Why are YOU weighing yourself?

Discussion in 'Fitness Health and Exercise' started by Justin, 21 July 2009 Social URL.

  1. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    I'd just like to make a post today about something that seems less and less significant to me every day I instruct a client. But first, I'd like you to ask yourself a question....

    Why is everyone so much more concerned with their overall weight, and not about how much of that weight is fat?


    Why are we so determined to always look at our weight anyhow? I've experienced clients with a fat loss goal drop two jean sizes yet still grumble that their weight is above a certain level. I've also trained 18 year old boys who want to gain weight (in the form of muscle), who add 1/4 inch to thier arm and leg measurements and an inch to their chest girth, yet still grumble because they haven't added as much 'weight' as they'd liked.


    It is truly starting to baffle me! So I thought about it a little deeper: why is 'weight', this number of Kgs or stones and pounds so precious to everyone?

    And the conclusion I came to was this:

    We care so much about our weight as a nubmer over anything else because its whats always been done.

    Its the same reason anyone who wants to start a fat loss regime thinks of running for miles and miles and aerobics classes - because its whats always been done.
    Never mind the fact that science has repeatedly shown far superior and effective methods of fat loss than aerobic exercise, its still the tradition.


    But here's the reason that I have pretty much eliminated the term 'weight-loss' from my vocabulary - there is NO ideal weight for any individual person.

    Height, bone structure, body shape, water levels, metabolism, activity levels, age, eating habits, gender etc are all variables that would need to be considered if we tried to determine how heavy or light an individual person 'needed' to be.

    However, when we look at body fat percentage, its pretty straight forward:

    -Men should ideally be between 8 and 25% fat
    -Women should be between 21 and 36%


    The fact that you cannot determine an individual person's ideal weight, but you can easily determine thier ideal BF% is enough evidence for me to focus my efforts on losing that bodyfat, with less concern as to how the weight changes.


    What got me really thinking about posting this message was something I was told by a lady a few days ago. She said she was getting married in a few months, so needed to fit into her dress which was two sizes too small. She told me that to fit into the dress she needed to lose 3-4 stone.

    I simply responed by asking: "How do you know that losing that particular amount of weight will make you a size 12?"


    The message is to start thinking about your actual goals and what is the best way to reach them, in spite of what traditional thinking would tell you.

    If you want to lose dress sizes, then concentrate on measuring your waist in inches!

    If you want a better looking body composition but are happy with your dress size, look at your bodyfat %. you don't want to lose muscle if your goal is a better looking, 'toned' body.


    But if you want to measure yourself via a meaningless number, then go ahead and weigh yourself. I'm not saying that we shouldn't look at overall weight at all, but just think about what exactly you are trying to accomplish, and whether or not being at a particulatr 'weight' will equate to that goal.


    I'm hearing claims more and more often that people are getting a better size and shape, looking and feeling better when training with me, yet some still get down because their weight in kilograms hasn't changed much. If this sounds like you then ask yourself WHY!

    If the above scenario describes you then just remember to be proud of your achievements even If the overall weight isn't where you'd like it to be!


    Body fat percentages and waist girth measurements are far more meaningful, relevant, and clear than a weight in kilos or pounds.

    I do realise that in some instances, a weight measurement and goal can be useful, but in my experience, for 90% of clients, 90% of the time, its not.
     
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  3. tryer

    tryer Silver Member

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    i like parts of this post, some is right imo, some i don't agree with as i feel it is more complex (not all black and white) imo.

    If you knew what it is like to be a woman in the world we live in maybe you would understand more why we concerntrate on weight. (social pressure/ peer pressure/ media pressure our own pressure, o name but a few).
    i agree we shouldn't (your right) yeah we want fit bodies, but i know many a woman me included, who want a great shaped body, however if i am having a piggy back by my friend/ or talking to my other fellow women, no matter how fantastic i look (could have the best body in the world).
    but if someone picks me up, (i don't want to be self conscious and think is he straining to pick me up?/ am i too heavy for him etc etc) or the subject of weight comes around i don't want to say i weigh e.g 12 stone. (and be the one with a great body but be the heaviest). i want to have the best body and say i weigh e.g 9 stone.
    it's hard to explaine.

    yeah i may be shallow.
    but have you ever thought why people tell porkies when in a group about their weight etc. because no one wants to be the heaviest or feel like the odd one out.
    (be it minus a stone or a few pounds)
    anyway this is just my view on things - from a young female point of view, and i know others will have differrent experiences etc and different mindsets/confidence.

    but please remember what may puzzle you and you see as meaningless others may see as meaningful.

    i learnt this when i tried to talk one of my very slim friends into going to the gym, to do a little DB work / weight work out.
    mind you very light weights.
    but she told me she didn't want to bulk up. I too was puzzled but then learnt that she would rather stay slim via diet alone.
    (for me this is not ideal i like a mixture) but that was her decision and she is very smart, and knew what she wanted. (yeah might be not the healthiest way to a great body shape) but she is HAPPY.
    so i would never judge her on what she perferred to do.

    hope you get what what i mean in a respectful way and one of probably many views on this subject, and one of many angles on this subject.
     
