And more importantly, why are you so concerned about it?  I will tell  you why.  It’s because we have been fed over the years and driven to the point of the scale being the only measurable marker of fitness success.  Societal stigmas, mass marketing and shows like The Biggest Loser have given us the undeniable opinion that whatever else you do does not matter.  It doesn’t matter if you now buy pants that are 2 sizes smaller or that you can do 15 push ups when you could only do 3 before.  All of that is irrelevant if the scale has not moved in the downward direction.  The issue with this is that it creates unrealistic expectations of what fitness should be.  Fitness is about feeling better and being healthier.  Now, for some people, this could be accomplished with some weight loss.  With over 1/2 of the American population qualifying as overweight, it’s an undeniable fact.  However, this is not the only tool that we should measure by.  Health is better measured by more tangible things, like body composition and circumference measurements.  Let me give you and example, and I swear that I could not make this conversation up.  It happened years ago when I was training at a small studio.

Client: “Nick, I need to talk to you.  I’m totally frustrated.”

Me: “What’s up?”

Client: “Well, we’ve been working together for 3 months here, and I’m extremely frustrated that my weight now is the same as it was then.  Not even budged.”

Me (sighing, and probably rolling my eyes a little): “OK, but let’s look at something else.  How do your clothes fit now?”

Client: “Well, I was just able to put on a pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in 3 years….” (coming to a realization).

This was an honest to gosh conversation.  Those of you who know me, know that I’m not nearly smart enough to make something like that up.  Had my client lost “weight”, no.  But who cared?  Her measurements had all improved in the right places and she looked and felt so much better than she really ever had.  Isn’t that a measure of success?  People who suffer from legitimate eating disorders lose weight.  By that definition, they should be the healthiest people on earth.  But that’s just silly, because it’s just not true.  We need to re-shape our opinion on what drives success.  And programs that focus their entire value on what the scale says are foundationally flawed.  Think about that the next time you step on the scale.

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