Scales are Useless

19 Jul

First of all – I really hope I didn’t offend or upset anyone with my post yesterday! The whole point of writing about the “Lady Athena” class in races was to prove how ridiculous it is. Obviously a girl standing at 5’0″ and 6’0″ will have dramatically different healthy weights, so setting a random number as heavy-weight and lumping all women into it is pretty stupid. I think that the idea of this class is good, if there are truly large women who want to compete against other athletes with their build & stature – but it should be based on height/weight or on some other factor that is more individualized than weight. Anyways, this all helps me transition into my post today.

Too many women are fixated on weight. They step on the scale multiple times a day to see if they’ve gained or lost as much as 0.5 pounds. This is absurd to me. Unless you’re a cat, losing 0.5 pounds is like the equivalent of taking a shit. It’s just not useful to fixate on it.

Here’s some nerdy math for you. Weight = Mass x Gravity. So on earth, I way 140 pounds. On the moon, I’d weigh 23 pounds. On Jupiter, I’d weigh 331 pounds. So before you all try to find a shuttle ride to the moon, can we just realize how arbitrary weight is?

*Obviously, digital art isn’t my strong point*

If you just want to see a number on a scale go down, take a laxative. You’ll lose half a pound, but you won’t look any different. If you actually want your body to look & feel different, stay away from the Dulcolax.

Here’s where I’ll get personal. I weigh ~140 pounds (give or take) on any given day. I weighed ~140 pounds when I got back from my honeymoon, a 10-day stint on a cruise ship where I worked out once & ate like a queen at all hours of the day. Did I mention I also drank my body-weight in beer? It happens. Prior to my honeymoon, I also thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a lack of time dedicated to working out because I spent all of my free time planning my wedding. My weight was normal, but my clothes fit a little differently and I could visibly see a difference in my body.

Today, I still weigh ~140 pounds, and I work-out 6 times a week, eat extremely healthy, and lift a lot of weights at the gym. I could get pissed off and throw the scale out the window in a fit of rage, but I don’t really care what it says because my clothes fit better, my stomach is visibly flatter, and my arms are much more toned. Sure, I could start running 10+ miles a day, put down the weights, and give up carbohydrates & I’d see the numbers on the scale change. But, I’d rather eat right to fuel my body, put on muscle weight to make me stronger, and cross-train to help my body.

Personally, I’d rather see results in the mirror than on the scale. The scale can’t tell you if the weight you’ve lost/gained is weight from fat or muscle. I don’t really want to lose weight right now, because I’m afraid I’d lose the muscles I’ve worked so hard to put on. Plus, muscle is far more dense than fat – so if you lose 5 pounds of fat, but put on 5 pounds of muscle, the scale won’t tell you anything – but trust me, you’ll be a much smaller person. (Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, 1 pound = 1 pound, but it certainly takes up less room than fat.)

But if you need some hard evidence, try using one of those fancy scales that measure % body fat. Or take some measurements of your waist / thighs / hips and watch inches disappear. Don’t use a scale. Seriously.

Anyone have other good methods to measure success in the realm of body slimming?ย 

Why is weight such a big deal?

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9 Responses to “Scales are Useless”

  1. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) July 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Ahh, I so agree. I have no idea why weight is such a big deal… it honestly just seems to bring people down! I admit to getting upset over numbers sometimes, but really, if my clothes fit better and I’m feeling good, it shouldn’t matter! I 100% agree with you. I think you look great, Jess! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica Rose July 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Thanks – you’re too kind ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m glad that you agree with weight being just a number. Just as long as you can fit into all your TJMaxx purchases haha

  2. Life After Swimming July 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Exactly the reason I am trying to become more motivated….I not longer fit into my jeans the way I used to!!! Eeek! haha I can tell I may have put on an extra pound or two recently. Post graduation fun, I suppose. Time to get back to business!

    • Jessica Rose July 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

      I had some “sophomore year” fun myself – but once you recognize it, it’s easy to get motivated and lose it again. But yeah, post graduation life is always something new to get used to ha I think you have enough races coming up to keep you motivated though ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tara July 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Weight is so freaking stupid. I love your attitude and admire you so much! Honestly my problem is that I thought low weight = healthy. I was obsessed with being healthy (technically orthorexic) and the lower the number was, the better. I think media and society have screwed with our minds so much. You are beautiful and you look incredibly healthy, strong, and happy. Numbers don’t matter, but our mindset does. I think we all need to learn a lesson from this post and be more intuitive to how we feel, not what the scale says!

    • Jessica Rose July 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      I admire YOU! You’ve obviously made a lot of progress from your past and that’s awesome. I’m glad you’re realizing more that weight isn’t as important as overall health & strength, especially as an athlete. I’m sick of media & society’s conflicting opinions – criticizing celebrities for being too fat, too thin, too this, too that – why exactly should I care about what People magazine says? Pssh.

  4. In Sweetness and In Health July 20, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Awesome post! I’ve definitely tried to step away from the scale over the years. I have a happy weight, and it fluctuates some, but I prefer to see how I look in the mirror and how my clothes fit. That is more of a determinate to me. Plus, it’s crazy how my weight can fluctuate a couple pounds throughout the day based on what I’ve eaten and my bathroom habits haha. Love this!!

  5. Er July 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Personally, I do not weight myself. I eat what I want, when I want, although it is mostly healthy. I workout most days of the week. Scales can’t tell me how I feel, my energy levels, or the amount of muscle I have. No use obsessing over a number that is not even accurate!

  6. Free Weights Shop January 18, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Body Composition is a much better indicator of health than any old scale. Women, throw out the scale and grab a tape measure. You’ll be less stressed and actually see change that matters!

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