Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Today’s post is all about weight. Women (+ some men) have such issues when it comes to how much they weigh. If you are like most women it is a dirty little number that you never want to have to fess up to + you are probably chasing an elusive lower one. I’ve been there.
At 5’8″ I weigh 145 pounds. Did she just tell us how much she weighs?! What?!
Yes. Because I want to take this opportunity to empower + educate you my beautiful readers. I have zero reservations about telling you this number because you already see the body I’m presenting + I feel strong + confident in it. I’m a huge advocate of people not getting caught up on what the scale tells them + I want to demonstrate to you that I believe what I’m writing. I hope that by reading this post you might learn better ways to track your health + more about why weight doesn’t show the whole picture.
I haven’t always been this way. I used to set goals that were all weight related + was super secretive about how much I weighed. If this is you now, there is hope…maybe someday you’ll write a blog post telling everyone your weight 😉
Maybe this post will speak to you because you are currently chained to your scale + weigh yourself daily. Perhaps you are on a journey to a healthier you + measuring all your progress by what that number reads. Or maybe each trip to the scale defines your happiness or mood. Let’s change that!
I have a little story that helped to change my perspective on weight. A few years ago I was at Noah’s Ark (a waterpark) with a bunch of friends before my bestie + brother-in-law’s wedding. There is one ride that you have to get weighed for before you ride (safety reasons) + I swear some of my friends started having heart palpitations thinking someone might see their number.
It was then that one of my girlfriends said something that has stuck with me. Simply: “You all see me in my bikini right now anyway, what does it matter what I weigh?”
Exactly. Of course, we normally have more clothes on than that…but, her sentiment carries over.
Believe me, I can now relate to how exciting it is to see the number on the scale go down can be. After gaining 40 pounds during pregnancy + then giving birth to Maxwell, I was excited to start heading back down toward my “normal weight”. Each Thursday morning, I would step on the scale + the weight would be lower (I would be pumped + happily report it to my husband + running partner). After 30 pounds, all of the sudden the weight loss stalled. I had a moment of disappointment. My husband stepped in + said something like “Amy, you just had a baby! You look amazing, you know you might hold onto a little weight because you are breastfeeding.” The same sentiments were echoed by my friend Carrie. That helped me to change my mindset + realize the bigger picture. I knew what was more important than my stalled weight loss was to focus on eating healthy + working out for myself (+ my little babe). I knew that if I stuck to my healthy habits, the weight would eventually follow + it did. I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight + more importantly I physically feel like I did before getting pregnant with Max (maybe even better since I no longer work night shift all the time).
Now let’s dig into why weight isn’t the only measure of progress or health.
Ask yourself the following questions: How much energy do I have? How well do I sleep? How confident am I in my own skin? Am I happy with how I look? Overall, how do I feel?
Because those questions matter much more than how much you weigh.
It is also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t get caught up in a comparison game when it comes to weight. I’m a relatively tall gal with an athletic build (hello broad shoulders). Over the years I’ve grown to love + embrace this, realizing that it isn’t going to change + I don’t want it to. So why would I compare myself to a friend that has a much different build? Why would I compare myself with someone much shorter or taller? Or someone that has a different fitness routine (none, or no weight training)?
I’m going to take the next few parts of this post from this previous post. Because, hey…I wrote that one well + why try to change it? You can go there for even more details 😉
Your weight is going to fluctuate on a daily basis. In fact throughout the day you can fluctuate anywhere from 2-4 pounds. It has a lot to do with water gains and losses (how much you sweat, where your hydration level is, if you have increased sodium intake), if you are a female where you are in your cycle (hormonal changes), if you’ve had a bowel movement, what you’ve eaten that day, what time of the day it is, etc. etc.
This is why weighing yourself daily doesn’t make any sense. It isn’t showing any true weight loss or gain, just normal fluctuations.
Now, say you embark on a healthier eating + workout routine and you are poised to change your life. BUT you also have a preoccupation with your weight + the scale, and you are going to head there most mornings. This is not a recipe for success because you are going to experience frustration. There are so many people that expect that number to plunge when they start on a healthier journey and that’s one reason why their resolution for better health doesn’t stick.
It takes time! I know we live in America and want everything delivered with Amazon Prime speed, but the journey toward your fitness goals is going to take time. It is going to take dedication. It is going to take resilience. It may even take the help of a professional that knows what they are doing and has experience helping people work toward the same type of goal you have.
If you want your body to change and you are committed to eating better and working out more (or smarter), it has the best chance of sticking if you have a goal other than weight loss. Do you want it for you???? Do you want to feel better? Do you need more energy? Do you want a boost in your mood + confidence?
Also, is your goal really weight loss or is it fat loss? If it is fat loss (commonly), than the number on the scale doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. You and your healthcare team are probably the only ones that will ever see that number, so why is it so obsessed over? Say you gain more muscle and lose fat, but your weight stays the same. Are you going to be mad? I hope not, because you are going to LOOK + FEEL better.
For me personally, weight loss isn’t a goal. I do have goals of getting stronger + building muscle.
Here are some practical tips for tracking progress that are not weight related:
Pictures: Take from the front, side, and back. Stand in the same spot in your bathroom, with your feet the same distance apart. These photos are for you to track your progress, so don’t throw an Instagram filter and catch your best angle…your only cheating yourself 😉 At any given time I have these pictures on my phone, it’s most hilarious when Drew scrolls through my pictures and says what the heck?!
Body fat: Get a professional to test your body fat. If you are in the Milwaukee area, I know a team that would love to pinch you and help you on your fitness journey. I had my body fat tested by Nick Rosencutter before Max + I’m going to head down + visit him again in a few weeks. When he did my whole assessment (good info in that post too!) we never once went near a scale. Here is a quote from him that I love about exercise: Bottom line is: If you are exercising but not incorporating strength training, you are missing the ball. You owe it to yourself to learn how to properly do it and make your life better. -Nick Rosencutter
Measurements: Measure or get a helper to measure around your chest (at nipple line), waist (narrowest part of waist), hips (widest part), arms (widest part), and thighs (widest part). Write down all these measurements and you can compare these numbers. If you fit into pants that you haven’t been able to wear in years, you will be singing the praises of your new health routine.
Self-inventory: In the same handy place you are going to keep your measurements, answer these simple questions that I mentioned above: How much energy do I have? How well do I sleep? How confident am I in my own skin? Overall, how do I feel? Be honest and write down examples for yourself to reference. It’s hard to remember specific things a month down the road, but if you write them down you’ll be able to easily reference them.
If you are still going to weigh yourself…
Weight: If you do have weight to lose, please do yourself a favor and weigh yourself at most once per week. It should be at the same day and time (as soon as you wake up is a good time), naked or with the same exact clothes on. If you are self-reflecting and acknowledging that you probably do get too hung up on the number, maybe set it aside for a month!
I hope that you guys take something away from this post! If it helps just one person not be obsessive about their weight, it will have been worth writing! Xo. Ames