Let’s take a second to state what we already know. The vast majority of people that you don’t know will take seconds to size you up, and part of that process (the percentage varies from person to person) is quite shallow. So it’s pretty natural to be concerned about what you look like, because those superficial judgments can play a big role in whatever you’re trying to accomplish, be that career advancement, attracting someone, etc.
Most of us want people to like us, and through the bevy of weight loss articles sprinkled anywhere writers can publish, the generalized subconscious consensus of society seems to be that targeting a normalized weight range for your body type will lead to that, as well as health and wellness and all those other goodies.
That’s cool, but you’re doing it all wrong.
You’ve heard this before — losing weight is math; burn more calories than you take in, meaning eat less (or smarter, seems to be the current trend) and exercise more. It’s small, but the problem is in that idea. You’re exercising in order to lose weight, and that’s not how it’s supposed to be.
What if weight loss wasn’t the ultimate prize, but instead a bonus en route to a much larger goal?
I’m not offering you a fitness plan, because I’m not certified in anything, and more importantly there shouldn’t be a set plan, but the idea is simple enough. Saying that you’re working towards body mastery (i.e. being competent in running a mile, doing 5-10 pull ups, 10-20 push ups, etc) sounds a hell of a lot cooler than saying you’re losing weight. Every extra thing you can do is nothing but positivity, and while losing five pounds may be a step, you’ll still see a weight that you don’t like. There’s absolutely no reason for you or anyone else to be concerned with how much you weigh, as long as you’re actively living a healthy lifestyle.
In this way, you never step on a scale once. Because who cares? Weight is deceptive — two identical people can be 20 pounds apart because one has a much higher concentration of lean muscle on him/her.
All anyone really cares about is what you can do. If a man has a heart attack on the street, nobody cares about what school a doctor went to, only how the doctor is going to keep the guy alive. In this same way, if you still have some extra weight that has not been shed yet, but I see you in the gym repping pull ups at five each set, I will likely elaborately mouth the word “beast” in your direction when we make eye contact. Because we will make eye contact. I’ll wait.
The body is a funny thing. Given enough input, it will contour itself to your lifestyle. When you decide that you want your body to be efficient, it will be hard, but it will change so you will be able to do what you want to do, and in our case, having extra weight is simply not needed, so it will gradually disappear.
There are exceptions to this, as there are with anything. Some people have more difficulty slimming down even if they’re doing everything right. Sometimes fitness isn’t a way to sure-fire weight-loss. But if that’s so, then you’re just that much more of a badass because it requires so much more strength to be efficient with a larger body. Have you seen an NFL lineman run a 40-yard dash? The ability required to move like that is insane. They’ve achieved the real goal, and while they might not have reached an “average” athletic build with a “normal” size to weight ratio, nobody cares, because if they are sprinting toward me, my first thought is “get the hell out of here,” not “someone is clearly ignoring their point counting today.”
Naturally, you can’t be lazy with this, because your body is already the one of the laziest sacks of cells on the planet. If you don’t constantly practice something you’ve learned, your brain will discard those neural connections because those require effort to maintain. If you don’t exercise a lot, your red blood cell count will go down because it’s expensive to produce so many and a waste if you don’t need them. Essentially your body is Eric from Boy Meets World when he didn’t want to move out of the house and grow up. You need to be Alan (the dad, for those not savvy in BMW) and whip him into shape.
The only reason you would ever really need to know your weight in the first place is for some kind of relative strength competition where they divide you in classes by weight. So again, if you’re not wrestling or doing bench press competitions for a living, there’s no reason for you or anyone else to care about how much you weigh — that’s just a number.
In shifting the focus on you, and not the weight you carry, your supposed burden becomes more of an opportunity for self improvement, that (so long as you’re up to the challenge) becomes much more of a positive reinforcer in your life than a display of electronic numbers ever will. Only after a long time of work should that scale come out, but when it does, the new weight will be nice to look at, but at that point you’ll probably be more concerned with what to challenge yourself with next.