The Honest Truth About Weight (And How To Change Your Mindset)
In my 35+ years of being in the fitness industry, the most asked question I get hands down from women centers around why they aren’t seeing weight loss results, primarily seeing their scale go down, even though they’ve been doing all the “right” things.
Here is the truth, the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Too many women are defining their worth by a number on a scale. Can I give you some loving advice? If you are waking up every morning, stepping on your scale and allowing the number you see to set the tone for whether you have a good day or a bad day I suggest putting it away and taking a break from it (I promise you will thank me later).
Getting caught up in a number on a scale to tell the whole story of your journey to better health and be a measurement of your progress is problematic because you are assigning value of your worth based on the number you see. I get how weighing yourself can be a helpful check in from time to time, but it’s important for you to put this into the correct perspective that it is just one of many ways to measure your health and it surely is not a tool by which to measure your worth!
It’s also important to take a closer look at your overall body composition (the ratio of muscle to fat on your body). This is much more useful than the “what do I weigh.” question.
Weight on the scale measures everything: muscle, bone, how much water your body is retaining at the time of weighing, body fat, all the body tissues combined, what type of clothes you are wearing. These numbers fluctuate throughout the day based on what you have eaten, had a bowel movement, how hydrated are you and depending on the time of month for your cycle and other hormonal factors.
While 5 lbs of muscle and 5 lbs of fat both weigh the same, fat takes up more space than muscle.
If you are exercising and focusing on strengthening your muscles, you will become leaner, more compact, strong and depending on your overall body composition (how much fat your need to lose, etc) there may be times that you step on the scale and see the number go up because you are building more muscle. You can’t look at a number and allow it to tell the full story of your progress. One of the major benefits of strength training is your body becomes more efficient at fat burning due to the metabolic properties of muscle tissue.
It breaks my heart to see way too many hard working women pile more stress on themselves, beating themselves up for how much they weigh and building their worth on a number without seeing or understanding the big picture.
Because if you could sculpt and tone your body, if you looked in the mirror and saw a stronger, healthier, more confident you would it really matter what the scale says? Wouldn’t it be more effective and better for your mental health to look at your body composition and assess how you feel?
My best advice and the advice I have given consistently over the last 35 years to women just like you is to stop basing your value and your progress on a scale. Instead start taking some progress photos, take some measurements of the areas of your body you want to focus on and keep a journal to record how you feel on a daily basis. Do you have more energy, are you sleeping better, are you experiencing less brain fog, are you experiencing more overall joy and less anxiety and depression? This is also important in the overall progress of your health and well-being.
If you are wanting to accomplish more fat loss/muscle gain, focus on the big picture of being consistent with breaking up with dieting, eating healthy, cutting out sugar and processed foods, mixing up your workouts with cross-training, cardio, strength training and dynamic stretching. Know your body and listen to it. Pay attention to your hormone and adrenal health as they play a big role in how your body is able to lose fat and build muscle.
Most importantly, I pray you will put your pursuit of progress into perspective. Living a life of health is a marathon not a sprint where choosing progress over perfection is so important. In Jeremiah 29:11 God tells us “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” It doesn’t say “…”plans to prosper, to give you a hope and a future when you lose 10 lbs.”.
You are loved and valued just the way you are. Take that truth and let it lead you as you work to become a healthier you!
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