Sunday, March 02, 2008

My relationship with my scales
I am about to contradict a heap of things that I believe and have said about what the scales mean. I know that Liz, and other very smart people, will tell you that the scales are simply a tool that make up part of a system to track progress in your weight loss/gain/maintenance programs. They don't provide any indication of body composition, which is afterall what we really need to measure.
However my scales and I are very close, so close in fact that I travel with them and I am sure they loved our recent trip to NZ! My scales are a very key partner in my competiton preparations, and will be used as often as 4 times a day and up to 10 times in the last few days before a comp.
I am a weight class athlete, and this means that I need to be under a certain scale weight 2 hours before each competition. What I weigh 1 hour before or 1 hour after is totally irrelevant. My scales are callibrated to within 50gms of accuracy so I know they are correct. I can tell you how much weight I can drop over night, how much weight a meal will increase the scale, how long before that weight drops again, and how drinking or not drinking water over a 24 hour period will increase/decrease scale weight. I know the foods that increase my scale weight, how DOMS and menstrual cycles effect my scale weight. I can put on or drop 2 kgs in 24 hours, but I haven't put on or lost 2kgs of fat. So you see the scale is a measure of weight at that time and that is all it is. It is an inanimate tool.
Right now I am 7 weeks out from comp and I have stalled at 60kgs. I am loosing bf, but not scale weight. I don't hate myself for not "loosing weight", I just report back to Krista saying I am frustrated at this plateau and she looks for potential causes and comes up with a new plan. Right now I am frustrated as I am 100% compliant on my diet, however it is not me that needs a kick it is the diet, or the supplementation.
In the off season I rarely weigh myself as there is no use for this tool, I do however track body fat measurements as my body composition is important to me. So when people as me what I weight I usually tell them my body fat % - what is the point of me saying that I am 60kgs when I have 8kgs more muscle than that average 60kg female of my height?
If you live by your scales as a measure of self worth, and if you have emotional reactions to the number that comes up it may be time to reconsider yor relationship with them. If you knew that last nights Asian food that had MSG in it added 800gms to your weight this morning, would you have a better day than if you thought you had put on 800gms (when all you had for dinner was asian vegetables and soup)?


Raechelle said...

Good post (as usual!)

Lisa said...

Thanks honey.....great legs!!

Helen said...

Yay for perspective!

Lisa said...

If not for perspective our minds would run riot!

Combat Girl said...

OMG I posted something this morning about the scales and now a few hours later I have read your blog. Great minds think alike, I say.


Lisa said...

I will go and ready yours...must be the universe!

Raechelle said...

Thanks hon-I like them too!

But I'm glad you commented on my site-I was not sure if the weakness is normally before or after being OTR- but really it makes sense during and right after TOM since you lose all that blood=iron! Next couple of weeks should tell the story!
thanks again-always good to hear this stuff from a pro!

Lisa said...

Hey Raechelle, pleased I could help. You also need to consider fatigue levels of both muscle and CNS in your lifting. You can't be on all the time!


Charlotte Orr said...

HI Lisa, it's great that you know your body so well. Hope you find something in your diet/supplementation to get your weight loss jump-started again.

Lisa said...

Hi Charlotte,

I am sure the next week will bring a 1kg drop for me. I just need to be positive.

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