  4. Toots

    Toots Gold Member

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    When I was younger a good male friend of mine made a comment that has always stuck with me.

    I can't remember the ins and outs of the story but the basic gyst is that he found out that a girl we knew weighed nine and a half stone (I don't know how) and he was in utter dis- belief that she had "let herself go so much" and that before she knew it she would be "in double figures and beyond redemption".

    In my logical head there's nothing wrong with that weight and to all intents and purposes this was a lovely and intelligent bloke - which made it so much worse. I was gutted as I weighed just over 10 stone. All my female friends tried to convince me that it wasn't a sly dig at me as he had no idea how much I weighed - I was very athletic.

    So whilst the logical side of my brain will agree with you and admit that I would rather be a size 10 that xxkgs, my emotional me will always get extremely defensive and strive for a certain number on a scale.


    xx
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    This is actually the point I'm getting at: the reason weight is always looked at socially and by peers as the most significant indicator of health is because that's all people have ever been told.

    I do see your points and agree with them ,and of course would never claim to understand what it must be like to be a woman in today's social and media-pressured world, but I beleive we need to do what we can to eliminate this dogma that has surrounded a weight.

    Could that ever be done?Probably not, but when I work with my clients I want to alter their mindset so that they can be truly happy with the changes in body composition they make, and not let that little weight number ruin it for them.


    I think this comes under the point of traditional thinking mentioned above. And you are NOT shallow for thinking this way. I beleive its the people who label being over 10 stone as being 'too heavy' that are shallow. I mean, who decided that suddenly 10 stone is too heavy? There are too many variables in each individual to prove that!

    But as I said, its just the way we have all been conditioned to think about the subject, which is a damn shame in my opinion.




    Again, it is evident that the way weight has been portrayed throughout society and the media has lead to people thinking in these terms, and it is affecting us and how we percieve ourselves.



    I do agree with you all and respect what you've said in this post, and thank you for your contribution to this topic. I do have a fond interest in social psychology, and this is a topic that does intrigue me. I also fully understand that weight is of course a socailly-mediated 'decider' of stereotyping, and for many that wil never change.

    However, I simply would like to encourage you to be pleased with any achievements you make, especially if you are happier, and do not think you have let failed yourselves if the pre-determined weight you may have set out to lose hasn't all gone.
     
  6. Angel-xo

    Angel-xo Full Member

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    I actually agree with this, all of it really. I mean everyone, women and men alike, tend to have this mentality that you have to be a certain weight to be accepted socially and everything. I think the reason why personally I'm aiming for 145lbs mininum is the fact that I was around that weight (minus a few pounds) when I was a size 12. That's the size I'm aiming for right now. Of course I may have grown taller since that time and so my bone structure and everything might have changed and I may gain muscle, which weighs more than fat, and this may not necessarily mean that I'm overweight in terms of BMI, but I just want to be a toned size 12 really. None of this skinny fat and all that. I'll be really happy if I'm a 10/12, and if I'm 150lbs or something by the time I get to that size, then I wouldn't mind at all, so long as I'm happy with my body.
     
  7. Beatle

    Beatle Member

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    Justin- absolutely loved your post. I know what the others mean about peer pressure. But this programme I am following at the moment is the first one ever where we are not actively encouraged to weigh ourselves every week (if you want to, that's fine but we don't keep charts or input weight loss). The guy who devised the programme says that "scales are for fish" and encourages us to think in terms of inch loss, dress size and general fitness.

    It feels so liberating - for the first time in years my emotions are not linked to how standing on a small metal box makes me feel. I lost 10 pounds in the first 21 days and then stopped weighing myself. I have dropped 2 dress sizes. The main way I notice the impact of the programme is the fact I feel more energetic, my skin feels clearer, I can do more and more in the gym and bodypump classes, I love the taste of healthy, natural food etc. Maybe I would be more focused on losing weight in a shorter timeframe if I weighed myself regularly. But for the first time ever I am enjoying what I am doing and if it takes me longer to achieve my goals this way, then so be it.

    Your post made me realise how far I have come in changing the way I think!
     
  8. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Angel-xo & Beatle:

    I'm glad you agree with my sentiments, and I'm pleased for your achievements so far. That programme sounds good Beatle, in fact I may even stop measuring weight with my clients for a time (the reasons I do currently is because they always want to see the weight, and on the scales I use BF and must be measured together!)

    "Scales are for fish" Haha, I'm stealing that one!

    And remember my personal motto: "The numbers on your fitness chart are far more important than the numbers on the scales."
     
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