Sunday, March 22, 2009

Apples, Pears..and Chilli

After two weeks of walking an average 3 miles a day I'm noticing more and more that I don't feel unfit. I know I am still heavy, and want to drop these next 40lbs as badly as I did the first 60, but I am pleased that my fears for my health are less immediate.

I am not in chronic pain any more, the SPD that had me yelping in pain as I rolled out of bed every morning has *finally* cleared up and my joints feel like they belong in a 25 year old body, not a 75 year old one. Heart rate and blood pressure are back where they belong. My breathing is normal - where I had been flushed and gasping for breath if I took a flight of stairs too fast. I can not only keep up with my kids, I can outrun them, I'm enjoying time playing with them, not falling asleep under napping babies because my body is struggling to keep up.

Still, using all 3 methods of measuring health by weight, I am still going to see more benefit to my health! Fantastic =)

My BMI is now well into the overweight range at 28.5, another 20lbs off being "normal" (I'm 75% of the way)

BMI alone is not a good guide to who is at most risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A waist circumference greater than 80cm (32in) for women and 94cm (37in) for men indicates increased risk, while a measurement of more than 88cm (35in) for women and 102cm (40in) for men is particularly worrying.

My waist measurement is 33" just an inch away from being in the safe zone. It was almost 15" over the "particularly worrying" measurement just 7 months ago.

An even better measurement of risk may be the ratio of your waist circumference (the narrowest point on your abdomen) to your hip circumference (the widest point).

A ratio of more than 1.0 for a man (in other words your waist is bigger than your hips) or 0.8 for a woman means you urgently need to reduce your weight and increase your levels of exercise.

My ratio at top weight was 0.98 (!!!) losing just 10% of my body weight changed my shape to a ratio of 0.89

My ratio now is 0.80 - right on the edge of ok, but the right side of the line.

I've gone from being a (sausage) apple to a pear. While both fruits taste great and eating a variety of fruit is generally seen as a good thing, apparently we all ought to be quite a bit more fussy about which we are shaped like.

The higher a BMI the more likely you are to be an 'apple' shape. This means you will probably store excess fat deep below the skin in the stomach area, which will increase your risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, raised blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Your health is likely to be at risk.

A "normal" BMI means you will probably have a healthy 'pear' shape, which is a healthy shape. With this type of body shape, any excess fat is stored under the skin around the bottom, hips and thighs, which is less harmful to health than having an apple shape.

Those with low BMI will probably have a tall thin 'chilli' type of shape. When peppers gain weight, it's usually around the middle, putting them at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. You can help to create curves and definition by building muscle.

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