STRENGTH – Part Five
‘The scales can’t tell you how smart, funny & wonderful you really are’
Brendon Patrick - TOTEM FITNESS
I think it’s safe to admit, we all hate the scales. With all the nerves and apprehension of stepping on top of these nasty things, it’s easy to understand why!
If you were ever looking for a piece of advice on how to approach the scales, my professional opinion would be to avoid the scales altogether.
Because, as a little known fact, the scales actually do lie.
Truth be told, it’s not a complete lie; however, the scales aren’t selling you the clearest picture of your bodies overall condition either.
If I have to be completely honest with you here, I often find myself standing on top of the scales. In light of this, it’s important to note that, I never place a strong emphasis on the actual numbers displayed on the scales because there is just too many other factors that we need to consider.
Your Bodyweight Will Fluctuate Throughout the Week
So many changes can occur within your body between your routine trips to the scale. Firstly, we know that our body consists of approximately 70% water but, because this is a figure that will change throughout the day based on your levels of hydration; we need to take it into consideration this fluctuation prior to jumping on the scales.
If you find that your bodyweight has changed between a few kilograms in a matter of days, hydration is most likely a factor.
Secondly, a similar result would occur based on what you’ve eaten throughout the week. When you last ate or visited the toilet will also impact on the scales.
Unless your weekly routine is planned to the finest of detail and, is consistently the same from day to day and week to week like a robot, the results displayed on the scales will always fluctuate.
The Scales Do Not Factor in Lean Muscle Compared to Excess Fat
You may or may not have heard it mentioned before but, muscle is denser than fat. This is significant because of the effects of resistance training will have your bodies muscle and fat burning efficiency.
When we exercise with weights, we inherently begin to develop muscle. As the muscle develops, the excess fat on our bodies begins to melt away as the direct result of an increased metabolism and your body becoming a fat burning machine.
Because your lean muscle increases as your bodyfat decreases, your overall weight can often remain the same.
It’s not uncommon for beginners to not see any great changes in weight when they jump on the scales. Despite this, they always appear slimmer and toned when standing in front of the mirror
In fact, this is the ideal result as the body is slowly turning into a fat burning machine fit with muscle tone.
Let the Mirror Become Your Ultimate Judge
In the early stages of a fitness routine, increased energy, improved mood and a rise in self confidence are better ‘key indicators to your overall progress. And, if you’re still looking for the visible evidence that your routine is working for you, then look no farther than the mirror.
Using the mirror as a tool for judging progress is a truthful option than the scales because it will actually show you where your body is losing weight or transforming into a slimmer form.
If you want to lose excess weight off your stomach or thighs etc, the scales won’t tell you if your exercise and diet is helping; however, a quick strut in front of the mirror will highlight any positive adaptations that are occurring throughout your body.
How You Feel Is More Important Than Your Weight on the Scales
‘Fitness is a habitual
lifestyle choice generated by the repeat application of direct actions’
Adopting a fitness lifestyle comes from the repeat
application of set processes that are geared towards your goals. In the case of
fitness, these processes would be: Exercise, Nutrition and Mindset.
Long before the actual habit is set for the long term, purpose
driven application of each process yields certain results that rely on personal
desire in order to materialize.
I would strongly argue that these results cannot be truly
measured on a set of scales; because increased energy, improved mood and rises
in self confidence, are built upon the repeated application of direct actions that
no weight scale can quantify.
Now, this is not to say “throw away your scales and never use them again”. What it simply means is, use your scales only as a measurement that contributes to the much bigger picture of the processes that guide your fitness journey.
Whether you’ve been leading a mostly active or sedentary lifestyle, chances are that you or someone you know has experienced an exercise-related injury.
It’s safe to say that most gym-goers have encountered the dreaded feeling of gym intimidation at some point in their life. For some people, overcoming anxiety about the gym may be harder than the workout itself!