BMI challenge…

stethascope_01OK, so Scripture gives me a way out.

But do I want to use it as an excuse for being considered overweight? And who determines what ‘overweight’ is anyway?

Bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:8

So, to do it justice, I have to look at the first part of this verse as well as the rest and see that physical exercise is profitable. It’s not saying ‘Don’t exercise’, but that, comparatively, spiritual exercise is more effective.

Why do I say this?

Well I had an regular health check and it turns out that my Body Mass Index [BMI] is higher than it should be for my age.

T-shirt bulge
I have always been relatively active and hitherto slim, having a high metabolism, but my family tends to put it on once we get past our youthful, athletic, sporting days, mainly because we love food.

I still look reasonably OK in a tight T-shirt and jeans, by the way, provided I keep my stomach muscles fairly taught, but my wife has been dropping hints that a slight bulge is developing where it shouldn’t be when I relax my midriff, and is encouraging me to make alterations to my diet as well as trying more exercise. Blessing and prosperity is indeed leading to increase.

So today, to follow up on the doctor’s visit, I checked out the BBC health page online, after having read about a South African chef who’d been refused an extension to his visa in New Zealand for being overweight. No diplomatic immunity for having a high BMI then.

Reading the health page, I found out that, height, age and weight taken into consideration, my BMI is at 26. I am overweight! By around five kilos. Not massively overweight in comparison to other UK men my age, but enough to be considered obese. What a horrible word. Obese!

Living in UK this means I am still below average for obesity, being in the lower 33% of males my age. There are 67% of males in UK who are more overweight than I am. For some people this would be a relief, but I do not want to be even in the first 10%, thank you.

The obesity statistics for Australians are slightly higher than UK men, by the way, and New Zealanders are even higher. It must be the lamb chops. And the US is shockingly overweight. Burgers and fries.

We are, indeed, the developed nations.

Shock to the system
My world statistics, however, are really scary. I am now higher in weight than 64% of people in the world.

That is frightening. It means, first of all, that UK men are particularly obese compared with those from most developing nations, where poverty is relatively high and food harder to come by, which makes my newly discovered obesity something of a moral issue. It also means I am possibly part of an epidemic of gluttony.

I’m told by the BBC page “Where are you on the global fat scale’ that I am most like someone from Nicaragua, which is somewhat down the obesity scale, but that is small comfort, really.

I say this because the site tells me that ‘if everyone in the world had the same BMI as you, it would add 31,360,574 tonnes to the total weight of the world’s population’.

Now I’m sure the good earth could take the extra weight, but that’s not the point. If the BBC was trying to shame me into losing a few kilos, it worked.

The challenge
So I’m ready to face the music. I have gone past the denial into the acceptance that I am, according to the BBC, obese. I shall be until I get this body down to a decent BMI.

It means pain. Less fattening, delicious, enjoyable, tasty, fun food and more exercise, physical effort, working out, sweat, aches and stretching.

They say that a fit body aids a fit mind. I know this is right. I may not want to face it, but it is true. But knowing about it does nothing. Acting on the solution will.

My challenge to readers is to look at themselves through the mirror of the BBC site and check their BMI and face the music. Or, better still, get a check up at your local medical centre.

Godliness may be more favourable than physical exercise, but fitness is important to our witness, too.

Article by Steve


13 thoughts on “BMI challenge…

  1. Wow Steve – good thing I saved those comments – you really are [a fair-minded person and wise with your moderating skills]

  2. BMI is meaningless. If you have a high body fat percentage or your waist is big then you have a problem.

    But if you are actually obese, then you have been eating too much in general or too much of the wrong things. It’s really that simple.

    Even if you didn’t exercise, but just ate the right foods in the right quantities you would attain a healthy weight.

    It really is that simple.

    It’s not rocket science and you don’t need a special diet, exercise plan or machine.

    But yes, it’s true. Middle aged evangelicals / pentecostals are on the whole overweight.
    And one simple reason is that they deny themselves sex, smokes, drinking, drugs, gambling and dancing, but think nothing of eating food they don’t need but eat for the simple reason that …… It feels good.

  3. When I say BMI is meaningless, most bodybuilders and many professional sportsmen e.g rugby players have high BMIs. But many of them have low bodyfat.

  4. Ian knows the score by now. If he is going to sling out a load of unrelated stuff and slimes people in the process his comments will be biffed into the bin.

    I even gave him his own special page on which to do this, but he is too lazy to locate it, so tags his latest theory onto the newest post.

    If his comments are related and coherent they are generally left alone. Otherwise he is moderated, taking into consideration previous behaviour an warnings.

  5. I was asked by a work colleague to go to the medical centre because he had a friend who had suddenly died, and we had two colleagues who had heart attacks in close succession, one fatal, neither that old. All were overweight. The surviving colleague has since been put on a radical diet to diminish the possibilities of what would be for him his third episode. I went out of respect for my work mate, and gave a report here to encourage others.

    Health is important. Men tend to put off visiting the doctor, saying, ‘she’ll be right mate’, when it’s not.

    As Pentecostals we are always happy to pray for healing, or believe God for miracles, but I always teach that prevention is better than cure and it is better to set up a holistically sound lifestyle than to let one part slip whilst being zealous for another.

    This may not be entirely scriptural, but, morally, what right do we have to cry out to God for a miracle of healing if we have squandered our health to an excessive lifestyle or neglect?

    I think he’s gracious and merciful enough to heal us in spite of our folly, but we do need to take better care of our body, which belongs to Him and is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

    For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

  6. Interesting post Steve. I’m extremely conscious of being quite overweight…I have quite a large verandah over the tool shed, so to speak. I do need to be losing some weight, especially at the age of 48…entering heart attack alley.

  7. Love that editing job on Ian’s post.
    Classic!

    Agree with all you said Steve.

    Most of us need to radically change our approach to food.

    As for 48 and overweight – not trying to scare you (or maybe I am) , but you’re right.

    We have to be careful at that age. Men who are overweight at that age and in a tough situation.
    You often have stress – kids, career, and thinking about the big issues.

    Throw in some depression or life crisis like divorce or deaths of family/friends etc and you are having more stacked against you.

    Late 40’s?

    We really are an odd bunch here.
    Have incredibly different views on some things but maybe in other respects have a lot in common.

    Anyway – don’t die anyone! There’s a lot more stuff to do here on the planet.

    Take things easy, drink more water, and go for more walks – and don’t suddenly try to be superman in the gym.

    Btw, I recommend going to a gym.
    Just don’t try to be arnold in a week.

  8. You often have stress – kids, career, and thinking about the big issues.

    Throw in some depression or life crisis like divorce or deaths of family/friends etc and you are having more stacked against you.

    All of which I’ve had in the past 12 months!…except divorce for me..but for friends and my brother

    I’m a member of a gym…I’ve so far lost about…..30, 40…….dolars per month!

  9. Yes, well, I wasn’t picking on anyone in particular, maybe myself more than anything, but I know men are sometimes liable to let things slip for a while with good intentions and then wake up with an issue we could have avoided with some common sense.

    Life happens, but we can make it better and last longer in a less depressed state with a little bit of self-correction.

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