Trainer Tip Tuesday...my advice...SMASH THE SCALE. We are conditioned allow that little machine to determine our happiness and pride in our bodies. When in reality all that number tells us is our relationship to gravity. It doesn't tell you how strong, courageous, hard working, focused and dedicated you are. It certainly doesn't tell you how much fat or muscle you have or how much your skeleton weighs. It doesn't tell you that the number fluctuates throughout the day because of food and beverage intake or because your muscles retain water after a workout. I can tell you that it's a damn liar. The number should not have power over our view of ourselves.
I used to be a slave to the scale. From a young age, I was fearful of going over a certain number. First it was 115, as a teen. I was athletic and genetically muscular, so I weighed more than most of the other girls. This embarrassed me and I felt like I was "fat" (even though I looked normal, just abnormally muscular for a kid). So began the vicious cycle of disordered eating and thinking, and feeding my negative self-image. In my mid-20s, I wanted to be 125 (though I sat comfortably and healthily and muscularly at 135/40). I though this was the magic number and once I got there I would feel beautiful and happy. Well I got there...I wasn't healthy and it wasn't pretty (on my frame, again, I looked emaciated). It took me until 3 years ago (at 36) to accept that the scale is not the best way to assess progress. Though I still struggle, especially when prepping for competition where the scale determines how much I can eat and if I am stage-ready or not. But look at this side by side. Can you see a huge weight difference? Can you believe it's a 20lb difference?! 2 years ago (4 weeks out from my first competition), I weighed in at 135. Today, I'm about 155 (my last time on a scale was 2 weeks ago, and since my husband has literally thrown it in the trash!). The difference is subtle. I've gained some muscle and I'm not as lean, but the old me would have crumbled at the number despite of the photographic evidence that I look strong, lean and healthy. How crazy is that?
Ladies (and guys, too!) STOP THE OBSESSION WITH THE SCALE NUMBER. Take tape measurements. Use progress pictures. Those are much better indicators of change in either direction (fat loss or muscle/size gain)! Remember as you lose fat your measurements will change, your body will get smaller. If you are working to grow muscle, the scale number might stay the same or even go up, as your body changes in composition. You are worth the hard work, not the heartache of being confined by a goal number. What if you never reach that number? Even if your body is slammin'? Will you deny yourself feeling happy and proud because you are not some stupid number on the scale? I used to, but not anymore. YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER!