Obesity and George Zimmerman

On February 26, 2012 George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. At the time of his arrest, Zimmerman weighed 195 pounds at 5′-8” which gave him a Body Mass Index of 29.6 so he was not a bastion of health even then.

His lawyer, Mark O’Mara has reported Zimmerman has gained “over 125 pounds” since the rest. So in the sixteen months from February 2012 through June 2013, he gained an average of eight pounds per month or two pounds per week. His BMI at 320 pounds is 48.7.

At the time of Martin’s death, Zimmerman had a Resting Metabolic Rate of 1800 calories per day which what he needed to consume to maintain his weight if he relaxed all day. Today his RMR is almost 2400 calories per day or about seventeen12 ounce Coca-Colas.

So innocent or guilty, right or wrong, I feel for Zimmerman. I’ve lived the yo-yo weight loss and gain for the last thirteen years, so I can appreciate he felt and feels. 195 pounds is not great shape for 29-30 year old man, but it’s not bad either. Zimmerman had his mobility, his flexibility, and toughness that comes with being overweight versus the frailty of anorexia. He could move with grace and stamina, and he had the strength to meet the physical demands expected of him.

Now at 320 pound, he’s a train wreck while anticipating the worst most horrific physical challenge anyone can expect: prison. Watching the trial footage of him, it’s obvious any grace and elegance his movements once had are a distant memory as his joints struggle to move against unnecessary ill-placed mass. His muscles, heart, and lungs are in constant strain from the most basic of human movements. Even finding court appropriate clothes is an event even in our super-sized society.

The rate of Zimmerman’s weight gain would be an awesome loss rate for those who struggle full-time to get back into shape. Assuming he gets the chance to regain his health, he’s looking at a minimum 70 pound loss in the first seven months before he can even look at any intense exercise. Right now his knees, ankles, heels, hips, and back ache and throb constantly with the overstress of excessive mass. Anything beyond slow deliberate walks will intensify his cardiovascular and skeletal issues.

Also figure Zimmerman was in the “high overweight” BMI category before hand, so a more appropriate weight for him would be closer to 160 pounds. Right now he’s well above “extremely obese”.

From a guy who has been in similar health to George Zimmerman and returned from it, the best way to help obesity is to prevent it. Even assuming his legal issues settle favorably, he’s still in the fight for his life afterwards.


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