The WEIGHT of it all
I realize this is a touchy subject but it is one forefront and center on the minds of many women. I stumble across so many blog posts and ads promoting weight loss and as a fitness coach you may think I am all for this but in all reality, I am not.
Yes, some people are on a weight loss mission and I encourage and support them but I also see many aiming to lose weight to hit a number on a scale when I look at them and see a perfectly fit and healthy woman or man.
So let's begin with.....
What is a healthy weight?
Unfortunately there is not an easy answer to this as there a many variables so if you are questioning whether or not you are at a healthy weight, schedule a physical with your doctor and ask them directly about your weight. Most likely they will look at your BMI or body mass index which takes into account your age, weight, and height to calculate a number. Normal can range from 18.5 to 25 and yes, whether you are male or female factors in. Generally, women have a higher BMI than men. You can calculate your own BMI to get an idea of where you stand and I do feel this is helpful...to a degree. As a scientist, I realize there is some variation that can be misleading because you can be a fit and strong 120 lb woman or a 120 lb woman with less muscle mass and come up with the same BMI according to this calculator. Just saying....
Another way to measure the "idealness" of your weight is through the Ideal Weight Calculator that takes into account your sex, age, and height to give you a weight range. For a woman my age and height that range is 107.8 lb to 145.6 lb. Wow! That is a huge range but again, it can bring you into the ballpark to determine how you are doing weight-wise and if it should be an area of concern for you or not.
How often should you weigh yourself?
Less is best.
Yes, you heard that right. I do not believe that checking in more frequently will necessarily keep you focused on your weight loss journey as body weight fluctuates daily and throughout the day. And ladies, our weight will fluctuate monthly due to hormones. Too much weighing can leave you feeling discouraged and questioning if your fitness and nutrition plan is working and may result in you giving up or restricting your calories too much and sabotaging your goals. If you do opt to weigh in, develop a plan and stick to it and I suggest no more frequently than once a week but maybe you could try for every other week or once a month. Just pick a day, time of day, what you will be wearing, and stick to it. And don't get discouraged. You will still see fluctuations but look at the overall trend.
What I like?
I like the fit test. I have been moving away from the scale more and more especially since I realized it was having a negative hold on me as it related to self esteem and some of the other core issues I have been working through.
The fit test is how my clothes feel and I do have a pair of jeans that are my go to. I love these jeans and wear them on a regular basis and each time I put them on, they give me a clue on how my weight is. And yes, I still feel some fluctuations but we already discussed those fluctuations will happen.
I may also go back to weighing myself before and after fitness challenges I take on. The shortest challenge I do is 21 days and many are 30 days so this will be a good time frame for weight check-in's.
Like I said, I haven't been weighing myself as much as I focused on regaining self love but I may, or may not, be ready to try again and focus on healthy mentality, healthy body, healthy weight.
Why does the number matter?
Whatever you decide, I strongly suggest you ask yourself why the number on the scale matters. For those who truly are losing weight for health reasons you got your answer and I support it 100%. Losing weight to be healthier such as lowering cholesterol, improving heart functioning, increasing the quality of your life, etc. are 100% valid reasons in my book. But if this is not your why, what is your why and ask if it really matters.
Over the years the size of my clothes has ranged from 2 to almost a 14 so obviously, my weight changed a lot over those years. There was a time I was barely 110 lbs and to be brutally honest with you, I was not healthy and was a bit too close to anorexic tendencies. I was on O'ahu, my hubby to be in Spain, and I was unhappy trying to cope and control only what I could --- what I ate and how much I worked out. It was not a good place for me to be. And that almost size 14 was not a good place for me to be.
Today I hover around 118 lbs. Yes, I still have that inner desire/tendency to see a number around 114 on the scale because.....I have no good reason except that I felt 118 was not good enough, was not fit enough, and if I weighed less I could be a better (aka faster) runner and would be "more lovable" and in all reality, this does not matter. I am not going to be competing in the Olympics so any slight edge I might gain by weighing a few pounds less does not really matter. Just being able to admit this to you today is a sign that I am healing, growing in self esteem and healthy self love, and focusing on what really matters and realizing that I am not loved more or less by how much I weigh.
If losing weight will make you healthier, go for it! But if it is just to reach a number to make you "feel" better about yourself, ask yourself, does it really matter?
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I am beginning to love the body I have been given.
Daily Bible Verse: For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:20