Friday, June 11, 2010
Thanks for all of the feedback yesterday! I'll respond in the comments section to that post later today.
So I am not brave enough to post my weight for world to see - at least not yet. I will say that according to the BMI scale I am overweight bordering on obese. I can assure you that I am not overweight bordering on obese. I am average (with a more than average butt). I am also able to mentally step away from the scale enough to realize that it is not the number that defines me. The size clothes I am comfortable in, that defines me. The amount of weight I lift, that defines me. The amount of miles I run, that defines me. The time I post in a race, that defines me. The small, almost imperceivable adjustments I makes in asanas, that defines me. My weight, however, has nothing to do with who I am.
Why then, am I afraid to post it? What is it about that random number on the scale that is so scary? How are you supposed to get passed it? I will tell you this - weigh yourself first thing in the morning - naked, before water, before you brush your teeth. Then weigh yourself after breakfast ... maybe mid-day. BAM you gained 3-5 pounds. What the hell happened? Did you get fat in the last few hours? No, of course not. But man, will that number mess with your head. This is especially difficult, and an important concept, if you are lifting weights or following The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess. Since starting New Rules, I have lost maybe 5 pounds? But I have lost almost two complete sizes. If I were just watching the scale, I would think no progress was being made, when in fact I am leaps and bounds closer to healthy. The scale? It doesn't lie - its tells you the truth. But that truth includes water weight from too much salt. Water weight from swollen, repairing muscles. That truth includes the weight of your bones. And your hair. And it includes the weight of the food (even the yucky-but-weighty-foods like baby carrots) that you ingested. Weight is funny like that.
So what are you to do? Not weigh yourself? No ... well ... maybe. Here is the deal - and I cannot stress strongly enough that this post DOES NOT apply to anyone with an eating disorder or other self image distortion - if you need to lose weight, you know it. Really, you do. Your clothes don't fit the way you want. You are not comfortable. You cannot move the way you want. Seat belts are your actual enemy. But you are probably lying to yourself ... "Its not that bad"... "I'm just big boned" ... "I carry the weight well"... ... ... Okay. You - if thats you - do yourself a favor and step on a scale. Being confronted with that number is a serious shocker. And it will make you take action. Sometimes we need to force ourselves to do the uncomfortable, to face the truth. Then we do something about it.
So what about average people? What does the scale mean to us? For me, I weigh myself out of curiosity. If I gain a pound, I try to look at it logically - is that a pound of cake or a pound of water? If I lose a pound, I know it is probably meaningless, but I still get excited. If I lose three pounds...okay, that might be something to celebrate. If I drop a clothing size - BUST OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!!! If I PR in a race, watch out world! But the scale and body weight itself...its just to keep tabs on the everyday ins and outs.