I think we can all agree that the BMI system of judging a woman right in the face about the size of her arse is an unfair, daft, ludicrous, eugenicist, unscientific hangover from an age where everyone was permanently undernourished. I say this because, clothing-wise, I am a British size 16 (American 14) at the moment, allegedly, and yet my new size 16 jeans FELL DOWN today as I was striding about and had to be hitched back up in a hurried and graceless manner while I thanked Fate itself that I was wearing a mid-thigh-length tunic over them, thus sparing the general populace the sight of my bright red undercrackers. I am a 16 about the thighs and bottom, perhaps, but clearly a 14 (US 12) about the waist. Oh, and I wedged myself into a size 14 dress in the changing-rooms the other day, and decided, sadly, that though it fit and was flattering in almost every dimension, the Jane Russell effect (may she rest in peace) was distracting me, and I’m used to my gals (I am a 36 DD, for the record). Does a size 14/16 woman really need to lose two stone/35lbs/16 kgs? I mean, it’s about half-a-stone a dress-size, so I’d end up a size 10. That’s a size 8 in the States. Do I have to be THAT thin to be healthy? Really? When I was last that thin, everyone told me I had ribs like a xylophone, hands like chicken claws, and I kept fainting when I stood up. Admittedly I had an eating disorder (which is why I was that thin), but still, it just seems scrawny, especially for a woman with the bone-structure of an aurochs and the hips and bust of a… a…, well, Jane Russell.
And another thing that really bugs the everlovin’ crap out of me about the weight thing – I am repeatedly told my weight is the probable cause of my miscarriages, overweight women have higher risk yada yada yada. And yet I see, and know of, many women decidedly larger and heavier than myself who get pregnant easily and carry to term with no problems. I mean, God, the NHS is actually complaining about not having enough super-size reinforced obstetrics tables. So why am I super-special-different? Is my body-fat made with industrial-grade arsenic? Am I actually different at all? Are doctors blaming my miscarriages on my weight because, oh, well, fuck it, they’ve run out of options, and who the hell knows anyway, but they’re damned if they’re going to admit that? (I strongly suspect the answer to this is ‘yes’).
And one study I found says that there is an increased risk of miscarriage for obese women, but not for merely overweight ones. The other study I found, the one every single fucking news site on the fucking planet repeated word for word, was this one done in London, which lumped overweight AND obese women in together, claiming that the risk of miscarriage after IVF doubled (from 21 or 22% to 33 or 35%, depending on report) for women whose BMI was over 25, but in the reporting, I couldn’t see the numbers for overweight women alone or obese women alone. The Independent (who really should know better) produced this sensationalist drivel with ridiculous scare-mongering headline. And still, nowhere does it say how many of the obese women miscarried compared to the overweight ones. Just, fatties versus normals.
I call shenanigans. Not least because these studies are both done on women doing IVF, ie they already have malfunctioning reproductive organs. Or their male partner does, and defective sperm is also, actually, think-you’ll-find, a cause of miscarriages, though one a lot of doctors cheerfully ignore (I mean, has anyone done a DNA fragmentation assay on H? Nope. Why not? Fuck knows. It’s not him having the miscarriages, after all. It’s his fat wife). Saying ‘oh, we made adjustments for age and medical history’ is bunk, because every single woman in this study was doing IVF, ie was, already, Reproductively Not Normal, ie, a fat woman doing IVF has more going on than the mere size of her arse, ie her fat issues ARE NOT FUCKING COMPARABLE to the fat issues of a woman who can get pregnant in her own bed/on her in-law’s living-room floor/in her local pub’s car-park.
*Pause, while May gets her breath back and maybe splashes cold water on her face and thinks mellow thoughts about daffodils*
Oh, I’ll carry on losing the weight, if nothing else than because I want to steal H’s jeans and look cuter in them than he does, which will half enchant him and half piss him right off.
Given that I have PCOS, I know my insulin and testosterone and estrogen levels are skewed and being fat is caused by/causes in stupid vicious circle more of the same, allegedly. Allegedly. For the record, I was anovulatory at 9 stone/125 lbs/57 kilos. Completely, totally, anovulatory. I was almost regular last year at 14 stone 7 (200 lbs, 92 kilos). So, yeah, my fat interferes with my menstrual cycle, obviously. Even when I don’t actually have any fat. My fat clearly buggers the space-time continuum.
But I digress. So, being very fat seems unmistakably to between slightly-to-somewhat increase the risk of miscarriage (though the way the media squeals on, you’d think it made it a certainty, which is patent shiny bollocks). Therefore I should make and am making and effort to not be very fat. I just think it’s daft that I am being asked to lose so much weight I actually look scrawny and ill, when the evidence for the effectiveness of looking scrawny and ill is, oh, I don’t know, not wholly convincing? I mean, did you see the bit in the first study I quoted where the underweight women were also at higher risk of miscarriage and all sorts of other horrors? Is BMI really a good and healthy guide to what is underweight, healthy, and fat for a woman like me, who has, did I mention, actual bones made of a great deal of bone, a pelvic girdle you could use as the frame of a coracle, and TITS?