A few months ago I posted how the scale is just a number and it has taken me a long time to really come to terms with that. So many of us focus on the number on the scale – mainly because it’s the easiest measurement too that we have available. We all know that none of us have time to take measurements all the time, and this is not practical… so we rely on the scale.
I have learned over the last year or so, that the scale is one of of the last things that I look at when I measure how far I have come on this journey to a healthier me. What amazes me, is the fact that there are medical professionals out there that still focus too much on the scale.
I experienced this first hand last week, when I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. When I was talking with the nurse before I actually got to see my doctor, she was asking me all the usual questions. She then got to the point where the questions focused on my weight. She commented that with my current weight and height, my BMI was higher than they like to see – in fact I was borderline obese (yes for those of you that know me well, I do not look even remotely “obese”) and asked if I was currently doing anything to work on bring my weight down. Well, yes, of course I said I was.
After asking me how many days a week and for how long I exercised each week, she asked me if I had a goal weight in mind.
(insert puzzled look from nurse here)
“You don’t have any sort of number in mind that you are shooting for?” she asked.
I then proceeded to tell her that the scale is just a number. I understand that according to the BMI charts, I am borderline obese, but that is not the whole picture. Right now, I weigh 20 pounds more that I did when my John and I got married 7+ years ago… but I am wearing the same size jeans. If I were to LOSE 20 pounds right now, I would not be or look healthy. The scale is just one factor in the big picture and I am not going just focus on that.
“Oh, ok” was all she said and moved on to the rest of her questions.
Over the last year, with all of the training sessions, running and changing my eating habits, I have lost 20+ pounds, but I have also lost many more inches. I have gained more muscle and feel so much better in general.
I have really seen this again in the last few months. In November, when I joined Fitness Renegades, we took measurement on Day 1. I made it through my rookie class and then started going to the gym for class 3-4 days a week. I made a few more adjustments to my eating habits and started eating cleaner. Fast forward 5 weeks to when I did measurements again. I worked hard and lost 5.5 inches in 5 weeks – but GAINED 2 pounds. I was now able to fit comfortable into jeans that I had not even been able to put on when I started as a Renegade. I call that success. But for those “scale believers” all they see is the 2 pound gain. The fact that I lost over 5 inches screams out success to me! Plus, the added energy, and the fact that I am sleeping better is just the icing on the cake! Oh yeah, I also have improved my Benchmark time at the gym by over 2 minutes!
So do yourself a favor… use the scale as a tool on your journey but don’t make it the ONLY thing you look at! There is so much more to a happy, healthy you than the number on that scale!
Here is to a happy, healthy 2014 everyone!