One of the very first pieces of advice that I give to new clients is to stay off the scale. Actually, I advise against relying on the scale and putting too much emphasis on the number. Those numbers are evil and whatever the number is, it’s never good enough. What should you do instead? Take pictures. Assess how you feel in your clothes. What does the mirror say?
The number on the scale has the ability to totally mess with your mind. It has the power to ruin your day. I know people who decide to skip meals based on that number. In my opinion that is just ridiculous. When I was competing in 2013 and 2015 I weighed myself every single day. When you are participating in a competitive sport that is based on your figure it is necessary to stay on top of your weight. I got on the scale every morning and every evening. I took pictures several times a week. My goal was the stage and I wasn’t training to lose. It was almost an obsession. I do not regret one second of it and I would even recommend it to anyone who had a desire to compete. That being said, I wouldn’t do it again. Four times is plenty.
Back to the scale. Prior to ever even thinking about walking into a gym my weight hovered around 135. I was never heavier than that (except when I was pregnant). I had no muscle to speak of and would be considered “skinny fat”. When I started working out I was carrying about 25% body fat.
After my last competition, I stopped weighing myself. I know that number is not truly representative of anything. It doesn’t take into account water weight or distinguish between fat and muscle or the time of day or the time of the month … it’s just a number. When I stepped on stage I was 125 pounds and I’m guessing I had about 12% body fat.
Last week I was on vacation in Myrtle Beach and decided to take a helicopter ride with my daughter. There is a weight limit for the ride so all passengers are required to step on a scale.
I cannot even express how that number shocked me. I have never seen that number on a scale. Ever. All my logic and fitness experience went out the window and I began to rationalize how that scale must be wrong and there is no way that number was real. I was shook. Not for long though. I wasn’t going to let the number ruin my vacation or stop me from eating what I wanted or from having a cocktail or two or from putting on my bikini and heading back to the beach.
It is just a number.
I’m back from vacation now and I just returned home from the gym, where I decided to weigh myself again. I’m human and even though it’s just a number – I needed to know. The scale at the gym says I’m 145 pounds. I stepped off the scale and looked in the mirror. I like what I see and that is really all that matters. I consistently train with weights, I do not do a lot of cardio and I eat relatively clean. The number makes sense based on my lifestyle. I’m not mad.