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Say No to the Scale

I named my business “Training With a Why” because I wanted to help people develop a different way of thinking about their fitness and really their life. If you take a moment to think about, it it’s amazing how many things we do daily in our lives without thinking or asking ourselves why. We become so accustomed to thinking or doing things a certain way that it becomes automatic.

As a trainer, I am constantly challenging my clients to find the why. I find that this not only gives them a better understanding of what it is that we are trying to accomplish but is also a great source of motivation. It is harder to give up when the reason you started in the first place is in the forefront of your mind. Reading this without context I can see how some people may have a hard time understanding how someone can forget why they are doing what they are doing. However, it is fairly common for me to see people lose track of their why.

A perfect example of this is the weight scale. P.S., if I don’t go on a ten-page rant about the weight scale I’ll consider that a win and be very proud of myself if not downright surprised. This is by far my biggest complaint as a trainer. My issue is not with the scale itself, it has done nothing wrong to me, my problem is with the people that give it too much power. The scale is a single tool that can be used as a guide. Notice the phrase, “a single tool” as it is just one of many tools that can be used to track progress and in my opinion it is the least important tool as well. It can be helpful to use every once in awhile to reaffirm we are on the correct path. However, for someone who loses track of their “Why” the scale can be their number one enemy.

When someone loses track of their “Why” and begins treating the scale as the single most important thing, my headaches as a trainer begin. I can go on and on about why giving the scale too much power is a bad thing. However, I have found that the problems begin before the workouts and diet plans even take form. People get their “Why” all screwed up. What is just as bad as not having a “Why” is having a poor understanding of what the why actually is. The following is an example of a conversation I’ve had at least a few hundred times with clients over the years helping them gain full understanding of their “Why.”

Client: “I want to start working out and eating healthier.”

Me: “Okay and why is this important to you?”

Client: “I would like to lose some weight.”

Me: “Okay and what is your goal weight”

Client: “I would like to weigh (Enter very specific number here)”

Me: “And why is this important to you?”

Client: “I got on the scale last week and couldn’t believe how much I weighed.  I used to weight x amount at (enter period of time here).”

Me: “Okay and why do you believe you have to weigh X amount?”

Client: “So I can look and feel better in my clothes, bathing suit, etc. etc.”

Me: “Ding, Ding, Ding!!! And there is the winner. That is your why! Not the specific number on the scale.”

I can see why asking “why” over and over again to my clients can become annoying, but what I am actually doing is getting to the very roots of their dreams and desires. The number on the scale is not the why. It is simply a tool in tracking the progress of the true why. It is my job to help people find and understand their true “Why” and then keep it in the forefront.

It is getting harder and harder to do this with all these 10-minute ab workouts and fad diets placing too much emphasis and power on what the scale says. I’ve had clients with goals of becoming stronger, or more lean, or healthier, or a big one is to look better in their clothes. So, we train and train and they continually improve their diet and sure enough they are getting stronger every day and their clothes are visibly fitting them better. They are feeling really good about themselves and then they step on the scale and are heartbroken that they have only lost 7 pounds. Are you freaking kidding me!

This is when I have to remind them of their “Why” and how they are achieving that why. It’s like the saying I have heard many times growing up about money. Find a job that you love and the money will come. In fitness, in regards to the number on the scale, keep inching closer to the true why and the weight will come. To close this article out, I have listed a few reasons below about why you should not give the scale too much power. I hope that this will entice you to possibly change about how you view fitness and your own goals and your why behind them.

Why The Weight Scale is Not the Answer
  • Everyone holds weight differently and you should not base your weight goals off of someone else.
  • Improvement can be made before change is visible on the scale.
  • Body weight fluctuates more than you realize.
  • It is not always a reliable tool for your state of “health”.
  • Muscle weighs more than fat.
  • The mirror is a much more reliable tool.
  • It can cause you to lose track of your why.

 

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