So over the past two years my weight has ended up changing a good amount–20 lbs to be exact! I rarely step on the scale but when I did the other week it kind of came as a shock to me–136 lbs? I have never weighed that much in my life! To be honest with you guys, I kind of panicked for a minute. Now, I am always one to say that you shouldn’t judge your progress by the scale alone. In fact, as long as you’re at a healthy weight and you’re happy with yourself then number on the scale does not matter. But, I’ll tell you why I weighed myself in the first place, why I panicked over the number, and how I’m feeling about it now.
To start, gaining weight has always been pretty hard for me. I am not someone who can easily grow a booty (very jealous of all you girls out there who can)! So yeah, in order for me to gain muscle or weight in general it takes a lot of weight training and a lot of eating. My weight has always stayed between 127-129 over the last few years, and I’m 5’9” to help put that number into context. Growing up I was really tall for my age and gangly–I hated not being bigger! As I grew up, I started to appreciate my height and weight but that’s a different story lol. Anyway–even after I was lifting as heavy as ever and eating more carbs than ever, my weight still only reached 131-132 lbs. So yeah, as you can see my weight doesn’t fluctuate too much. Now, there was a time though two years ago when I broke my jaw and my weight dropped to 117 lbs. If I’m being honest with you all, there was a brief moment during that time where I glorified that number on the scale just because it was lower. I thought I looked good, but after I kind of came back to reality I was like WTF was I thinking! I was probably so focused on my abs that I thought that number was “great” when in reality that weight was not healthy for my height and I looked like skin and bones! It was terrible and not attractive. But, I think I made the same mistake like most people and assume that a lower number is better. Some of the questions you guys asked me when I told you I was writing this post was–when you reached your heaviest weight what did you do to lose the weight? Which makes me a little sad because again, it automatically assumes that heavier=worse, and this just isn’t always the case.
After I fractured my jaw, it took me a while to gain back the weight. I go into the details in this post here. But once the weight was gained back I rarely fluctuated. Like I said, I remained between 127-132 (132 being after intentionally trying to gain (again, you can read more about that process here). So you can imagine that I was pretty shocked when I stepped on the scale recently and I was 136 lbs and I haven’t been trying to gain weight or muscle. The reason I stepped on the scale in the first place was mostly curiosity. I felt like I didn’t look quite as lean as I usually do which is fine, but then I also felt like some of my clothes were fitting a little differently. Differently as in tighter LOL. So, the most logical next step was to weight myself so I could take my actual weight into account too. When I first saw the number I honestly was like WTF? Yes, I have been more lenient with my macros and I haven’t been training as strictly as in the past but it’s not like I had fallen off the wagon….but that number made me feel like I had!
To make matters “worse” I then tried on two dresses that I wore last year around my wedding and one of them was several inches away from being able to zip. The other one I was able to zip but it was so tight that I looked like a stuffed sausage LOL. It was not flattering. So after that I was still like WOW THIS IS GREAT (sarcasm). I was definitely feeling frustrated but I tried to not continue to panic or freakout. I was like just like, okay it is what it is and I know what I need to do if I want to lose a few pounds. So over the next few days I started to to be more conscious of my carb intake. I usually eat around 190-200 carbs a day so I started eating around 160-170. I’ve been counting macros for long enough that I know around what I need to eat to lose/gain weight. (Sidenote: These numbers are specific to ME! Please don’t use them for yours because everyone is different in terms of their nutritional needs! If you’re looking someone to calculate yours, I recommend Paola).
A few days after this I had the thought to take a “progress” photo so I had something to actually measure what I look like now versus then. And you know what? After I took those photos and actually looked at them I realized that while I wasn’t as lean as I once was, the biggest difference in my body was probably the size of my legs and butt. I then started realizing that the reasons the dresses I tried on weren’t fitting wasn’t as much due to my stomach but mostly my legs and butt. When I would try on a skirt that used to fit, the hardest part was getting it over my butt and then of course around the waist was tighter when your butt is taking up more fabric! Now I realize that my midsection has accumulated some more muscle and fat than I had last summer but I think my point is that I jumped to conclusions and just assumed that 136 lbs was more than I’ve ever weighed so that was bad. I think a lot of us can be guilty of doing this. Below are some photos to help you guys conceptualize the weight differences (weight descriptions below each phot0). I think you’ll see that in some photos even though I weighed the same, my body composition was totally different (which is why the number alone on the scale is not the best way to measure progress). And then you’ll see how my weight has changed over the years and the differences in how I’ve look at a lower weight vs. now.
