In today’s world, every one is focused on weight, that number you see when you step on the scale. It’s the first thing you do at a doctor’s appointment. Maybe you step on the scale first thing in the morning when you get up, maybe again in the afternoon.
You lose weight and you gain weight. It’s a cycle we all go through. My weight can easily fluctuate five pounds in a day depending on what I’m doing, what I’m eating, how much water I’m drinking (or not drinking), the time of the month, and more. It’s only natural to share how many pounds you’ve lost when you talk about your weight loss journey. But, that number is not the end all be all of you or your progress.
Body image is a huge part of human nature. We love to feel good about ourselves and the skin we’re in. The number on the scale should NOT be the deciding factor on how you feel about yourself. As I currently work towards goals at the gym, they are becoming less about my weight and more about the overall picture. Why does my weight determine how I feel about myself or how I’m viewed? I am so much more than that number.
Take a moment to think about how you view your body and your progress. If your weight is the first thing that comes to mind, here are some thoughts for you…
How do you feel in your skin?
Who cares what my current weight is, I am feeling great about my body. When I treat my body right, is responds in kind. I spent the better part of the last two years being lazy, unmotivated, and eating and drinking things that I really didn’t need. And while I am all for enjoying things I love, it’s best in moderation. I have no business eating cookies every single day or drinking a bottle of wine just because I had a bad day. I do have my favorite foods but there is a balance between that and continuing to workout and eat healthy.
Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do.
Don’t ever compare yourself to others. Just because someone else at the gym who is close to my age can do regular push-ups doesn’t mean I need to do that. I can knock out push-ups from my knees like a rock star now and that makes me feel GREAT because just months ago, it was hard to do just a few. The only person you are up against is YOU. You know where you’ve started and where you’re headed. Celebrate the changes you see in your body and OWN IT.
What makes up your weight?
The other day I weighed in after almost a month. My weight was up 2.5 pounds. Normally, I would freak out and think about all the things I could have done wrong to cause that weight gain, especially when I’m working so hard. But let’s think about what makes up that number. Thanks to the InBody scale we have at the gym, it does more than just weigh you. It tells you about your body composition. And since it remembers who you are, it gives you a history each time to show your changes. So yes, I gained 2.5 pounds. But that 2.5 pound gain included a 2.2 pound increase in muscle mass and my body fat dropped 1.1%. That 2.5 pound weight was a conversion from fat to muscle. I want more muscle than fat, so I’ll take these results all day long.
A gym friend and I talk about our progress often and she has said that she is not watching her weight. She is watching her body fat percentage go down. She doesn’t have a weight goal, she has a body fat percentage goal. I have no doubt that she’ll reach that goal because she is working hard towards it.
How are your clothes fitting?
Is there a better feeling than when your clothes fit better than before? When getting dressed in the morning becomes fun instead of something you dread? Just prior to starting back at the gym in January, I was at my highest weight ever and I was wearing the largest size I’ve ever had to buy. Getting dressed in the morning was just awful and depressing. I wasn’t wearing clothes because they were cute or because I loved them. I was wearing whatever hid my stomach the best. No attention was drawn to arms or legs. The girl who used to wear shorts all the time, had not worn shorts in at least two years. But now, my clothes are fitting better. Nothing is tight on me. I’ve had to stop wearing certain clothes because they’re too big. If I’m not working, I automatically go for the tank tops because I absolutely love my shoulders and arms as they become more and more defined. My legs are more muscular than ever and I cannot wait to buy shorts.
So that number on the scale? No, it doesn’t define me. My hard work and determination, my on-going progress, and feeling good about myself defines me.
Take care of yourself. Be kind to your body. Work towards goals but know that your goals will change over time. And remember, you are not just that number on the scale.