I’ll start this post with my view on this – get rid of your bathroom scales and you’ll feel better and achieve more. As with all my posts, this is based completely on my own experience, and I want to save you some time on passing ‘go’ and collecting £200! I’ve never been what I would call ‘obsessed’ by my weight but throughout my life, like a lot of people, I generally felt I wanted to ‘lose weight’ and would always feel negatively about what I weighed. I’d weigh myself weekly or so and judge my success on whether I’d lost or added pounds, pitching myself against the NHS’s one-size-fits-all BMI chart or what various women’s magazines said this or that celeb weighed (which I presume they must have made up anyway?!)
Since ditching the scales and going on (a) how I feel, (b) how I look and (c) how my clothes fit, I’ve realised that monitoring what you weigh is pretty pointless. When I’ve felt my fittest and been confident I looked in fairly good shape, a sneaky hop on the scales would have me believe something else – because I weighed more.
To put some figures to that, I’m around 5’4” and a typical pear shape. I used to be a size 12-14 and I usually weighed somewhere between 9st to 9st 3lbs. Now, after a couple of years of a steady combination of diet, running, circuit training and lifting weights I’ve got visibly leaner and more toned and have dropped to a size 10 most of the time although sometimes a 12, depending on the brand of clothes I’m wearing.) But, despite dropping that dress size my weight is generally around three or four pounds heavier. If I was a scale worshipper I’d be really miserable about that but the truth is it makes perfect sense given muscle weighs more than fat. If what you weigh is your only barometer of success you’ll get a skewed view of yourself. I can honestly say I’ve never felt in better shape – and that’s the key – shape. I’ve been thinner and weighed less but not been anywhere near as happy with how I look and my overall shape and muscle tone, which is much firmer and more defined. So, get rid of that old fashioned and irrelevant measure of where you’re at and look at yourself in the mirror and feel how your clothes fit. Focus your workouts on the bits of your body you need to or want to improve the look of by using weights and/or a good workout DVD like Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones. Combine that with some cardio work like running or Jillian’s 30 Day Shred programme to burn calories and you’ll really improve your overall physique (I’ve done some fitness posts with more details, and you’ll soon see that I love Ms. M – she transformed both my approach to fitness and my shape.) It’s no quick fix; be prepared to set off on a never-ending journey – but believe me, ‘travelling’ does get easier. You’ll gradually change the person looking back at you and become how you want to be. You’ll be happier too. Much happier.
You are how you look and feel– not what the scales judge you to be.