Josh Bowen: The End All Be All — Tales of the Dreaded Scale

I’ve often wondered about certain strategies gym goers employ. The one strategy that has vexed my mind is a ritual of sorts and a lot of people do it every day. You know if you do something every day and expect a different result, that makes you crazy rightJ. It is at like the Holy Grail, the very reason people come to the gym and try to eat right, it’s the difference between a good day and a bad day, it is the end all be all. It is stepping on the scale! Don’t try to pretend you don’t do it because we all are guilty, especially in a place where there are scales and we are trying to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same. But the very fact people are control by this instrument, this measurement of body mass can be alarming and skewed. The end all be all may not be “all” its cracked up to be.

Let’s back track for a second. What are we trying to do? Most people? Answer is losing weight. Statistics show the most common goal for any gym goers is losing weight. But that should really be the goal? The answer is yes and no. If you are 50 lbs overweight and you need to lose 50 pounds then I would say losing weight would be a great goal for you. However, if you are trying to lose 10-20 pounds, does it really matter what the scale says as long as your body fat changes? Of course not! I use to tell clients all the time; if I could have you weigh the same weight you are today and look 100% different, would it matter what the scale said? 9 times out of 10, the number didn’t matter.

joshBut the number does matter to some people and it matters a lot. The measurement of success is housed on an electronically scale that measure your body mass. Forget about how you feel or how your jeans fit, its all about that number! If this applies to you (its ok!) here’s what I’d like you to remember, the most important part of the fitness process is the feeling of pride, confidence and of well being. These we will refer to as the immeasurable, meaning you can’t stick a number to it. Stepping on a scale just gives you a number and tells you whether you are below, above or at where you want to be. Definitely a cliff hanger that sometimes can hit you between the eyes and make you want to quit. My suggestion? Don’t weigh yourself, especially if you feel you begin stressing over it. The emotional impact and feeling of defeat is not worth it. If you want to know how you are doing in your fitness program ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have more energy?
  2. Do I wake up and go to bed easier?
  3. Do my clothes feel looser?
  4. Am I stressed less?

Answer yes to any or all of those and you are on the road to success. A road that is not dependent on the little number on a little scale. It is not the end all be all.


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