Hi there, I’m obese

Tony Hawk RIDE

That’s me, trying to do an “ollie” on the new Tony Hawk: RIDE skateboarding game a couple of weeks ago in San Diego.  The weekend was a blast.  I felt good.  I ate a lot, but I always eat a lot when I’m traveling.  And I’ve traveled a lot in the last couple of months.  To tell you the truth, I haven’t paid much attention to eating well lately.  I’ve had some good days, but most days I just ate without giving it much thought.  That’s why I haven’t mentioned weight loss in a while.  I was very unmotivated.

Actually, I get like that every summer.  I hate hot weather, so I end up staying inside more.  And whenever I do venture outside (usually because a small child is depending on me) there’s usually an ice cream truck waiting for me.

I didn’t go near my scale for a long time, but when I got on it last week I wasn’t surprised to see that I had gained five or six pounds since the spring.  Just for “fun” I plugged my numbers into a BMI calculator.  I had gained just enough to nudge myself into the “obese” category.  Yup, according to our government, I’m obese.  Look at the picture again, please.

I make absolutely no claims to being thin.  But obese?  I’m a size 14.  I can do all sorts of things that I don’t associate with obesity.  I can run up all three flights of stairs in my house when we’re late for school and my daughter realizes that she forgot her favorite stuffed animal.  I can walk down a narrow airplane aisle without my hips touching the armrests on either side.  My blood pressure is 110 over 60.  I am completely comfortable in theater seats.  Just yesterday I rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge.  These are not things that I associate with obesity.  Still, apparently I’m one of the 72 millions Americans who are obese.

I’m not scared of labels and numbers.  And I’ve no doubt that there’s a weight problem in our country.  Just go to the DMV and look around.  Or a Wal-Mart.  Diabetes and high blood pressure are both on the rise.  Kids don’t get outside to play enough.  Everybody drives everywhere.  Yes, there is a problem.  But that problem isn’t helped by falsely labeling people with a word that’s chock full of horrible connotations.  Think of this the next time you hear that one-third of the country is obese.  How many of them are like me?  I would have to lose 30 pounds just to get to a weight that the government considers “normal.”  That’s ridiculous.  I wold love to lose 30 pounds, but only so that I can fit into my size 8 clothes.  There’s really no reason other than vanity.  And I think the government needs to figure out a different way to define who’s at a healthy weight and who isn’t.

Still think this is much ado about nothing?  Here’s my son Jake.  The government considers him obese too.

Jake in CA

Originally posted on Selfish Mom.  All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted.  Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. cara says

    have never thought of you as obese…and i love your skirt in that photo. are you serious that jake is considered obese….i thought it was joke..that’s crazy!!

  2. says

    @cara – Totally serious. I’ll post about it next week, I’m trying to find the paper that his school sent home. And of course I got on the internet and saw why the charts had him as obese (if he were a ten-year-old his BMI would be normal), but The Ass, who is a reasonable, intelligent person, started freaking out. So the labels we use are important!

  3. says

    @cara – I’m sure he has gained weight, but he’s also grown about three inches this year! You know Jake, he’s solid. But he’s tall and athletic and healthy. He would make a great football player. But he’s definitely not overweight. He’s taller than just about every other kid his age, so he’s in like the 97th or 98th percentile for eight-year-olds, but normal for a ten-year-old. It’s a ridiculous comparison.

  4. says

    You used the BMI chart for kids, in regards to Jake, yes? My understanding is that you can’t just use the adult one. Did you check this site:

    There are some inherent problems with the chart overall, but I think the real problem is the term “obesity”, which is a scary word. Just like you, the difference between being “normal” and “obese” for me is about 40 pounds. That seems kinda strange. Also, I know what weight I’m healthy at, as per my doctor, and the chart still calls that “overweight”. There are some flaws with it, period. My feeling is that we ALL know what weight we should be, really — and we know when we’re more than that. Get to your “healthy weight” and don’t worry about the charts.

  5. says

    @Toni – Oh yeah, totally on the kids’ chart. The problem is, the chart assumes that if you’re at one extreme or another in percentile terms, then you’re unhealthy. But Jake is heavier AND taller than his classmates, so he’s fine!

  6. Denise Traynor says

    Gee, I looked at the photos before I read the text and thought you two looked really good. Is that Tony Hawk with you?

  7. Kim says

    I also just used a weight calculator online….apparently i am also obese!!! i wear a size 11 jeans and my waste is smaller than my hips. i do have close to a ‘D’ chest but even when i weighed 130lbs i was a ‘C’! i have always had large breasts. i can’t believe i’m considered obese. i can shop in the juniors dept. and plus size clothes are too big for me. our society is f****D up!

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