I’ve moved to the bedroom to write this blog because for some bizarre reason, the rain that was pelting against the dining room window, is not falling on this side of the house. I have swapped a view of autumn for a view that could be summer.
It’s ironic that I should make that observation considering what I am about to write to you. You see, it’s not just the weather that changes depending on where you are in this house, it’s also your weight!!
Last Saturday I weighed myself after an unscheduled week off. I’d let pressures at home get on top of me and I stopped ‘dieting’ of any description. (I’m back on the ball now!) It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I stood on the scales, worrying what the damage had been, only to be surprised that I’d actually lost 0.8lb rather than having gained. I couldn’t believe it! I was so happy, my bathroom scales were my new best friend….
*cue romantic music, soft focus images of a man laying on a bed polishing his stainless steel scales*
*scratched record sound*
But the love in wouldn’t last. Just like the magic mirror in Snow White, it was all a great big lie!
“Scales, Scales on the floor, who’s the fatty that’s lost some more?”
“You are….” (with a whispered NOT! behind my back)
How did I discover this deceit? Well… today I did my midweek weigh in. I normally take 3 readings and then use the average as my recorded weight. The first two readings both said that I’d lost 1lb. As I went to take the third reading I nudged the scales forwards by a centimetre and they told me I’d gained 3lb’s.
Now I understand that they may have been upset at being hit by my big toe, but the punishment did not fit the crime. I apologised and reset them to try again. This time I was only 2lb’s heavier.
Like a man possessed, I ran round the house naked trying all manner of positions to find the horrifying truth that my floors are all wonky and that none of my previous weight readings can be trusted as reliable!
I was gutted. My most trusted advisor had been lying to me! As you well know, when the trust has gone in a relationship its virtually impossible to get back. There will always be that doubt in the back of my mind.
No, enough was enough….. this called for something new. I thought about replacing her with a new, younger shinier model but I just didn’t know if I could ever trust again. Not with these floors. So I decided the change should be what I am measuring, not what I am measuring with.
I’d always thought that there was something deeply flawed about tracking your ‘weight’. How many times in conversation or in forums do you see people asking the same question:
“what would be the ideal weight for me?”
That’s understandable. People like to have goals. To have targets. But the problem is that because most people don’t know the answer for themselves let alone how to advise others, the standard piece of advice is to work it out based on BMI. However, BMI has its limitations.
For example, here is an image of a man who is the same height as me. He is 12st 7lb and at that height and weight we would both be classified as ‘overweight’ on the BMI scale.
Yes…. that’s right. Daniel Craig is overweight! You can instantly tell from looking at that photo that this man needs to seriously shed a few pounds doesn’t he?
If I lost weight and got to 12st 7lb without seriously working out then the only six pack I would have would still be in my fridge! BMI does not take into account what it is that you are actually weighing.
And that is crucial because it is not what you weigh, it’s what you are weighing that’s important. Weight doesn’t tell you anything about the ratio of fat to muscle that your body has, or how much water you are carrying that day.
But how do you track progress then if tracking weight and looking at BMI is flawed?
You need to track your whole body composition. That can be done simply by using a mirror (for checking yourself out!), a tape measure for key areas of your body (neck, chest, bicep, waist, hip, thigh) and also using bio impedance scales to measure body fat and muscle mass.
I know there is some debate as to how accurate these scales are, but to be perfectly honest, I have so much weight to lose I don’t really need to be worrying about percentages of accuracy until I’m much closer to my goals. The tape measure and the mirror will always be a good backup to show that i’m getting smaller in the areas where I want to get smaller and bigger in the areas I want to see bigger. It is the only way to be truly sure that you are creating the body that you want.
How liberating is it to discover that your weight is irrelevant?! I’d hated worrying about weight and how many pounds I’d need to lose etc. How long was it going to take to lose. Can be disheartening when you’re as big as me and your goal is a year away!
No more worrying about weight. It’s all gonna be about losing the fat.
After all, now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever said to anyone ‘i don’t wanna be heavy any more’ I always say ‘I don’t wanna be fat any more’.
I don’t care what I weigh, I care about what I look like…. and today, the distinction between the two has finally sunk in.
Thank you scales….. I love you, will you take me back?