It’s a fact. Endurance athletes can lose weight by not stepping on the scale. The pounds just fly off when you ignore reality. Avoid the numbers. Kick the digital reality to the curb.
This is true only because our bodies tend weigh less in the morning than they do in the evening. So you can typically, truthfully claim, “I weigh less this morning than I did last night.” And you won’t be lying to yourself.
Of course, the rude exception to this rule is stepping on the scale when you’ve had a big meal or two and missed a workout to boot. Then the scale is the one that must be lying. “What? 185? I weighed 182 last night!”
What’s even worse is going to the doctor’s office where they don’t let you take off your shoes and clothes before stepping on the scale. “190!” your brain screams beneath all that clothing and the hat you neglected to remove from your head. It’s enough to make you strip naked and run several laps up and down the hall before stepping back on the scale. “Oh-Kay!” you’d scream triumphantly. “188. Now THAT’s more LIKE IT!”
We all seem to have these set points where weight guts our self-esteem. Thinking back to our racing weight from seven years ago, we know that seven pounds or ten pounds or fifteen pounds lurking on our bodies isn’t really “real” weight. It’s just sticking around until we magically achieve racing fitness again.
I weighed 140 when I ran 5:00 pace in races. So it’s no wonder I can’t race that fast anymore. You try carrying around 40 more lbs. and run a 5:00 mile. Yes, some of that weight is muscle that I’ve gained. And I actually have gluteus muscles from cycling. So there’s that. That’s one of the few aspects of life where I’ve made an ass of myself and been proud of it.
So it’s a grand compromise when it comes to judging ourselves by our weight. The realities of a slower metabolism and a much less aggressive workout schedule guarantee that I’ll never weigh an insanely thin 140 lbs again.
But I’m also sure I don’t want to weigh that little. Not in my mature, sage context. It wouldn’t look good on me.
So it’s the “Weight, Weight Don’t Tell Me” game for me. Perhaps you play it too. Too bad there is not a prize for rationalization, or a category on Jeopardy.
“I’ll take “BELLY FAT FOR $50, ALEX.”
To which the correct question would always be, “What is hanging around your middle?”