Oops, I used the term “women” when I should have said “people”. I get it guys, you worry about your weight too. But most of the time, it’s women, and that’s what I’m going to be talking (writing?) about today. Sorry double standards!
Two out of three young girls (10-17) think they’re overweight. Somewhere between 50% and 70% of all NORMAL-WEIGHING WOMEN THINK THEY ARE OVERWEIGHT. What the fuck?
This is the part of the blog post where I bravely say, “Oh but thank God I’ve never felt that way because of my stellar confidence and wonderfully strong mind”… Just kidding. I’ve anything, I’ve struggled with my weight just the same, unhealthy amount as most other women.
So here it is: i went upstairs to weigh myself for the first time in probably a few years for the purpose of this blog post.
I’m 6’1” and I weigh 176 lbs as of today. Fucking ouch, that was hard to type.
Is that overweight? No, my BMI is still within the realms of average weight (but don’t even get me started on how shitty I think BMI is considering it doesn’t take into account your muscle to fat ratio etc.) and yet I’m still pretty freaking disgusted with myself. Why? Because I’ve grown up in a society filled with short girls who consider average weight to be at about 40 lbs south of where I am.
Why has it been a few years since I last weighed myself? Let me tell you a story:
It began when I was about ten years old, over a decade ago. I discovered through bullying and teasing that, sadly, I’m not built the same way as other girls. I am about as tall as it gets for most girls, and I considered this to be a bad thing for a long, long time. One of the reasons why is because I remember being seven years old and seeing the scale hit that triple digit section that none of my friends were close to hitting yet. I remember my grandma setting up a slide in her backyard that had a weight limit so, no, I couldn’t go on it, even though I was a fucking nine year old. I remember being twelve and going to the Ontario Place for my friend’s birthday party and not being able to go on half the rides because of my weight.
The best part is that I’m actually pretty slim.
I went on to model for a few years when I was a teen, and my weight was harshly brought up time and time again during those years. People would tell me I’d look great if I lost my “baby fat”. Baby fat?! I was fifteen, of course I had baby fat. I also happened to be developing my body at that age, so let me apologize in hindsight for growing a rack and an ass that added a few pounds to the scale.
I felt like, and still feel like, I’m inadequate because of a number I see on a scale.
Fuck you mass media.
I don’t understand the logic behind this obsession women and girls have over their weight. I work out five days a week and I have approximately zero cellulite. I have biceps (yay!) for the first time in my life, and I’m able to climb mountains and go kayaking for hours on end without getting breathless. This morning when I woke, I thought I was in excellent physical condition (and fuck yes, I look like I am too).
So why did a stupid number change all of this?
I don’t know. I fully intended to write this post as a debunking “All women are beautiful, don’t be ashamed of your weight!!!!!” but then hypocrisy set in and now, well, I’m not sure I can give others advice I don’t 100% believe myself.
So let’s try to convince me, and hopefully you as well.
Did you know that muscle is 18% more dense than fat is? That means it takes up less space/ volume in your body when that fat has been converted. In other words, if you got a 1m x 1m block of fat and a 1m x 1m block of muscle (ew) then the muscle will weigh significantly more than the fat would. So while you’re working out, it’s natural for you to gain muscle at the same time as you are losing fat, so it makes sense that the numbers on the scale stay the same, or maybe even increase.
But hey, not all of us are gym rats (oops, guilty). Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “That’s just great, but there’s no reason why my weight should go up and up if I’m not even working out! I must be getting FAAAAAT!”
Wrong. Did you know that there are about a hundred factors that influence and fluctuate your weight at any given time? I didn’t until I started writing this, but I’m starting to be a bit more convinced that my weight is actually JUST A NUMBER. If you’re on your period, retaining water or even stressed out, your body weight can go up.
That’s pretty spooky. (It also introduces a paradox where I can stress about gaining weight which makes me gain weight and then stress even more because I’m gaining weight and then…)
The bottom line is this: no one is ever going to know how much you weigh unless you tell them. I had a friend guess my weight recently and this bluntly honest person guessed 140 lbs.
If you’re working towards a healthier and happier you, I suggest you STAY OFF THE SCALE because WEIGHT DOESN’T MATTER! If you start working out, work toward a goal of feeling confident when you look in the mirror, not when you look at the numbers.
Okay, I think I’ve convinced myself that I’m not a whale now, but just incase you aren’t convinced quite just yet, try to remember the following:
- your family and friends don’t give a rat’s ass about your weight
- your SO doesn’t either (and if he or she does, dump their dumb selves ASAP)
- dogs also don’t care about your weight
- you should take a sledge hammer to your scale if it makes you feel any better
- buy yourself some ice cream
- you’re a goddess
- I still like you even if you weigh more than you’d like to
- you’re the perfect weight for being you
- dogs will always be there for you
- did I mention dogs?