So I’ve been sitting on this blog post for awhile. I have been noticing changes to my body composition, as I was putting on muscle but the scale wasn’t moving. Let’s talk about that!
Since I have been sharing my fitness journey online, mostly instagram stories, people started to mention that they are noticing changes to my body as well. That told me that people may be ready for this post.
This is my second fitness journey, the first was quite awhile ago and my goal was to lose weight. I broke down weight loss to its bare basics that caloric deficit = weight loss… no matter the nutrition or the loss of muscle along the way. I just wanted to see the scale shrink.
I didn’t want to land in that obsessive behavior again this time on my fitness journey, so I did a lot more research on nutrition and started incorporating small healthy changes to my diet [more on this later]. My goal this time was to be toned, and gain muscle mass.
I started this journey midst the pandemic, because like I alot of people I gained a pandemic 15 pounds. The road wasn’t easy, and I fell off a lot of times. I am an emotional eatter and being stuck at home during a tumultuous time just meant that I was a couch potatoe and ate a bunch of junk . So instead of getting upset that I couldn’t get that under control, I decided to make my goal consistent workouts. So the first few months, I just focused on getting my workout in and working on bettering my form and getting stronger. I would celebrate every day I got up and moved even if I ate bad.
My nutrition was maybe like 50/50 for eating healthy and then days of Mcdonalds/pizza/chips etc. But I built myself consistently to become quite active, even working out twice a day. The extra calories actually became effective for building muscle.
Once I started seeing changes in my body and abilities in my workouts, I stepped on the scale. Absolutely no change….nothing. that was very disheartening but I was perplexed and decided to check my measurements. There it was…my body was changing, inches were being lost but the scale wasn’t moving. I was turning my fat to muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.
Just take a peak at these two photos. The left is 162 at the beginning of the year pre-pandemic weight gain. The right is 171 after turning fat into muscle. This was absolutely shocking to me, my measurements were close to before my weight gain but I was ten pounds heavier!! If I just focused on the scale, I would have took a deep dive into depression because I wasn’t seeing results.
But my experience with tracking my weight via scale only and tracking without has taught me the scale is pure fuckery… for the following reasons.
1. Muscle Mass – muscle weighs more than fat. And just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean you are not showing results as per the photo above.
2. Natural fluctuations – your body naturally varies weight during the day and month. This would throw me for a loop when I was obsessively tracking it daily. You weigh more at night. After a salty or bad meal you’ll see weight gain that will be gone in a day or two. And for women, we gain during our time of the month. I gain two pounds and two inches of bloat around my waist. If I didn’t know this, I could see it being very disheartening for someone tracking their weight only by scale.
3. Mental Health- as I have been demonstrating above…the scale can have negative effects on your mental health and it can become an obsession or even throw your whole day off. Don’t step on the scale. Keep moving towards your goals daily. Its much better to track your results once you start to notice change, as a mood booster that your hard work is paying off. If you dont see results on the scale – check some things i mentioned: are your clothes fitting better? Your measurements better? Have you had a bad meal? Are you carrying bloat? This ALL matters and factors into how you should respond to that number.
With all that being said, some of you have come for the result comparison photos. So here they are!!
Weight loss: 178 to 171 [7 pounds]
Arms: from 13 inches to 12
Chest: no change
Waist: 35 inches to 34
Hips: 44.5 inches to 45 [gained some booty muscle]
Thighs: 26 inches to 24
I’m so proud of how far I’ve come..especially since I didn’t take it all on at once. I just focused on being active even if I couldn’t get my eating under control during a stressful time. The workouts helped with my moods as well. Win win!!
Now that I have my workouts down, I have decided to start my “cut.” Meaning that I will be shedding off the fat around the muscle I have built. This means that my next two months will be focusing on my nutrition. Nutritious meals at least 5/7 days of week. And I will be changing up my workouts as well. No more two a days with weights and cardio, instead it will be a single HIT insanity workout.
Check back in a couple months with me. See if I have been able to stick to nutritious meals, which admittedly will be hard for me. See if I am able to stick to the Insanity Workout program, because historically I haven’t been able to. This will be a true test for me…these next few months.
I would really appreciate any support and encouragement!