The weight loss industry is currently worth $20 billion, but Americans are more overweight than ever before. Many are quick to blame fast food, and food additives may be partially responsible. However, the main cause is that we are less active. Whereas humans used to toil in the field and hunt animals, we now toil over desks and hunt for typos. Even exercising an hour every day cannot negate that much sitting and inactivity! As a result, many people are struggling to lose or keep off the extra weight.
The weight itself isn’t the problem, however. Muscle weighs significantly more than fat, so a bodybuilder could be considered obese while someone with a body fat percentage of 40 could have a normal BMI. Additionally, other essential body parts, like bones, brains, water, and skin all weigh a certain amount. None of us wants to lose weight from our bones or brains! That’s why, if you want to trim down, you should destroy your scale– preferably with a sledgehammer. You could simply give it away, but destruction is a lot more fun.
It can certainly be useful to track progress in some form, especially if you’re embarking on a new diet or exercise plan, but a far more useful tool is a tape measure. Or better yet, use your mirror and your current wardrobe. The scale may tell you-you’re the same weight (or even that you’ve gained), but you’ll know you’re making progress if your clothes become looser over time. Don’t be fooled by the BMI. It was created by insurance companies as one more way for them to overcharge members. It was never meant to be used as a measure of health and fitness.
While we all want to fit into society’s definition of beauty, dieting and working out because you dislike your body tends to be ineffective. It’s much better to eat healthy foods and incorporate fitness into your day because you love your body and want to take care of it. Even better, if you can find ways to make exercise fun and part of your daily routine, you’ll have a lot more long-term success than someone who cries over beauty magazines on the elliptical. Needless to say, you’ll also be a lot happier and happier. Focus on becoming healthy, and the rest will follow before you know it.
For so many people, both men and women, our worth are tied to an arbitrary number on a scale. Scales aren’t even consistent! Try weighing yourself on three different scales in a row, and you’ll likely receive different numbers on each one. But even if your scale does accurately measure your weight, that number means very little in the grand scheme of things. Focus on your increasing speed or distance when running or swimming. Focus on what your tape measure, clothes, or mirror tell you. Focus on what the weight-lifting machines at your gym tell you. Or better yet, focus on the number of hours you spend helping others or providing for your family.
And seriously, smash your scale. It’s fun and cathartic. Just be sure to wear eye protection.