I remember reading the comic Garfield as a kid and remember his struggle with the weight on the scale.

I remember reading the comic Garfield as a kid and remember his struggle with the weight on the scale.

We're here to chat about a prevalent theme in the arena of health and fitness:  the coupling of body measurements with our worth as humans.

"I don't care about the number on the scale."

"I'm not worried about how much I weigh, just..."

"Oh, I know the number on the scale doesn't matter."

Have you heard or said one of the above?

While these statements are not dangerous in-and-of themselves, they can be covering up a darker issue dwelling beneath the surface.  

How do you define success in health? How do you define your self-worth?

While I could sit here and attempt to rattle off the characteristics or inherent traits which determine your self-worth, waxing philosophical and attempting to quantify the nature of being--I'm not going to do that (yay!). I believe it's beneficial to attempt to answer those questions (to a point =P), but it's not the theme of this blog post...for the most part.

It is important, though, to take a moment to think about just how you define your success in the realm of health and wellness. Is it a body weight? Is at a particular body image? Is it a dress or shirt size?

Now think about the two ends of each of the easily quantifiable data above:  higher body weight vs lower body weight, high dress/shirt size vs low dress/shirt size.  Is one "good" and the other "bad"? If yes, then by extension, what does that make you?

As the title states--you are not your body weight. You are also not your Body Mass Index (BMI) score, your body fat percentage (BF%), or your Lean Body Mass (LBM). In the same vein, you're not even your cholesterol levels, your blood pressure, or your resting heart rate.

More than any one number.

Each of these measurements is a static, immobile snapshot of an aspect of your health at any given moment. It doesn't tell us where you want to be or where you're going, only where you are at the moment the measurement was taken. 

What is Fitness? - CFJ, Oct 2002

What is Fitness? - CFJ, Oct 2002

Additionally, one biomarker in-and-of itself is unlikely to tell a complete story, just as one letter doesn't comprise a full sentence.  But with enough breadth of data taken across varying time, a picture or trend in health emerges.

That trend should be what we are using to determine whether our actions to improve health are indeed bringing us closer to or pushing us further away from our goals.

The knee jerk reaction.

Because I state that you are more than your body metrics (and I am not the first to do so by a long shot), don't misinterpret that those measurements are not useful. They are. But they need to be read contextually, integrating together all available data and considering the actions taken to mitigate or change unfavorable data sets.

Coupling body metric data with awareness of what and how much we are eating as well as what and how much we are exercising gives a more accurate equation for controlling the trend we see. Are you gaining weight? What do your nutrition (in terms of the quantity and quality of food ingested) and activity (in terms of strength training and cardio-respiratory endurance) look like? If you don't have objective, quantifiable answers (i.e. answering with significantly more detial than "pretty good") to either of those questions...that's most likely where you need to spend some time.

Bringing it all together.

So again, you're not your body weight, body fat percentage, or BMI. For that matter you're not your ACT/SAT score, your career title, or the amount of money you have in the bank either (I'm starting to feel like Tyler Durden, here).  Each is a characteristic or facet of your humanity.

 

If you don't like one or multiple of your individual biometrics listed in this article, do you wanna hear the really good news?

 

You have the opportunity to change it.

 

Unsure where to start?

1. Part 1: Dieting Success Tips

2. Part 2: Dieting Success Tips

3. Setting Up a Sensible Plan

 

Still need some help? Set up an appointment, give us a call, or shoot us an email. We love to help.

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