on the scale
tldr; i don't believe in weigh ins. andy french can kiss my strong a$$.
i'm about to promote what might be an unpopular opinion (especially in the fitness world)...and that's ok. i'm not trying to change your mind AND you don't have to agree with me AND we can still 'cheers' at the end of the day. this can be a loaded and very personal topic so i'm going to do my best to share my experience and offer a perspective that freed up a lot of headspace for me. like i say about many of these pieces, much of this is over simplified for the purpose of keeping it at the '4 min read' mark so make no mistake, i know this shit is heavy and i'm literally brushing the surface. so, ponder it. take it. leave it.
ok, here we go...i don't believe in weigh ins.
have i assigned them to clients? yes. have i felt 100% on board with it? no. this is a tough one when you work in the fitness world and one of the most common goals is weight loss. it usually goes like this: you weigh in; you set a goal for a lesser number; you train hard; you weigh in again; the number went down; success; you set a new goal; repeat. seems innocent enough, right? for some, this routine is super sound and that is simply splendid (bly manor? anyone?). for others, it doesn't consider how easily blurred the lines around a focus on health/wellness and weight can become; how over time (or right away) the definition of success is directly correlated to the numbers that appear on the scale. and it doesn't factor in the common equation of weight = happiness. weight = worthy. weight = acceptance. weight = peace. historically these dangerous connections are what we have been taught and they can become toxic FAST.
story time. there have been times in my life where i believed that this number was who i was. i was always what we all like to call a "chubby kid" since i can remember so i learned to be ashamed of my weight long before andy french told me that ben & jerry's would go out of business if i died when i was in 6th grade (i don't even want to know what it would be like if baby hilary was in middle school in today times; yikes). i yo yo'd throughout my teen years as i tried to grow into my body and by the time i was 18, i was running 5 miles a day, eating some, and weighing myself multiple times a day; standing on the scale just so to see if i could get it to read .1 less than it read moments before. the goal, of course was always to be smaller (why? that is a blog for another day); to constantly be shrinking and when whatever the magic number i had decided on finally flashed across that screen...well, i'm not really sure i knew exactly what that would mean but it would be something amazing. it had to be. but in the end...that magic number did appear. and guess what happened? well, nothing. the goal just became even less. this focus on weight ebbed and flowed into my late twenties.
PAUSE. i'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that many of you reading this may feel it resonating in one way or another already. especially as women, unfortunately this story is often written into our lives from the very beginning. please know that if this is still you, what i've said above, it's ok. i see you. i understand you. it is fucking hard.
RESUME: today, i'm 33. i'm strong af (toot toot). i eat pizza and drink beer. i have been the same pants size for a few years. and i have no idea what i weigh. ok, maybe that isn't completely true. i have an idea...but i honestly do not remember the last time i weighed myself. this transition from weighing in obsessively to barely at all did not just happen and i'm not sure i can pinpoint the exact shift. i do know that it was in large part due to the fact that i was honestly exhausted by looking in the mirror, feelin' myself (are the kids still saying this?), stepping on the scale, reading those 3 digits, looking back into the mirror and hating what i saw as if i was a mother fucking shapeshifter like randy. legitimate mind games, right? i also became very aware and frustrated that my weight fluctuated A LOT depending on things like if i had ONE glass of wine (seriously, for me, 1 glass could equal 3 pounds. science says that isn't a thing so WTF, scale?). most importantly, i finally realized that that number only had the power i gave it...and i was giving it everything.
so, i stopped. i'd be lying if i said i managed a cold turkey moment, so i won't say that. i'm goal oriented so when i got out of my own way, it became clear that i could measure success in different ways that didn't fuck with my mind (ie. how my energy felt, how my clothes feel on my body, strength in the gym, etc). for me, the scale has no place in my life . if you are healthily able to incorporate it into yours, heck yes - that is awesome.
i want to be clear that i think weight loss or body composition shifts are absolutely valid and excellent goals - there are plenty of ways to measure this w/o the scale for those that need an alternative. w/o getting too sciencey on you, it is good to also keep in mind that our bodies change in all sorts of different ways when you start introducing new stressors (ie. exercise, nutritional shift, etc) and the scale doesn't always accurately tell that story :)
there is not a "look" or a "body type" for those who struggle with anything i have mentioned in the paragraphs above. remember: anxiety, self esteem, self confidence...they can all be invisible. all the more reason to kick the judgement and always be kind.
and to andy french. i hope you are well...but you were a dick in middle school.