When people begin their weight loss journey or their new approach to a healthier lifestyle they usually begin by weighing themselves. That isn’t a bad thing, I often weigh my Rebells as part of their assessments, as well as body fat percentage and measurements. This is just to get an idea as to where they are starting at before they start training with me. After our first initial weigh in we don’t talk about the number on the scale, we focus more on how we are feeling and what’s changing in our lives.
The reason I say fuck the scale is because of how little it tells you. The scale shows you a number, it doesn’t take into consideration your fat free mass aka your muscle, bones, organs, etc. it just shows a number. We get so heavily consumed by what this measurement is showing us that we forget what we’ve accomplished. Let’s say you weigh 200lbs and you start training, three weeks later you are now 197lbs, you’ve made progress and you are still not happy, why? The scale didn’t take into consideration the hard work you put in, it didn’t measure the early mornings, the self-discipline you taught yourself, how more energetic you are, and it sure as hell doesn’t measure the strength you’ve gained. All of these great accomplishments are taken away by taking a step on the scale and seeing a number that you were anticipating, but didn’t see. Some benefits that the scale isn’t able to measure is how you can fit into those old pair of jeans again, shirts begin to fit loosely, you gain more confidence in your appearance, and so much more!
There are a number of reasons why we should lose weight and maintain a healthy body composition, but the public is sadly misinformed about weight loss, and believes that it only happens with high intensity workouts and tons of cardio. Weight loss is achievable with strength training, which is often a misunderstood form of training to lose weight. Another popular myth about weight loss is that you need to do fasted cardio to target fat loss. Those concepts hold some truth, but I would like to explain a few things about weight loss. Weight loss happens with strength training, wait what? Weights get a bad rep because people believe that it will make them bulky and huge, and that is a big LIE. It takes years of serious strength training and a big emphasis on your nutrition to get “Big & Bulky”.
Free weights are a far more efficient way of making weight loss happen. You strengthen the bones, joints, muscles and much more when you begin to use weight-bearing exercises, this also allows for you to build muscle, and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn because your body will be using more energy to move. Incorporating strength training will also help you with increasing your metabolism, your muscles become denser and require more energy to fuel them. As you increase your caloric intake to fuel these sweet new gains, your metabolism will be working harder as well, which means your body will be burning calories faster.
Using cardio for fat loss is achievable, but to get quicker results you should start moving some weights around. When people think of cardio and fat loss, they believe that fasted cardio is the best way to go. The reason fasted cardio isn’t a good idea is because your body needs fuel to function and move. When the body is depleted of fuel it goes straight to the muscles for that energy. The body takes away from what it thinks it doesn’t need, as much as we wish we could tell our body to use our fat as fuel, it uses the muscles. The body will take away from the muscles because it requires more energy (calories) to have, so it’ll store fat because it’s easy to store and it holds energy. Do your best to avoid fasted cardio to maintain your muscle mass.
Where should our focus be when we want to lose weight, and start our journey to a healthier life? We should focus on what our goals will be, but the most important thing to do is change our mindset in a different direction, rather than being an “ideal weight” or “ideal size”, let’s focus on being the best person we can be for ourselves. YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER!!! No matter what that number says on the scale, it doesn’t determine who you are as a person, again fuck the scale! Your mentality should be on your health, both physical and mental aspects of health. This will allow for you to have a clear mind of what exercise can do for you, it’s not about beating your body up because you want to look this way, it should be about loving yourself enough to make your life better.
Focus on the journey, look at the small strides of where you started to where you will be in a month, six months, a year, etc. An example of thriving on small strides could be walking up a flight of stairs that used to be taxing and embarrassing because of your lack of breath, but now you have the energy and strength to conquer them with pride! Another example is having more energy to play with your kids, you no longer have to watch from a distance, you get to actually join them! Weight loss will happen when you start strength training, don’t let this amazing journey of self-care and love be consumed by what the scale said, you are more than that. Training should make you feel strong, beautiful, confident, proud, empowered, and so many other great things! When you let go of the idea of this ideal weight, you see what training can really do for you.
Being strong is something everyone should feel; this is possible with a health mindset of knowing that the scale is not determining who you are. You should notice how day to day tasks are getting easier, carrying groceries is not as hard, you can put a shirt on pain free, tying your shoes without having to prop your foot up for support, these are the key winners here! Training is caring enough about yourself to take care of your health, not being a certain size. I am not against weight loss, I am all for it, but only if it is done safely and with more intent on improving the quality of your life.