For many, the number they see on the scale holds a great amount of influence on their perceived self-worth. However, you are not defined by just any one value! One’s weight does not always tell the whole story. In fact, for the coaches at OPEX Baltimore, how much one weighs is simply another metric among many other important data points and factors. Our coaches take into account so much more when it comes to defining a picture of health, wellness, and fitness.
Telling the Whole Truth
How much you weigh can be a result of a variety of different components. Inflammation, water retention, dehydration, and hormones are just a few things that can greatly impact the number you see on the scale. Our bodies can also go through 2-10 pounds of weight fluctuations throughout the day. It can vary widely, because there are so many things that directly influence our weight.
This can create a very confusing and potentially inaccurate picture if you are using this as your only metric of health. We’re not saying that weight is irrelevant. However, we simply want to point out that it can be a flawed metric if it is the only data point you are using. Additionally, when it comes to an “ideal” weight range, this is also relative to the function of the individual. For example, the requirements for body composition for a competitive marathon runner will differ greatly from those of a father of two who wants to be healthy enough to keep up with his kids. Context matters!
Getting a Fuller Picture
Everyone has different genetic and metabolic factors that can affect their body composition. You can have two people that are the exact same height, weight, age, and gender, but their body composition can be vastly different. At OPEX Baltimore, we use our Inbody 270 Body Composition Analyzer to help us see a more complete picture of where an individual is at any one moment. This machine calculates total body water, body fat, and lean muscle mass. This can give us useful information that we can then apply to our knowledge of our client’s goals. If we were to ONLY look at bodyweight, it wouldn’t really tell us the whole story. It could in fact be misleading as to whether we’ve actually helped someone to improve their health or performance.
Two Different Approaches
Using the examples above, the marathon runner competing to win their age group, we would certainly want to track lean muscle mass and body fat during their racing season. A scale by itself wouldn’t be able to give us enough information. It’s likely that our goal would be to NOT add much muscle (or fat) in the middle of a racing season. Even just 2 pounds added to a body over the course of a race could really negatively affect their performance!
Looking at the father of two as the other example, we would have a different approach. Our general goals would be to add some lean mass, drop some body fat, and stabilize his blood sugar during the day. It would be difficult to ascertain if he was adding lean muscle mass or body fat if his weight went up, or losing muscle mass or body fat if his weight went down just using the scale alone.
Metrics are great to have and can certainly be extremely helpful in tracking progress. Where it can become a hindrance is when it becomes the only metric that matters. If you are finding yourself emotionally dependent on what those numbers say, then there needs to be a larger conversation as to why it matters so much.
There are plenty of other biofeedback and performance indicators that one can use to judge where they sit on the spectrum of health and wellness. Finding value within all of these varying elements can bring a larger amount of satisfaction and growth within one’s own journey. At the end of the day, one number or value should not define you. Taking a step back and being able to enjoy the process by tracking a variety of short-term and long-term goals is the key.
If you’re interested in finding out more about other helpful health and wellness tips, then contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the Request a Free Consult tab at the top right corner of this page!