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Healthy waist measurement

(41 Posts)
Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 08:52:24

I just want a bit of a whinge really. I had a health check yesterday and it was all good - healthy bmi (24 so not ridic but still I am ok with that), good body fat - 25%, excellent heart, blood pressure, cholesterol etc but my waist was 83cm which apparently is a risk factor for all kinds of things. I don't want to obsess about it but it just seems a bit weird and annoying - I comfortably fit size 12 clothes, am 5'10" and do 5 high intensity workouts a week with lots of core/abs work in there. I never saw my tummy as a trouble zone, it's pretty flat tbh and I have had 2 kids so I was pleased with that. I am as thin if not thinner than I have ever been in my adult life. There are a few things that bother me about it: 1. Why the same measurement for all women?
2. How come I often have to take a 28 waist in jeans if my waist is over 30 inches?
3. Does this mean all size 12 women have waists that are too big?
4. Any tips for regaining a bit of fuck you confidence?

I felt kind of shit afterwards and I can only imagine how I would feel if I wasn't within healthy ranges on other things. I don't think they meant to make me feel bad but it's a bit like wtf do I have to do??!

Lucked Wed 17-May-17 09:05:59

Well clothes sizes don't match the measurements they give so they are a red herring. The number is the result of statistical analysis and doesn't take into account height, however I have seen similar guidelines that use half your height rather than one set measurement.

Are you apple shaped do you feel that you carrry weight around your middle? If so then that is just genetic bad luck.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 09:12:43

No!! I'm either a rectangle or an invert triangle or an hourglass with a bigger middle but seriously it's giving me body hang ups I never had. Why is it so hard to feel good about yourself?

BitOutOfPractice Wed 17-May-17 09:34:15

Apparently you are at extremely high risk if your waist is more than 88cm and you should contact a doctor. That's regardless of height / build.

Seems crazy to me. My waist is 86cm. My BMI is 24.4. I'm 5'7". My visceral fat is very low and my body fat is less than 30%.

All seems bonkers to me.

OP I should take it with a pinch of salt. You sound healthy and strong to me (and tall!)

Did the doctor suggest what you should do about it? (Bet the doctor's waist measurement wasn't perfect!)

LovelyBath77 Wed 17-May-17 09:41:00

83cm is only 32.6 in inches. I think there is some things about having it under 32 inches, so maybe you scored just over and then fell into some zone or something.

There is also some new things about having your waist half your height or something as well.

I wouldn't worry, to be honest, it sounds like you are pretty fit and BMI is really good, much better than me. My waist is 32 but I'm shorter, and my BMI is 27! So we are all different.

LovelyBath77 Wed 17-May-17 09:43:45

And as you mention surely those of us who have had children might have more of a tummy anyway, I think all these things (BMI, waist, etc) seem to go on phases of popularity and much better to look at the overall picture. Things like activity levels, diet and blood pressure, etc all as a whole and don't worry too much about one thing. It isn;t easy though when the NHS highlight things and pick it out.

In women, cholesterol is another example, higher amounts can actually be protective and it seems statins don't help women much,yet they seem to dole them out...it is annoying.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 09:48:09

Thanks everyone. Apparently I should try and get below 80, and I'm not saying that's wrong at all but I think I'd need lose weight all over to achieve it. I am starting MFP as I honestly don't think I can do more exercise but I am worried I'll look gaunt as I have a big frame. It just feels kind of defeating. Gah!

Rhubarbara Wed 17-May-17 09:48:19

Isn't it to do with visceral fat around your organs? I think 'apples' - people who carry weight around the middle - are more prone to diabetes and heart disease. I'm 5'6 and skinny but it's just my build and I'm lazy which means I'm actually skinny flabby / a skinny apple - I permanently look about 5 months pregnant, so I always worry about this a bit.

Rhubarbara Wed 17-May-17 09:49:23

But if you have a bigger frame, then presumably your waist measurement is more to do with that than having a tummy. As you said - yours is flat anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 09:51:04

Well precisely Rhubarbara but apparently all women should fit within the same gingerbread man shape...

tessiebear4 Wed 17-May-17 09:53:53

I don't understand why women who have had children are automatically supposed to have bigger tummies. Surely it's just fat. I'm speaking as someone with 3 children and a fat tummy, but I can see that it's rolls of fat. Presumably if I burned off the fat, I'd have a flat tummy?

cathyandclare Wed 17-May-17 09:58:52

My DH is very slim and fit and also had a slightly too big waist measurement on the NHS check, but on all other parameters weight/body fat/BMI he's on the lower end of the healthy range. I think it's because he's very short waisted with long legs, there's no fat on his tummy it just doesn't go in much IYKWIM. Could you be like that?

