The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

I Am Overweight! Woohoo!

Not a common whoop of joy heard in this day and age, admittedly, but I am a happy man. In fact, it turns out that I’ve been overweight for a few weeks now, but I hadn’t checked a BMI calculator recently.

BMI is the Body Mass Index and is essentially a ratio measurement between your height and your weight (you can check yours out at http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/interactiveTools/bmi.aspx if you’re curious) and so can be used as a rough guide to how fat you are. It is only an approximation though - if you are an athlete, for example, then you will get a false reading because muscle weighs more than fat.

So, at 5 feet and 7 inches high, and weighing in this morning at 13 stone and 6 pounds (188lbs or 85.275kg), I have a BMI of 29.44466. This means that I am now Overweight and no longer Obese (as I am in no way athletic). The chart looks something like this:

Less than 20 – Underweight - everyone thinks you look like a model, but you’re actually very unhealthy
20 to 25 – Ideal weight - you are at the right weight for your height, will probably live longer, but worry that your bum looks too big because society tells you that you should be underweight (“You can never be too rich or too thin” - Nancy Reagan)
25-30 – Overweight - you eat too many snacks and takeaways and don’t exercise enough
30-35 – Obese (Class I) - now you’re getting into dangerous territory that could be seriously affecting your long term health. You’re probably struggling to find anything that fits you in a high-street shop
35-40 – Obese (Class II) - specialist "outsize" clothes shops are becoming the norm, but you despise the fact that they insist you look like your granny's sofa cover.
Over 40 – Morbidly or Severely Obese (Class III) - also known as “Extremely Obese” or “Pathologically Obese” – chances are you’ve been dieting all your life and/or have problems with food addiction and emotional eating patterns that are now way out of control. Jogging trousers are just so much more comfortable.

15 months ago I was 19st 9lbs (275lbs) and had a BMI of 43, at which point Maggie and I started a new way of life. The idea was that we would eat healthily (plenty fresh fruit & veg), cut out processed foods and certain fats, avoid trigger foods (ones that set off cravings) and stop snacking in the evenings. Since October I’ve been keeping a weekly track of my progress on my other blog, Losing A Hundredweight, if you’re interested.

The main aim has always been to be healthier and the weight loss has been a side effect. THIS IS IMPORTANT. We are not on a “diet”, and when we reach an ideal weight we will continue to eat healthily and will not return to old eating habits. This is a way of life.

It means that we have a bit of cake when there’s a celebration; we sometimes go out for meals; on occasion we get a takeaway; but we are careful not to let these things get out of control. And very importantly, we enjoy good, wholesome, tasty food. Maggie is an excellent cook and very creative. These days instead of using those skills to make cakes and puddings, she’s using them to improve our health. Maggie doesn’t want me discussing her weight with the world, but I will say that she has lost a similar amount over the same time period.

In fact, the other day we were looking back through our early photo albums and came to the conclusion that we now weigh more or less what we did when we first started going out together. 15 ½ years to put the weight on, and 15 ½ months to get back again.

It doesn’t stop here though. We are still overweight, we are not as healthy as we could be, and the next stage will be to start upping our activity levels a bit more.

But I am no longer “Obese”. I am “Overweight” and I think that calls for some kind of celebration. Unfortunately it can’t be with a chocolate cake…

24 comments

Nikki said...

Congratulations Kim.

I'm tickled for you. Well done.

Charlie said...

THIS IS IMPORTANT. We are not on a “diet”, and when we reach an ideal weight we will continue to eat healthily and will not return to old eating habits.

By jove, Merlin, I think you've hit upon a basic truth for permanent change.

Martha hates exercise of the gymnasium kind, but she's found that walking the dogs for 30 minutes each evening and swimming on the weekends is easy and enjoyable exercise.

It also gives her a chance to snoop around the neighborhood.

Good work, Kim and Maggie.

Foot Eater said...

Congratulations, Kim. Great title to your post, too.

Attila The Mom said...

Woohoo! Now you're a skinny fat man!

Stella said...

Congratulations Kim!!!!

WBS said...

Hey, thats brilliant, after years of trying various diets not to say a fair bit of denial I think I've come to the same conclusion as you - call it whatever helps and just do it, I hope that I will be as successful as you've been as I'm just starting out again but after reading your blogs with a little more determination and hope that it can be done.

Kim Ayres said...

Nikki - thank you :)

Admiral - I think Martha's got the right idea

Foot Eater - This title occured to me about 2 months ago. There were times when I feared I'd never be able to use it...

Atilla - I wondered whether a fat skinny man was any better, but I think your description is more acurate.

Stella - thank you :)

Widescreenboy - welcome to my ramblings. Any advice, moral support or shoulder to cry on (though not taken a bite out of) is happily offered. Perhaps you should also consider joining the Knights of the Round Bottoms

happykat said...

