I’ve posted on here before about my internal battle about the numbers on the scale vs overall health. I’ve also posted about my BMI, waist to height ratio and my percentage of body fat and the fact that 2 of the 3 of those are at a healthy level.
This past week I had a follow up doctor’s appointment for my anxiety issues. I had decided I was going to talk to her about what my goal weight should be. According to Weight Watchers I still have about 25 pounds left to lose and since my 4.5 pound weight loss a couple weeks ago, I’ve been stuck; haven’t budged an ounce.
So I managed to talk to her about it and it did not go at all like I had hoped. I’m not sure what I expected from a doctor… I mentioned to her about how according to my BMI I still had to lose 25 pounds, I tried to explain my fat percentage and my waist to height ratio, I tried to explain that Weight Watchers sets these guidelines but if a doctor agrees you are at a healthy place, that number can be adjusted to better fit a person’s body type, blah, blah…
Without hesitation, she shot me down. Her response was, “I don’t know what you’re asking me to do here. The BMI is the number that has been scientifically proven and me saying you don’t have to get to that number would be asking me to commit fraud!” Whoa! Slow down! I’m not asking you to commit fraud, I’m asking you to take a look at an individual as an individual rather than a number on a chart.
In the next breath, the told me not to worry about missing a work out or 2 a week. Right now I workout 4-5 times a week. She told me if I missed one or two of those days and replaced them with walking to the mailbox, it would be OK. So now I’m left with the thought, would she have told me it was OK to miss a workout when I was 260 pounds, or would she have been telling me it was vital that I get up and get moving? Would she have told me not to “worry” about my weight 90 pounds ago? I’m pretty sure the answer to both of those would be no, which says to my non-MD brain, that she is in fact not worried that my weight is a problem for me at this point.
So am I asking her to commit fraud? If it is committing fraud to say that someone is more than a number on a scale; if it means saying you can be healthy without fitting into specific guidelines; then I guess I am. I know some people will agree with her, and some will agree with me… I just know at this point, I don’t look at 170 pounds on the scale and think, “Wow! I am really obese” (like the BMI chart does), I don’t look at my size 8 pants and think, “Gee, if I don’t get into a size 4 in the next 6 months, I might be at risk for a heart attack or diabetes.” I don’t see the effort I’m putting in to tone up and build muscle as optional, so I shouldn’t be looked at as a health risk because the scale might go up a pound one week instead of down if I’m really putting in the effort.
Don’t know if I’ll get the nerve to ask a different doctor in the near future if they are willing to commit fraud, but at this point, I don’t feel like a fraud. I feel like the only crime being committed, is basing ones health solely on a scale.