Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Scale Struggle.

I am way too dependant on my (stupid) scale.  I cannot figure out what is going on with my body but my weight keeps bouncing around between a three pound mark. I know I'm not supposed to be weighing more than weekly and the fluctuations can influence it, but I've been checking it more consistently this week.  I'm growing more and more frustrated.  I am about ready to throw my ten pound weight loss goal out the window because about the time I lose a few pounds, I gain it right back. 

I will take measurements and check my body fat this week, but it's only been a few weeks... I doubt I'll see much change in that time. But who knows... Maybe I'll be surprised. I can hope anyway.

Yesterday I was reading some blogs on SP and was feeling slightly encouraged. A fellow Sparker who weighs about 20 pounds less than me has a body fat percentage that's less than half a percent lower than mine was a few weeks ago. I kept thinking about this throughout the night and tried to come up with what that means for me.  How is it that I can be 20 pounds heavier than someone and have a body fat percentage that's thisclose to being the same?

Does that mean I have a heck of a lot of muscle? I know I still have some excess skin, but that really does not weigh very much, so all together I'd say that less than 10 pounds of my weight is skin. 10 pounds is being generous, I think.  Anyway, I FEEL like I have a lot of muscle. The excess skin doesn't show it very well (and let's be honest, anything all lumpy and gross looking appears to be fat - until I do tricks and move it around but I don't go around doing that all day long!), but there's muscle under this skin.

I have fat too, everyone does. I have fat to lose; I'm aware of that. However, when I do the calculations, it isn't as much as I thought. Actually, depending on which chart you look at (some vary slightly), I'm healthy right now. Don't get me wrong, there's room for improvement and I want to improve! My body fat percentage is at a healthy rate, even though I'm in the "overweight" range for BMI. That's because BMI only takes height and weight into consideration.  I am not convinced that body builders, who have a lot of muscle, are unhealthy, as BMI would suggest.  I think that BMI needs to be taken for what it is, just a measure of what you are versus what you "should" be according to some expert who devised this measure.  Just because you might be "overweight" on the BMI chart does not mean you're not healthy. That's why measuring body fat is so important.  In general, athletes are some of the healthiest people ever (assuming they're following all the "rules" appropriately). They might be "overweight" due to their amount of muscle.  Yeah, they're over what's recommended, but they're over in a healthy way.

If you're interested, this is the body fat percentage chart that I looked at today. It's consistent with others that I have read.

Soooo... Is that me? I'm pretty sure it is. I'm not a body builder but I work out a lot and have definitely been building muscle lately. I'm not gonna lie, I kind of enjoy flexing my biceps in the mirror. It helps me monitor the work that I'm doing. I can see the changes in my body when I do a better variety of exercise, other than just cardio. According to my BMI I'm overweight, but my body fat percentage is healthy. I know this, but I still worry about the stupid scale.

I'm hesitant to believe that it's actually muscle. I know people who workout at least as much as I do, if not more, who weight far less. Of course, they had different starting points... They probably started where I am now. I try not to compare myself with others, but that's hard not to do. I know everyone is different, we all have different stories, and are on different journeys.  That doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Why is weight so important to so many of us? Is it because BMI has been around so long that we take that as being the ultimate guide in where we should fall? Is it because the media shows us that 120 pounds is what's acceptable?

I've lost over half of myself and I have muscle now. Yet I let the numbers on that stupid scale get me down! This might irritate me more than my weight. I try so hard to focus on measurements and body fat, on just living healthy and hoping that the scale will eventually catch up... But I can't. I'm still a slave to my scale. I watch those numbers and it's very obnoxious when I feel like I am doing everything correctly, but the numbers don't reflect it.

I weight a little more than last year, but wear a smaller size, and look smaller. Recently people have asked if I've lost more weight.  They think I have even since July (in all fairness I may have still had some post-op swelling at that point; but not much). Even my surgeon asked if I'd lost more weight since July.  I haven't.  In fact I'm about the same as I was pre-op.  I expected to be about ten pounds smaller after surgery; not about the same.  I'm thinking that with everything taken into consideration it has to be muscle contributing to the fact that I cannot seem to lose weight.

I feel better now too... Obviously more than before I lost weight. Even more though, I feel better than I have in the last few months. I feel stronger. With all the working out I do, my body feels tight. At least one of my muscle groups is sore daily; if not more. I'm working hard. I see and feel the difference in my body.  I'm the last person to believe "it's muscle" rather than fat. It would take a lot of convincing for me to fully believe that.

Maybe it's time I start believing it.  I have gone in streaks of not relying on the scale but when you're trying to lose weight, it's hard not to. Losing weight is watching the scale go down.  Is it time that I just accept myself where I am and honestly focus on being healthy? I'll continue to eat healthy and workout. I won't change my way of living, but maybe I need to stop worrying so much about the scale. 

That? Will be a super difficult thing for me to do!! Has anyone had success with that, that they'd like to share?

I hope you have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!!


1 comment:

  1. I have totally been there. Sometimes I wonder why being thin is so important to me. I mean I have lots of other note worthy things in my life. Why do I focus on this one area so much? I hope we both find a good balance btw caring too much or too little.