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Posted on Mar 26, 2012 in Food | 16 comments


Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had fabulous, Hunger Games-filled weekends! I had intended to go see the movie again on Sunday, but ended up getting sick and bailed. I’m planning on seeing it this week though, kekeke.

While my Sunday ended being of the invariably lazy variety, my Saturday was chock-full of activity and social whatchamacallit. For lunch I had the pleasure of meeting up with a few local bloggers for lunch! The fantastic Lauren reached out to a few of us to see if we’d be up for a little group date. Initially we had settled on taking in the sights of the National Zoo, but the weather put a bit of a damper on that. So instead, we met up for lunch in Dupont Circle at one of my old faves, Sweetgreen!

Sarah, Jenny, Lauren, Ashley, and yours truly!

For once, I was the one who left her camera at home, so thanks in advance to Lauren for letting me snag these pics! It wasn’t until I saw these pictures of our little group that I realized I was the only brunette one there, haha. I guess we should have had this meetup back when I was still in my blonde phase, huh? Bahaha.

The group of us all got awesome salads (Lauren and I both got the Pickle Madness! Perfect for me, no?) followed by delicious froyo. We ended up chatting about life, weight loss, food, and The Hunger Games (what else?) for three hours! Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Lauren & me – as you can see, I’m still inspired by Katniss to attempt to work braids into my hair, haha.

Jenny & me – Thanks for the pic, Jenny!

One of the really interesting (to me) topics that we ended up discussing was the concept of the subjectivity of one’s weight. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: weight is SO subjective. 150 pounds on one person can look a heck of a lot different than it does on the next. This is one of the main reasons that I disagree with the BMI table as a tool for determining a “healthy” weight. According to BMI, at 5’9″ I would be within a healthy weight range if I weighed between 128 and 169 pounds. Now, I can’t really speak for how I would look at 128 pounds (the word that comes to mind, however, is skeletal), but I know that at my goal weight of 165 I will probably look pretty dang slim. I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that I would be healthy if I weighed 128 pounds. I have a large frame, an hourglass figure, and I’m not trying to justify my weight but sometimes I feel like I need to. Like, if I say that I’m a weight loss blogger who weighs 189 pounds, it’s very easy to feel like that’s not good enough. Because to a lot of people, 189 lbs still seems like a lot. Even though for me, formerly 246+ pounds, it is nothing but health and progress.

I’m still working towards my weight loss goal, but I’ve mentioned before that the number itself isn’t something I’m dead set on. I want to feel healthy, slender, and strong but I am trying very, very hard to dissuade myself of the need to feel THIN. (It’s hard to do, believe me!) I want to be able to be in a place where even if my actual weight ends up at 160, 170 or 180 pounds, if I’m eating well and exercising regularly and able to MAINTAIN that without too much trouble… well, I want to be able to be happy there. And let’s be honest, when you get down to brass tacks, 5 or 10 lbs? It’s really not a lot for me. I can understand how those single pounds can really make a difference when you’re 5’2″ or what have you, but for me? I mean, I gain and lose five pounds between breakfast and bedtime every day. After all, a pound of feathers and a pound of gold weight the same, but you’d never know it from looking at ’em, right?

What are your thoughts on BMI as a way to determine healthy weight? Or on the subjectivity of weight in general?


  1. YES!! I’m so glad that I got to meet you, and can’t wait to hang out again (in my neck of the woods or yours!).
    I love that you posted the topic of weight being subjective, because I couldn’t agree more- and I had forgotten that we talked about that- but now I remember! I know that at my highest weight (which is about 50 lbs more than I weigh now) I looked enormous. But, then I see other women at that same weight who look great! And I feel that some other women that weigh the same as me (and at a similar height- 5’7ish) or weigh more look a lot thinner than me. I guess it’s all in the distribution… muscle, bone density, etc. And oddly enough- I’m only about 5 lbs more now than I was 6 years ago, but my pants size is 2 sizes smaller. I’m hoping that I can give muscle credit for that.

  2. You hit the nail on the head, the problem with weight is that it looks drastically different on different people (I mean I am 195 lbs and I was in marathon-ish shape). That’s why the BMI was devised. It’s technically kg/m^2 which means it takes you body surface area into account when you look at the mass. If you could have WIDE variations in the type if people who weight 189 lbs, you’re not supposed to have such differences in people who have a BMI of 28.

    Of course BMI is much more useful medically when your looking at the extremes (less than 18 and over 35) because those people tend to have similar medical problems, eating disorders and bone problems in the 35 crowd. Granted, my ideal weight by BMI (~22) would be 153lbs which would mean I would need to lose 40 lbs after training for the marathon. Spoiler: it’d be pretty sickly.

    So moral of the story is that weight and BMI are great RELATIVE measurements not absolute measurements. It’s much better (and healthier) to say that you lost 60 lbs or dropped your BMI from 36 to 28 than to say that I need to be 150 lbs or a BMI of 22, and of course reducing your resting heart rate and blood pressure while you’re at it (not to mention your chances of heart attack and diabetes down the road).

  3. I hate BMI also! I have a hard time writing about health and fitness while being 5’4 and 155 lbs, but honestly every time I go to the doctor they rave about how healthy I am. It is about so much more than awful numbers and charts, and is absolutely subjective!

