BMI: Are You Really Overweight?

Many twenty-somethings (both guys and girls) worry about their weight. However, many of us do not care about it enough to give up socializing with friends (because we all know hanging out with people means you will be eating or drinking 90% of the time).

Not all of us have issues with our weight though. There are many people out there who have never stepped inside a gym, gone for a long walk, or eaten less than 2,000 calories a day… And even though these people are thin and happy with the way they look now, their health is totally at risk. There are also people who don’t have physical weight issues… and instead, have mental weight issues. Have you ever heard a 105 pound 22 year old look at the “side view” of herself in the mirror and exclaim with extreme sadness that she is overweight and needs to lose 10 pounds asap. Ugh.

And then there are the people who have actual weight issues and receive constant “bad news” at the doctor. I, unfortunately, am one of those people – The “bad news” being that I am technically “overweight” due to the world’s dumbest calculation ever – the “BMI.” According to the rules of “BMI,” you can be underweight, average weight, overweight, obese, severely obese, and morbidly obese:

The number your BMI is factors in your weight, height, and nothing else. It does not take into account how much muscle you have or what your body type is. AKA BMI doesn’t care if your breasts weight 30 pounds. Those additional 30 pounds can make a skinny girl “obese.” And, if you’re a guy, BMI doesn’t care if you overdose on whey protein and look like Ronnie from Jersey Shore (his BMI is prob out of control).

Just because the doctor (and scale) declares that I am an overweight human being (only a few pounds away from being “average”), I do not think of myself as fat… I definitely think I could lose some more weight (and I’m always trying – aren’t we all?), but I know there are TONS of people out there that are bigger than me… and tons of people out there that are bigger than them. I also know that many of you will stop  reading my blog if I write a post about how fat I think I am (not that I would ever do that…), so I will spare you.

I starting dancing and cheerleading when I was young, so at an early age I developed strong (awful) thighs, muscular calves that don’t allow most boots to fit, and arm muscles that will stick around for the rest of my life. I have also been watching what I eat and counting calories since Freshman year of college. Like most people, I gained weight when I entered college (actually it started senior year of high school – since the binge drinking unfortunately began then) and then after Freshman year, I lost that weight and much more (around 30 pounds all together over the years). So how do you think it feels to hear the doctor tell me I’m overweight after I go through all that?

BMI might be the worst thing ever created. Although the doctors may not mean “overweight” as “fat” – we take it that way. And the best part is there is about a 27/28 pound range for each “weight class.” You can’t tell me that is reasonable.

When a doctor goes over your weight with you, if you are not “average weight,” they will most likely ask if there’s anything they can do to help you lose weight… If you thought you were average looking, you will most likely you will say “no,” but secretly be extremely pissed off. You already eat healthy, work out religiously, and THOUGHT you looked good. This blow to your self esteem may spark an eating disorder or something… However, you must remember that the calculation is not accurate!

Solution? F*ck your BMI. If you are actually “overweight” – and by that I mean unhealthy, not working out, and eating poorly – you should want to lose weight and become healthy – but not just because your “BMI” says so. Honestly, even though someone is “average weight,” it doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. You – the “overweight” muscular (curvacious if you’re a girl) twenty something – may be 100 times more healthy than a person who falls under the average weight class who maintains a chocolate diet and has never ran longer than one minute. Recently, I bought a scale that tells you your BMI – but also tells you your body fat percentage… That is something you should pay much more attention to because you should want to replace the fat on your body with muscle (or just get rid of it all together).

Anyway, don’t let the BMI get to you. If you want to lose weight, do it for yourself… not for some stupid number that is so beyond inaccurate. And if you don’t think you need to lose weight, don’t. If you look good and feel good (and aren’t at risk for a heart attack), that’s all that matters.

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

1 Comment
  1. Awesome post!!! This is SO true. The BMI calculation is crap. I did gymnastics/cheerleading/track/cross country in grade school, and then I did roller derby after college, so my legs are giant. I was actually born with big legs, but all of that exercise just made them bigger. And I have a bigger than average chest size. My arms are larger than average (but hey, I can do tons of “real” push-ups that most girls can’t even do one of). My blood pressure is 110/60 and I have excellent cholesteral… But I’m “overweight.” But one of my doctors DID tell me that I should shoot to weigh around 160 pounds because my bone density and muscle mass is so high, so at least SOME doctors are taking that into consideration. So according to that doctor I only need to lose 10 more pounds (I’ve lost 30 already in the last 12 months).

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