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Interpreting Your BMI

BMI Weight Category
Under 18.5 Underweight
18.5- 24.9 Normal
25 - 29.9 Overweight
30 - 34.9 Obese
35 - 39.9 Clinically Obese
40 or greater Morbidly Obese

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a general indicator of whether or not you are maintaining a healthy weight based on the ratio of your weight to your height. It’s an imperfect scale as it doesn't account for differences in body types. For example, a 5 foot 9 inch bodybuilder who weighs 215 pounds and has a 6% body fat would be labeled obese. And there is already a new scale just for people from Southeast Asia where the ranges are lowered.

While it can be a good indicator of the healthiness of your weight if you fall within certain statistical norms that were used to develop it, it should be taken with a significant grain of salt and should not be used as a substitute for a professional evaluation of your health by a doctor.

Contact Us

Center for Weight Management
Two locations:

20 Research Place
North Chelmsford, MA 01863

203 Turnpike Street
2nd Floor
North Andover, MA 01845

Contact Us Form

Phone: 978-788-7200
TTY: 978-937-6889
Phone: 877-LGH-WELL

Donna Kelleher (from Methuen)

Got her Life Back

In seven months, she lost 90 pounds

After one of her four sisters successfully underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2010, 51-year-old Donna Kelleher finally realized that it was time to deal with her own weight issues. She couldn't lie to herself any longer, as the Methuen resident had high cholesterol, high blood pressure that even two
medications couldn't control, and she was borderline diabetic.

"I couldn't walk 50 feet without getting chest pains," she admits. "My knees and hips hurt all the time. I was a mess, and I didn't want to be this person anymore."

Her younger sister, who also was obese, asked Donna to accompany her to an informational meeting at Lowell General's Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery on a January evening in 2011.

"In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that I could lose weight on my own if I wanted to," Donna recalls. "I was embarrassed to admit that I needed help. Then Dr. Jiser [Lowell General's Chief of General Surgery Michael Jiser, MD, FACS] started speaking and reminding us that surgical intervention isn't giving up or taking the easy way out ­ in fact, it's actually hard."

"Over the years, the bigger I got, the more invisible I became," she continues. "But from the moment I walked into the Center that evening, I wasn't invisible anymore. I never felt treated like a name or a number or 'the fat girl.' They treated me with such respect and understanding."

That night, Donna and her sister both committed to having bariatric surgery. Her sister underwent gastric bypass in May of 2011. Due to multiple adhesions from previous surgeries, Donna had a procedure called sleeve gastrectomy in July of 2011.

Her transformation has been remarkable.

"I'm so much healthier than before," she says. "To date, I've lost over 90 pounds since that first meeting in January, and my goal is to lose another 40. I'm at a weight now that I haven't seen for over 20 years! I've lost six sizes, and my cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are completely normal, with no medications. And I've had no asthma issues for almost a year now.

"I walk 40 minutes, four days a week, and have no trouble keeping up with my husband John and 15-year-old daughter Kristin," she continues.

"I'm now the one who parks the farthest away - ­I used to get dropped off by the door. It's a wonderful feeling. My husband says he feels like he's married to a new woman. I couldn't have done this without my family's love and support, I love them very much!"

Donna credits the Center's wealth of resources, including nutrition and support group meetings, for her continued success. "They do a fantastic job of making sure you're physically and psychologically ready for this major lifestyle change," she says. "They've given me the tools and support to keep going, especially when I hit a plateau and start feeling discouraged."

But those feelings don't last long.

"I'll walk by a window, catch my reflection, and stop and ask, 'Who is that person?'" Donna says. "I remember her, but she'd been gone for so long and was so unhappy. Today I feel like a brand-new person. It's not just about losing weight; it's about gaining back my life."

Click here to learn if you are a candidate for Surgical Treatment and find out when you can attend one of our FREE Weight Management Information Sessions.

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