So I have to be honest, I got on the scale today and saw a number I didn’t like… I was a whopping 158 pounds. Now according to my height, 5’6″, I am on the verge of being overweight by today’s BMI calculations. What those numbers don’t tell you is that I am in the best shape of my life. I can do a pull-up for the first time EVER, I can do an entire workout with real push-ups, I can run 5 miles without really fatiguing… but still, I can’t get that darn number out of my head. What the heck? I think it is a stigma we have put on ourselves, especially as women, and we are entirely too obsessed with the number we see staring back at us. Now I’m not saying that our weight isn’t a good general indicator of “health”, but I feel like as a society, we put too much power in the number. What the number doesn’t tell us is our indicator of fitness; it doesn’t differentiate between muscle mass and body fat. I know, I know, I could get one of the fancy scales or have my body fat tested… but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal to me. So my solution… stop looking at the number and go by how you feel, how your clothes are fitting and how you are performing.
When I start with new clients, I try not to make body weight goals for them. This is definitely hard because most of them WANT body weight goals. Sure, a general number is a good idea to have when you are starting a healthy life change, but I think we are doing ourselves a disservice by having a finite number in our heads. I think that is a huge part of my “issue”. So my number, if I am going to be honest is always 150. That was my goal weight after college when I started this healthy lifestyle and my goal weight after both of my pregnancies. I am proud to say that I reached those weights and even got down to 148 at the beginning of this year. Then I started doing more Crossfit and HIIT and the wheels came off of the wagon. Since January, I have gained 10 lbs…. 10 freaking pounds in 7 months. BUT I have lost 2 inches in my waist and gained 4 inches of muscle bulk in my Quads, Biceps and Gastrocs. For the most part, all of my clothes still fit, they might be a little tighter in the legs but who’s looking haha. So why, with all of the gains, did that number irk me? When you get to a certain point, weight doesn’t matter!! We have to figure out how to let it go. Seriously… as my daughter would sing, “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold me back anymore”. We have to stop putting the number stigma on ourselves. “You are not defined by the number on the scale” was one of my favorite lines from a group devotional I did back in March called ‘Made to Crave’ by Lysa Terkeurst. It’s a great read if anyone is interested 🙂 But seriously, we are worth way more than the number on the scale. And I’ll take my 158 lb self any day. S warned me about the possible weight gain when we started doing Crossfit together. I brushed him off and thought, “I’m not going to gain any weight, I am already in good shape and even if I do, that wouldn’t bother me” and yet, I was on the verge of a toddler meltdown this AM. Honestly, how silly.
I think the number stigma is where a lot of people get into trouble. The weight game is what a lot of the fad diets and quick fixes play on. They are trying to appeal to the urge we all have to decrease the number. Then we fall into traps of diets that are actually decreasing our health to decrease our weight. They are not sustainable, nor are they natural. They aren’t fueling our bodies with a well balanced diet filled with whole and natural foods.
So what do we do? We suck it up and take the long road. We take the journey and decide to enjoy the experience. And we stop looking at the dang scale and start focusing on our fitness levels and how we are feeling. Ciao scale, I’m packing you up because I certainly don’t need your negative energy in my life. *End Rant 😉
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