What your weight measures… 🧐
We are obsessed with the weight on the scales, when it goes up we berate ourselves, feel guilty, feel like we’ve failed.. when it goes down we congratulate ourselves, celebrate it, think we’ve succeeded. The scale going up must mean we’re getting fatter (putting on more body fat), and therefore if it goes down we must be losing fat right? And if your goal is body fat loss then scales going up signals disaster in your mind….
We need to remember that the weight on the scale measures a lot of things, and only a small portion of that is actually your body fat. It measures the amount of lean muscle you have, the amount of water in your body (hoe hydrated you are), it measures your organs, your bone mass, amy food in your digestive system etc. It simply measures your relationship to gravity at any one time.
The thing it doesn’t measure is your entire self worth! A number on the scale doesn’t define you. Whether you’ve gone up 2kg or down 2kg you’re still the same person. You are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on how that scale swings. Those swings are also totally natural and often nothing to do with body fat losses or gains.
So yes, of course, if you WANT to reduce your body fat because you want to fit into a certain clothing size, or be fitter and healthier to be around to play with your grand children etc then that’s brilliant, and that’s an awesome goal! But you haven’t failed at that, and the rest of your life, just because your weight may fluctuate on the way to that goal!
It’s worth trying to focus on goals that aren’t just a number on the scale. I often talk about using body measurements (mainly because they’re a good way to see body shape change – which correlates with decreased body fat and increased lean muscle), but how about other goals – being able to piggy back your nephew, being able to play football with your mates, being able to run for the train comfortably, reducing your blood pressure, being able to lift your suitcases in and out the car boot etc etc.
These goals are just as, in fact they’re probably more important than an arbitrary number on the scale that will fluctuate depending on how much water you drink, whether your last meal was salty, your hormones etc etc.