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Dear Scale -

body composition dieting Jun 19, 2017

They tell you not to step on the scale. So what do I do every morning? Step on the scale. You see, when I’m dieting, which I define as eating below my recommended daily caloric intake, I’m only here for the results. I’m trying to make the numbers go down. If the numbers do not go down, I unleash the fury of one thousand suns unto the first person who asks me about my diet. 

I’ve seen the waves of body-positive movements with un-touched models, and yoga practitioners who are “a little bit bigger.” However, none of those messages  persuaded me to embrace the pudge that hangs over my jeans, or the 0.2lb gain on the scale. That sinking feeling of despair, anger, and a few other emotions quite difficult to put a finger on would send me running into the arms of my true love, chicken nuggets. 

After I gorged myself on nuggets from all the top eateries in town, it was time for ice cream. After the pangs of regret and lactose intolerance hit my stomach, I reflected on what the heck I’m doing. Well, the heck that I was doing was usually writing down the ounces of protein, carbs, and fats, amount of exercise for the day, a hit or miss session of mediation/yoga, and avoiding eye contact with foods that have addictive powers over me. The next morning I’d step on the scale and curse the ground I walked upon. 

I am not average, never have been. When I read “the average person can safely lose 1-2lbs a week,” I don’t know why I think I belong in that category. I’ve always been an athlete, which makes you think that I’m lean and fit, but I’m only fit. I can run five miles, complete a workout of Insanity, and hit the gym to deadlift 225lbs+ if I’m feeling good that day. However, if you look at me, I look pretty normal, maybe slightly overweight. Most days, I’m not eating over 2,000 calories, so what’s the deal? Why can I train like Thor, but look like Homer Simpson? 

Failing to Meet Expectations

The root of frustration comes from failing to meet expectations. I just made that up, but it’s not wrong. You put $1.00 into the vending machine, press C4, and you expect that wheel to spin out a bag of Doritos. What happens when it doesn’t? What if the wheel jams? The bag gets stuck ½ way between the glass? When you don’t get what you paid for? If you’re anything like me, you might sucker punch the machine because that was your last dollar and that bag of Doritos was supposed to be your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

I did a 12 week body transformation challenge. My beginning stats were 29% body fat, 143.5lbs. I expected to be around 18% body fat, 120 lbs. by the end of the challenge. That wasn’t the case. Instead, I was 25% body fat, 136.8lbs. Now, with that expectation, I failed miserably with still 7% body fat and 16.8lbs to lose. I scoffed at the 6.7lbs I lost. However, I actually lost 7lbs of fat and gained almost a pound of muscle.

I had expectations of what I could do with my body in 12 weeks. Despite never finishing any diet for that length of time, I was ready to put my fist through the scale after week 3. I put my money in the vending machine, and I thought nothing came out, but that’s not entirely true. 

Be Realistic With Your Expectations

I learned how to prepare healthy meals in under 5 minutes. I went to the gym and did workouts I enjoyed consistently. I learned how my body reacts to certain foods, workouts, rest days. I gained the fundamentals to a healthy lifestyle, which I had never had before. So before you throw your scale off the nearest bridge, take the time to become realistic with all of your expectations.

Danielle Allen


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