CrossFit South Rockland

Friday, July 8, 2011

Attention Scale Addicts!

This one is for those of you with fat loss goals, and I’m not pulling any punches.  I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.  That is certainly not my intention.  At the risk of sounding sexist, the vast majority of “scale addiction” sufferers I have encountered have been women, but there are plenty of men in need of this advice:
Get off the scale!
Measuring gravity’s affect on your body, and then assuming that measurement to be relevant to your physical attractiveness is insanity.  Stop doing that.  Now!
I will concede that the scale can be a motivational tool in the first few weeks of paleo eating and proper exercise, but after that it quickly becomes worthless.  Please allow me to make a few points and try to play to your sense of reason.
  • If a woman or man is attractive, would they also be attractive on Jupiter?  They would weigh a lot more there.  Would they somehow be much hotter on the moon due to weighing much less?
  • Can you imagine answering the door when a blind date arrives and having them greet you with, “Wow!  You might actually be hot!  Can you step on this scale so I can know for sure?”
  • When I was a teenage boy trolling the mall in American Suburbia, we didn’t carry scales to weigh the young girls we drooled over.  We were capable of acting like complete idiots without need of such tools.
  • A new female client, 5 feet 5 inches tall, recently told me that she believed her ideal weight to be 115 lbs.  I asked her if she wanted to qualify that vision with anymore information and she said no.  So I clarified for her that what she was saying was essentially that all women who are 5 feet 5 inches tall and weigh 115 lbs have great bodies.  Of course that is utter nonesense.  There are, without question, very many women with those numbers that absolutely do not have great bodies.  It seems even more absurd if you apply the same logic to men.  Would anyone ever assume that all men look great at 5 feet 11 inches and 180 lbs?  Dear God, No!  Think chicken legs and pot belly.
  • Most of us have been in love at some point.  Remember the beginning?  Remember when your love interest was so smitten with you that they barely touched the ground when they walked?  Did they know what you weighed?  Nope.
  • According to scale addiction logic, there are men all over the world right now who are frustrated with Playboy Magazine to the point of screaming.  Playboy gives all the relevant measurements of their centerfolds, except weight.  “Damn you Playboy!  How can I tell if this woman is beautiful if you won’t tell me what she weighs?!?”
Have I made my point?  The bottom line is that the scale just doesn’t have any really valuable information for you.  Everyone has heard the obligatory “muscle weighs more than fat” ad nauseum, but scale addiction lives on.  Even though, as I pointed out above, weight says virtually nothing about attractiveness, it continues to be the primary focus of most women and many men when it comes to aesthetic goals.
My advice to you if you have aesthetic goals: remember that humans are first and foremost visual creatures.  Take circumferance measurements, or just make note of clothing sizes.  Why circumferance measurements?  Because you can see them.  Maybe take a “before” picture of yourself and compare it to the body in the mirror from time to time.  If your fitness level improves (more strength, power, speed), and you drop a pant size, is your weight important?  If you really think about it, a rational person would be totally willing to gain a few pounds in exchange for losing an inch in their squishy spots.
You can have a healthier perspective.  Don’t obsess over the stuff that doesn’t really matter.  Be rational when prioritizing your benchmarks and you can stay on track without pulling your hair out in patches.  Just something to think about.

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