I’m writing this on National Donut Day. That would be June 7. So, if you knew about this, you could have gotten a free donut at Dunkin Donuts and some other chain that I forget the name of. As for me, I did NOT partake in National Donut Day, even though I have been known to crave donuts from time to time. In case you were wondering if donuts had their day, now you know. As usual, this has nothing to do with anything I want to write about.
I want to talk about scales. No, not the ones on lizards and snakes. Not the scales of justice. The ones people step on. Oh, how I loathe the scale. Not because of the numbers on it, if and when I step on it, but because of how much power people give that stupid number. It’s a number. And in many ways it is not a true representative of your level of fitness. Yet insurance companies and some doctors will insist that the number on the scale is the criteria by which you are deemed “healthy” or not. Some people see the number on their scale and it’s like a blow to the head – a pound or two or three in the wrong direction and they come undone. They may look amazing, be able to run, hike, climb, lift, row, keep up with their kids (which are much more important factors than looking good) – yet that stupid scale can crush them.
If you are trying to get healthier, lose some fat or just maintain, please don’t use your scale. Use your clothes. Use circumference measurements. Use how you feel. Go to the doctor and run some blood work and use those results, but do not rely solely on the scale. I have been two sizes smaller than I am now and I weighed virtually the same – somewhere in the 190-195 range.
Look at Pam Adams, Jarret and Thomas. Yeah, they are lean and healthy, but according to the BMI scale (heigh/weight ratio) Pam and Jarret are obese or bordering on obese. Thomas is morbidly obese! Go ahead and tell Thomas he’s fat to his face – I dare you! How can this be? Because if you are putting on some lean tissue and losing fat odds are the scale will not move too much or it will go up. And that’s a good thing. Lean tissue is the magic that keeps us strong, healthy, effiecient fuel users. And that number on the scale? It’s just a number. It’s not telling you much.
I challenge anyone out there to ditch the scale for a month. Use your clothes as your guide instead if you need something as a ‘check and balance’ – make it a pair of jeans that fit just so. Eat real food, lift heavy things, do some interval training. Meditate. See how you feel. See how you feel when you are not a slave to a number which may not mean much when it comes to your health. See if you feel a bit more free.
See you in class and on the mat.
Slim Belly And Measure Tape by Petr Kratochvil