Sorry for my delay this week but I have been away celebrating the Australia Day Long Weekend with some friends. While I was away over the weekend one of my mates continued to ask me "Have I lost weight" after every sort of activity we did. This made me realise how people spend too much time focusing on the number on the scale instead of focusing on their health and fitness.
As people we are increasingly self-conscious and many of us (myself included) are guilty of defining ourselves by whatver number comes up when we step on a set of scales. Yes, your weight is an indicator of your health but it is completely subjective. How often do you hear people say I want to weigh XXkgs... What if you told them that if they were slightly heavier but they would be skinnier? When I start training people one of the first things I get them to do is resistance training. Now as always I make the disclaimer here that I am not an expert and there are most definitely better qualified PT's out there than me but I get my clients to start doing resistance training because an increase in muscle mass will increase your metabolism. This means that often after a month someone will say to me, "It isn't working, I have put on weight". Hold your horses champ. Try measuring your waist or bicep or any other part of your body where fat is stored.
In the last 12 months I have made a significant change to the way I train. You might find this funny but as a triathlete I used to hardly swim. Know I swim at least 3 times a week and I reckon I swim anywhere between 12 - 8kms each week. Now since I started swimming I noticed something. I wasn't as light on the scales anymore. This caused me initially the usual depression and anxiety that I am sure most people feel. But then I noticed that my clothes were not fitting properly. My pants were starting to fall down and things that had been a little tight were suddenly loose. While on the flip side, my cycling jerseys were getting tighter around my arms? What the hell was going on? Simple, I was gaining muscle mass in my upper body from all the swimming and at the same time reducing the amount of weight I carried around my waist. So I was technically the same weight, maybe even a little heavier, but I was intact skinnier. The best part about this was that people stopped complaining that I looked too skinny. Little did they realise that I had actually gone down another pant size...
So to all of you out their in weight loss world I am going to propose a paradigm shift. I want you to all stop obsessing over the number that comes up on the scale and instead I want you to start keeping measurements of key body areas like your legs, waist, biceps and even chest. A regular workout routine with a proper diet will improve your health but it won't always impact your weight. If we can start to educate other people about this maybe there will be less depression and less people will turn to some of the stupid weight loss products and diets I hear about. Just my 2 cents...
As for me I have my first race of 2015 this weekend. Challenge Melbourne. I have decided to approach this race almost the opposite way to which I approached Western Sydney 70.3. I am not expecting anything. My preparation has not been perfect. I have been a bit fatigued. So I am just going to go out there on Sunday and give it everything I have. I am actually quite nervous about this race. Not because of the distance or because I want to get that elusive sub 4:30, but because I really do not want a repeat of Western Sydney again. I have made a number of changes in the lead up to this race and I will be interested to see how they turn out. I am sure you will all be reading about it next weekend.
So to all of you remember the weight on the scale is only a number. Don't let it get you down. Remember why it is you do what you do. Have a go and remember to TRI!!!
I lost 50kgs though triathlon and completed the 2016 70.3 World Championships. Aiming to hit 4:05 for a 70.3, the same time it took me to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I want to bring as many new people to the sport as possible. Whether you are fit and active or want to make positive changes to your life.