I have been wanting to write about body image for a while but it’s a touchy subject. There is so much I can say about this topic but I want to start with something simple that we let define us all too often. I want to talk about the scale, the lies it tells and the secrets it keeps. I am guilty of letting it ruin my day so here are just a few good reasons to take a break from weighing yourself and focus on other things that might actually make you feel pretty good about your body.
1) The scale does not tell you your body composition. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen incredible results in body fat loss from people who thought they only lost a couple of pounds. The scale does not account for muscle gain versus fat loss so it can be deceiving. Don’t let it mess with your head. Just the other day, feeling good about my body and how I had been eating, I decided to step on the scale and check my weight. It was higher than I expected and that really bothered me. It bothered me to the point that I no longer felt good about my body and everything I put on for the rest of the week “made me look fat.” How ridiculous!? Why should I let a number on a scale tell me how to feel about my body?
*Side note: If you are a female, you need to account for 3-5 lbs of fluctuation in your weight due to water retention. It’s not fair but its just the way it is, ladies!
2) The scale does not tell you how fit you are. Your performance in the gym can tell you a lot about your body. You don’t have to be the strongest or fastest person in class but if you are able to keep up with the class, THAT should make you feel good about your body. The scale cannot tell you how much you can squat, how fast you can run a mile or what your “Fran” time is. We do incredible things with our bodies at the gym every day and that is something to feel good about!
3) The scale does not tell you everything about your nutrition habits. This goes along with body composition. When we begin eating healthier and balancing our Macros, there are changes that happen to our bodies that the scale cannot detect. You may be doing everything right with your diet but still not seeing the number you want to see on the scale. I would encourage you to stick with it and not try anything too crazy. Crash diets may yield fast results, but they can be false results and possibly cause your body harm in the long run. I eat clean 80-90% of the time and indulge a little here and there. That makes me happy and keeps me at a healthy body composition. If depriving myself into a state of misery over 5-10 lbs were worth it, I would do it all the time. But it’s not, so I’m not gonna obsess over having that 6 pack.
*Another side note: If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, the scale is a great tool to help keep you on track with your goals and check your progress. If you are doing everything right with your nutrition and not seeing the scale go down, you need to get to the bottom of it.
4) The scale does not tell you how you look in your clothes. For me, this is huge. I want my clothes to fit properly and when they don’t, I know I need to tighten up my eating habits. If you want to have the confidence to wear a bikini or maybe even just shorts in the summer, work towards that. Maybe it’s a certain size that you want to fit into? Dropping a pants/dress size is a great goal for weight loss! But if you are feeling good about your body in your clothes, don’t ruin it by stepping on the scale! I have let this crush my confidence too many times.
5) The scale does not define you. You are not a number on a scale. Your selfworth should not be wrapped up in something so trivial. I am probably the most guilty of this mentality, which is why I felt compelled to include this as a reason. I was always the skinny girl. In middle school I was called anorexic, even though I ate like a horse. Being skinny became part of my identity. The good news is that the word “skinny” has probably become more of an insult than a compliment, but I am still learning that my more muscular body comes with a different weight on the scale. Even in recent years, after I first discovered CrossFit and clean eating, I was known around the gym for having those good abs. Since I’ve turned 30, that reputation has diminished. I’m older and a little less lean, but stronger and happier than I was a few years ago. You do not need to have a perfect body to feel important, loved or appreciated.
All of that being said, there is more than just the scale. More to your fitness, more to your health and more to YOU as a person. Don’t let the scale get you down when you have so many reasons to feel good about your body and all you have accomplished with it!
– Coach Rebekah, Nutrition Director