BrexitSucks Wed 17-May-17 09:59:24

As far as I'm concerned, clothes are cut too big in the waist. This is a much less of a problem now that I'm almost 50 & am becoming more apple shaped.

I am big boned too, exercise lots, 2 inches shorter than OP. I've got plenty of chunky fatty bits. Even if I was 2 inches taller, I don't think I would carry 25 lbs more very well.

eurochick Wed 17-May-17 10:00:56

I'm back to my pre preg weight but wider - I don't go in and out as much between ribs and hips.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 10:03:38

I think there's defo a bit of that cathyandclare I wouldn't say my tummy is entirely fat-free but not more so than any other part of my body. tessiebear I think what I would say is any time I do eat a bit more or put on weight it goes to my upper abs which got stretched when pg but not my waistline really. It is harder to shift, your muscles just don't want to work the same way they did before, but I'm sure you can get a thin tummy with 'a lot of work'. I am doing hardcore ab workouts 3 X per week and Pilates once a week but yeah, my tummy had changed. It's annoying to have to think about it though because, as I mentioned, it's not something I ever really worried about before.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 10:06:14

BrexitSucks (great name!) I think that is part of my concern. I made a big effort to get strong and in shape in my mid/late 30s because I know it will be harder post menopause and I want to be healthy for as long as possible. Now it looks like I need to put another push in to give myself some wiggle room as I get older. Feeling tired at the thought tbh!

Djangor Wed 17-May-17 10:08:25

Waist more than half your height is supposed to be a better predictor of future problems than the BMI - so your own measurment, Swimming, seems OK. Sadly the experts are often lacking nowadays - got a stroppy letter from my GP a couple of years ago as apparently my cholesterol level was too high - the computer programme they'd used to churn out the letters was purely based on bad cholesterol & ignored the good type.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 17-May-17 12:19:17

Well according to my calculations your waist could be up to 88.9cm OP if you do the half your heart method. So I think you should stop worrying. I think you should stop worrying anyway because it's only an indicator of risk, not a dead cert you'll drop dead at 50!

According to that 'half the waist to height ratio' method, my waist is OK too. Go figure

BitOutOfPractice Wed 17-May-17 12:19:54

*half your height

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 12:36:12

BitoutifPractice thanks, I will use that as my guide then. Seems like we can both relax!

BitOutOfPractice Wed 17-May-17 14:47:45

I hope so swimming I've just lost 4 stone and worked so hard to get a healthy BMI. I would bed gutted to think that had all been in vain!

I still have a tummy though. I've had two c-sections and my stomach has never been the same since.

PhyllisWig Wed 17-May-17 15:31:38

Silly question but your waist for these purposes is your narrowest bit yes? My waist on that basis is fine by all these measures but I have a big tummy - it's just that it's an attractive pouch south of my tummy button. That would certainly not be fine - c sections, twins, general lard and it's got no chance.

Swimminguphill Wed 17-May-17 15:57:11

Yes that's right. I am quite straight up and down which I suppose doesn't help! Well done on the weight loss BitOutOfPractice it is annoying when you work bloody hard to be fit and healthy and then it's just not good enough!

BitOutOfPractice Wed 17-May-17 16:23:03

Well this thread has prompted me to measure my waist and it's gone down to 84cm - that's 2cm less than I thought. Result. Still, according to the NHS, 4cm bigger than is healthy. But I'm just going to carry on losing this last half stone and not worry about it too much

Jeezimacasalinga Wed 17-May-17 16:25:41

I don't think it's supposed to be your natural waist (your narrowest part) for these measurements, your 'medical waist' as here link

My natural waist is a touch under 28, but probably more than the guidelines above around the medical waist. Depressing, I'm 43, had 3 kids and am under 9 stone - it would be a real struggle to lose weight and I really do question whether it would make me any healthier.

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