I Don't Do BMI Calculators Work for You?

Updated on April 27, 2012
S.S. asks from Osgood, IN
8 answers

I have always had problems with my weight. I am 5ft2 and when I was 18 I weighed 285 pds. Then i developed bulimia and by the time I was 21 I was 140 pds and a size four on the bottom and so thin on top that I had to buy clothes in the little boys section (or sometimes I could fit a small or xsmall in jrs)

When I got pregnant with my son I was malnourished and gained 125 pds. I lost all but 15 before I got pregnant with my daughter whom I had three months ago. I gained 47 pds with her and lost 20 following the delievery and have not lost any since, so I am currently at 180 and a size 10.

I am pretty sure I will loose the weight but I really don't know what to set as my goal weight. I tried using a BMI calculator and it said that 180pds I am obese. I know I am overweight (I mean come on I just had a kid) but I never considered a size 10 obese. I tried using the BMI calculator when I was a size 4 and supposedly at 140 pds I was still slightly overweight.

I know it can't just be me, do these calculators seem wrong. How am I suppose to figure out a healthy weight. Obviously with my history of an eating disorder I am not sure I will feel comfortable no matter how much I loose, and don't have a real good idea what an ideal weight should be with my height and age. Is there a more accurate way to figure this out? Do the calculators work for you? I really feel like I have asked this before but couldn't find the question on my page, maybe I just ment to ask it but didn't lol.

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So What Happened?

I don't think it was the size between store. Size 4 was the biggest size I could fit into. I was a size three in alot of store. I was thin enough were I could wrap my hand around my hip bone and small enough on top where I could stick my entire fist up under my ribs, but I still weighed 140. I seriously had strangers coming up to me telling me I was too thin, and when I told them I weighed 140 they said I could be more then 100.

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answers from Chicago on

My BMI says I should be 160 but when I got to175 people were telling me to put on another 10lbs and that was a 14/16 - I am 6'2" and I am built like a football player! So, I think that it is a good tool but not the end all be all of weight. With you history I think you see a therepist and a nutritionist to make a good healthy decision.

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answers from Tulsa on

BMI works fine for me. I think you are getting caught up on sizes that vary between brands. I am 5'6 and weighed 140 prior to pregnancy and was a size 6 where I shopped most frequently. I got up to 185 lbs during pregnancy and by 8-12 weeks after the baby was born was down to 150 and that was a size 12! So in my opinion a size 10 at 180 isn't a good representation of normal sizing. Now I'm 130 (thanks, breastfeeding!) and still a size 6 or 8 (140 and a size 4??? Not anyplace I've ever shopped). Go to a doctor that can do a body fat analysis (like others have suggested) and don't assume just because you are a size 10 (or whatever) you are healthy. With a history of eating disorders, I would strongly recommend working with a dietician and/or trainer to lose weight the right way. A weight loss of about a pound a week is considered healthy. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

In your other question, I wrote something similar. I think BMI is BS ;) it doesn't take into consideration body type, frame, build, or muscle weight. I've always weighed more than people would guess, even the people at the fair and police officers, who are pretty well trained in being able to describe someone thoroughly after glancing at them. In my law enforcement class in college, our teacher lined us up and wrote down what he thought our height and weight was. I was the only one he was wrong on by more than 5 lbs! And he was off by 40! As I am now, I am considered severely obese, and at my best I was still considered obese by bmi standards. Not at all!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

These calculators seem to be more directed at the "hollywood" world of whats big and whats small. Small being less than like size 0, and big being oh yeah know like size 2... Watch America's Next Top Model, they have "plus size" models who are literally size 5 i think... i would love to be size 5! And they don't say that the girls are too skinny until you can see their ribs, and shoulder bones. The "proper size" is maybe a size 0, 1 or 2 (Max.)

back in the real world every one is themselves. So what if you are a size 10? that's not fat, or if you are a size 0, and not malnourished, thats who you are. Unless your weight is bad for your health, it doesn't really matter what size you are.

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answers from New York on

To answer your question, I think BMI might work for some people but it does not take into account muscle mass and frame size. I am 5'8 and have a large frame. If you take that into account I am a perfect weight. If you look at BMI I am overweight. People are shocked (or pretend to be, haha!) that I am 170 and also a size 10 on the bottom. And although this was NOT your question, although you may have been malnourished, there is no excuse for gaining over a 100 lbs during a pregnancy.



answers from Chicago on

Okay there are inherently huge problems with BMI calculators. Thet can say a person with 3% body fat but alot of lean muscle is obese but a person with 35%fat and almost no muscle to be within weight. Here should be your guildines...you eat healthy meals in healthy portion sizes, use fruits and veggies for your primary source of food and add lean proteins, limiting starchy and processed foods. Exercise both with cardio and weights 4-5 times a week. Get plenty of rest and your body will take you to where you feel well and healthy. A weight chart, looking like someone else for any reason or worrying about it is a waste of life. Start living your life. If you can do what you want and don't get sick, winded andyou have more of a life than many.



answers from Boston on

I can't imagine how you are possibly a size 10 at 5'2 and 180. You must have a very different build than me. I am 4 inches taller than you and at that weight, I am a size 14. At my height, 187 is obese. So if you are very muscular, it could be that the standard BMI charts are not accurate for you. You can get a more precise body fat % analysis. I've done one at my gym, but it may be something your doctor can do. Once you have that done, then set a target body fat % that's healthy (<25%) and work towards that.



answers from Dallas on

It does not work for me. It says that I am underweight. My weight might be slight, but the important part...body fat...is totally average and great. My doctor always goes by my body fat percentage, because I'm just a really small person. If you are above 32% body fat, then yes you would be considered obese. Weight is just one factor. If you are 180 pounds and under 32% body fat...that would be appropriate.

My suggestion, is to find out what your body fat percentage is, and have a goal of 32% and under. My Dr. said she does not even look at BMI, but body type (along with other things) and most importantly body fat percentage.

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