Do you weigh yourself weekly or even daily?
Have you ever weighed yourself more than once in a day?
Ladies, please stop relying on the scales. Stop taking that number as an indication of your progress or your self-worth.
I’ll admit that in the past, I weighed myself daily … and sometimes more than once a day. In my 20s my goal was to get to 55kg. I was always around 60kg, and getting below 58kg and maintaining it was a struggle. I felt like a failure. I’d decided on a magic number and found it hard to achieve it. I don't even know where the number came from... it was just a number I'd plucked out of my @$$.
By 32yo, following a divorce, I was around 54kg. I barely ate and I exercised (cardio mainly) like a machine. But I can tell you, I had no muscle - I was just another skinny chick (skinny-fat chick). But boy was I happy. Here I was, a size 8 and under 55kg – my lifelong goal! What an idiot!!!
At 33, I met Bernie, resumed healthy eating, started training with weights and ended up back around the 60kg mark. Like the fool that I am, I continued to put weight goals on myself, and I longed to weigh less on the scales. At this point 58kg became the new magic number. From the age of 33 through to 36, I would swing between 58 and 62kg - and my mood and self-worth would swing with the numbers on the scale.
These days, the weight on the scales is not that important to me. What I look like, how my clothes fit, and how I feel is what is important. If I want to be specific about progress (and sometimes I do), I will use body composition measurements like the Dexa Scan which gives you details of your body fat, muscle mass and bone density, or I'll monitor body fat measurements with Biosignature assessments.
If you want to monitor progress and you don’t want to have a Dexa Scan or Biosignature assessment, photographs combined with measurements are a good way to go. But you should be aware that even using a tape measure can be misleading. As you gain muscle, your body shape will change (for the better). My waist and bust measurements are far bigger than they were three years ago. Clothing I wore in 2009 looks like children’s clothing on me now. I know that these changes are largely due to increased chest and back muscles and back width – not flab. My legs are more muscular (and therefore bigger), my butt is rounder and higher so pants that fitted three years ago fit differently now. I don’t take this as a negative because I know that my legs and butt now have shape – shape that was not there in the past.
I’m not telling you all of this to harp on about my body shape. I’ve struggled for many years with body issues and even these days I have to remind myself of many of the points above… I’m sharing all of this because I hope it will resonate with you – that you will stop torturing yourself on the scales and start celebrating the changes that you see in the mirror.
I know many of my clients want a flatter tummy and more toned legs. Remember that generally for women, the changes start at the top, with the stubborn fat on your tummy and legs the last to go. But you need to start noticing the changes over your whole body.
Take the time to check yourself out in the mirror. Take notice of the changing shape of your face, neckline, collarbone, and shoulders. Start noticing what's going on under your armpits (that fat that pokes out the side of your bra) or around your bra strap on your back.
Start taking note of your posture. This is one of the big changes that clients notice when they start training with weights - particularly if they spend a lot of time working at a desk / computer. Weight training can help pull shoulders back, giving you better posture and a more appealing shape. You look more upright and more confident.
When people tell you that you look good, accept it and take it as a compliment. Take the time to notice how your clothes feel and look. But don't just focus on appearances. Remember to acknowledge the other benefits you're feeling from your hard work - less stressed, better able to deal with stressful situations, less puffed going up stairs, able to run further, able to lift more, able to swing a heavier kettlebell, clearer skin, more energy, and the list goes on!
While I’m comfortable now, I still have goals and aspirations for what I want to look like, but these days I am far more realistic about what is possible, what is sustainable and what it takes to get there.
Right now I’m happy, healthy and full of energy. I know that to be a bit leaner, I need to work harder, and I need to be less relaxed with my diet. I need to remind myself that it won’t just happen, it will take commitment. I either make that commitment or accept things the way they are. It’s that simple for me, and it’s that simple for you.
Following are some photos of me at different weights (on the scales). I hope these images help demonstrate my point about the weight on the scales.
In the first two photos, I'm exactly the same weight (and embarrassingly wearing the same bikini top), but I would much rather look like the image on the right, than the one on the left.
Same goes for the second lot of images. Same weight but very different shape.
on 2012-12-17 02:38 by Belinda Wasowski
Hopefully from my last article you realise that focusing on the weight on the scales is a really dumb idea.
Well, I have further proof.
Twelve weeks ago, I had a Dexa Scan done. It's an excellent measure of fat mass, lean mass, body fat percentage and bone density (and a few other bits and pieces).
Today, I returned for my second test. I was hoping for a good result (despite the fact that I've been relatively relaxed with my diet over the past three months).
Guess what...?! I've gained weight on the scales.
Guess what else...?! I am very happy.
Why? Because the test also showed that I'd reduced my overall body fat mass and I'd reduced my body fat percentage (and I'd gained muscle mass).
So, I weigh more on the scales, but I'm less fat. Perfect!!
My Dexa Scan image clearly shows that I have less fat. My clothes fit better. I'm stronger. I look better. I feel better.
Why wouldn't I be happy about that!!? Because if I was still the crazy female that I used to be (yes, I'm still female, just not as crazy), I'd be weighing myself every day and stressing about the increasing figure on the scales. And even when I feel better and my clothes fit better, I let the scale weight dictate my success and my mood.
But these days, I understand that body composition is about the amount of fat and muscle you have, not how much you weigh or what size you are.
Don't let the number on the scales define you. Don't use the scales as the only way you measure your progress. While you're throwing out the scales, throw out any dumb ideas you've got about a magic weight or dress size you want to be.