People tend to measure their physical fitness level on the scale. The magazines are full of “weight loss tips”. There are pills and detox teas that help you to “shed weight”. Or, should you try this brand new diet that will help you to “get rid of those X pounds”?
Your weight doesn't define your fitness level.
What's even worse is that many times we let our weight to define ourselves. That's how it shouldn't be but just like many other (women), I have done it too.
For many years, I used to be obsessed with the number I saw on the scale.
It all started eight years ago. From January 2007 until May the same year I lost almost 14 kg (30 lbs) of my body weight, with the help of Weight Watchers. That was a great achievement in a way, but during this half year I also picked up some crazy, not so healthy habits that stuck with me for years.
One of them was constant weighing of myself and worrying about putting on even a tiniest bit of weight.
I would wake up in the morning, go for at least 10K run, get back, take a shower and step on the scale. Only after that morning routine I would drink my first glass of water, because I didn't want to see this additional 200 grams in the scale that I possibly “gained” from hydrating.
I was obsessed.
The number I was used to see and satisfied with was 61kg (134 lbs) at most. I was running a lot but not eating enough, so I was always skinny despite the binges I had here and there.
If the number was 61.5 and not 61 I got upset.
I would move the scale around in the room, because what if the floor was uneven at that point and negatively affected the scale numbers?
If I couldn't weigh myself, it was all I could think of.
My day was ruined if the scale ran out of battery.
After a day of binging, I would avoid the scale the next day. If I did step on it, I would get really mad at myself if the last night's binge showed on it. If the number was still okay, I would be so relieved and so happy again.
For my college graduation gift, I wanted my mom to get me the best scale out there. Pretty ridiculous, right? I needed a scale in my life.
What does the number on a scale tell you?
Actually, not much. Weight is a number. Nobody else knows it but you. Everybody else sees you. You see you and more importantly, you feel you.
We need to learn to listen to our body and recognize what makes me feel comfortable and good. And this can't be a random number.
When I was having the most obsessed weighing period of my life, I never paid attention on how I really felt about my body. I was just so busy with constantly weighing myself, running my morning 10-15K being terribly dehydrated, dragging the scale from one room to another to find the place on the floor where it showed the “right” number.
Now when I'm working as a personal trainer, we are advised to ask our potential new clients to ask their measurable goals.
Sure, why not! If you can deadlift 100 kg but want to be able to do 125, that's a great goal and we'll work together to get you there.
If you can't do a single pull up now but want to be able to do ten, that's a great goal.
But many clients want to lose x kgs in x time, and many trainers actually encourage them to set a specific weight loss goal. I'm not completely against it. That's fine if there's an obese person for who it might be easier to realize the severeness of the situation when she sees the concrete number on a paper.
But for somebody who just wants to get a better body composition on get into a better shape, the weight loss causes just too much pressure. It makes her blind and numb to see their progress and hear and listen to her body.
Lean muscle mass is heavier than fat, so when you start going to gym and change your diet, you may gain weight. And this is okay! You can take before and after pictures to compare, instead of constantly weighing yourself.
For women, also the period and changes in the hormonal level change the weight. Don't take these few pounds that seriously.
What is it that really matters?
See how your clothes start to fit better as you start a good gym routine and cleaner eating.
Feel how you get stronger.
Enjoy how you can run with your kids and play with them longer. This is what matters for them, not how much you weigh.
Feel the change in your overall well being.
Don't stare the number on the scale!
Nowadays I step on a scale just occasionally. Last time I did it was in December when I had to demonstrate the body composition measurement at our gym.
I found out that I'm 64 kg (141 lbs) – about 3 kg /7 lbs) heavier than back in 2007. But there's a huge difference about how I feel and look today – I am definitely healthier person, physically and mentally.
But I'm really, truly honest when I say that I don't care about this weight gain.
It's not that there's nothing to improve in my exercise routine and diet – there is. But I want to get stronger and eat cleaner diet because I know how good it feels, not because I care about the number.
Have you ever been obsessed about your weight?
Do you weigh yourself?