Wellness Pathway #298 The Clothing Test

I have written before about the importance of watching and maintaining your optimal weight. It is one of three keys, along with fitness and stress management, to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic weight-related illnesses.

How do you know if you weigh too much? One approach is to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) using either a Web calculator, such as www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi, or by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703, then dividing the result by your height in inches squared. This formula can be written mathematically as BMI = (W x 703) / (H x H) where W = Weight in pounds and H = Height in inches. Using the metric system, BMI = W in Kilograms / (Height in Meters) x (Height in Meters).

A Body Mass Index of 18.5 to 24.9 is the recommended range. Below 18.5 is considered underweight, 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 and above is obese. By this scale, two-thirds of all Americans are either overweight or obese.

The best way to use BMI is to determine your maximum allowable weight for a Normal BMI of less than 25. In my case, for example, my maximum allowable weight is 175 pounds or 79 kilograms. If I weigh more than that, I weigh too much. If I weigh less than that, I’m OK. As long as I keep an eye on my weight, I know exactly where I stand.

The problem for me and for many is that days, weeks, or even months can go by without weighing in. Then we take to estimating our weight and such estimates are notoriously inaccurate (most people underestimate by a considerable margin). Fortunately, there is a simpler test that stares us in the face, each and every day: clothing size.

Scientists at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland have found that a USA trouser size of 34 for men (44 European) and a USA dress size of 12 for women (40-42 European) are the cut off points. When men or women are below those sizes, the health risks associated with overweight and obesity are normal. At or above those sizes and the health risks start to increase. By the time men have a USA trouser size of 38 (48 European) and women have a USA dress size of 16 (44-46 European), the health risks are 4 higher than normal for men and 7 times higher than normal for women.

So don’t let that happen to you. Pay attention to your clothing size. When you put on your pants or dress, look at the tag. Make it a daily habit. If the tag reads less than 34 or 12, you’re doing well enough. If it’s exactly 34 or 12, you’re on the cusp of being too heavy and negatively impacting your health. If it’s more than 34 or 12, then perhaps it’s time for a change.

Coaching Inquiries: What is your trouser or dress size? What does the number tell you? Is it calling out for a change? Who could assist you to get started? What is one thing you could do in the next week to benefit your health and wellness?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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