Strength and Stamina versus Weight and Size

Years ago, I used to be obsessed with the bathroom scale. At my lowest point, I’d step on it at least twice per day. In recent years, I had broken that self-defeating habit, but it still had a pull on me and could determine my mood for the day. When we moved in January, I threw out the scale and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! So. Much. Freedom. I now keep track of my progress by my strength and stamina instead of the numbers on the scale.

It’s not always a clean, linear journey of leaving behind old thoughts of needing to be skinny. That thinking is emblazoned in my thought-patterns (thank you, diet culture and ballet) and it can be a real struggle some days. Some outfits. But I’ve made so much progress over the years.

This past year on the FASTer Way has been how I’ve made my greatest strides of loving myself towards healthy. Through my workouts, I have seen a very clear representation of my progress by being able to add heavier weights to my dumbbell rack every so often. I know the exercise moves that used to be a struggle with 12lb weights, now require 25lb weights to feel challenging. I put in the work, and I get the results I want. When’s the last time the scale matched your effort?

Similarly, I have more stamina now than I’ve had in years. I hate running. So much. And thankfully in FASTer Way, we only do sprints once per week and I’m able to do them from my elliptical. However, this has sneakily built up my stamina and on those very random days that I feel like running, I am able to maintain a speed, endurance and lung capacity that I haven’t in years.

Ladies, the scale will rarely be a good representation of your efforts. Often times, tricking the scale to give you a good number is at the cost of LOSING muscle. And who wants that?! Definitely not me! So if you’re ready to destroy that scale once and for all, and find a healthier point of measurement, consider shifting your focus to building strength and stamina. It may be the freedom and motivation you need to finally see the progress you’ve made in your fitness journey.

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps women heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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