  4. I’ve always been confused by the scale. I am almost 5’1″ and at my lowest adult weight I was 115-118 but I wasn’t healthy and I really was super skinny. Other women who appear to be my size are (or claim to be) 115-120 when my scale says 135. For years I assumed that it confirmed my feeling that I weigh too much. Now I try to have a more measured approach. How are my clothes fitting? Am I exercising? Am I eating enough variety? (I tend too eat too many carbs!) And,as part of the balance, what do I weigh? I use those questions to evaluate how I’m doing and what I need to focus on.

  5. I swear you have the prettiest smile. You look great in your pictures. Simply glowing ๐Ÿ™‚

    I definitely think BMI is merely one indication of how I’m doing in terms of health. I remember wavering between “normal” and “overweight” thinking, does that 1 lb really make me SO much healthier? It was definitely a mile stone though every time I transitioned from obese to overweight to normal. Now I find myself in my last few pounds until maintenance and I wonder if it’s really necessary? Is there really a weight that I’ll ever be comfortable with?

    I guess my plan of action now is to live healthy and continue what I’m doing. Hopefully my body tells me where it wants to go ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are doing FAB!

  6. thanks for this post, I needed it.

    A little bit about me .. I do Weight Watchers and I’m an avid exerciser. My goal weight for WW has been 154 lbs to get just under the BMI healthy range. I really want to reach lifetime.

    I’m 5’6″ and weigh 165 lbs. My waist is a 26-27 (jean size 6 to an 8) and my legs are crazy muscular. The lowest I ever got was 160. I reached 155 during a “10-day cleanse” but I know that wasn’t sustainable and the cleanse wasn’t about weight loss.

    When I’m at 165lbs, I run (7-15 miles) 2-3x a week, I bike to work (14 miles round trip) 5x a week, hot yoga 5x week, weight lift 1-2x and then usually do one outdoor Colorado activity on Saturday or Sunday (hiking, snow shoeing, skiing, etc). Most of my activity is for fun, keeps me sane or part of my commute to work.

    I can’t seem to break the BMI barrier, but I’m coming to learn to be happy with my weight even if it’s slightly above BMI. Even though I have been hoovering above my goal weight by 10lbs for years, it bothers me that I just can’t get there with healthy ways. It makes me feel like I’m giving up on my goal, but I need to hear that sometimes your body is better within its own range.

    Thanks, Gretchen!


      • hi, lauren! I follow your blog too. love it.

        hmm .. maybe our metabolisms are the same.

  7. Oh it’s SOOOO subjective. I couldn’t agree more that certain weights look different on certain people. Especially on how tall you are, your frame, your build. I look at the BMI calculator for me and it saysa 115 – 140! 140 is my goal weight, and I know I look good there, but 115? I weighed that much once and I did not look healthy. In fact, I looked like I had an eating disorder and felt miserable. I think you just need to focus on what looks good to you and where you look and feel your best. If that’s 165, yay! if that’s 120, or 190, that’s fine too. ya know?

  8. The first half of this post is so fun and the second half is so true- great message! I totally agree about 150 pounds looking completely different on one person to the next. I am also a tall girl so whenever my weight fluctuates it ‘s easy to tell… A few pounds lighter, I look like a string bean, a few pounds heavier, I have a fuller figure. I think it’s great that you want to be “healthy”, not necessarily “skinny”… But playing devils advocate, what is “skinny”? A specific number? A size? Why not, the way someone feels?!

  9. I personally find the BMI more than ridiculous. I have pretty heavy bones and my whole structure is a bit “broad” (=athletic), so even when I was skinny, I was still weighing a bit more than recommended. While I was dieting in puberty (no need for that, I was skinny and just thought I was fat. Luckily I didnยดt develop a ED!), the BMI suggested to loose 20 pounds to be on a healthy weight. If I had done that, I probably would have died.
    Every body is different and I honestly believe that each of us has a set body shape and no matter what we do, at some point we will always come back to that stage.
    The BMI does not take that into account at all. Especially if one has a lot of muscle mass.
    And I agree, a certain weight can look extremly different on various bodies.

  10. I’m one of those 5’1 people. My doctor (who is short and tiny) actually told me at one point that people ‘our size’ (I outweighed her by at least 30 pounds at this point) show every extra pound. Wah Wah. But it did hit home that I had really ignored my fitness for a while. I know what’s ideal for my body is not ideal for someone else’s body. Plus, if I got to the low BMI for my height, I would have NO boobs left at all.

  11. I honestly never pay attention to my BMI. I’m just trying to be healthy and know that eventually I will get to a weight that my body prefers. That said, I just checked my BMI and I’m basically morbidly obese…so that’s fun.

    Great hanging out, by the way! I can’t wait to do it again!

  12. I agree with everyone- as long as you are eating healthy, being active and feeling happy then numbers on a scale or a BMI chart shouldn’t be indicators of success!

  13. I am so glad that I got to meet you!! And really weight is so subjective. I’m glad that we were able to discuss weight and our weight loss goals. It’s really helpful to find other people who have similar issues and interests.

    I vote for a hike sometime later this spring ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. I agree with you on the BMI logic. My goal weight is also 165 (I’m 5’8″) and I cannot imagine going much lower than that. I’ve been operating on the mindset that I’ll see how I feel when I get closer to goal.. but I don’t want to be rail thin. I like hips and I like having a butt… I don’t want to lose TOO much of that (though some of it can definitely take a hike! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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