A fairly new client is coming in for their second assessment. They’ve been training consistently for 3-4 weeks, feeling really great and are noticeably fitter and stronger. Their nutrition has been pretty good and greatly improved from before joining but with a little way to go.
They’ve also been telling me how great they’re feeling, how they have fitted back into their work pants that they haven’t been able to wear for ages and that work mates and friends are commenting on how much weight they’ve lost and/or how great they’re looking.
Although hesitant about the initial assessment a month ago, this time they’re excited! Its going to be great to see how far they have come and how the hard work has been paying off.
If you’ve had an assessment at FitterFaster, you’ll know that the first thing we do (after measuring your height) is to get you on the scales and this has just happened with our imaginary client.
OMG! The posture slumps, the head goes down, that stupid number on the screen has hardly changed. WTF is going on???? I’ve actually seen some people brought to tears by that number. What changed in that last 10 seconds?
In that 10 seconds everything changed. A tiny (or not so tiny in the client’s mind) number bleeped onto the screen and changed everything. That confident posture with the walk across to the gym gone! All the compliments forgotten! The newfound energy and enthusiasm for life bleeped away in an instant!
I know I’m being overdramatic, but this is exactly how it pans out all too often. I do it myself. I have some scales in my bathroom and if I’ve had a really good (or bad) week, I’ll jump on hoping that the number has changed. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, but more often than not, I’m disappointed by the lack of change or at least change in the right direction.
What gives?? Why are we so obsessed with the number that appears on the screen? Do you remember the old scales with the dial that spun around? I used to adjust the ‘starting’ point or lean to one side to make it appear like that number was smaller. Don’t tell me you didn’t do that too!
I can tell you now that the number means nothing really. I have clients that clearly look like they weigh heaps more than others, but the scales say otherwise and vice versa. While I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what any given client weighs, sometimes I”m surprised by the number. Its much higher or lower than I expected before they jumped on.
If I could do assessments without the scales, I would. Unfortunately, to calculate body fat percentage, we need your total body weight – and there you have it.
ITS YOUR TOTAL BODY WEIGHT.
The number on the scales is a total of everything. It includes your bones, your organs, your skin, your stomach and your bowel contents. Its all the fluid in your body (about 50% of the total), its your hair, its your muscles and yes its your body fat too. On any given day you can lose or gain kilos in water weight. Anyone obsessed with the scales that weighs themselves more than once a day can attest to the fact that from hour to hour you can gain or lose kilos.
We have to remember that although the number is total of everything physical, our entire worth is not governed by what appears on the bathroom (or gym) screen. Your weight doesn’t determine your character or the type of person you are or want to become. Some of us are more destined to let the number on the scales make or break us. Lets stop the madness and use other measures in conjunction with the dreaded ‘weigh in’. Lets celebrate EVERYTHING we are achieving:
Waist measurements have proven to predict quite accurately losses of body fat.
How you feel is so important throughout each day. You have more energy now and sleep better.
Your increased cardio vascular fitness and strength are to be celebrated.
Your decreased back pain and energy slumps through out the day are a sure measure of improvement
The decreased bloating and monthly cycle symptoms because of improved nutrition are amazing.
Your new increased tone in your legs, stomach, butt and arms. You can see this in the mirror now!
Being able to do things in your every day life so much more easily.
Wearing clothes that you’d ‘grown out of’ or that you would never buy in the past because they made you look ‘fat’.
Celebrate everything that happens when you change your lifestyle for the better. Don’t focus simply on the damn number and you’ll stay motivated to keep on changing.
Take if from me. You’ll never reach your ‘Happy’ number. Because as soon as you do, its not enough, you’ll want more and then more and then more.