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? 🙂