So, what are my final thoughts on it? I honestly love that my legs and butt are bigger! Yes, sometimes that means I have to buy a bigger size in some clothes moving forward but who cares! I was tired of having a pancake butt and chicken legs anyway LOL. And I will say, that big butt, small butt, muscular legs, etc. whatever you like is personal preference and that’s okay! I think plenty of women are beautiful who have totally different body types. At the end of the day it only matters if you are happy with yourself. So for me, I just wanted more muscle. I mean, is it discouraging when my old clothes don’t fit? To an extent–because my first reaction is they don’t fit because I’ve gained weight which is bad. But then I remind myself that a good amount of the weight it muscle which I’ve worked hard for. In regards to my stomach not being as lean–yes, this annoys me a little bit. But, I also realize that my physique suffers some because I’ve been more lenient with my diet and training the last few months and I don’t regret any of it. I’ve honestly been a lot happier and not as stressed. I’ve realized at this point that things like this just ebb and flow and that’s okay. Some months I may be leaner and others I may not be–it just depends on what is going on in my life at the time. I’ve learned that nothing is permanent and there is no use into holding onto how you look so tightly. Being healthy and fit is much deeper than your appearance and it’s okay for specific goals to fluctuate. At this point, I will still be eating slightly lower carbs to lean out my midsection some but I’m not doing anything drastic or looking for a quick fix. I’m just taking things day by day and know that it’s a process. I am trying to make more mindful decisions about what I’m eating day to day but I’m also not being so strict where I feel like I can’t go out for dinner or drinks — if that makes sense?!
If you’re in the same boat as me and have gained weight recently ask yourself these questions:
-If you didn’t know what the number on the scale was, would you be happy with your progress mentally and physically? If the answer is yes, then who cares about the number. If the answer is no, then ask yourself these questions:
-What has caused this shift? Have I been too lenient with my diet? My workouts? Try to pinpoint what has changed and adjust accordingly (If you just came back from vacation, don’t focus on your weight. Give yourself a week to get back into your routine and then reassess. Post vacations when you’re out of your routine at not good times to make a judgment).
As a general rule though, please realize that your health and fitness journey is going to change overtime and you’re going to have different priorities and focuses at different points. For me, I always try to be conscious of my health and sometimes I am more strict and other times I am more lenient. Overall, I am never “falling of the wagon” (and if you do, its okay! Not the end of the world!!) but I have come to realize that my body will not always look the same. I’ve realized that while abs are nice to look at, being leaner doesn’t make me happier. I wasn’t happier last year than I am today. But that also doesn’t mean that I can’t set a goal and work towards it–just as long as I’m not self critical along the way!
So to wrap up, here’s a few questions that you guys wanted me to answer in this post!
-How did you know what is the right weight? So I don’t think there is a right weight for anyone as long as you’re healthy (and at a healthy weight for your height). 117 lbs was way too low for someone my height (by just looking at me and also by BMI standards–I know BMI isn’t always accurate but its a good rule of thumb), but I’ve felt fine at 127 lbs and I feel fine at 136 lbs. I want to say that I prefer myself right around 130-132 from an aesthetic standpoint, but as I continue to workout and gain muscle that number may fluctuate and I may prefer how I look then. Also, you want to take into account your lifestyle. If staying at a certain weight is making you miserable because you have to be so strict with your diet and workouts then to me that isn’t worth it. You have to find an overall balance taking everything into account–what is a healthy weight for your height, what do you feel most confident at, and what allows you to still live a happy lifestyle!
-What did you do to lose weight? As I mentioned above, I will be slightly lowering my carb intake.
-How did you get over worrying about the number on the scale? For me, its about how I look and feel when I look in the mirror! I think when some of my clothes weren’t fitting I resorted to the scale for an answer and that wasn’t the best go-to because when I actually looked in the mirror and took photos I realized that I wasn’t carrying the weight in a bad way–that it was more muscle than I originally thought.
-How much time was between the 117 lbs and 136 lbs? It’s been about 2 years. After I fractured my jaw and could workout again, I started Paola’s guide (again) and continued to follow her macro recommendations.
Alright guys, I think that sums it up! If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below and I’ll answer!!