It’s that time of year again. The annual weight loss challenge at work. This will be our 3rd annual weight loss challenge, and the third time I have participated. The prize is monetary, so if enough people particpate…they winnings can be decent.
I don’t really care about winning, I just like beating my co-workers at something. This year I am on a team with 3 other people from my kettlebell class..and really I just want to beat the team that was formed from the other half of our class!
Unlike in previous years..this year’s challenge is based solely on weight-loss. I find this wrong. I won’t get into the semantics of issues surrounding this year’s challenge, but let’s just say…I don’t think the way the whole thing is being run is right…but that isn’t my point.
The point is…one of the facets that I find “wrong” about this years challenge, is that we are using the BMI scale to determine who is even “eligible” to lose weight. What? I know. In previous years winners have been determined on FAT loss and MUSCLE MASS gained, not pounds lost.
Take for example my co-worker, who is also in my kettlebell class, according to the BMI chart, if he gained 1 pound, he would be “over-weight” category but right now he is in the “healthy” range. Because he is in the healthy range, he isn’t even eligible to win our little competition…but if he particpates and MAINTAINS his weight within two pounds (although, if he gains two pounds then he will be considered “over-weight”) then he will earn two “Wellness Points.” Once a person earns 15 wellness points they are elgible for a day off with pay. But…what if he tried treally hard, and lost 10 pounds of body fat, but gained 15 pounds of muscle (is this even possible? I don’t know, I’m not a trainer)…thus gaining 5 pounds. He would earn nothing, no money, no wellness points…but he would in-fact be healthier.
While I don’t find myself in this predicament (my BMI puts me solidly in the OBESE category) I still think it’s bullshit. Yes. Bullshit. I think the BMI is bullshit, and I think using it to determine health is an even bigger pile of bullshit.
Apparently, I was more frustrated about this than I thought. I didn’t intend to rant. Oh well!
In a side note….I am using this challenge as my kick of to fully transition to primal eating, and I’m even considering doing a Whole30.