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When to stop

So I'm getting closer to my goal weight and feeling wonderful about the progress I've made. I'm a tall woman (5'11") with a physically active job. In addition, I weight train and do an average of almost an hour daily of cardio. According to the BMI calculator/height to weight charts, my weight needs to drop to around 175lbs to be within a healthy range. For me, I don't think that is realistic, achievable or sustainable. Am I selling myself short, or in denial to think that _I_ don't fit the chart? Or should I be happy with my personal goal being met (185-190lbs), even if I would still be technically "overweight".

Feel free to be as brutally honest in your responses as you feel would be helpful!


Fri. Jul 14, 1:57pm

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well, personally, i think being fit and healthy is a judgement your doctor should make for you. if you feel good about your appearance, and you are able to maintain your weight, and you are active, it probably depends on details like cholesterol, blood sugar, percentage of body fat, to help you better judge how "healthy" you actually are. i just don't buy into the entire bmi theory. muscle mass and how you carry your weight mean more to me...

Friday, July 14, 2006, 2:03 PM

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I don't have much advice, but I just wanted to tell you how refreshing it is to hear someone who is working so hard and has such a good self-image. Good for you. And yes, a Dr. who knows you well would be able to help you more, what about cholesterol level and a whole battery of tests for your fitness? That could help you decide, too.

Friday, July 14, 2006, 2:15 PM

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This isn't something we can really answer definitively for you. I am 5' 10" - 145 and working towards 135 (with the approval of my physician). I have a very small frame, long lean muscles and quite frankly every extra pound shows (btw, I have also worked some pretty demanding physical jobs and gained weight when I started doing more sedentary work). My mother is the same height but has a larger frame (ex: her wrists are almost twice the circumference of mine) and would look unhealthy at my weight. That's just the way we are both built.

How do you feel? Do you like the way your clothes fit? Is your cholesterol, blood pressure, iron, etc acceptable? i would have a physician do a full physical including measuring your body fat ratio and go from there.

Best wishes and congrats on your progress to date!

Friday, July 14, 2006, 2:32 PM

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I think you need to look at your body fat. It is yet another measurement. Many people look fit but underneath they are not. That is why dieting and exercise are neccessary for a happy body. A good phyiscal is definately a good idea, it will measure all the neccessary blood goodies and inside stuff and your Dr. can help you with body fat.... most internal medicine docs are familiar with people that don't fit the charts and can help you identify if you are one of them.



Friday, July 14, 2006, 2:33 PM

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Do what feels right for you, and stop when you feel healthy, happy and like you can maintain your weight normally (ie, you aren't starving or overexercising). Also keep in mind that your body can continually change shape (and weight) as you develop muscle, so see what happens as you progress. Charts are just charts - you are you, and you know best.

Friday, July 14, 2006, 3:05 PM

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BMI

The BMI chart doesn't work for athletes and physicaly active people. The reason for this chart is to measure if sedentary people are at an even higher risk from being overweight or obese. I would like to bring to your attention that just because somebody is not overweight does not mean you shouldn't exercise. Exercise has many benefits including lowering chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. It also helps your self esteem and confidence. My advice if you want a measurement of progress get a body fat measurement. Other than that I wouldn't worry about the scale or the BMI chart.

Manurse

Friday, July 14, 2006, 3:20 PM

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Based on my experience, "stopping" is not a good option, at least don't stop eat healthy and working out or you may regain. But otoh, how could you do more than an hour a day of cardio plus weights and have any kind of a normal life??? Sounds to me like you look and feel pretty good, and you're just feeling worried because of the numbers. I would imagine that for tall women the charts are not going to be very helpful. Maybe now that you're at a weight you feel pretty happy with, you can turn your focus from the scale to finding ways to make your exercise more fun and maintainable, like picking up a new sport or something. Or something healthy like yoga, or if you already run try triathalon training. I don't know how long it took you to lose, but keeping your healthy weight will be a lifelong endeavor -- may as well make it fun, and something you can do effortlessly, without obsessing -- let me know if you figure that out ;)

Friday, July 14, 2006, 3:29 PM

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OP again

Thanks for the input so far! In response to some of the things that were mentioned: I have yet to meet a doctor that has any training in obesity or weight control issues, so I don't have a high trust factor that my doctor would do much but consult the above-mentioned charts, check my blood work (good) and hand me a diet. (This is what happened back when I wanted to lose weight originally, over 100 pounds ago). Since I've lost a significant amount of weight, I have extraneous skin now, which makes caliper testing for body fat inaccurate. Does anyone know much about the electric current testing to determine body fat %?

