We can thank this post because I made the tragic mistake of taking a nap when I came home from work today, and thus have fucked up my sleep patterns something fierce.

We can also thank this post due to a conversation I had with a friend on facebook earlier this week about nutrition and sizeism in our culture. I think we need to change how we look at nutrition in our society.


First off - let's talk about fat. How do we judge who is fat and who is not? Well, for a long time we have been using the BMI chart which many people are finally realizing is a load of bull crap.

FUN EXPERIMENT! Go over to the BMI index and find yourself. Found your number? Okay! Let's see how you compare to the "official" reading!

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

So how do you feel about your numbers? I would guess that some of you out there might fall within the "normal weight" but that more of you would fall above that. This is not because my friends list is populated with fatties, but because the BMI is total bull shit.

Now let me share some personal information with you: I am 5'7 and weight 195 pounds which puts me at a BMI of 30. According to the BMI, I AM OBESE!! Not only that, when I was at my lowest weight, a weight some of my friends said I looked "gaunt," I was 177, which put me at a BMI of 28. I LOST 120 POUNDS AND WAS STILL CONSIDERED OVERWEIGHT!!!

Many of you saw me at that state, and many of you know what I look like now. While I might consider myself "overweight" I would not consider myself obese. More importantly, because of how I eat, I would NOT consider myself unhealthy. I eat right, I exercise, I have a good diet. So why does the BMI, on which we base our standard of "fatness" on say that I'm obese? And does that reading mean that I am unhealthy?

NO NO NO!!!!

the BMI takes your height and your weight. It doesn't take into any consideration of your muscle mass, bone density, body build or anything like that. Just height and weight. All those body builders out there? OBESE! OOOOOOOBESE!!!!!

Now let's talk about sizeism. Was I unhealthy when I weighed 300lbs? According to my blood tests taken at the start of my fast, no - I was actually pretty darn healthy. Was I in danger of being unhealthy? Well, even though I did eat like crap, but we don't know for sure. Correlation and causation are not the same thing.

Also just because a person is skinny does not mean they have a healthy diet or lifestyle. There is at least one study, and more I am sure, that show that some people are resistant to gaining weight and, when forced to gain weight, easily shed the weight they have gained. Is it because they are out there running marathons and training ever day? Nope. Is it because they eat a well balanced nutritious diet? Not at all. It's just how their bodies work.

My friend Ed's little sister (she's 14 I think) is rail thin. I saw what this girl ate. Candy bars and hamburgers. Apparently the folks over at the local dunken donuts know her by name. But nobody's worried about her diet because she's so thin! Thanks to the BMI, we are told that anybody who is thin must be healthy.

Also, being fat and being grossly obese ARE DIFFERENT. Much like being naturally thin and anorexic are different. There are many studies that are showing that some people cannot for the life of them gain weight whereas others seem to be more prone to it.

FOR THE RECORD (before I get my capslock privileges revoked for good reason): I am not advocating the "I can't help it, I was born to be fat!" plea. Everybody has a personal responsibility for their nutrition and their health.

If you weight 300 lbs, have a full pizza every friday night, a huge ass sandwich for lunch ever day, probably consum upwards of 3000 calories a day and never exercise (like me three years ago), YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE. Also, if you weigh 110 lbs and survive on a diet of pixie sticks and tictacs, YOU ALSO HAVE NO EXCUSE. This, people, is not healthy. You will probably die (although we can't say for sure until you do).

If you know that you are eating a healthy diet, if you know that you are physically active, if you know that you are happy and healthy, then (and this is important) FUCK THE MEDIA. No - it's not fair to make fun of someone who is skinny as much as it isn't fair to make fun of someone who is fat. It would be nice, though, to see the same amount of worry and care that goes into saving the poor skinny girls go into saving the poor fat girls. Of course, people just tell the fat girls to "put down the fork" like that will solve the problem.

What would be nice, in the end, would be to see a medical system based on diet of the person, not the size of the person, to help figure out if they are healthy or not.

Hell, it would be nice if our standard of health actually came from, you know, HEALTH, and not what a person looks like.

I'd also like to put in the the OTC clinic which I go to in Davis, while it does use the BMI as a guideline, knows that realistically most people fall above what the BMI lists. They want their patients to be happy and healthy in a weight that is healthy for the patient, not according to a stupid graph.