I had a doctor’s appointment recently and was forced to take a step of faith onto the ever-ominous scale.
I anxiously watched the numbers toggle back and forth before my eyes. Numbers bounced up and down, folding and unfolding, before falling still on a number that instigated immediate panic. I wanted high scores on my exams, not the scale I was standing on.
It just didn’t make sense to me. I’ve been working out, eating well, getting enough sleep, taking care of myself. My body feels healthy. Heck, I thought I looked pretty okay, too, until I stepped onto that traitor of a scale.
Since the end of high school, I avoided getting on a scale when it wasn’t necessary. Here’s why: the numbers you’re seeing are usually pretty damn irrelevant.
When most of us start working out, it’s to get that rockin’ hot beach bod for spring break, for that wedding that’s coming up, or some other event in the near future. That’s how I started. Automatically, our goal is to ‘lose weight.’
That sounds like a pretty logical statement, right? But from my own personal experience, it doesn’t always work like that. While you’re working out (hopefully in a healthy way), you’re also gaining muscle. How are you going to run on that treadmill without building strong legs? How do you plan on lifting heavier weights if you want to keep skinny noodle arms without any muscle?
This is where numbers come back to haunt us. While I was working out, I was watching the numbers on the scale. Meanwhile, I lost fat but gained muscle, which is actually heavier than fat. So even though I may have looked physically more lean, I actually weighed more because of the muscle I had built up. HOLY HECK did the scale infuriate me after all of that. I may look slimmer but actually weigh more now, WHAT?!
Sometimes tracking numbers is important, but it’s also just as important to know why numbers don’t always matter. I don’t like scales and I never will. They freak my out and make me feel like there’s some kind of numerical box that I’m supposed to fit into. False.
You don’t have to be a specific weight to be strong and healthy. Every body is different, and there is no numerical box that we all fit into. Healthy is strong is beautiful. Next time you step on that scale, don’t forget that YOU own that number, not the other way around. Break the box.