This process has been going on for over six years now, and I am certainly not going to abandon my hard won habits of exercise and dietary awareness! It's more a matter of trying to figure out when is enough really enough? There is no reason to not reach a point where one is satisfied with where they are. If you lift weights, you find a point where you stop making progress with how much you can lift. That's the best your body can do. How to decide that this IS the best my body can do in regards to weight is the issue.

Friday, July 14, 2006, 8:30 PM

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some say can be +-5% some say 8%... most accurate the water body fat "test".

Friday, July 14, 2006, 9:22 PM

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To stop or not to stop

A couple of thoughts -
1. I would not suggest "stopping" or "not stopping" an eating and exercising plan. Rather, with your eating and weight and exercise at a good place - which is what it sounds like - figure out how to keep things going. If your body is meant to be at a lower weight with your healthy eating and exercising, it will find its way down. And if it is meant to be at your current weight, your good practices should keep your body there.

2. As to doctors (and whether they can provide help on the weight loss journey) - some are great, but I've personally had a lot better experience with a nurse practioner who I love, who knows how to listen and who is thoughtful and responsive.

3. I've also had good experiences with nutritionists. My father was diagnosed with Type II diabetes about 10 years back. His doctor told him the results of the medical tests, handed him a glossy leaflet with pictures of fruits and vegetables, wrote him a prescription for medication and told him to make an appointment to return in a month for more tests. My mother and I dragged him to a nutritionist who worked closely with my father to come up with an eating plan that he could live with which allowed him to control the disease.

Friday, July 14, 2006, 9:54 PM

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One of my friends (who is overwweight) has had concern about her blood pressure and cholesterol. However, instead of relying solely on the drugs prescribed to her, she's also tryingto change her diet. It's a slow process, but seems to be helping her! :-)

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 3:41 AM

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I agree with almost everything said in this thread. I'm 5'10" and currently weigh 204. When I started this journey I was at 252, though at one time probably weighed even more. I always thought 199 would be my "ideal" weight. Height/weight charts think I should be 142, which I find utterly ridiculous. I have a much larger bone structure, I'd look sick at 142. I'm aiming for something between 175-180 because now that I'm so close to my original goal, I know I can look and feel even better 20 pounds less. I got that electric BMI test (electrodes or whatever on my hands and feet) and getting me into "healthy" range would be 177lbs. So, that's the goal.

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 3:55 AM

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Where does one get one of these electric BMI tests? Or one of the water BMI tests? Is it done at certain gyms? nutrionists offices? doctors offices? Where would I look if I want to have this done?

Thursday, August 03, 2006, 12:34 PM

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BMI Test

I think the last two posters are refering to body fat test, not a BMI test. The body fat test underwater is supposed to be the most accurate. I had mine done at the University in the town where I live. It's a tricky test, trying to expell all the air from your body before they put you underwater. Not really as bad as it sounds.

But if you want a good estimate of your BF% go to this site (link below). You can check periodically to get an idea of how much you have lost or gained. If I remember correctly it was only a little off from the results of the hydrostatic test. If you use this method try to get an accurate measurement with the tape - same spot every time - the results will only be as honest as you are.

Link

Thursday, August 03, 2006, 9:04 PM

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To the OP

If you use any arbritrary measuring standard, I think the BF% is the most beneficial. The BMI doesn't take into consideration muscle weight vs. fat weight, and frankly neither does a number on the bathroom scale.

I think we tend to "accept" a little overweight in general, because it's better than where we used to be, or better than ___ (fill in the blank). Don't sell yourself short, be better than you think you can be! IMO...

Thursday, August 03, 2006, 9:11 PM

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I agree

When I started dieting I knew I didn't look as good as I once did but was surprised when my BMI said I was overweight. I only wore a size 14 jeans so it's not like I was grossly overweight or anything but to be honest I was overweight. Obviously the most important thing is your excercise level for determining your health, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss that you can't get to that normal range, you've come so far it may just be a lot slower now. that your getting so close.

Friday, August 04, 2006, 8:59 AM

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I got the electrode (or whatever) body fat percentage test done by a lady in my neighborhood who was selling Herbalife products. When I told her I wanted to lose weight, she hooked me up to these things and measured my body fat versus muscle, organs, bone, I don't know how these things work. So, I don't know, fake that you want to start Herbalife and see if you can get one of those things done. She was very thorough. I also used to get my BF% tested at Curves when I had a membership there. They have a groovy little machine.

Saturday, August 05, 2006, 5:59 AM

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