I'm doing the booty-shake dance for you, Kim.
I clicked the linky and got a BMI of 26. Bah!

St Jude said...

A 'huge', (pardon), congratulations. I know what it is like to carry extra baggage. I have done it three times, twice it was resolved by giving birth, but the last time was all my own effort, six years on I am still my ideal weight and that is because like you say, I don't diet I eat healthily and exercise.

34quinn said...

wow!!!!!! congratulations on your commitment to improving your health!!!!
You have reached a huge milestone and it deffinately shows through in your post.
You have every reason to celebrate!!
I think a very large garden salad full of all the garden goodies is in order!!!
I am very bad at dieting myself and I like you try to just cut down on the bad stuff and be more conscious of the choices. I try not to worry about the numbers.
I did just notice though that since starting my new job I am down about 8 pounds!!
being on my feet all day in steel toe shoes I guess is a bit of a work out and I also now have to walk a short walk to the bus and then a 15 min walk from the bus to my work. so that little bit has obviously helped my metablolism get moving.
Anyways , do not mean to ramble here, congrats again!! keep up the great work and keep us posted. hearing of others success helps us to stay focussed as well.

Sandy said...

Congrats on just being fat. Has to be said that you appear a fairly healthy sized example of person to me but there again, I've lived my life amongst scotsmen. Perhaps all the weight was in the beard - nobody ever called Yul Bryner fat

BStrong said...

It seems that over the past few months I have jumped from a 34" waist to a 36". I'm probably still healthy but I had to go out and get new pants. The only BMI calculator that I have is my wife's hands. It's very easy to use, she grabs my love handles (fat around my waist) and tells me that my BMI is a fist full.

Congrats on being overweight.

B

Kim Ayres said...

Happy Kat - if you had a BMI of only 20 or less, then your booty dance wouldn't be worth watching ;)

St Jude - cool!

Quinn - What's you're new job about?

Sandy - It's true, if it wasn't for this damned English accent I picked up from my parents then I would blend in so well with the Scots

BStrong - you wanna watch that waist size Brian. Before you know it you'll be looking for 38s then it's only a few cream donuts and the 44s are too tight.

34quinn said...

Hi, I am working at a huge retail outlet and I am learning to help with customers in the areas of window coverings, paint, and flooring. I have so much to learn my brain as been non stop lately.
going from home daycare for preschoolers to practically a consultant of sorts.
But I am determined to give it a good go.!!!!

Beki said...

Well done! I hope to get my act together and join you in the heady world of overweight soon.

In the meantime I'll just blame an imaginery disease and genetic factors

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - phew, I'm exhausted at the thought of it. Well done you!

Beki - welcome to my ramblings - A heady world indeed! A world where you can't buy anything in the shops because their styles suck, rather than because they don't do your size :)

Naomi said...

That's a great milestone to reach. Congratulations on being overweight!

I looked at the calculator with some trepidation and sure enough I have managed to slip into the obese category (eeek). 10lbs should see me back into the overweight category.

I tend to do well at healthy eating for awhile and then I get stressed, eat a ton of chocolate, feel like a failure and then eat more chocolate! I'm trying to get back on track again now.

Kim Ayres said...

Naomi - I know that cycle so well! Emotional eating is a major problem to deal with and isn't easy. Our association of food with comfort is laid down in childhood, from sweets as treats, through to chocolates with love, it's a difficult one to break.

There isn't an easy answer, but it's worth investing time and energy into finding alternative comforts for when you're feeling low. You need to start working on these when your not low so that you can start establishing new patterns of behaviour.

You have to find what works for you - be it exercise, a hobby, or intimacy with a loved one - but if you can find alternative comforts to food then it makes long-term success much more likely.

Gyrobo said...

This reminds me of a BMI calculator I found a few months ago. It had a whole graph thing to show where you were in relation to whether you were underweight or overweight.

But it's still a test of the wills to differentiate between obese and just plain fat.

SafeTinspector said...

Congrats, Kim! Soon you'll be a SKINNY limey bastard.

I admire your perseverence so far. I hope you achieve your ultimate aim, and that you have the emotional werewithal to maintain the lost weight.

Sarah said...

wow man! you've lost nearly 100 pounds!! that's quite an accomplishment!

Kim Ayres said...

Gyrobo - it's all to do with whether you're "big boned"

SafeTinspector - you sound sceptical.

Sarah - Thank you! Only another 13 to go for that marker.

Mine is a Gin said...

Well done!
And to think I'm struggling with the willpower to lose half a stone - if only I could face giving up the gin.

Ginny

PS I thought it was Wallis Simpson who said the thing about rich & thin, but then I guess she & Nancy Reagan are fairly interchangeable!

Kim Ayres said...

Half a stone is much easier to shed if you need to lose 8 of the buggers ;)

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