You know how everyone is always like, “Ignore the scale!” and I’m always like, “Yeah! Ignore the scale! One month I lost a pant’s size and didn’t lose a pound!”
I don’t ignore the scale.
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks of emotional eating. I was down to 136 (Yay!) for about a week before my marathon and then got stressed, binged, and am now back up to 143.
I’m revealing actual numbers, something I’ve never done before, because this last week or so has been really eye-opening about just that: NUMBERS.
It started with this article from Holly. She got a body composition done (something I want to do ASAP now) and then compared that to what Weight Watchers told her was her “ideal body weight”. Holly does cross-fit and values her hard-earned muscles as much as I value my own. She found out that she had more muscle mass than the bottom of that “ideal body weight” zone that Weight Watchers gave her. Even if she wanted to hit the TOP of that zone, that would still only allow her 13% body fat. Obviously, she knew she needed to completely ignore that “ideal body weight” zone and change her approach.
Here’s the thing: I am super-proud of my muscles. I, like Holly, have no desire to lose them. So, my “goal weight” is basically something I’m aiming for where those muscles that I’ve worked so hard to build, are not hidden by fat. I don’t have to see every curve of every muscle at rest, but I’d like a flat belly so I could show off my awesome abs (because I know they’re down there somewhere) once in awhile. So, how does one determine their goal weight? I don’t really know what my goal weight is, I just know it’s lighter than me now. Not much lighter…I don’t think…but less than 136 because when I was at that weight 2 months ago, I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. Maybe my goal weight is 130? That was kinda where my mind was when I started doing a bit more reading.
You know how everyone says, “Ignore the BMI! It’s stupid if you have any muscle mass!”
I looked up my BMI thinking it would be a good place to start.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’m OVERWEIGHT? HAVE YOU SEEN ME? I mean, I know I talk about losing those last few pounds, but that’s just to get me to the point where my body shows that I run 30+ miles a week and do boot camp 4-5 times a week. I want to have a body that I can show off as proof of how hard I work, but I don’t think I’m “overweight” by any means. I’m just not quite where I want to be. Let me show you me NOW and me THEN.
The first picture was in 2009, soon after my Dad died. Before I started boot camp or running. That girl? I would have called her overweight. Not obese, but overweight. The girl on the right? Granted – she knows how to stand perfectly to accentuate her features and suck in her flab, but she’s not at all overweight. Nowhere close. So, I finally get what the fitness world has been telling me forever: SCREW BMI.
What people have written about time and time again – that BMI is a horrible indicator of fitness or health – I finally agree. WHOLE-HEARTEDLY.
One obvious lesson down…one more to go.
I started thinking about those two bodies up there. And I started thinking about their numbers. Do you want to know the weight difference between those two bodies?
That’s it! 14lbs. On the scale, that’s the only difference. But..according to the CDC? The BMI is barely any different between both of those bodies.
And to me? THAT IS INSANE. Do you know the real difference between those bodies? Because to me it’s a lot more than fourteen pounds. Let me tell you what the body on the right can do:
- Run a marathon
- Do full push-ups, at least 25, without stopping.
- Do 20lb one-arm shoulder presses.
- Do at least 30 burpees without stopping.
- Plank for two minutes.
- The Ab Ripper X from P90X and not stop once.
I mean, that body can do way more than those 14lbs lets on. And you know what else? That’s THREE PANTS SIZES.
So…the more I thought about it…the more it really started to hit me. The second lesson the fitness world keeps telling me but I’m hesitant to actually learn: THE SCALE IS FULL OF CRAP.
I started thinking about my real goals. I know that part of my goal is for my me to lose enough of the excess body fat so I’m comfortable working out in just a sports bra, and to where you could see the shape of the muscles in my arms without me flexing. Basically – I want to have one of those bodies that I could show up to a race in a sports bra and the world would know: Yep. She works out. Because, you know what? I’m proud that I work out! Is that vain? Maybe. But, it’s like a pricey piece of jewelry. Or an expensive handbag. You don’t own those things so that they can stay in your closet or your bathroom, you own them so you can wear it around and show off that you own it. There are things we’re all vain/superficial about. My thing is? I want to be able to show off the awesome muscles I’ve spent 2 years working on.
I’m close over most of my body. I love my legs. My arms are almost there..If I flexed right now? You’d see my killer arm muscles. My belly is the place I have left to lose. If I could focus all of my weight loss on my belly and a tiny bit on my arms, I’d probably only need to lose a bit more. But we all know that you can’t choose where the weight comes off.
So…while I learned the lesson about BMI, I was still stressing about my GOAL WEIGHT. What the SCALE SAYS. Because – you know – I’m still quite slow.
I started thinking about the last time I was happy with my body. It was my wedding day. I was in decent shape, I had good muscle tone, and was thin enough that when I wore a bikini on my Familymoon, you could see my abs. But here’s the thing…my wedding day weight is no where near attainable because, while I did have muscle tone, my muscles were not as big as they are now. And remember? I don’t want to lose muscle. And I started thinking about what I weighed on my wedding day and then, suddenly, it hit me. My body now? Is closer in weight to the 2009 body above, than the weight of my wedding day. Let me show you a comparison:
Now, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that the wedding picture wasn’t too far off from the NOW picture in the middle. I’d guess to say that there was MUCH MORE poundage difference between the first two photos than the second two. If I had to guess which direction the me NOW (middle picture) swayed on the weight scale I’d guess it swayed closer to the me of my wedding day. Well…here it is…by the numbers:
So, basically there’s TWICE the weight difference between the last two pictures as between the first two. Which is just BULLSHIT. There is NO WAY that I would ever believe there was 35lbs between those two bodies, if I hadn’t lived it. You know what this means, don’t you? I mean, there’s no way I want to weigh 108 pounds, do you know how much muscle I’d lose? I’VE WORKED HARD FOR THOSE POUNDS. In other words, comparing those bodies by just their weights proves something once and for all:
THE SCALE IS BOGUS!
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Kim finally learns (and believes) the lessons people have been telling her for ages. If you really want to monitor your fitness level and your weightloss goals, you need to ignore BMI and the scale and find more concrete ways to measure progress.
Now that it’s only take me several years to truly realize what many of you have known all along…I’m going to start a new plan. In order to keep from boring you terribly today, I’ll tell you the plan tomorrow. In the meantime – can you tell me what tools you use to track caloric intake? Part of my plan involves logging everything and I’ve found fault with some of the tools I’ve found (I’ll get into more of that tomorrow). So, if you could tell me what you use, that would be great!