Body Mass Index: Who Came Up With This Name, Anyway?

Here’s a true fact. Many of us avoid looking up our Body Mass Index – also just called BMI. Why? Probably a variety of reasons. I think the name itself is one of them. The word ‘body’ is not so worrisome. But it’s followed by another word. Mass. That sounds negative right off the bat. Then, another word. Index. Sounds cold, mathematical and probably unforgiving. No wonder we’re not lining up in droves to do this for fun. Another true fact. Body Mass Index is a useful tool and a simple step to get started on a healthy life. So, let’s get over the name and put BMI to work for us.

What Your Body Mass Index Should Be.

BMI is an indicator of the amount of body fat for most people. It is used as a screening tool to identify whether an adult is at a healthy weight. As we mentioned in our recent Just One Thing, all you have to do is find an online BMI calculator, type in your height and weight. You’ll get your BMI measurement back super fast. Remember that a special BMI Percentile Calculator should be used for children and teens that takes a child’s age and gender into consideration. According to the Center for Disease Control, a BMI of less than 18.5 means you do not weigh enough. BMI scores of between 18.5 and 24.9 put you at a weight that is healthy. BMI scores of 25.0 to 29.9 mean you are overweight. BMI scores above 30.0 translate into obesity. And obesity can translate into a host of medical problems — everything from joint problems to diabetes to heart disease and stroke to cancers. If you check your BMI, and the number staring you in the face is not good, it’s time to make a plan.

Take That BMI and Shove It? Not the Best Move.

The easy thing after getting a high BMI readout is to ignore it. Yes, you can write it off as a useless number and completely ignore it while chomping down on deep dish pizza. But the easy way and the healthy way are often not the same. The better thing is to write the number down, call your primary care doctor and make an appointment. You don’t have to come up with your plan all by yourself. That’s what your doctor is for – to help you find a way to be healthy. For most of us, if we take too much on ourselves all alone and all at once, it’s hard to make changes. It just is. But if we keep it simple and ask for help, our chances are much better. So, two simple steps. Know your BMI. If needed, call your doctor. A simple start.

Different People. Different Answers.

As we saw earlier in this month’s Spotlight Series on Healthy Weight, some people wind up with guidance for a really good eating and activity plan at their doctor’s office. You saw Robyn

Crawford’s story of success, and that is how she found her way back from a big BMI.

Some people will get a different recommendation from their doctor. Paula Darby did. After years of losing weight and gaining it back, her doctor suggested she consider an option that was more aggressive. And that is what Paula has done. At the top of this post, we shared two pictures with you — one shows Paula on July 25, 2014 — and the other shows Paula on September 24, 2014. Just six weeks between the two pictures, but there is now 44 pounds less of Paula. She’s got a way to go still, but she is on her way. How is she getting there? More about that later.

Just One Thing: A Simple Starting Place

Thank goodness for what I call my ‘Let’s Just Get It Over With’ moods. Sometimes I avoid things I really don’t want to deal with. Do you? Eventually, I find resolve and tell myself that it’s time to stop putting it off and do what I have to do. So, here goes.

What is my BMI?

As in Body Mass Index. It’s that tool that shows how close you are to your goal healthy weight. BMI uses a math formula based on your height and weight. It’s not perfect. It’s not a diagnostic tool. It’s a screening tool. But it is a solid start so you know how much work you need to do to get to a healthy weight. It takes only a couple of seconds to get your BMI. Literally. You don’t need a calculator. Just sit down at your computer and go to a site with a BMI calculator like and then, at the bottom of that site’s home page, find button that says Calculate Your BMI. Put in your height. Put in your weight. And click. Remember your number or write it down. We’ll have more information about what it means in a few days. But not today. We already did BMI. More information right now would be TMI.

Remember that old saying, Ignorance is Bliss? Not true when it comes to your health. Just One Thing to think about…

Just One Thing: Ever Heard Of This Diet Plan?

Our Women and Wellness Spotlight this month is Healthy Weight. Here’s this week’s ‘Just One Thing’ for you to consider.

The Paleo Diet

In his Spotlight Series article this month, Dr. Christopher Bray mentioned one particular eating plan that he believes is the best. To be honest, I’d never heard of it before. Last evening at North Florida Regional Medical Center, Dr. Peter Sarantos spoke to a group of women who attended an information session on Healthy Weight. He said the same thing Dr. Bray did – that there are a lot of eating plans out there to consider. His #1 choice for healthy eating was the same one Dr. Bray mentioned. It’s called the Paleo Diet. I found the plan’s website at — and it looks interesting. In a nutshell, it seems to operate on a simple premise – going back to the way our ancestors ate, which is all about the way our bodies are designed to work. Which helps you feel better, healthier, live longer and wind up at a healthy weight. Much more to learn, and I am looking forward to finding out if this might help me feel better and maybe even shed some cellulite. It’s a first step.

Don’t think of healthy eating as a diet. Think of it as a way to live. Just One Thing to think about…

Just One Thing: The Real First Step to Healthy Weight

As part of Women and Wellness, we want to introduce what we call ‘Just One Thing.’ I don’t know about you, but I often feel that my life is way too crazy busy. There’s so much to do and so much to think about. I want to be healthy and happy. I love the idea of being the best I can be, but I usually feel too overwhelmed to take in new ideas. Do you feel the same?

That’s why we thought we’d send something simple once a week from our current Spotlight Series. In those moments when your mind is free, you can ponder. Maybe it’ll lead to something that will make a difference.

I Have Been Thinking About this All Wrong

Our Women and Wellness Spotlight this month is Healthy Weight. Here’s this week’s ‘Just One Thing’ for you to consider.

Stuck with pounds that you want to lose but can’t seem to get rid of? Dr. Christopher Bray says it could be your starting point is keeping you from being successful. He recommends you think first about your overall lifestyle, not the pounds you need to lose. His basic point is this. If you have a healthy diet, are active and reduce your stress – you will wind up at a healthy weight.

Start by creating a healthy lifestyle, and your healthy weight will follow. Just One Thing to think about…