Where’s My Scale??
Dear Force family,
Some of you may be wondering where the scales previously in the men’s and women’s bathrooms have gone off to. The quick answer is, we removed them. The long answer, well that get’s complicated.
For years in our industry, weight has been the be-all, end-all measure of health. We are bombarded with images in magazines, television, and beyond that talk about weight as a measure of attractiveness, health, and self-worth. Yet it is only recently that weight has become a detail that everyone seems to know about themselves and something that’s tracked regularly, if not everyday. Is this fair to place so much emphasis on this one statistic?
Your weight is a measure of “body mass x the gravitational pull of the earth”. It is, in a sense, a deaf, blind, and dumb measurement! It can’t tell you what your body mass is made up of: bone density, skeletal muscle, organs, water weight, body fat, etc. And that’s the real issue. While on population-wide scales, weight gives us a moderately accurate indicator of overall health, this usefulness often breaks down for the individual, even those seeking body composition changes. (More on this in a minute.)
Your personal health and fitness cannot be defined but such a simple number.
Perhaps even more important than the usefulness of weighing oneself is the emotional “weight” (pardon the pun) that it can carry. Over the past three years coaching at Force, I have noticed a disturbing trend. People will often define their success and self-worth by the number presented them on the scale. If you are down a couple of pounds in the morning, it is a good day. If you’re up a pound? You feel like a failure, a “fatty”, or even helpless.
The scale has become a means for negative self-talk. If a friend talked to you like you talk to yourself, you would probably punch that person in the face. Why do we tolerate the same language from ourselves?
And what do we do with the information the scale provides? Most of the time, I see people making reactionary decisions about what they will or will not eat that day based on a number that could have been influenced simply by getting less sleep, drinking less water, having more or less caffeine, or not taking a dump in the previous 8 hours. Daily weight fluctuations are rarely useful in helping us determine if you are making progress – we have to zoom out and take a broader look at the trends in your weight and other health markers in order to make objective and informed decisions.
Furthermore, we understand through psychology that these very same negative thoughts predict poor outcomes. Let me repeat that. The worse you feel about yourself, the worse your chance of achieving your goal is! Jason Seib, coach and author, has a saying: “You can’t change a body you hate.” To that I say amen brother! You can check out articles from Jason that are linked at the bottom of this letter.
I understand that some of you feel like you didn’t abuse the scale, that it accurately reflected your level of fitness, and helped you stay “on track”. If that is the case, then I ask that you consider the entire Force family and how this decision can affect a positive change for many people.
Our mission at Force has always been to provide you with the best experience, education, and results our industry has to offer. In order to stay true to that hallmark, we felt that it was time to remove the scales in an effort to promote a more well-rounded view of health and fitness. This does NOT mean that we will not track scale weight anymore. Although it is a blind statistic, it can be useful when taken into account with circumference measurements, body fat analysis, performance statistics, as well as subjective measures such as pictures, energy, mood, and digestion, to name a few. As coaches, we have to take the WHOLE PICTURE into account, as well as your individual goals, in order to guide you to a solution.
If your goals and situation require that you check in with your weight more that 1x/month, as is our standard now, your coach will happily set that up for you. However, if you’ve been weighing yourself more often than this, I encourage you to sit down with a coach to discuss whether this data is useful for you and your goals. It might be time to better define how you measure success and how we can help!
I hope this letter clears up any confusion on our decision. We truly feel that this will help us better support you in making healthy habits a part of your life.
Coach Matt and the Force Fitness Team
For further reading on the topic of weight, scale addiction, and the usefulness of weight data, we hope you’ll explore the links we’ve provided below.
It’s Hard Out Here For A Fit Chick – http://mollygalbraith.com/2013/06/its-hard-out-here-for-a-fit-chick/
The Human Animal Podcast – The Usefulness of Data