10 In crossfit/ fitness/ health/ who am I

The weight on my barbell – interesting, the weight of my body – not so interesting

Muscles

When I first started Crossfit it was really hard mentally to handle the fact that I started to gain weight. I could still fit into my clothes (still can) and felt great but just the fact that the number on the scales was going up was hard to handle.

Women are so defined by the number on the scales like that. Most of us know that it makes no sense but we just cannot shake that emotional connection that easily. We have been defined by our weight since were were teenagers, we read magazines where every person who’s talked about in any remotely-fitness related context is defined by their weight, we weigh ourselves often, we feel the need to check that number… just.in.case.  I no longer do these things but it wasn’t long ago that I still did.

On Sunday I went to a regular gym for a workout. It was raining and the boys went swimming there anyway so I decided to check it out. It was dark and lacked fresh air (or actually – ANY air) and the bazillion mirrors everywhere made me so disoriented… but – normal gyms are not my scene so I won’t moan too much. Some people must like these places.

After my run / row / KB swings / squat cleans, I spotted a fancy machine in the corner that measures you in all kinds of ways and then prints out a ticket with all the numbers.  I haven’t measured myself in any way for a while so I stepped on.

I looked at my ticket and thought “66.5kg, body fat 21.1% – I’m da bomb!”   No, I don’t actually say things like ‘da bomb’, even quietly in my head, but that was the gist of my thought. Just because when I started Crossfit 2.8 years ago I weighed barely 60kg but my body fat was over 26%.

When it comes to my weight, since the age of 16 or 17 I’ve tried to hover around that ‘perfect’ number of 60kg. It’s been a good weight for me, one where I’ve felt comfortable in my skin. For quite a few years in my 20s, during my American Years, I went up to more than 75kg. A few rounds of serious yo-yo-ing later it finally stabilised again around 60kg when I moved to Australia and started cycling at least 10km a day. Then I had a baby and at one point weighed just 58kg – all due to breastfeeding and walking a marathon every day because the child would only sleep when in motion in the pram.

Now my weight’s been going up and up and up since I started lifting weights at Crossfit and I’m almost 67kg.  For someone who’s a) been overweight, b) is an emotional eater (yup, still am), c) has even at one point been diagnosed with an eating disorder (those American Years of mine were not great when it comes to my health) – it’s amazing that I’m absolutely and totally not bothered by the fact that I am no longer at my ‘perfect’ weight of 60kg.

Sometimes no matter how much we hear ‘muscle weighs more than fat’, we still have emotional ties to the number on the scales and STILL for no rational reason feel awful when the number goes up.

Right now I am proud to say how much I weigh. It’s just a number and it doesn’t have any emotions connected to it. There are plenty of numbers in my life that have emotions connected to them but they are all good emotions – like the number 92.5kg – the amount of weight I back squatted this morning. Told you – #dabomb!

Once you get excited about what your body can DO, you no longer put emphasis on how your body looks or what its measurements are.

What’s your relationship with the scales like? Has it been a rocky rollercoaster ride like mine? Have you tossed it out the window yet? 🙂

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Noel
    June 3, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Great post. It’s not only women who feel trapped by the numbers on the scales by the way. Sometimes there’s a shift of focus to obsessing about body fat% rather than overall weight, but that’s still not healthy.
    Being happy in the skin you are in is a great message. In fact it’s THE message. Well done for reminding us.

    • Reply
      MrsB
      June 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I can see how Crossfitters could get obsessed with body fat % but thankfully where we do Crossfit, the focus is very much on function and performance, and not on looks or body fat %. At least that’s how I perceive the environment, even the extremely good looking beefcakes are very casual and humble about it 😉

  • Reply
    Maie Moussa
    June 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    great post and you look great ! I used to do heptathlon back home for years so i needed muscles.I became more conscious about my muscles when i came here and fall in love ,i didn’t want to have bigger muscles than my husband i guess hahaha.Many years on i took up kickboxing and oo gosh after 6 months i had to quit it because my muscles bumped up so fast i had to get new wardrobe on chest department:)

    • Reply
      MrsB
      June 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Heptathlon! Very cool. I wonder why I never got into sport ‘back home’, I wonder why no gym teacher ever saw that I could be a good little athlete? 🙂

      When I got married I was bigger than my husband but not because of muscles 🙂 Now he’s into Crossfit as well so I don’t have to worry about having bigger guns than him. Whew. (not that HE or I would actually care if I did have bigger guns than him 🙂

  • Reply
    Beki @MissWheezy
    June 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Great attitude! And what awesome percentages 🙂 I deliberately don’t talk about weight on my blog, as I really don’t think it’s healthy to obsess over it – yes, I could probably do with being a bit slimmer but I’d rather train for a 10k PB, cycle in the sunshine and and play with some kettlebells than worry about dieting etc.

    • Reply
      MrsB
      June 4, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Human beings come in so many different shapes and sizes and abilities, yet so often it’s thought that you have to be one certain size to be considered ‘sporty’ or run at a certain speed or lift a certain amount of weight… It’s weird, really, why would we all want to be the same??? 🙂 Like you said – focusing on keeping our particular body healthy and having FUN is what it’s all about.

  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    June 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Great post! I doubt there are many women out there in our kind of culture where body weight and body image doesn’t matter to them. It’s sadly a fact of nature and our reality today. Kudos for getting to a happy place with yours. And WOWZA to the squat weight!
    I weigh myself once a week more just to keep an eye on things – not losing too much weight with running, not gaining too much weight with cake eating – the kind of balance I like 😉

    • Reply
      MrsB
      June 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      I think that happy place comes with age 🙂 (finally, a BENEFIT to getting older!) In my 20s and early 30s it mattered to me a lot what The World thought of my looks but now I can’t think why I should care what a bunch of Randoms thinks about my body! 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie G
    June 3, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I really like it when strong, fast, fit women (like you!) post and say ‘Hey, I have this glorious able, lean body and I’m proud of it’.
    Because I got so sick with the obsession surrounding being ‘thin’, I’m not light and I never will be..In fact I was pretty much the same weight etc as you when I met my fella and he wishes I was still that size. However due to training, change in lifestyle etc I’m not and clearly this is where my body is content right now…yet it’s been a terrible relationship..from 13st 10lbs to 9st 3lb (which is really ageing/a little too thin on me!) and everything in between. When I don’t jump on the scales, I’m happy & that suits me just fine…
    I wrote about my weight/body fat/not being ‘light’ here: http://cakevsscales.com/2015/03/26/i-am-not-the-8-stone-girl/

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