All is Vanity


A reader emailed me recently and asked if the pounds I am trying to lose aren’t vanity pounds. I found myself writing a fairly defensive email in response and I’ve spent some time since thinking about my fitness goals.Well I now weigh 54.7kg, almost 4kg less than when I started, and have a BMI of 21.4kg/m^2.

  •  Although I was already at a healthy BMI of 22.9kg/m^2 when I started, it wasn’t a weight I felt good about, I didn’t have a body I liked seeing in the mirror so my goal when I first started was simply to see if I could lose weight while on Tamoxifen.   check-mark-1292787_640
  • I really wanted to get below my diagnosis weight, sort of in defiance of the dreaded T, but also because an increase in BMI after diagnosis correlates with recurrence; I just wanted to feel safer. (Not that keeping my BMI at a healthy level all my life had protected my anyway.) check-mark-1292787_640
  • I wanted to fit into size 8 jeans. Now that really is vanity. I haven’t been to the shop to test the theory, but given how loose my size 10s are, and my waist and bottom measurements, I should be able to fit into size 8. check-mark-1292787_640
  • I wanted to be the same BMI as a Japanese woman. Now that sounds like vanity, and to a certain extent it is, because I don’t want to be the huge 外人 scaring everyone on the train if we go to Japan, but, in a world where everyone seems to have exploded in size, Japanese women are the only people in the first world who are actually getting thinner. Japanese women are the longest lived people in the world, with very low breast cancer rates, so the BMI of a Japanese woman seemed like a good bench mark for a reasonable BMI in a world where we seem to have lost sight of what a human is supposed to look like. Although the Japanese are famed for their good manners, Japanese women it seems, have no compunction about telling each other that they’ve whacked on a few pounds; societal pressure combined with a high value put on a trim figure keeps Japanese women slim.  Living up to these standards must be tough though.
    The Pressure To Be Skinny in Japan (#1 Japanese Girls)
    And Japan is one of the few countries where women have a lower BMI than men.
    Anyway, the average BMI of a Japanese woman is 21.7.check-mark-1292787_640

So where does this leave me now, I wonder, and the direction of this blog? Since all my weight loss goals have been achieved, I need to set some other fitness goals, other than not putting the darn weight back on. Unfortunately, nothing is so easily measured as weight and bottom size. I shall ponder this some more and keep you posted.

Weight: 54.7kg


3 thoughts on “All is Vanity

  1. B. March 21, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    I’m glad I could inspire a blog post – Congratulations on achieving your goal…I’m still working on my “vanity” weight….not an easy battle. I really appreciate your devotion to the topic of tamoxifen and weight. There are very few places where this addressed in a structured manner. Maybe you should write a book? Thanks for being there.


  2. Janet Plummer March 22, 2017 / 5:57 am

    I think we are all vain to some degree or another. I would love to be leaner not just because I know it’s healthier but because I would look better. Good on you for having the determination and self-discipline to achieve your goals. 4kg is a lot especially when you weren’t overweight to begin with. I am in awe of that. Is it anymore vain to go from a size 10 to a size 8 than it is to drop from a size 14 to a size 12? I don’t really think so. Almost everything I’ve read suggests that being slim and restricting calories (especially from processed foods) is definitely healthier as long as you don’t take it to the extreme of becoming under-weight or developing an eating disorder. I say well done! And I hope you keep posting about health/nutrition/fitness or whatever takes your fancy.


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