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25 May

you’re more than your BMI number.

you know i have no problem getting real about weight, body image, health, etc. in fact, i’ve even shared my exact weight for the world to see and why it doesn’t bother me to do so. but a few weeks ago, i experienced something that still bothers me and i still catch myself thinking about.

just recently, i ran out of a simple medication and since robbie and i spent two weeks traveling in Europe this past month, i had completely spaced making an appointment with my regular doctor to get a new prescription. in order to get a new prescription filled quickly, i had to make an appointment in San Francisco to see a doctor that i had never seen before. because of the stress of the situation and the fact i had never seen this doctor before, i was nervous. {to show you how nervous i was, when the nurse took my heart rate at the beginning of the appointment they said it was unusually high. they took it again later in the appointment and it was completely normal. i was that worked up!} before seeing the doctor, the nurse asked me a series of health questions about alcohol/drug use, my sexual activity, previous medications i had been on, etc. however, never once was i asked about my diet or exercise regimen. this is important to remember for later.

after having my heart rate taken again after i had calmed down, i was told to wait. when the doctor came in the room, she sat down and the first thing she handed me was a piece of paper that said how to lose weight. what? i was so confused. i was there to get a simple prescription filled and i had no idea why she was handing me this paper about losing weight before she even said hello or introduced herself. then i saw it.

my BMI number was scribbled at the top of the paper she had handed me. {for those of you who don’t know or need a little refresher course, BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a system of measurement for body fat based on your height to weight ratio.} i looked at the paper she had handed me, which told me that i was in the red category, meaning i was not only overweight but i was obese. i was completely shocked. that’s right, at 5′ 5″ and 170 pounds, i was being told that i was obese and then handed a paper with tips on how to lose weight.

i know my weight and i’m not ashamed of it at all. i have a curvy build and always have! i workout 3-4 times a week and try to eat healthy. yes, sometimes my sweet tooth does get the best of me, but all things considered, i’m healthy. i have zero health problems, i work up a good sweat frequently, and i could go out and run a 5k right now and feel great!

so there i sat in that doctor’s office, with a lump in my throat, not sure whether i was angry or sad, probably a strong mix of both. i was never once asked by my doctor about my eating habits or how often i workout, i was not given any sort of physical test or examination on my strength or endurance, i was just told that i was obese because a chart said so.  here’s the real kicker: in order for me to be considered “healthy” and in the “normal range” for my height, i would have to land in a range that began at 111 pounds. yes, you read that correctly. i haven’t been under 120 pounds since i was in 4th grade! let that just sink in for a moment.

needless to say, i have never had such an impersonal and unhelpful visit to the doctor. after she handed me the paper, she told me that the sheet had great tips for losing weight, still never once making eye contact with me. she filled the prescription i needed and that was that. i’m sure others have had similar bad experiences with doctors, but up until this point i’ve been lucky to have ones who actually care about me.

i came home and cried and cried and cried. i cried to robbie because i felt, well obese. i asked him over and over again if i needed to lose weight. he reassured me i looked beautiful, told me that i am in the best shape i’ve been in since he’s known me, and reminded me how flawed of a system the BMI truly is. {he told me how his high school health teacher who was 6′ 2″ and 210 pounds of muscle used to rant all the time about how much of a joke the BMI is because even as a strong former professional athlete, he was overweight according to the Body Mass Index.}

i knew i wasn’t obese and i know i am strong and healthy, but in that moment, i still felt small and insecure and very sad. i was in a funk for a few days after, until i was able to get back on my body positivity horse. i know i don’t need to lose weight and i’m happy with how i look! could i stand to lose 10-15 pounds and still feel good about myself?! sure, of course. but do i need to lose any weight to feel confident and happy?! the answer is no. i love my body just the way it is and i try to help everyone else do the same.

related: Sarah Tripp tells Women’s Health that “beauty comes in many different shapes and sizes”

my message here is to forget about the silly numbers that we hold ourselves to and/or society holds us to. because trust me, they are not a reflection of who we really are. and in cases like this, they’re not even a reflection of the truth! because i promise i would actually be unhealthy if i weighed 111 pounds. you’re worth so much more than what a stupid chart categorizes you. it will forever baffle me how the Body Mass Index is still a legitimate measure used by health professionals and fitness fanatics. it’s just another way that society tries to put all the different body types into a box and it simply cannot be done. everyone is different and there is no one size fits all. there are many thin people that are unhealthy, and there lots of bigger/curvier people that are strong, fit, and active… and everything in between.

a chart may try and tell me i am overweight or obese or whatever, but i know that i don’t feel that way nor do i look it. i am curvy fit, i am active, i am strong, and i am healthy. that doesn’t mean this experience didn’t get my down for a little bit, because i have my off days too. but on those days i remind myself that i’m so much more than what any scale or chart could ever say. so here’s a little reminder that you are too. xx ‘just chill’ sports bra {another color here, love this ‘fear less’ one here and here}
floral leggings {sold out, love these}
tan Nikes