Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Numbers On The Scale...

Okay, so I know some of you must be going, "What is up with this girl?!? It's been over a month!" I know, I know, it's been awhile... but I'M BACK! :) April was kinda' hectic for me, with work, appointments, meetings, not to mention multiple birthdays (including my own - I turned 31 this year, whoo-hoo!)... it's been kinda' crazy, but I'm still here. I post more often on the Succeed At Fitness Facebook page - I'm on there everyday, so if you're on Facebook and haven't liked the page yet, you should check it out!

But anyway, let's get to the subject of this post, which is about an old frenemy of mine and I'm sure yours, too (not sure what frenemy I'm talking about or even what a "frenemy" is, check out an old post I did a couple of years ago titled "My Frenemy"). The big S.C.A.L.E, that's right, the scale. I've tried to like her, I really have. She'll get me all hyped up and ready to be on her team and then she'll disappoint me all over again. But I've finally come to the conclusion that the problem really isn't the scale, it's ME! Or maybe I should say my old mindset about the scale? Let me explain...

Heavy But Fit
That's right I said it. Contrary to popular belief, the scale isn't the problem. But maybe "problem" is actually the wrong word and that's the problem. You see, we tend to let that number on the scale define us. We have in our head a certain number that we want to see, and after eating healthy (and/or "dieting"), working out, and still not seeing the number we want - in fact the numbers may have even went UP rather than down - we get frustrated, sad, depressed and ready to throw our old frenemy out the window. But hold on! It's actually not the her fault! All the scale does is weigh us on how HEAVY we are - that number tells us nothing about how much of that weight is muscle, bone, fat, water... etc. I'll take myself as an example. To this day, my smallest weight ever has been 124lbs. Sounds great, right? Right. However, I now weigh 134 but am smaller, toner and more fit than I ever was at 124. I've gained muscle but have lost inches, and now, at 134, I can slide out of my size 4 jeans without unbuttoning my pants! I'm heavier but more fit. I've gained MUSCLE - NOT FAT. So who cares what the scale says?

All of these women weigh 150lbs - different heights and different sizes but the weight is
the same. Check out the last pic! 5FT.5, A SIZE 2 and 150LBS! If that doesn't prove that
the scale isn't the best determinant of fitness I don't know what does!

Question: Is The Scale Even Necessary?
Good question! And a tricky one, too! My answer would be yes and no. Let me explain. If you are obese or overweight, yes, I do think you need to pay some attention to the scale. Now do I think you should try and fit into a certain BMI range? No. Most people know by now that the whole BMI concept is bogus for exactly some of the reasons I mentioned above. But I do think that if you're 5ft.3 and weigh 229 lbs that that weight is way too much for your size and you do need to lose weight! And that's using my own height and old weight as an example. At that height and weight, I had way too much fat around my heart and other internal organs, making that weight very unhealthy for me. So yes, in the beginning of your journey, the scale should, in my opinion, be used.

But once you get to level where you are fit - meaning not overweight, lower percentage of body fat (i.e - more muscle than fat on your body)... etc., the scale ceases to be of any importance in my opinion. If you are going to continue down the this road of eating healthy and exercising regularly, as long as all of your clothes continue to fit, you're good! I know that sounds incredibly simple but it really is that simple and it took me a long time to get that through my thick head! If you can continue to wear the same size clothes with no bulges or lumps, and you're going shopping and can still easily buy the same size, you're still on the right track and there's no need to worry or pull out the scale. I know from personal experience getting on the scale can just be a frustrating annoyance with daily weight fluctuations, water weight, added weight from muscle soreness... etc. And if you're like me, and you have gotten to the point where you WANT to build muscle, getting on the scale is totally pointless, especially if you're getting on it with the expectations of losing weight because if you're gaining muscle, the scale is going to go UP - NOT DOWN.

So, in conclusion, my opinion is, take those numbers on the scale with a grain of salt. Do I feel like the scale is your enemy? No. But I do think her truth is a little warped. Eat healthy, exercise, make good choices and you WILL see results  - no matter what that scale says.

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