In the previous post, I talked a great deal about the “mythological” concept of a gay ideal. In this post, I would like to define, in more measurable terms, what I believe the gay ideal to be, as well as to establish a reasonable goal for me to work towards.
First, let’s talk about my body weight. In fact, body weight doesn’t tell us very much, unless we think of it as a function of height. This function of height and weight is usually referred to as the “Body Mass Index,” or BMI. Now, let’s calculate my BMI and see where I stand! My height is 5’11” and I am currently weight 201 pounds. Using the BMI Calculator at the NIH website, my BMI is 28. According to the NIH, a BMI between 25 and 29.9 means that a person is “overweight.” A more “normal” range would be 18.5–24.9. I would also suggest that a gay ideal body sits within this “normal” BMI range. In order to make it to the “normal” range, I would have to lose 23 pounds. To be safe, I am going to make it my goal to slim down to 170 pounds, which I believe is a healthy and achievable goal that will represent considerable progress towards achieving a gay ideal body weight.
So, I bet you’re all curious! What does my overweight body look like right now? Here goes!
The BMI is a helpful instrument for people like me who have a high amount of body fat. However, there are limitations to this metric because it doesn’t take into account body fat percentage. So what is my body fat percentage? According to my fancy Weight Watchers scale, I have 28% body fat. However, according to Steve at Nerdfitness, scales such as mine can be very inaccurate. Fortunately, Steve has a nice images showing examples of what people look like at certain body fat percentages:
Using the examples above as my guide, I appear to be closer to the 30-32 percent picture than I am to the 20-22 picture. If I will make a rough estimation that my body fat is 25 to 28. What does having a body fat of 25 to 28 actually mean? According to Marc at Builtlean and the American Council on Exercise, a Body fat percentage above 25 constitutes “obesity.” Using the above pictures, I would define the gay ideal as being somewhere between 6 and 10%. I don’t think it’s at all possible to for me to get my body fat percentage down to 10%, so I will aim for 17% which is what the American Council on Exercise describes as “fitness” body fat percentage.
So how much fat would I have to lose to be 170 pounds and 17 percent body fat? After crunching a few numbers, I found out I would have to lose 27 pounds of pure fat and lose 4 pounds of muscle mass.
To summarize my goals: by the time of the cruise I want to be 170 pounds with 17 percent body fat.