5/7/14

WWW: Does The Scale Really Matter?


I am fed up, annoyed, irritated, depressed, discouraged, and defeated. Why? Because the numbers on the scale. It’s been going on for months and the numbers aren’t changing. If anything they’re going up. I weigh more than I ever have in my entire life and yet everyone tells me I look fine. My husband has taken the scale away numerous times and I just come back to it and want to cry. Why? Why do we do this? And why does it matter? Everyone says it doesn’t, so let’s see why and if they are truly right once and for all.


I am that obsessive person whose mood is easily affected by what I see on the scale. I freak out by every .2 pound that fluctuates. The thing is, though, the scale doesn’t weigh fat loss. It catches everything. So if you lose two pounds, it could actually be water or glycogen depletion, not fat. Also, we need to re-word something we say all the time: “muscle weighs more than fat”. This is incorrect; in fact, a pound is a pound, whether it’s muscle, fat, or water. However, muscle is denser than fat and can be a great thing to build. And yet, I am in really great shape and have muscles I’ve never had before and the scale is telling me otherwise, which frustrates the heck out of me!

                Why? I chase an ideal weight. I have a number in my head that I’d like to reach. This number is different in everyone’s head but we think that when we reach that number, we’ll be happy. However, that’s not true. You can ask me or my poor husband who endures this challenge with me for proof on that. And yet, the numbers and BMI reflect that I am obese and overweight and yet wear a size 6 jeans. In my mind I know that it’s not true, but with doctors’ offices and military forces using it saying you have to fit the standards, there’s that pressure again. However, if I truly was obese I would have many health factors that were bad or wrong or at fault.  So let’s make a huge decision and ditch the scale.

If the scale isn’t the measurement of all importance. So why do we still use it? Get rid of it! Hide it somewhere that’s not easily accessible. So if you’re not an athlete that relies on staying in their weight class and just want to perform better, look better, and improve your health, then ditch it. This is for you!

Most of us use the scale to keep a watch out for potential weight gain. If this is true, then why have we not adapted a lifestyle that will do that for us? We need a diet and exercise regimen that isn’t a hassle or stress daily but fits. Next, we need to get that ideal weight out of our head and shoot for a look rather than a number on the scale. And while we’re discussing numbers, don’t shoot for clothes size numbers either. We all know each store is different. I had one girl come in while I was working at American Eagle and she told me she wore anywhere between a 2 in some stores and 8 in others. Big difference but if you’re a female and see all the different fits and styles and sizes, you can understand.

If you are a goal setter and just really need to track numbers, keep track of measurements on your body such as waist hips, thighs, arms, etc. Or you can jump on the body fat percentage bandwagon. But have it done correctly, not at some random one in the gym or by some calculator on line. Have it done manually by someone who knows what they are doing and what is good for you. The BMI and weight guide lines set on the general population is not correct for everyone and doesn’t constitute a good reflection of health. There are people that have BMI numbers of above 30 and have less than 8% body fat, or who are big boned and muscular.

Plus, the scale measures everything that happened over the day: the rough nights sleep, the bloated water weight, that time of the month, the extra water bottle you drank, the workout you skipped, etc. And every scale is different! You can weight 5 pounds more at the doctor’s office and 3 at the dentist. However, it’s not measuring an important thing: success, confidence, sense of worth.
Let’s make a move Endu. It’s not about weight but about health.


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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.