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please give me a million dollars and, oh yeah, huge pectoral muscles
I've gained 10 pounds over the summer which presents me with a dilemma. I've always promised myself that 175 lbs. was my cutoff weight, since somewhere around 165-170 is the top end of most BMI charts for my height of 5'10". I've always vowed that if I ever reached 175, I would begin taking steps to maintain and/or reduce it. Yesterday when I stepped on the scales at home, it read 172.

The dilemma is that I don't think the recent weight gain is from fat, but from muscle. When making this promise to myself, I never imagined that I would gain weight in this manner. Since becoming a flat bed trucker, my body has grown thick and muscular. I'm barrel chested with defined pectorals. My thighs are firm and strong. My biceps bulge the hem of a short sleeve when flexed and my forearms are sinewy and well defined. The muscles in my shoulders rise above the bone. There's even this really interesting meaty thingy right at the base of my neck where it meets the shoulder. After being a 120 pound weakling most of my life, I could probably kick your ass now.

That's not to say I'm lean, though. I do have a considerable middle-aged man's paunch. But I've had that for some time and, while I think I could probably stand to lose 10 pounds from there, I don't think that's where I've gained the 10 pounds. With concern to my paunch, I've always accepted it as an inevitable consequence of aging, especially since it's the only sign of fat anywhere on me. Most BMI charts claim that for my height, 170-205 is the "overweight" range for me. Going over 205 would be obesity territory. However, the BMI chart admits that the index doesn't allow for various factors, including muscularity. One could make an argument that I'm carrying a little extra weight, but I don't think anyone would construe my body as being overweight.

In light of all this, I'm going to relax my cutoff weight vow as long as I have these muscles and move it up to 200 pounds. I figure that realistically, the most I can continue to put on in muscle is another 20 pounds, topping me out around 190. Personally, I think I'm going to naturally top-out at about 180 with the muscle, but I'll allow myself the 10 pounds of leeway. I'm basically giving myself 30lbs. of muscle on the BMI, but I can't imagine any scenario where 200 pounds would be an appropriate amount of weight on a 5'10" man.


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This post requires naked pictures.

No, it doesn't.

It REALLY doesn't.

(no offense lin but seriously, it REALLY doesn't :P)

Actually I have considered doing a comparison photo of now, compared to a photo I took of myself shirtless after the accident almost two years ago showing off my bruises. In the old photo, you can clearly see my arms and shoulders as well a profile view of my belly, chest, and back - pre-flatbedding.

Maybe this week when getting a shower I'll take a new photo for shits'n giggles.

I said I'm meaty, not that I'm a piece of meat! Hmmmph!

You're a piece of meat to me! :^P Rowr.

BMI is bullshit. It sounds like you're buff. If you don't feel fat don't sweat what the scale says.

I don't know if it's complete bullshit, as I explained to obscurek below, but I do think it needs to be considered with the proverbial grain of salt.

Sometimes I DO feel fat around the midsection, especially when bending or twisting my torso, but I'm not sure how much of that is because of my fat belly or because I have bulky lower back muscles in the way that I never had before. Not only is this the heaviest I've ever been but I have bonafide muscles fr the first time in my life all over my body. This is all new territory for me so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel.

The BMI chart always makes me wonder. It's so clearly wrong, that I wonder why it ever existed? It seems like the worst tool ever designed. I'm still super thin compared to most people I see in the world and it makes me mid to upper healthy. Was there a time when healthy people didn't have muscles? As soon as you put any on you go right out into the overweight range. Maybe it works better for women who try to get fit without bulking up? It juse seems such a strange concept that it caught on to the point where everyone knows about it, but it doesn't work at all realistically, and no one made up something better right away to replace it.

I think the BMI is meant to be a "starting point" for determining where you are in relation to an average, and that other factors must be considered when deciding what course of action, if any, to take. At least, that's the spirit with which I'm approaching it. Clearly it doesn't take into account significant gains in muscle mass which I attribute to my recent weight gain.

That said, it is true that if I lost the excess fat in my belly that I would fall back into an acceptable range on the chart, however, I feel that at this time in my life it's appropriate for me to have and the amount of work and lifestyle changes required to reduce/eliminate it greatly outpaces the minor benefits I would gain from it. I'm far from obese and I'm not a terribly vain man, so it's hard for me to justify the effort to do something about it.

Body Mass Index was a concept invented in the 1800s by a statistician as a sociological tool and was only later adopted by the medical community in the 1980s because there was nothing better to use. As you've observed, it doesn't differentiate between fat and muscle weight so I consider it pretty useless. The news media sure loves it though, because they can claim huge obesity rates as "epidemic", etc. I'm not saying people aren't getting fatter, but it's hardly what mass media would have us believe. I've been "obese" according to that chart from my ripped, totally in shape military days to today (and granted I am kinda tubby but hardly obese) so i have a personal vendetta against it too. :P

heehee, unless your frame has changed pretty majorly since I last saw you, it's pretty funny that you're mid to upper healthy, but I'm considered underweight! I'm definitely thin, but not underweight!

Heh... it would be ridiculous if that were the case. I'm always going to have a naturally thin frame, but I have put on a significant amount of mass since we were together. The chart isn't quite that far out of whack.

Dude, you should see his muscles!

yeah you've got to account for the muscles, for sure. i'm 5'11 and about 178 right now, just on the cusp, but i've lost most of my muscle mass over the summer due to sickness/no appatite.

When I got up to 192 and felt like a fat fuck, i started riding my bike like crazy and reduced my caloric intake to get it down, but i couldn't get below 188, although I noticed the fat left my chin/neck and belly areas. My legs were like tree-stumps because of the 50 mile bike rides I went on. My BMI went down alot, but the actual weight didn't change.

As long as you've got the muscles let it slide man! 180 is technically my cut off but i'm doing a 9-5 job again, so i'll prob blow past that soon.

Is that chart really for both men and women?

Yes, and arguably one of the other factors to be considered when using the BMI: it makes no concessions for gender.

Hey, this is unrelated, but is this Fubu, by chance? An old pic, maybe?

No. Fubu doesn't have that much white on her neck. Also, I've never had a suicide knob in my truck. Also, Fubu would probably snap the steering column in two if she tried to flop her weight up there like that, heh.

However, that is definitely the dash/steering wheel of a big truck.

Heh, I figured you'd post it before submitting it to ICHC first, but then golly, it looked so similar to her, and the kitty looked just so comfy there in the big truck... where I know Fubu lived for a long time. :-)

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