WritersButt Wednesday – Is your scale the boss of you?
Happy Wednesday everyone.
I want to talk scales today, or more specifically, the common bad habit of routinely weighing yourself and placing a personal value on whatever that number is. Here at WritersButt, I try to relate health and fitness to writing and creativity. I know there are tons of blogs out there, fabulous blogs solely focused on fitness and/or nutrition. So as I pondered the topic of scales, I tried to figure out how I could relate what I’m about to say to a writer’s soul.
This topic comes up a lot in my daily life, mainly with CrossFit clients or friends lamenting the fact that they ‘can’t lose weight’ or ‘want to lose 5, 10, 25, 50+ pounds’. What they typically mean is that they want to be smaller, leaner, fitter. I’m here to say that you can be all those things and not lose an ounce. Or maybe you will lose some weight, but it will be a byproduct of getting stronger, fitter, healthier … not the goal itself.
Now, if you legitimately are ‘overweight’ as in classified ‘obese’, you might need an occasional weigh-in to make sure you’re on course, but I still believe by proper nutrition and smart fitness, you will not need to know how much you weigh to know you are making progress. Your clothes will start getting loose. Your entire shape will be changing. You will walk up a flight of stairs without breathing heavy. You will sleep better, have healthy bowel movements and all that fantastic stuff.
What is dangerous about weighing yourself often is that many people place too much value on that number. They step onto that square thing and have a visceral reaction to whatever digit pops up, as a personal value. Most often this reaction causes stress. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol.
(excerpt from link above)
“ … stress can cause the body to produce too much cortisol which can play a role in craving “comfort” foods, overeating, feeling fatigued, and storing excess body fat.”
If you take one thing away from my blog today, I hope it is to see and believe that how much you weight does not dictate how good/bad, fit/fat you appear. To illustrate my point, check out this amazing image that has made the rounds on Facebook. I wish I could find out where this was originally posted so I could directly link to the source, which I bet has a wonderful story behind it.
So, tell me, would you rather the scale read 10 pounds lighter and have the body on the left, or does that 10 pounds not matter so much if you have the body on the right? It’s all about your body fat percentage and not about how much you weigh.
Again, I’m not referring to people who are dangerously overweight to the point where it is risking their health and life. I’m talking to people who fixate over the desire/need to lose 5-10 pounds. You know, you can lose 5 pounds in a few days. Drastically cut your calories and water intake and in a few days you’ll be lighter. And hungry. And dehydrated. And sluggish. And constipated. And probably pretty darn grouchy.
Ah, I was going to relate this to writing, wasn’t I?
All right, so take that amazing book you’ve written. It’s published. It’s on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, raking in the reviews. The plot of your book is its soul, it’s core and foundation, much like your own mind, heart and soul. Your book’s words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters are its life source, much like your nutrition and fitness.
I’m going to ask you to blur the lines between subjective and objective here for a moment. Even though a number on a scale is objective, the value you attach to it as it pertains to your body image is subjective.
With that in mind, I ask you to recognize that no book gets all 5 star reviews. You’ll have some 3’s, some 4.5’s maybe even some 2’s or GASP some crazy gives you 1 star. Does each one of those stars change what your book is? Is it better when it gets a 5 or does it automatically suck when it gets a 2? Of course not.
Your book is awesome. It’s strong. It’s beautiful. It’s funny. It’s vibrant. It’s soulful.
Just like YOU ARE.
And NO number on a scale or star from a review will change that.
Now, everyone turn in your scales to me! Come on. You do not need them to know if what you’re doing is right for your body and mind. Eat clean. Be Active. Hydrate. Sleep. Be Grateful. Your results will shine through YOU, not a number on a machine.
Do not let a scale have any power over you; make you think less of yourself, or a failure in any way. You are more awesome than a meaningless number. You are the boss. The scale is your minion. It must be banished!