Croi, the Heart Disease & Stroke Charity for the West of Ireland, were in work today doing staff health screenings. They were here last year too - I still have the summary sheets shoved in the back of my drawer. Last year my BMI was over 41. Today is was 24.9.
24.9 officially puts me for the first time in my adult life into the Healthy Weight range. Not only am I no longer obese, I am now no longer overweight... I'm at a healthy weight!
I posted about BMI before ('Bye Bye Obesity' here) and I have spent some time researching into how relevant the BMI chart is in the 21st century. A few stone ago when I was looking at where I needed to go in terms of 'goal weight', I started obsessing and then panicking about what the BMI chart classed as 'healthy'. We lead very different lives now to when the BMI chart was first established. Most of the food we eat is processed and our lives are mainly sedentary. Well I know that to be true for myself.
Working a desk job doesn't give you much room to stay 'fit and healthy' on the regular 9-5. Before I started on Weight Watchers my typical day would be to drive into work, sit at my desk for 9 hours (excluding the 1 hour lunch break where I would usually you grab something quick from the local Spar), drive home and lounge on the couch watching TV.
Today my typical work day goes as follows: I drive into work, sit at my desk for 9 hours (excluding the 1 hour lunch break), drive home, do 30-60 minutes exercise and then lounge on the couch watching TV. Excluding the exercise - my day still follows the same general blueprint.
From what I can gather (bearing in mind that I'm not a doctor), being classed as overweight should be determined based on three different factors:
- Waist circumference - a measurement of abdominal fat
- Risk factors for diseases associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, high LDL ("bad") cholesterol, low HDL ("good") cholesterol, high blood sugar, and smoking.
I got my results today at the Health Check for my Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Glucose etc... and every single one of my readings were below the recommended 'Target' levels. Comparing these values with last year is kind of scary. My cholesterol values last year was in the 'Borderline High' range clocking in at 6.1 mmol/L. Today's value: 4.01 mmol/L.
Bearing in mind there are a lot of things we can't change - such as our family history, gender, age etc which will always persist regardless of what we do, there is a lot of things we can change. And I am proof of that. Looking at the values suggested here for LDL, HDL and Triglycerides - every one of my values fall into the Ideal range. My Blood Pressure is normal and my waist circumference is 'ideal' according to the lady from Croi.
Ten months since I started on my journey and 6st 8lbs lighter - the one thing I learned more than anything else is to never doubt what you are capable of. I would never have believed anyone if this time last year they had shown me a photo of me today. I continue to surprise myself. I now know the importance of being healthy and making healthy choices over being just a number on a scale or chart.