Friday, April 5, 2013

By the Numbers, My Weight on the Scale

by Kris Pitcher

With a solid 11 weeks under my belt and ten more to go you might be surprised to know, I don't usually know my numbers. I don't know what I weight, how much my body fat percentage is, how many grams of protein I eat...none of it.

I don't know. I just do the work. My coach assesses my progress and we make adjustments, or not. When things are working, you don't change them. But at the point we are now, we are working to slow things down.

How? Well, we can do lots of different things. And one of the things we thought was important was to look at the numbers so we could assess how those changes impact me. If we cut a day of cardio, how does that impact me?

Or, if we add carbs...what does that do to my numbers? We needed a baseline. But it had literally been weeks, a month, since we'd done a body comp.

Why? Because it doesn't matter. If I look different, I look different. The trained eye can see the differences each week. Then every other week we may even have my husband's coach look at me. Two coaches starring me down...

But those of you still getting on the scale every day, enough already. Change takes time. Solid time, day in and day out doing all the right things. You won't see big swings, or progress in just a few days, or a week even. You need lasting changes to make lasting shifts.

This is a long process, and eventually you're splitting hairs looking at the numbers. Is that skinfold 6mm, or 5mm? Will it change to 4mm? Eventually, it doesn't matter. What matters is how you continue to look.

Do you look like you're making progress? Are you losing fat? Are you keeping your muscle? Are you flat? Are your muscles staying full? Do you look stringy? What happens when you refeed with carbs? What do you look like?

If you're 10% body fat and you don't look right, what's the point? You could be 13% and look phenomenal. Great! But if the number trips you up, would you be unhappy? My 12% will look completely different than yours. We can't compare our numbers.

The numbers, after a certain point, don't matter. If I could be 10 pounds heavier and hit the stage looking tighter, great! I have no preconceived notion of what I'll weigh this year based on my stage weight last year. (I won't be 10 pounds heavier, maybe a couple.)

And you should let the numbers go too. They don't matter, they are holding you hostage, they are playing the ultimate head game. Your scale weight makes no difference to anyone. When was the last time anyone even asked you how much you weigh?

I left my 12 pound Dansko shoes on the last time I was at the doctor's office because the whole thing is just a joke. OK, maybe they aren't 12 pounds...but they are heavy. No one cares what you weigh. And frankly, neither should you.

Your goal should be to be as heavy as possible with the best body composition. That means carrying the most amount of muscle and the appropriate amount of fat. Get over your numbers and get over a mental hurdle that is keeping you from making progress.

Start letting the way you look, how you feel in your clothes and the way your body feels tell you if you are on track or not. You are not a number on the scale. Me? I'll go without knowing my numbers for weeks from here on out. You can do it too!

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