Posted on 14 Jul 2016
Taking the Weight Off Your Mind
While many of our clients come to FitFarms with the goal of losing weight, weight is not ultimately where we place our emphasis and this is why…
The number on the scales doesn’t tell you very much about your overall health.
Weight doesn’t tell you how much of your body is muscle vs fat, or what is a healthy weight for someone of your height. This is why we also use a body fat reading and BMI measurement (a number calculated using both your weight and your height). But even these numbers are very limited. They don’t tell you anything about visceral fat, for example, which is fat found between the organs and which can be a predictor of health issues down the line. Nor does it tell you about other important factors like blood pressure and cholesterol that aren’t directly related to your weight.
If you want a really accurate picture of your health you can get some of those numbers tested by your doctor, but here at Fit Farms we prefer to keep it simple. We eat real food that tastes good and get lots of movement in. More than reaching a particular weight, a consistently healthy diet and the ability to move without pain are much better indicators of whole-body health, which brings me to my next point…
When it comes to pain and injuries it isn’t how much you weigh but how you carry it.
For people with musculoskeletal issues like knee or back pain it is an over simplification that all you need to do is loose weight and you would be able to move better. Weight might be contributing to an issue like back pain, but then why is it that there are people much heavier who do not experience such pain as well as plenty of people much lighter who do?
We emphasise improving mobility, flexibility and strength, rather than just losing weight.
Injuries are usually caused by multiple factors working together; the way your parts are aligned, which muscles are strong, which muscles are weak, and whether or not all your joints can articulate in a normal range. All of these have a much bigger impact on your musculoskeletal system than the number on the scales. By improving mobility, flexibility and strength, movement will be easier and less painful, making it more enjoyable to lead an active life.
Your weight loss goal might not be about weight loss at all.
Often clients come to us with a specific goal for weight loss. As an example, lets say the goal is to loose 10 lbs by Christmas. If you loose 10 lbs by December 25th then that is great. You’d probably feel really good about your self (and you should, too!) But what if you only loose 9 1/2 lbs? You might feel good at getting 95% of the way to your goal but there is probably still a part of you that feels like you fell short.
That’s why we ask our clients to be even more specific when it comes to their goals.
Why do you want to loose that 10lbs by Christmas? This when the real goals come out - ‘I want to fit better in my clothes.’ ‘I’m going on a ski holiday in January and I want to keep up with the kids.’ It’s not that these goals are somehow easier to achieve than a weight-based goal, but they are much more motivating. They are goals that genuinely mean something to you. When you start to feel good in your clothes or notice yourself racing down the ski slopes with your family it will spur you on to keep making changes towards a healthier lifestyle, regardless of what the scales tell you.
Special blog post editorial from Rebecca, one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.
Image Credit: Quoteslike.com