Yes, you read that right. Some of you are more than likely sliding your mouse to the back button thinking "this guy calls himself a trainer...how could I not care about my weight?" But before you get your sweet new Under Armour panties in a bunch, hear me out...
I get it, we all have an ideal weight we would like to be. Some of us want to gain, most of us want to lose. So we hop on the scale every morning, heart racing, hoping that because we walked past the Dunkin Donuts box in the office yesterday, we will magically shed that extra pound or two. The scale blinks in a taunting manner as if to say "don't waste your time", and somehow, you're up an extra pound or two...
How does that even happen...???
Discouraged and pissed off, you get ready for work, head downstairs, have your sugar filled bowl of cereal and get on with your day. You were going to have a couple of eggs with a piece of fruit, but what's the use? It seems like no matter how hard you try, the universe wants you to hate your body forever. And so the cycle starts anew. You give up for awhile, get fed up, try to lose weight, become obsessed with the scale, get frustrated when you don't lose anything, then return to your old habits. You are not alone my friend!
But let's think about this for a second. What would happen if you didn't hop on the scale that morning and continued with your exercise routine and healthy eating? You wouldn't have gotten discouraged, and the momentum would have kept rolling. This is the problem with focusing on your weight. The number you see on your scale is just that and only that...a number. Representative of absolutely nothing significant other than the force that gravity exerts on your body.
Just to give you a little insight into how useless the number on the scale can be, let's look at the legend himself. During his bodybuilding career, Arnold would regularly compete at about 235lb. Standing at 6'2" that puts makes him obese with a BMI of 30.2. Now, I am not saying BMI is an accurate way to determine how healthy an individual actually is, rather I am trying to prove the point that even with a BMI in the range of obese, one can become Mr. Olympia and that weight is indicative of very little.
Now, most of us are not aspiring bodybuilders, we really just want to shed a few pounds and move better. This is why focusing on the process and not the results is incredibly important. The number on the scale represents the result, the process is comprised of sound nutrition and a solid workout program.
It's a similar mindset to raising kids. If you only focus on your child's grades (results) that your child gets instead of focusing on instilling the right values and developing a good person (process), your child will probably act out in a way that is counter to what you hoped for. When you focus on the process the results tend to take care of themselves.
Even with the aforementioned argument, I do think it is important to know yourself. If you know how your brain operates and the scale is your biggest motivator, then by all means hop on that bad boy as much as you need to. But in my experience as a trainer, when it comes to working with clients who want to lose weight, obsessing over the scale can be detrimental to ones goals.
So next time you find yourself obsessing over the number on your scale, try taking a month off and during that month put all of your energy and willpower into committing to your exercise routine and healthy eating habits. I guarantee the results will take care of themselves.
Peace & Strength