For us big girls, there is one dreaded acronym that we hate to hear at the doctor's office: BMI. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio between your height and weight. That sounds legit until you realize that there are a lot more factors that affect your weight. The BMI doesn't take your build into account. It doesn't take your proportions into account. Two people of the same height and weight can look different.
Also, this number can make you feel bad about yourself if your number is deemed "too high." I remember crying in school, when I had a BMI chart tell me I am morbidly obese, which I am not.
Lisbeth Leftwich had a very bad experience with BMI. She went to the doctor to talk about birth control options, and she ended up being handed some literature on dieting and losing weight. Apparently, her BMI was considered "overweight." What the doctor's office didn't know is that she had an eating disorder.
"So this is why this incident at the doctor’s office startled and upset me. Not only was I not there to talk about my weight, but my relationship with food was fragile at best. Handing me these papers threw me into a tailspin."
There have been many studies about the relationship between self-esteem and BMI.
An abstract from one study said:
"Prior research has shown a relationship between high BMI scores and low self-esteem scores among college-aged women. Culturally, Americans perceive low weight to be ideal and body weight to be a personal responsibility because it is a perceived to be a controllable factor. The hypothesis for this study was that there would be a positive relationship between the Body Mass Index score and the Index of Self-esteem (ISE) score in female sophomore and junior college students. Using a Pearson r, no statistically significant relationship was found between BMI and self-esteem."
Your BMI is just a dumb number. You are way more than that.