The Scale Is a Big Fat Liar

by Whitney | July 8, 2020 | Health & Fitness Blog 

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I love helping people. I love taking someone from good to better, and I’m honored every time someone reaches out with “HELP!” I’m a visionary, and have a unique gift of seeing the good in things. In my free time, you’ll find me at Lowe’s shopping for my latest project. Give me a fixer upper any day of the week, because I thrive on making improvements! Before I was a fitness enthusiast, I was an artist, and my brain is always spinning creativity. As a fitness coach, I see you, and I want you to be the BEST version of yourself that you can possibly be!

When I get a new nutrition client, we go through a discovery process and I learn about your goals. Usually it’s weight loss. Words like “toning” and a laundry list of body parts come into the conversation. I gently redirect conversation to learning how to properly fuel your body’s activity level. I am very intentional with the words I use. Typically there is a goal weight or clothing size. Most people want to lose weight and be smaller.

I have a news flash for you…

 The best of you is not less, it’s more.

It hit me when my shorts from last summer wouldn’t button. Crap. I’d been in a cut for a long time last summer, and my weight was the lowest it had been in my adult life. I was buying size 4 and size 2. My T-shirt size was a size small. I don’t shop much for street wear- I wear leggings, tanks, and running shorts. So when I went shopping for a trip, (for clothes that aren’t stretchy.) I remember the shock I felt when my usual size was too big. I’m 5,9,” and I didn’t think it was possible for me to wear size small because I’m just not a small person. I’ve been called thick a time or two. But there I was. I felt so successful because I was in a smaller size. Smug even. I also remember looking at my butt and thinking “Where did that go?” That’s when I realized I was starting to lose muscle mass and it was time to end my cut. I like my curves and appreciate that my body is capable of carrying and moving heavy loads. (Freakishly independent, some might say. I own that.) I quickly saw that I had two different voices in my head- one beauty standard telling me smaller is better, and my own voice saying “I miss my muscles.”

If you want to fit into a smaller size jeans, that’s not a bad thing. It’s not wrong. It’s a tangible, measurable goal. Being a size small doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t muscular either. Keep in the forefront of your mind- that number on the tag doesn’t make you better or more valuable. I’m certainly not a worse person because my shorts are tight from last summer. I’ve been working to build muscle, and I’ll continue to shape my body to the aesthetic I prefer. I bought a new pair of jeans and shorts that fit my body currently. The problem isn’t my body, it’s my shorts. As you continue on your fitness journey your weight will fluctuate, and your body composition will change. Your shorts might not fit. You are not failing. Do a quick image search for “same weight, different body composition” for some great examples. 

You are much more than a number. There is no need to shrink yourself. Or your SELF. I know, it’s super confusing when the diet industry measures success by weight loss, and it’s even a metric I look at with my clients- along with measurements. The problem lies when folks start to feel like they’re failing at healthy eating because they haven’t dropped a pound that week, and that’s a lie. Your success in wellness and health doesn’t always come in a lighter package. Sometimes it’s a moment in learning to prioritize yourself, or finally figuring out how to manage stress. Figuring out that food doesn’t solve problems, or that you have the ability to enjoy ice cream without guilt. Food and eating food, even how we eat food, is wrapped up in our belief systems, and weaved into our self worth. When you begin to take control of those belief systems and measure your worth differently… now that’s the kind of self improvement I’m looking for. I don’t care how you look in a bikini. I care how you FEEL in a bikini. Confident. (Totally figurative bikini. Insert, shorts, sleeveless top, street clothes, non-stretchy shorts, etc.)

Years ago, I was working through my divorce and loss of family with a therapist. She gave me the advice: More of what fuels you, less of what drains you. I want that for you, and I believe we can manifest that in our bodies. More of yourself- more of what makes you feel true, strong, fierce, beautiful, and at peace. Less of what makes you feel ashamed or cower. Less apologizing and hiding. Own your space. Instead of making it our goal to take up less space, let’s make a deal to change the shape of the space we occupy. Who wants to be smaller when we can be GREATER?

Sometimes health means literally taking weight off your joints. Gravity matters. Physiologically, weight has some bearing on health. Some. You can be fat and fit. You can also be skinny and strong. You can be beautiful at any size. If you, like me, want to change or shape how your body looks, that’s cool. Do it. I’m here to help you. But don’t for one second think that the space you take up in this world has one iota of bearing on the measure of your worth or likability.