So, according to BMI, I’m still in the “Red zone,” also known as obese. I weigh 203.9 lbs, so I get it; I’m heavy. According to my body fat calculations (23.8%), I’m at the low side of average (for my age) and almost into ideal. According to Marine Corps standards, I’m overweight, but my body fat percentage is acceptable (which means that as long as I look good in a uniform, a commanding officer can issue me a “Weight waiver” to allow me to weigh more than the standards as long as I maintain my physical appearance in uniform). In the mirror, I look good. Damned good. Dammit! I wear size 36 trousers, but they are just a tiny bit too big for me. I tried on size 34 trousers on Tuesday, and I can fit into them (albeit a little tight)! I wore 34’s for the majority of my time in the Marines, so I now consider myself “Almost not fat anymore.” People I talk to describe me as normal or average when we discuss my body type, but I have to admit that I want to be seen as fit or ideal. Not because I want others to see me that way; because I want to be that way. I want to be fit, and I want to be at my ideal weight for my height/body shape.
Body image is something our society seems preoccupied with. We criticize people for being too thin or too thick. We criticize people for having traits that are considered unattractive while at the same time trying to tear down those who have all the traits considered attractive. We are human, and we all have opinions. As they told me in the Marine Corps, it’s okay to have an opinion; it’s not okay to state it. I feel the same way about the physical appearance of others.
I didn’t embark on my journey to fitness, better health, and yes, lower weight because of body image. I did so because I didn’t want to die before I reached 50. The fact that I look spectacular now was icing on the cake (which is dark chocolate and Paleo, btw!). Labels suck. According to the different charts, I’m currently obese or average. In actuality, I’m almost not fat, but not quite fit yet. But I’m getting there.