Well, I don’t actually hate the process of losing weight. What I despise is the term itself, especially when used in relation to getting healthier. I despise even saying talking about how much weight I have lost. You may wonder why I’m so adamantly against this whole weight thing, but in my mind I have a very good reason, and it all comes down to physics.
Weight = mass * gravity
The problem I have is that this equation, this “definition” of weight, has absolutely nothing to do with health. I’ll explain by focusing on each variable, starting with gravity.
I have a problem with basing my health off something that not only isn’t even part of my body, but that I have absolutely zero control over. Gravity not only does not affect my health, but it is also not as constant as you may think (Check out this article about Weight on a mountain). Depending on where you are on the earth, your weight can change just because you changed location. If you live at the beach and want to lose some weight, just move to the mountains. That’s it. Weight-loss complete. Are you now healthier because the scale says you lost X lbs? Absolutely not.
So if we throw weight out as a health indicator because of gravity, we can just move back a step and focus on “Mass Loss” instead right? Wrong! Losing mass does not mean you are moving toward a healthier body either, and that is because the mass of your body is composed of many different things that you could reduce to cause a “Mass Loss.” Our bodies are composed of 57% – 60% of water on average. This means that if you decrease the amount of water you put in your body, you could experience a “Mass Loss.” Will this make you healthier. No, it will make you dehydrated. We could do the same thing with muscle, bone, fat, etc. Muscle loss is bad, bone loss is bad, but fat loss, that good, right? Well, it really depends. If 40% of your body is composed of fat, then yes, fat loss can be good, but if you are composed of 5% fat, then it may not hurt for your body to gain a little more. Despite what most people believe these days, our bodies need fat, just as they need water, protein, carbohydrates, etc. So if “Mass Loss” isn’t a good way to determine health either, what is?
Our bodies are incredibly complex creations, and I believe that relegating our health to one number, or even a series of numbers is not only unhealthy in itself, but it degrades the wonder that is the human body. When it comes to being healthy, instead of focusing on just our weight, fat percentage, BMI, waist measurement (among others) and whatever other numbers make you “feel” healthy, focus on your body. Believe it or not, when you are healthy, your body will let you know. Pay attention to how your body looks and feels, how your body is functioning (including your gut, muscles and brain), the amount of energy you have during the day, how well you sleep at night and even the foods that you crave. It’s still ok to weight yourself and take your measurements, but don’t let a number determine your health, because that number can very easily disappoint you. Your body is too marvelous to be summed up in a number.
Say no to the scale, and say yes to health!