Weight has always been an interesting topic. I personally haven’t used a scale for many years, the last time being when I was competing for body building competitions.
I didn’t want to, but It was required at the time to monitor how much weight I was losing during my training. I needed to make sure that I was retaining as much muscle as possible while cutting my body fat. Even then I hated using a scale, I knew it had its purpose.
Other than that instance, most days I couldn’t tell you how much I weigh now. I could take a guess, but who knows if I’m accurate!
And guess what?
I don’t care what I weigh.
What I can tell you though, is how good I feel. How I feel is what I care about, not what a number on the scale tells me.
I know my weight is right for me when I can lift the weights I want to, and my joints feel happy doing it.
I know that my body weight is at a good place for me because it’s allowing me to do the things I want with no pain and crazy amounts of effort.
I also know when my body is at a good weight when I feel confident in my skin, no matter what I’m wearing!
If I feel sluggish sometimes during the year or maybe am not moving as swiftly as I’d like, I can usually take this as a sign that I’m not at an ideal weight for me. My next move is to then focus a bit more on how I could feel different and better.
Have I been eating out more than normal?
When was the last time I did some cardio training?
Maybe a bit more cardio over the next few weeks or maybe I cook a little more at home. It doesn’t take much to get me back to that sweet spot where I feel my best.
Now after spinal cord injury, they say the trend is for your bodyweight to decrease quite rapidly especially for those that use a wheelchair.
This is mainly due to the atrophy of the biggest muscles in your body, which are found in your legs and hips.
Unfortunately, over time though, the trend of losing weight for people with an SCI slows to a halt and then creeps upwards on the scale.
This is the reality, and unfortunately this weight usually isn’t muscle going back to the legs- you can find it in the midsection and gained back as subcutaneous fat.
It is no wonder that cardiovascular disease is an all-time high in people living with SCI.
It is hard enough to keep a healthy weight in today’s sedentary world where everything is gigantic in proportion and everything is convenient. Add an SCI on top of that and some restricted mobility, and you may have a lot of work cut out for you!
Okay now take a deep breath.
The point of this blog isn’t to tell you that you should always be completely ripped and photoshoot ready.
It is to invite you to think about where you are with your weight right now and be realistic about it with respect to your life.
Realistic is relative depending on your lifestyle and goals. Try asking yourself the following:
- How do you feel in your skin? When you look in the mirror, are you confident? How you look in clothes? How you look naked?
- Are your transfers harder than normal? Could they be made easier with less weight on your frame, or possibly with more upper body strength? Or maybe they feel better than ever!?! For an improve your transfers workout click here.
- Are there any daily tasks that have gotten more difficult over time? Why? Is it a mobility issue, an agility issue, or other?
- Reflect to when you have felt your absolute best in your skin. If it isn’t now, what was different then? What daily behaviors have changed for you since then? Is it a look or a feeling? Was this place maintainable for you?
Please understand that I am not shaming using the scale.
Keeping tabs on your scale weight is important when it comes to things like measuring BMI and may be a way of recording your personal progress. It works for some and simply doesn’t work for others.
Getting your focus stuck on a specific number on the scale can not only drive you nuts, but it can be the dead end to feeling great.
I know many people that have strived for this special number on the scale, and they end up feeling crappier than ever before.
If you are someone that is looking to improve how you feel and don’t know where to start, I recommend starting with the questions listed above. Take a few days and really think about what comes up for you with each question.
You can even write them down and review them later, or go over them with one of our coaches.
Practicing this exercise can help you identify what needs to happen in order for you to feel your best and be at your best weight, whatever that may be for you… No scale required!