Let’s change the focus…
Recently, I had an in depth discussion with one of my long term group fitness clients. The last 2 weeks she had come to the boxing class and had to stop halfway through, felt like she was going to be sick, faint, etc. It’s not like this particular woman, she is a real “go getter” and kills every session. At the second week, I pulled her aside and said, “ok what’s going on? Have you had much water today?” To which she replied
“I have been having 3-4 litres a day”, so then I probed a little more
“What’s your food been like?”
“I have been so good, I don’t understand this”
“What have you had to eat today?”
“Well, for breakfast I had eggs and mushrooms, for snack some carrot sticks and for lunch a tuna salad, nothing since lunch”… it was currently 7:45pm.
To which I replied “ah… WTF?! That’s not enough”
So turns out this woman had been given the nutritional guide of a challenge attached to a large chain HIIT Studio (I hope you can hear my eye roll). She goes on to tell me that she felt amazing on our nutritional guidelines we had for our ‘Happier Healthier You Challenge’ earlier in the year, but she didn’t lose weight – now I might add here this challenge was never a weight loss challenge. She goes on to say she felt the healthiest and fittest she has done in a long time, but she didn’t lose weight… which leads me to this question (and how I responded to her). So why are you worried about weight?
If you know your diet is good, your fitness is improving, you feel better about yourself, your skin is improving, your clothes are fitting better – WHY DO WE CARE WHAT THE SCALES SAY? This is the sad truth about today’s diet culture. It can take a while for the scales to move, but we are obsessed with wanting it all now. That’s why shakes and pills are around.
Yes that stupid diet plan will help you lose 4kg in 2 weeks, but why does that matter when you feel terrible doing it. If you aren’t able to enjoy the things you love doing while on that diet, and this woman loves her fitness and boxing, it isn’t sustainable! That’s how these gyms work, they make you lose a crapload of weight in a short period of time on their challenge, then you rebound and pay them again. I can’t stand it. I want to improve your life, improve your understanding of health, nutrition, fitness, so you can do this on your own!
There is an amazing video that inspired me so much in my fitness journey, that I even periodically watch it to remind and inspire myself. The video is a Crossfit based video of 4amazing women, its entitled “Beauty in Strength” (check out the video!). They all talk about setting performance goals which will eventually get you where you want to be.
This video has always stuck with me, because it’s true. Our weight is not the complete picture. Yes it’s a way to track your progress (loosely), but grab a notebook, let’s start tracking your workouts. Make note of your fitness tests. Look at your nutrition, track your nutrition, SET SOME PERFORMANCE GOALS. Most people get into a fitness routine in the pursuit of weight loss (I know I did), but we should be pursuing strength and fitness. Feeling healthy, fit and strong feels AMAZING… you can bring the shopping in in 1 trip, you can carry the tantruming child out of the shop, you can run around with your kids, you can do the stuff a lot of us wait for our significant other on – NOW THAT IS A MEASURABLE GOAL!
Please don’t see this as a “go eat whatever you want and train, it’ll be good” message. Notice I never said that, track your nutrition. Eat well. Enjoy that treat once a week. Please don’t look at weight as a measure of health… not only for the reasons above, but the mental health effects of not seeing that number go down are HUGE. So for the sake of your mental and physical health – THROW AWAY THE SCALE.
We have another challenge kicking off soon, so let’s start sustainable change.