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Why weight adds pressure (and why it shouldn't)

Many of us dread stepping on the scale.  It’s the uncertainty of “will my weight be up or down?” Has all of my hard work, planning and tracking worked?

The truth is, our weight doesn’t accurately represent our body composition.  People’s weight only represents their OVERALL WEIGHT at that specific point in time. Guaranteed, if you step on the scale multiple times throughout the day you’d see your weight fluctuate by several pounds - that’s in one day! This can be frustrating if you’re only weighing yourself once a week and it feels like your progress is not consistent.

That weight is only reflective of that one moment, and not an accurate representation of your efforts or what's going on in your body.  There are many factors that impact weight; here are just a few:

Muscle Mass - As we change our eating habits or workout routine, there is a good chance we will begin to put on more muscle.  This is excellent for our health and will make us feel better when working out but this can cause the weight on the scale to go up.  We want more muscle, therefore an increase or lack of change on the scale due to muscle gain is a good thing!

Water Weight - Even when your diet is consistent, depending on your workouts, the temperature and many other factors, you may retain or lose more water.  This isn’t a good or bad thing and but does add a large daily variance in overall weight gain/loss.

Hormones - All of us are impacted with our hormones, but ladies get the short straw on this one.  Search menstrual cycle and weight gain and you will be left with thousands of articles to read online.  There is a clear connection here between how hormones impact your bodies and cause you to retain water.  For women, depending on the time of the month you will have even more fluctuation in your weight!

Think about how your body feels day to day in workouts.  Somedays, you may notice that squatting 95 lbs is a breeze, while other days it may feel like a 1,000 lbs.  As a community, I would say we’re accepting of this fact.  We listen to our bodies in workouts, and dial it back when we need to.  Why shouldn’t it be the same with your weight?

 Accept where you’re at in that point in time and don’t add any emotion to it.  Rather focus on how you feel, how your clothes fit and how your energy levels are.  It’s draining and ridiculous to focus on the negatives and add a magnitude of pressure unto ourselves because of what a number on a scale says.  Focus and put energy into only the things you can control!

We track our weights in workouts daily and appreciate the gradual progress.  It’s the same with weighing yourself daily.  The numbers are going to change consistently and THAT’S OKAY!  Remember - when you’re trying to lose/gain  weight your body is literally rebalancing itself.  There is no easy on/off switch so give yourself some leeway and try to enjoy the journey towards your end goal.

Ryan Devries

Ryan is the newest member of the FirePower coaching team. He earned his Level 1 in summer 2017. He has been an aspiring competitive CrossFit athlete for the past 3 years. 

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