Standard. Simple. Clear.
A standard method whenever you decide to work on your fitness or nutrition is measuring your body weight. 98% of people want fat loss when they embark on their journey - irrespective of trying a new diet or joining a gym. The other 2% are aliens in disguise who want to work on adding a new habit with no ulterior motives.
Measuring your body weight is a simple, clear tool. There's little confusion about progress/results. There are minimal guidelines about using it. There's only one thing to keep track of.
And yet, I've seen this tool shatter confidence, destroy self-image, and drive people to tears. Most times, it is the same people who repeat this self-flagellation routine.
Measuring your body weight is a tool. Not a validation mechanism. Not a goal. Not the light at the end of the rainbow.
If you are going to the gym because you want to lose weight, it makes sense to measure your weight before you start. And for the next few weeks or months.
If you started a new diet, likewise.
In fact, there's a case to be made for measuring your body weight every week, for the rest of your life. But not if it hurts you.
Making it more than what it is
But unfortunately, when we mistake a tool to be something it is not, we hurt ourselves. We harm ourselves. We dig a hole so deep that it feels impossible to come out of. We tell ourselves a story that we believe it truly.
A tool is simply a device used to carry out a particular function. And the function is to tell you what your body weight is.
But the association of how good a person you are, how good you should feel about yourself, how much you should berate yourself, how much harder you should work at the gym, how much starvation you are going to endure - that's all coming from somewhere inside of you. It is years of programming, of society, of seeing other people's words and actions (towards themselves and towards you).
Easier said than done. But you need to break out of seeing the tool for more than what it is.
If you are working on a diet, or want to lose weight by adding physical activity to your routine - measure your body weight. It makes sense. It tells you which direction you are going towards.
If you want to improve the measurement, measure your chest, waist, hip, and thigh circumference as well. Especially if you are including resistance training in your routine, asyou might add muscle and lose fat. The scale won't change but the circumference will.
But stop aiming for a number - it is random. Because 11 years ago, you were at that number and you got a lot of compliments. Or 17 years ago, you were that number and fit into your favourite pair of jeans. Or 3 years ago, you were at that number and you felt great about yourself.
How do I feel
What you are looking for, what we are all looking for is "Do I feel good?"
And that's going to come from inside. Not from a number. Not from external validation.
Use the tool for what it is.
Dig deeper. Find out what's bothering you. Until you do, you will:
- end up gaining and losing the same weight.
- expect to feel different and have your problems solved once you get to a certain weight.
- feel bad when you do not get to that number.
- hate yourself when you put on weight.
- lose self-confidence because you are not at that weight.
- and so much more.
You are all the validation you need.