The answer quite frankly from experience is.. no.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was frantically chasing that “ideal” number on the scale. Promising myself that once I’d reached that target weight, I’d do everything in my power to not go above it. If I had to describe my relationship with the scales I’d say that it was “complicated”, my obsession with numbers began unintentionally through athletics, during a couple of training sessions my body composition was measured using skin fold calipers. Once the results came back, the “what I thought was a trained practitioner” explained how I had a higher body fat percentage compared against other athletes in my field.
This kick started a few years of yo-yo dieting, fasting, and crazy low amounts of food to achieve that optimal body fat percentage, and I generally was under the impression that once I reached that goal my body would perform optimally on the track (I was under the impression that the lighter I got the faster I’d become) Looking back I now see how stupid this truly is, there is no ideal weight or body fat for optimal performance. If you train smart and well, look after your body and fuel properly the results will come naturally.
I would ask myself, how little could I eat in order to still train well and reach that goal, I’d google what to eat as a middle distance runner without taking into account that their body composition was most likely completely different to mine. It quickly went from simply performance focused, to wanting a smaller dress size, a smaller waist, abs, I had an image inside my head that was so specific that I knew down to the inch what I wanted to look like.
And no matter how many times my friends and family would say I’d lost too much weight, I was in a constant battle with myself, knowing I wasn’t were I wanted to be, and the weight on the scale simply got lower and lower. Until one day it all came full circle.
Poor nutrition equaled poor results:
A number of factors contribute to success in sport, and diet is a key component. My performance on the track began to be majorly affected. Simply because I was just not looking after myself properly! Training and competition require large amounts of energy, which I simply wasn’t providing my body with. Feeling constantly fatigued, I couldn’t hold a session without feeling completely exhausted barely being able to make the drive home.
We spent countless amount of hours locked inside our own head, chasing that number on the scale and for what? To seem more desirable? To fit in?
When our grand kids tell stories to their children about us, they won’t be talking about our appearance, or shape of our body. We are so much more than simply what we appear to be from the outside.
I strongly believe if we continue to search for who we are in the eyes of others, we will continue to place unachievable goals on ourselves. But if happiness is your goal, losing weight won’t necessarily make you happier. I ask you to truly think why you feel the need to change your appearance or lifestyle. Your happiness doesn’t and shouldn’t depend on just your weight!
It’s completely ok to have fitness goals, but don’t let these goals consume your life. Health comes in all shapes and sizes. No one size fits all, no matter what the media is screaming at us.