The only times I can recall checking my weight in my adulthood was during my pregnancies. Prior to it and after it, I may have checked on routine medical check ups a couple of times, but it never registered in my mind!
‘Weight’ was something I had NEVER thought of or considered for a major portion of my life as I had zero knowledge or interest about health & fitness.
In early 2018, my husband, Vijay, motivated me to lead a more active lifestyle. After a lot of push, I commenced walking & gradually enrolled myself in a gym. I weighed 80 Kgs. 2019-Early 2020, I used to spend nearly 1.5 to 2 hrs in the gym. And even during that period I checked my weight only a couple of times since the gym keeps a periodic record of its members. Because I kept no track of my weight, I don’t know if all that gymming made any difference and neither was there any noticeable difference!
During that phase, when anyone enquired about my weight, I would emphatically say,
“I am not keen on weight-loss. I am concentrating only on an active lifestyle! How much I weigh does not matter!”
It is only now, I am beginning to understand the deep seated emotions that triggered that statement.
- I was too scared to check my weight
- I knew I was overweight and I had no hope of shedding it
- I feared: What if I weigh more than the last time despite all my intense workouts, then I will lose interest to workout. I am at least being active. Why mess it up!
So when I made the statement that “I do not care about my weight!”, while I wholeheartedly believed it at that point in time, I now realise that it was me trying to hide from the harsh truth!
Around June 2020, a couple of months into the lockdown, a group of photographer friends and I joined together and started a fitness accountability WhatsApp group. It was at that time I gathered the courage to intentionally check my weight. I was 76 Kgs (weighed 78 in March 2020). I learnt that the ideal weight for my body type was between 55-60 Kgs.
I started consistently working out and practiced Intermittent Fast (I will share about both in detail in my future posts!). I began to check my weight on a weekly basis. Slowly and steadily I started noticing the scales change!
Here are a few things I have learnt along the way. This knowledge changed my perception of ‘weight’ and it constantly helps me pursue my fitness journey in a mindful manner!
#1 Weight Transcends Appearance
Weight has always been viewed through the lens of ‘appearance’. It is the most common scale, alongside skin color, that is used to gauge how good-looking and appealing a person is!
Hence, when a person does not fall under the ideal-good-looking weight, the only way of escape or self defense for that individual is to ignore that parameter! Earlier, I used to say, ‘I dont care about my weight!’ because at that point in time I used to view weight through the lens of appearance!
As the ‘appearance’ factor always ends up drawing all the attention, the real issue of how weight plays a crucial role in health gets hardly addressed and barely noticed!
#2 Weight & Health Go Hand-in-Hand
Weight influences health & vice versa. Maintaining a healthy weight is fundamental for good health and longevity. Pardon my ignorance, but I was genuinely shocked when I learnt that weight was directly related to the following risks:
- Cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, stroke
- Some types of Cancers
#3 Weight & Mental Health Go Hand-in-Hand
Did you know that the inflammatory chemicals produced by excess body fat increases hormones associated with stress and suppresses feel-good hormones?
According to statistics, 43% of adults with depression are obese, and adults with depression are more likely to be obese than adults without depression. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db167.htm)
Personally, I can vouch my physical transformation journey has greatly improved my mental and emotional health. Factors such as being active, feeling & looking good in my own eyes has increased my confidence and zest for life (No matter how good a person may appear to others, if they don’t look and feel good about themselves, it is a miserable state to be in!)!
#4 The Scale Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
Often the scale does not reflect all the changes happening in our body. One could be losing fat and gaining muscle. One Kg of fat occupies more space than 1 Kg of muscle. Hence, I do not solely rely on the scale to gauge my progress. I maintain an excel sheet of my body measurements to keep track of the parts of my body that are showing progress and areas that need more love and attention! Here is the Body Measurement Tracker I use.
#5 The Mind Needs to Be Told Where to Take Your Body
I am a strong believer in the power of our mind. Ask any person who has been on a weight-loss/physical transformation journey and they will tell you, it is entirely mind over matter!
The first step to kick start the engine of our mind is by telling it what ideal weight we would like to achieve. Not figuring out our ideal weight is like not keying in our destination on Google Maps!
For two whole years, 2018-2020, although I was slogging in the gym for nearly two hours a day, I saw no visible progress because I did not weigh/measure myself. And since I had no clue about that, I had no control of how much I was eating post workout. I did not know where to draw the line. I was going in circles with absolutely no direction!
It is when I fed my mind with the goal weight I wanted to achieve, I started seeing real progress. I soon began to pay close attention to watch I was eating and what type of workouts I was doing.
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
In conclusion, I would like to share a few ground rules that follow when it comes to weighing/measuring myself:
- I check my weight only once a week. NOT daily. NOT multiple times a day. Moderation is key. Do not get overly obsessed. It drains the joy in the journey!
- I take my body measurements on a monthly basis.
- A weight tracker app & my body measurement excel sheet help me access my progress. It is also highly motivating on days when I don’t feel like working out to see how far I have come!
- I measure myself on the same day of the week/month, around the same time (in the mornings) with minimal light clothes when my bladder and tummy are empty!
If you are someone like me fearing weighing yourself, I encourage you to confront your fear.
Go find your weighing scale and measuring tape.
Your health & well-being matters.
Hence, your weight matters!
To embark on a journey, one first needs to know where they are and where they need to go. Maya Angelou said, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been!”