Obesity is all around us, but most of us don't really know what obesity is. We see people all the time who we know are overweight, but we're cautious to refer to them as obese. That word's just got too heavy of a connotation (excuse the pun).
Well, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, obesity refers to having a BMI (Body Mass Index) greater than 30. Overweight is between 25 to 29.9 BMI. And Normal Weight is 18.5 to 24.9 BMI.
My current BMI is 37.6 - well into the obese range. But when I started this transformation, my BMI was somewhere around 56. So I feel good about my progress, but even as people are starting to call me "skinny" (yes, I know they're being nice), I still have a lot of work to do to simply become "overweight".
To calculate your BMI, you can use the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's BMI calculator here: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.