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What The Heck Is BMI?

How are you feeling this week? I hope you're experiencing optimal health in many ways. Besides "feeling" good there are also many ways to measure your potential for well-being and BMI is one of them.

Body Mass Index is a measurement of body fat based on weight in kilograms divided by height in meters. The range considered "normal" is 18.5 to 24.9. A value between 25.0 and 29.9 is called "overweight" and any result over 30.0 is rated "obese".

It should be noted that calculating a BMI for muscle builders, long-distance runners, pregnant women, the elderly or young children might not be an accurate tool for assessment since it does not take into account whether the indicator for weight is truly from muscle or fat. A relatively high BMI, one that falls into the classification of "overweight", could be an indicator of high lean body mass which is a combo of muscle and bone. Measuring your BMI can be a screen for weight categories that could lead to health problems, but does not completely diagnose the health of an individual.

The difference between being designated in the category of overweight or obese is how high one's risk is for certain conditions that impact our lives. A very high BMI (over 30.0) is more likely to indicate high body fat and therefore, increases the probability or likelihood of :

  • heart disease

  • high blood pressure

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • gallbladder disease/gallstones

  • sleep apnea and other breathing problems

  • stroke

  • osteoarthritis

  • chronic inflammation and body pain

  • high risk for depression and social problems

which all add to experiencing a diminished quality of life.

It is our good fortune that we are able to do something about our BMI! It starts with the same three steps that I teach when I start a new meditation class:

  1. Stop

  2. Breathe

  3. Notice

How often do we even come close to doing that, especially when we're about to put something in our mouths? I would say never. Next time you have a thought about eating try halting in your tracks. Then, take a deep breath (or two or three), in and out. Finally, notice if you're eating because you're hungry or bored or whatever and also take note of what you're about to munch on. There are many other tips and tools -- I'd be happy to talk about them with you in a short call -- you can contact me to set something up. In the meantime, I hope this information helped get you clear on what BMI is, and Stop, Breathe, and Notice is a good place to start on your path of Healthy Habits.

Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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