

Here's our truth telling moment. If your waist measurement is less than 35 inches (for women) and 40 inches (for men), you are in the 35.5% of Americans were are at a normal weight. However, if your waist measurement is above those numbers >35 for girls and >40 for guys, you are considered overweight or obese. Not the time to freak out, just the time to get motivated. Most metabolic diseases (cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, etc.) have tell-tale signs, and waist measurement is a big red STOP sign on continuing what you are already eating and doing.

What in the world is a B.M.I. you might ask? Dr. Oz talks about it all the time, and I am going to show you how to find it. It is all about your weight in pounds compared to your height in inches. Find a calculator. This will take a little basic math, but don't worry I am a teacher and can walk you through it. After you weigh yourself, see how tall you are in INCHES. Stand next to a doorway and use that ruler to mark the spot.

Now, you have two numbers with your weight in lbs. and your height in inches. Get your calculator in ready position!

Step #1. Multiply 703 times your weight in lbs. (703 is just the number we use to convert from the metric system to the English system.)
Step#2. Divide your first number (703 x your weight) by your height in inches.
Step #3. Divide the second answer by your height in inches again.

For example: Your weight is 144 pounds. Multiply 703 times 144 = 101232.

Now, divide that number by your height (5 feet times 12 inches = 60 inches). My height is 5'5" so my height in inches is 65.

Divide 101232 (my first number) by 65 = 1557.4153

Finally, divide it again by your height in inches. 1557.4153 divided by 65 = 23.960235. Round it up to 24. That would be your Body Mass Index.

Decision making time! If your answer is below 25, you are in the green zone. If your answer is 25, 26, 27, 28, or 29, you are considered overweight. If your answer is equal to or above 30, you are considered obese. I know that is a really hard thing to see, but we are only finding our beginning point. Just weighing in doesn't always tell you the whole picture! You need to do the math.

Think of it as a monopoly game. We are at the starting point, and our goal is to make progress. Progress would be measured by our waist circumference going down or our B.M.I. getting closer to that magic number of 25. Our short term goal is February on Super Bowl Sunday. We are not trying to buy "Park Place" or "Virginia Avenue," we are just trying to move down that board.

In order to make that magic number of your waist measurement or your B.M.I. go down, decrease your normal calorie intake by 300 calories per day AND increase your calorie output by adding in 30 minutes of exercise (if you can't do all 30 minutes at one time, do 20 minutes now and 10 minutes later). We are just taking baby steps in order to feel better about ourselves and be healthier in 2010. If you are not sure of what your normal calorie intake might be, just take a normal day and add it up. For example, some people eat about 2,000 calories a day. If we were to delete 300 calories, we would not eat a pastry, fried food, etc., and then add in 300 calories of walking which depending on the speed of your walk would be around 30 minutes.

Calories in, Calories out! Join our accountability group and let me know how you are doing! We can do it together; the buddy system works!


  1. love the monopoly analogy! sure, i'd like to be a board walk, but keeping it real...it took awhile to get here, it will take time to get it off. this gives me hope; 300 cals less, burn another 300... I can do this! thanks jeanne for the inspiration!

  2. I'm in, Jeanne! I did my first 30 minutes this morning and I skipped the orange rolls that the kids were having. However, 30 minutes of walking for me at 4 MPH the whole time and 2% incline for half the time only added up to 130 calories, according to the computer on my treadmill. It's ok, though. I feel better for just having gotten on the thing!


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