You may think you are fat, but are you really or is your mind playing tricks on you? Here is a simple way to find out.
Am I Fat?
Many, many articles on ec.com deal with the problem of wanting to lose weight, but with this one I want to address an issue that is the direct opposite.
The reason is that lately I get more and more questions from readers with an absolutely normal body weight, who still see themselves as chubby or overweight. Some even believe they are outright fat. The latest in that direction was from a teenage girl:
Im thirteen and I am 5’4 weighing 117. I was on google doing a little research because Summer is right around the corner. It said I was 9 pounds over weight. I dont look it but I am puggy. I mean all I do is sit on the computer. Will this help with it? Will I have the bikini body for Summer?
There must be some really crappy weight calculators out there. When I quickly calculated her BMI (more on that in a second) I saw that she would have to weigh 146 lbs to just start scratching on the area where she would be considered overweight.
If you have similar worries but people tell you “you are perfectly fine,” rest assured, I’m not going to preach to you about anorexia etc. If the people close to you can’t change your mind through arguments or love, I’d have a fat chance, wouldn’t I?
What I’m instead giving you is a way of objectively finding out if you are overweight or fat and let you decide yourself what to do with it. Just key your stats into this BMI (“Body Mass Index”) calculator and you see if your weight is in the normal range or if you are under- or overweight:
You may have read that the BMI doesn’t work for people who are very tall, very short or very muscular. That is correct. But for the majority of people, and especially in the underweight direction, it works very well: if your number is between 18.5 to 24.9 your weight is normal, if you get one below 18.5, you are underweight.
Your mirror (or some stupid website) may say “you are fat,” well-meaning relatives may say “you don’t need to lose weight.” The number doesn’t care one way or the other and what you do with it is entirely up to you.
If you are of normal weight, you may start thinking about how ugly underweight makes you in the long run. You may also choose to ignore the number and seek out those online communities entirely devoted to the idea of “there is no such thing as too thin.” But whatever you do, knowing that number, you now have to do it consciously.
Ok, Ok, I Got It!
If you just said good-bye to the idea of losing weight despite your weight being normal, but still want to look good for summer, the prom and the rest, there is a neat way to do it: start working out. A trained person of normal weight looks much better than an untrained skinny person.
Picture courtesy of Tammy McGary.